I live on Vancouver Island on the wet .... oppps that should be west coast of Canada. The last three times I have gone out for a weekend of hiking and hammocking it has rained, been foggy and tested our abilities to stay dry. We have make our own hammocks following the excellent istructions from this forum with some personal modifications ( top Loading with a zipper). What we have found to work very well in those conditions is a Hennesy style tarp, slightly larger than supplied with his hammocks as a top rain sheild, and use a soft fabric tyvec fly to cover the bug screen. The tyvec comes from a safety supply store and is purchased as throw away sheet for the cot in an industrial first aid room. They are the exact size required to cover the bug screen and hang down about a foot on either side of the hammock. In the tests we have done so far the comfort inside the hammock in both warmth and dryness has increased dramaticly. We Use two plastic clothes pins to hold the tyvec to the ridge line and let it drape over the sides. We have not tried this in high wind conditions yet so there needs to be further testing which I am sure will happen soon as the fall is the season of rain and wind here. Not sure if that helps this thread or not, but seems to work well for us.
As for the sewing machine part, My brother on learning I was sewing told me he would try to keep it from the rest of the family. As word got out, the list of family members and friends that want a hammock has grown. Acceptance is assured gentlemen, as long as free gifts are handed out. The local fabric dept. ladies now call me "the hammock guy".