We started building the circus tent in 2004. We got to the painting stage when I realised that my pregnancy had stolen my planning brain and we had to stop. We finished it the following year.
This is the first tent I designed for myself. I can use Autocad so I used that to draft lots of different shapes of tent. I was aiming for a tent large enough to. fit my double bed between the pole and the wall, and also my bed canopy.
I used this picture to give me an idea of the proportions I wanted.
Your can see my tent in the bottom centre of the picture.
For a bit of fun, I also tried to keep my rope footprint (the area I would need to set up my tent) the same as my friend‘s. She’s “only” got about 4m diameter and can fit a 3/4 double bed between her pole and the wall of the tent.
I drew a large number of tents in elevation, playing with proportions;
Until I finally decided on this;
From there it’s just some fun geometry calculation, matching up the circumference of the roof arc and wall arc, using the radius from the proportions of the tent. Autocad makes this easy, but graph paper, a calculator and pen/paper can also be used. Here’s what I ended up with;
Canvas in normally sold in approximately 2.1m widths, so I divided each arc into a sensible number of pieces and constructed the pattern for the the roof and wall pieces. Here’s my pattern. It includes 40mm seam allowances for the flat fell seams and 100mm allowance for the roof eave. You need 7 wall pieces and 5 roof pieces.
Go and look at the dining tent post for pictures of sewing it all together.