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Swashbuckling scheming

When a friend asked me to embellish her 5-year-old son’s utilitarian cabin bed frame, I was pleased to help. Having recently completed a similar project for my daughter’s bed, I had overdosed on floral and pink gingham, so I relished getting stuck into something swashbuckling.

Pirate ship bed design, fabrics and suggested accessories

I quizzed her to understand what they were really looking for and took detailed measurements of the bed. After some scheming and drawing, I returned with my proposed solution; a pirate ship bed complete with applique decoration, portholes and Jolly Rodger.

I proposed two slightly different designs, she chose the simpler version without the ship fabric but with complementary ship window treatment. She and her son loved the design, the fabric selection and suggested accessories.  So then it was down to me, a lotta fabric, a chalk pencil and my trusty Bernina sewing machine to make it happen.

The final product

I have undertaken many a sewing project, but I must say none on this scale before. After the initial design phase, I drew to scaled elevations for each panel from which I created life-size templates. The fabric was measured, cut and each piece of applique positioned and then stitched into place. The portholes were created with black voile in felt frames and the roll up door from a separate panel overlayed with a felt detail. The  finished panels were attached to the bed frame with strong velcro and the Jolly Roger suspended from a child friendly pole starboard side.

With relief, my friend’s son loved it (although the Jolly Roger proved a little scary and had to be taken down at bed time for the first few weeks!). I loved working on such a playful project,  but if there is a next time, to save my knees,  I think Eyebrook Design will enlist the help of a curtain maker.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Alex, that’s absolutely brilliant, you have hidden talents! I’m not surprised the kids loved it. I wish someone had made something that for me when I was young.

    Congratulations on getting back in the post saddle :-) x

    November 1, 2012
  2. Thanks Sam :-). Hope things are well. Yes me too, when I was 5 I think would have liked a Bagpuss themed one! x

    November 1, 2012
  3. My bro and I used to pretend our settee was a boat when we were kids, this has just reminded me! How fun! I bet it was so satisfying designing and making the cabin bed. And I’m sure the little boy who gets to play and sleep in it is chuffed to bits! Well done for recharging your blog!

    November 1, 2012
    • Hehe! Yes I remember similar play, pretending to be a monkey if I remember right! It was great seeing it through to the finished product. I loved working on a themed kids project too, it was less weighty than a chic interior scheme. Recharged is the word! Thanks for your comments xx

      November 1, 2012
  4. Laura Drago #

    Wow, congratulations Alex. This is a rather creative comeback. The finished product is beautifully crafted and very original indeed. This can be by far every little boy’s dream bed. Well done. xxx

    November 4, 2012
    • Thank you Laura! I wanted to turn the bed into a play object, rather than just approach it as a decorative item, the idea being that decoration could surround it in the form of a wall mural, window treatment, accessories etc. It was a labour of love :-) I hope your work and the Vectorworks are going well x

      November 6, 2012

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