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.
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.
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.