Being a newbie to hammocking and using a completely commercially purchased setup, how difficult would it be for me to start trying to make some of my own homemade gear? I'm talking simple stuff here like snakeskins or maybe my own tarp? Bear in mind that I have absolutely NO sewing skills whatsoever outside of the ability to sew on a button (And even that's questionable at best). Thanks in advance for any advice gang! BTW.....have a great weekend to all!!:D
The basics of sewing are really easy. Just start doing it and it'll come to you. It'll take some time to get things looking nice, but if you're like me you care more about functionality anyway :p It's completely an accident that my stuff has started getting more aesthetically pleasing!
Honestly a hammock is about the easiest project to sew. I can make one in about 20 minutes at this point. Just four hems. If you're nervous about having your first project be load-bearing, you don't have to use it right away!
Jeff's all-in-one is slightly more complicated, but not much. It took me way less than an hour to make mine. And you don't have to rely on it to support your weight!
Snakeskins and stuff sacks are a little more complicated yet, but also good intro projects.
For info on how to make any of this stuff, check out Jeff's homemade gear section:
A rectangular tarp with straight edges and basic tie-outs would be pretty easy. And less-than-ideally functional IMO, but that's just me. I like the hex-cat design (obviously) but it's more complicated in several ways, as well as requiring a higher level of sewing proficiency.
Hooch. Sewing is pretty easy if you are good with your hands or making stuff. As long as I take my time and don't drink to many beverages while I am sewing everything comes out fine. If I were you I would start with stuff sacks and skins, then go to a hammock, then finally a tarp. To me a tarp with the hardest of them all. Everything is doable if you take your time.
BTW if you really need a set of skins PM me. I have a couple laying around. I have since switched to using one of BB sacks.
Sewing is really easy to get started with. By sticking to simple projects starting out you build skill and confidence.
The only down side it DIY gear is totally addictive so once you start it's hard to stop.
If you need some help getting started give me a yell and we can meet up at some point and I can give you some pointers on sewing (Those are words I thought I would never utter:)).
My first project was a Risk ZHammock at www.imrisk.com. As BB says, hammocks are just simple straight hems. Once you hang in something you made with your own hands, you'll understand the addiction!
My hammock/tarp was the first thing I sewed. I had no skills either. I had to get a lady at church to show me how to sew. Hammocks are simple projects to start with, especially Ed Speer's system. Everything is rectangular. It's hard to mess up.
I bought an El Crapo sewing machine from Cheap Mart to do my first hammock system. Then I moved up and bought an old refurbished machine with a bigger motor. I just finished my first underquilt and plan to move on to making some panniers (saddlebags) for bicycle touring.
Jeff is right, once you make a shelter with your own hands you get hooked.
I started with a hammock also. I got a Hennessy in Dec. and wanted a smaller hammock for my son (6). Other than 7th grade homec class I didn't have any sewing experience. I eventually stumbled on Just Jeff's site (and subsequently here) and found it very informative and it inspired me to give it a try (Thanks Jeff!). A word of warning though, it's very addicting! I'm a newbie also, just got started.
Thanks for all the advice, y'all. It is absolutely invaluable to me, I really appreciate it. Headchange, I may take you up on that offer some time.
Having another member one city over can have its advantages, I guess. Don't forget, we have to plan a trip to the gorge or somewhere near us some time. E-mail me some time and I'll give you my number, maybe we can get out and do something.