So here's my first attempt at making a hammock. I calls it my WV Camo Hammo because the material -- two pieces of 1.1 oz ripstop -- came from WV. Wrapped it up just after dark tonight but of course had to go out in the dark and try it out. Must say I was worried about the stitching, knots and my whoopies holding up. Good news is that all works just fine. My first impression is that it is way short. I started with 9 foot 2 inches of green and 10 foot 9 inches of the camo. After hemming and stitching and rolling It turned out just a shade over 6 feet long.
Here's how I stitched her up. I started by laying the fabric together on the floor with the wrong sides out. I trimmed the camo so it was 5 inches longer than the green on each end. Then I pinned the sides together. I stitched the long sides together leaving 30 inches about 1/3 of the way from one end. At first I sewed slowly and stopped to remove the pins as I got close to them. After awhile, it proved easier to get the pins out of the way and just let 'er rip.
Then I turned the resulting bag inside out. I rolled the ends a couple times, with the extra 5 inches giving me some more fabric for the gathered ends. The final roll tied the two pieces together by overlapping an inch or so, leaving a 1-inch channel for the rope.
That left me with the 30 inch opening. I planned to sew velcro to hold this part together, making a closeable opening to insert my Thermarest pad. I could not get the ripstop to hold still to hem it so I wrapped both sides with grosgrain, holding it with clothes pins and then slipping a pin every 3 inches to hold it better. I stitched this up, being careful to keep from sewing the sides together, pulling the pins as they got close to the needle. When this was done on both sides I pinned the velcro on and sewed that too. I put some vertical bars on knowing this would get stressed from pulling it.
After a trip to Lowe's to get some Mason line, I taped the line to a pencil and dropped it through the channel on each end. I gathered the ends and tied them tight.
Earlier I had made two Whoopie slings out of 1/8" black Amsteel. I looped them around the gathered end and it was ready. The combination of my 6' Whoopies and 6' tree straps was way too long for the trees I normally tie to. Good news is I have 2 ash trees in the front yard that were too far apart for my ENO setup but just right for the new one. I set the hammock up pretty close to the ground just in case.
No worries, a little creaking from the straps and the trees and some stretching as things worked into place was all I got. This shorty is actually really comfortable, at least it was at first. I laid back and almost fell asleep looking at the stars. It was stretched pretty tight so couldn't lay diagonally much at all but it didn't seem to matter.
Then I tried to use the Thermarest. This was a complete disaster. The hammock is almost 60 inches wide and the pad only about 18 inches. So as soon as I tried to lay down with the pad inside it slid to the left, the whole hammock did likewise and I slid out. I did manage to get inside once but the pad slid around so it wasn't doing me any good. After I took it out the hammock continued to list to port a little. The material was all messed up in relation to where it should be.
I'm considering putting a seam down the middle to keep things in place, though this will negate the velcro opening I made. Might even add some tie-outs, that might give me some more stability. I also bought an adjustable ridgeline from Arrowhead that I want to play with some.
All in all, I learned a lot from this project and hope to get started on another one that is a lot longer. Thanks again to WV for the material, hope I did you proud! Here's some pics:
Laying out the double layers.
Using clothes pins to help hold the velcro in place.
Here's the opening I made to insert the Thermarest pad.
Another look at the pad going in. Seemed like a good idea...