The small double bell

This was a tent made as a commission.  The new owner wanted a tent that would fit a double bed but would pack down small enough to fit in a small hatchback.

The walls are not permanently attached to the roof, they work similarly to the prototype and the Innilgard tents, with loops and wooden toggles.

The floorplan and dimensions are based on the rectangular prototype tent, but we used bell ends because we knew we could make a pretty tent that didn’t sag.  I’m glad we succeeded.  It’s also good to know that these dimensions work without a ridge pole.  It suggests that the rectangular tent could also work without a ridge pole, as long as we sort out the forces on the ends.

I’m looking for a good picture of a double bell.  Most of the ones in the pictures I have looked at seem to be much larger than the tents nearby and there is only one or two in a field of round tents.  The same goes for rectangular tents too – there are only one or two and most others are round.  It’s a shame that double beds don’t fit easily into a round tent.  Hmmm…

Click to download the pdfHere’s the plan and elevation of the small double bell tent.  I’ve included a rectangular “person” and a double bed so you see how things fit. Click the image to download the pdf.

The inside seemed pretty comfy and spacious when we went in.  Although there was a bit of disaster when we went to check how it was going in the rain at Festival.  I was glad to work out that the apparent leak was a user error and not our sewing or construction.  The groundsheet we’d provided was collecting all of the drips in at the open door and funnelling them towards the bed.  Lesson for tent users!!

And here’s the pattern I used to cut it out. The pdf includes the pattern layout and the dimensions of each piece.

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7 thoughts on “The small double bell

  1. Howdy,

    I am also a long time member of the SCA. I have finally decided to take the plunge and build myself a tent. I really like the size and shape of this tent. I have a question about your pattern layout. What is your unit of measure? I’m an American so I work in yards, feet, and inches. I have no trouble converting if I know for sure what to convert from.

    Thank You.
    Lisa/ HL Elene Kirchenknopf

    1. All measurements on the pattern pieces are in millimeters.

      I always put the exact measure on the pattern, mark the canvas to +- 1mm, cut to +-2mm and sew to +-5mm. Ish.

      The closer my tolerances at the cutting stage, the more likely that the tent diameter, height etc will be within 5cm of the design 🙂

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