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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

3-D Tunnel Tutorial

I received a request for a tutorial for the 3-D Tunnel to which I have been a little slow responding. I would like to make two minor modifications to this tunnel: one that would sew the Rigilene to the fabric once it is inserted so the rats cannot chew a tiny hole and then pull the entire strip out (yes, my rats did this to one of their tunnels), and one that would add a strip of Rigilene across the top so that the opening will not sag back toward the center when left unattended in the cage). I have not had time to experiment with those modifications, so I am posting the tutorial for the original design here in the mean time, while I try to find time to play with those changes.

This tutorial is not yet available in the PDF document and will not be until I have played with the modifications I mentioned above. I will post an update when the PDF document has been updated with this tutorial in its finished form.

This tutorial uses Rigilene for support. See the post Using Rigilene in your Hammocks for more information on Rigilene.

3-D Tunnel Tutorial

1. Cut Your Fabric:

Cotton: 13" x 13" square for the top and 13" x 6" rectangle for the bottom
Fleece: 13" x 13" square for the top and 13" x 6" rectangle for the bottom
Rigilene (1/2" thick): (3) 12" strips

2. Place the two 13"x13" square pieces (fleece and cotton) right sides together. 
    Pin together along two opposite edges (this will be the tunnel opening)
    Sew along pinned edges.
    Trim seam allowances.

2. Turn right-side out.

3. Mark guidelines 3/4" from each seam (using chalk or a disappearing ink marking pen). 
    Mark two more guidelines in the center between the seams, 3/4" apart.
    Sew along each guideline, making a channel for the Rigilene.

4. Place the two bottom pieces (cotton and fleece) right sides together.
    Pin along the short edges (this will be the opening of the tunnel).
    Sew along the pinned edges.
    Trim seam allowances.

5. Turn right-side out.
    Top stitch along the short edges.

6. Pin the bottom piece to the top piece along a raw edge, right cotton sides together.
    Sew along the pinned edge.
    Trim the seam allowance.

7. Melt the cut edges of the Rigilene strips using a match or candle lighter until they are smooth with no jagged edges. Jagged edges will tear through the fabric in the wash. Note: ideally, melt the tip without burning them, unlike what I did below. If they catch fire, blow them out quickly. Do not do this in the same room with your rats as it releases fumes into the air.

8. Insert the Rigilene strips into the channels in the top piece. There should be at least 1/2" of extra fabric at the raw edge for the seam. If there is not, you may need to trim your Rigilene to make the strip a little shorter.

NOTE: At this point, you might want to sew over the Rigilene strips (either all the way across, or at each end or at the center) to fix the strip in place so that the rats cannot chew a hole and pull the entire strip out.

9.  Fold the top piece back over the bottom piece and align the raw edges, cotton right sides together.
    Pin the raw edges together.

10. Sew along the pinned edge, making sure not to sew over the Rigilene strips.
      Trim the seam allowance.

11. Turn the tunnel right-side out.

Related Posts:
Using Rigilene in your Hammocks

1 comment:

  1. I see the problem with the collapsing tunnel. I've, hopefully solved the problem with adding heavy duty pellon to the center of the tunnel. I sewed it to the inside fabric and added the rigilene in the center as per instructions. This gave it ridgeity??