Using the Sioux design in the classic book by Reginald and Gladys Laubin I set about sewing the canvas cover. I purchased a 25 metre roll of ten ounce canvas from Australian Wholesale Canvas
($320). After failing to utilise an old broken sewing machine, I purchased a sewing machine which was capable of sewing the canvas. I used the Toyota Jeans machine ($299 from Spotlight
) which performed the job very well (most of the sales assistants told me I would need to splash out on industrial style machines). Firstly, I set about drawing a scale plan which I would use to determine the strip lengths which would then be cut and sewn together using a flat seam. I ended up working using the metric system which meant converting all the measurements from the imperial system which they still use in America.
After sewing the strips together I then proceeded to measure out the circumference of 1/2 circle on to the cloth. This was then cut out and the edges hemmed. Along the circumference of the semi circle I added 24 peg loops which were constructed from black webbing.
The next stage was to measure out the smoke flaps and the lifting triangle. These were carefully cut, hemmed and reinforced as per the Laubin’s instructions.
The door hole was then added. Next, pairs of buttonholes were sewn up what would become the front of the tipi. This job was made much easier by utilising the sewing machines buttonhole function.