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  1. #1
    Senior Member Cold Butt Stephen's Avatar
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    Tarp DIY Will Drive Me to Alcoholism

    I am working on a tarp for a hike coming up in about a week. It has been so much harder than I thought it would be! Just wanted to vent some of my anger. I will post pictures when it's done and will almost definitely buy the next tarp I want
    ------------------------------------------------------

    CBS (Cold Butt Stephen)

  2. #2
    Senior Member E.A.Y.'s Avatar
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    I made the world's ugliest giant purple tarp as my first hammock gear DIY. Silnyl was a whole different world from garment sewing. Then there was the seam sealing. Great Galloping Gobs of Goo!

    As long as you can stake it out and hang it over your hammock you've won.
    -Liz -
    "In whom there is no sympathy for a living beings: know him for an outcast." the Buddha, Sutta Nipata
    NorCal hang Boggs Mt. 1st weekend April 2016

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I feel your pain, CBS! What could be easier than a tarp? Right? -- Wrong!
    It looks simple enough ... like a big bed sheet. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I "made" a tarp! What's to make?

    Well, attempted an asymetrical diamond and my primary mistake was that I didn't sew the ridgeline seam first before measuring & cutting the edges. My theory was, I din't want to have to handle all that materal at once in the thread injector until the last possible moment. What I didn't realie is tha the two halves are not going to get cut as exact mirror images and the slightest deviation makes a big difference in a cat curve. This is no big deal IF the sides aren't already cut because one can compensate for any irregularities if the sides are cut last.

    However, don't despair, CBS! I just finished a most beautiful cat cut hex tarp! Its so new, the pics are still in my camera. I promise to post them in this thread tonight.

    Tarps can be deceptively difficult!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Not the easiest fabric to work with. I mastered the arts of drinking and cursing while learning; it was fun!

    If you haven't already, make half a dozen stuff sacks. It's the best practice there is for working with sil and its cousins. The only thing you'll need to learn after the stuff sacks is how to make a looooooooooong and straight stitch. That's where the cursing comes into play.
    Trust nobody!

  5. #5
    Senior Member hikelite's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I have ever worked with silnylon without drinking. Maybe that's the problem?
    That stuff is slippery and a pain to work with, but I just take another drink of my whiskey and coke and I don't seem to mind too much
    Life is hard? Compared to what?

  6. #6
    Rat's Avatar
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    The best tip I can offer is this:

    Manage the extra fabric well and it will be easy! I use seam/hem clips but you could just as easily use pins or something else maybe. Basically you are going to fold/roll/gather all the excess material you are not sewing on and then clamp it together. This makes manipulating the long hems/seams much more manageable.

    another thing that helps me is to have a good entry point into the feed dogs/presser foot. I put a piece of masking tape under the presser foot and mark it right where the edge of the hem goes into the feed dogs. By aligning the edge of eh hem I have found it easier to get straight stitches; stop looking at the needle and start looking at the hem edge. That's what I did anyway.
    "I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Mal Reynolds
    Mind of a Rat Youtube Channel

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cold Butt Stephen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAD777 View Post
    I feel your pain, CBS! What could be easier than a tarp? Right? -- Wrong!
    It looks simple enough ... like a big bed sheet. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I "made" a tarp! What's to make?

    Well, attempted an asymetrical diamond and my primary mistake was that I didn't sew the ridgeline seam first before measuring & cutting the edges. My theory was, I din't want to have to handle all that materal at once in the thread injector until the last possible moment. What I didn't realie is tha the two halves are not going to get cut as exact mirror images and the slightest deviation makes a big difference in a cat curve. This is no big deal IF the sides aren't already cut because one can compensate for any irregularities if the sides are cut last.

    However, don't despair, CBS! I just finished a most beautiful cat cut hex tarp! Its so new, the pics are still in my camera. I promise to post them in this thread tonight.

    Tarps can be deceptively difficult!
    Ouch, I hope I haven't messed that up already. I already cut the sides, so I guess ship has sorta sailed on that one. I was kinda working off of the DIY Blackcat for ideas and it has the sides cut first, but I was wondering about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    If you haven't already, make half a dozen stuff sacks. It's the best practice there is for working with sil and its cousins. The only thing you'll need to learn after the stuff sacks is how to make a looooooooooong and straight stitch. That's where the cursing comes into play.
    Sage wisdom that, if I were a more prudent man, I would take. Unfortunately, I've ended up on kinda a tight schedule here so I'll just have to go for it and see how it turns out.
    ------------------------------------------------------

    CBS (Cold Butt Stephen)

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Butt Stephen View Post
    Ouch, I hope I haven't messed that up already. I already cut the sides, so I guess ship has sorta sailed on that one.
    I think you can still pull it off easily as long as you haven't hemmed the sides. Go ahead & sew the seam & if you need to adjust/trim the sides you can do it before you hem...

  9. #9
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rat View Post
    The best tip I can offer is this:

    Manage the extra fabric well and it will be easy! I use seam/hem clips but you could just as easily use pins or something else maybe. Basically you are going to fold/roll/gather all the excess material you are not sewing on and then clamp it together. This makes manipulating the long hems/seams much more manageable.
    I'd hasten to point out that you really do NOT want to use sewing pins to hold the fabric while you work the center seam- every one of them will put multiple holes in your fabric at irregular intervals-which must then be seam sealed or drip all night long... go with spring loaded clothes pins, or black office clips to restrain your gathered fabric ..voice of experience here!
    KM (who hopes she is in time..)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KerMegan View Post
    ...go with spring loaded clothes pins, or black office clips to restrain your gathered fabric...
    The mini and small binder clips work great for holding stuff together!
    Trust nobody!

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