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  1. #1
    Senior Member Labrador's Avatar
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    I knew that I didn't know how to sew...

    but making my first set of tarp skins tonight really made that apparent. I thought that it would be an easy first DIY sewing project. Well I was wrong. No See Um is a difficult material to cut in a straight line while working on the dining room table. I soon realized that without straight lines being cut in the material it was next to impossible to get things to line up when putting it all together. At least they seem as though they function just fine. Not really sure how long they will hold up though. Oh well, it's on to the next attempt. Perhaps this time I will try "simply" making a python type tube.

  2. #2
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    I use a long level to get a straight cut on my fabrics. Who cares what they look like as long as they function. No one ever knows when I mess up my DIY projects unless I tell them lol

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Agreed! The test of success is; do they perform the intended function.
    Besides, you don't want your snakeskins looking just like everyone else's, do you?
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lost_Biker's Avatar
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    Don't let it get you down. Everyone starts the same way. My first attempts are ... really bad. They work, but the stitches aren't anywhere near straight. My fabric cutting is still iffy after 6 months. You get better with practice.
    I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well."


    Underquilts.com

  5. #5
    New Member
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    This may help

    There is a thread about easy cut baffles and I think it can easily be applied to your problem.

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=48827

    Roll your netting long ways and then cut for the circumference of your tube. Then sew into tubes and you've got your skins!

  6. #6
    olddog's Avatar
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    After watching me rip a row of stitching out on a 3 layer poly quilt I was making for the 3rd time my wife ask, Why don't you baste it? Basicly this is running a loose row of hand stitches just to hold every thing in place. This should work in your situitation for cutting and sewing. Run the basting stitches, cut, sew and then remove the basting. On the poly quilt I had to sew basting rows on both sides of each row of machine stitches before sewing. This stuff was slick! Never be discourged with DIY, there are answers, and we are all still learning but ready to share, right or wrong.
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I tried making a tarp for my first project... I learned really quick that it takes a little bit practice. Ended up just buying a tarp. But now i've got lots of nylon for doing other things!

    Just keep working at it after a few stuff sacks i can tell i'm getting better. It's not too bad once you get the hang of it!

  8. #8
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by KCcamper View Post
    No See Um is a difficult material to cut in a straight line while working on the dining room table. I soon realized that without straight lines being cut in the material it was next to impossible to get things to line up when putting it all together.
    One thing that might help is tape. I use blue painters tape. Put it on the material first where the cut needs to be, then cut along it or in the middle of it. Also, you can sew right through it, then it tears right off afterward.

    Another trick for cutting straight is using a rotary cutter with the special self-healing backboard. I use a metal yard stick to hold the fabric and to help me cut straight.

    Another trick to sewing thin slippery fabric is using a grocery paper bag (craft paper). Just run it through the sewing machine with the fabric, then it tears right off at the stitching.

    Finally, it takes seamstresses years and years to become so knowledgeable and proficient as they are. So, don't expect to start out that way. Try and fail, over and over, as they did. Take pride in the "battle scars" and individuality of your finished product. I have to!!!

    Good luck and enjoy!

    Rain Man

    .
    "You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." --Harriet Woods
    .

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    One thing that might help is tape. I use blue painters tape. Put it on the material first where the cut needs to be, then cut along it or in the middle of it. Also, you can sew right through it, then it tears right off afterward.

    Another trick for cutting straight is using a rotary cutter with the special self-healing backboard. I use a metal yard stick to hold the fabric and to help me cut straight.

    Another trick to sewing thin slippery fabric is using a grocery paper bag (craft paper). Just run it through the sewing machine with the fabric, then it tears right off at the stitching.


    .
    I can't help but jump in here. I endorse the use of a rotary cutter. They can be very handy. Just make sure you have the surface very well protected. Self-sealing back boards can be wicked expensive for any reasonable size. Layers of old newspapers will work as will corrugated cardboard but it has to be thick if you are working on a nice finished surface.

    I do not recommend the use of tape either for cutting or sewing. If you choose to do so you need to pay very close attention to your shears and the cleaning of your machine. The adhesives on the tape (even the blue painters tape) can really gum up the works causing no end of troubles and a magnet for lint, dust and other unwelcome additions to you equipment. That's my personl veiw on the use of adhesives. Sew your own seams.

    The use of craft paper as a carrier for fabric is not as problematic however be aware that craft paper is extremely unfriendly to highly honed and sharp items such as needles and shears/scissors, You will need to change needles more frequently and kepp you shears in tip top condition. It is generally considered the rule to use your fabric shears/scissors on fabric only and never on paper other than the paper used to make commercial patterns.

    There's my2 cents. For what it is worth.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  10. #10
    Senior Member streamline's Avatar
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    I also love my rotary cutter. Nothing like a fresh blade on one.

    I also use a 4' metal ruler. Go to the hardware store and it should be around the levels or sheetrock section. I used to be a contractor and it is funny how many tools I use now to sew . I have almost ripped out the chalk line for long cuts.

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