We had long been considering, with the encouragement of our lecturer, the possibility of exploring making our tetrahedron modules out of fabric. Knowing that we would need a weight of some sort to ground the structure, we thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to test this possibility.
So, armed with a selection of felt from Centrepoint Fabrics, I dusted off the 1970’s Husqvarna sewing machine and set to work; bearing in mind the limits of my sewing skills is straight lines and turning corners, this could be fun!
We settled on using felt not only because the tightly woven texture of the fabric reminded us of the black builder’s paper we have used for our modules, but we also thought that the material was relatively stiff and would keep it’s shape more when sewn.
The first step was to cut out the tetrahedron pattern from the felt. Using the original cardboard template we made for producing our modules, we cut out a 550mm x 550mm square; our original template included a section which folded in under the others to create the tetrahedron shape – this was not necessary for the fabric version so we removed it from the felt piece.
Felt pieces cut and ready for sewing
Our intention for the tetrahedron pockets is that they will be stuffed with items from the kitset shelter user’s domestic interior – items such as clothes, towels or other small, soft materials. In order for the pocket to keep its shape once stuffed, we decided that sewing along each edge of the fabric module will reinforce the tetrahedrons shape.
Sewing the fabric pieces together
Three almost complete felt tetrahedrons
The three modules reminded us a little bit of origami cranes
Getting an idea of what a felt hexagon might look like
The final steps were to add a base to the tetrahedrons and then punch holes and rivet them; once stuffed the user can then use five cable ties to close the pocket.
Tetrahedron shaped pockets were a bit of a challenge to my sewing skills – but I think they look quite good (even if I do say so myself!) Perhaps sewing the side pieces to the base first and then sewing up the edges would have been an easier way to go…