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  1. #1
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    Day One sewing silnylon. Help!

    Received my scrap pieces of silnylon and started to practice sewing. Bit more difficult than my experience practicing with basic cotton/poly fabric.

    The issues:
    1. Unlike fabric it's a difficult to hand press a fold before hemming. Any hints & tips to maintaining a consistent even hem thickness?
    2. Starting and finishing a stitch line. The lower or upper layer sometimes times slips.

    Would like to avoid pins. Any other options? Is pressing with a very low temp setting on an iron even possible with ripstop or silnylon?

  2. #2
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    if you want to avoid pins the only other option that I know of is liquid seam glue. If you set the pins properly you can usually hide the holes in the seam allowance where they will not be seen and do no harm. Otherwise... good luck. There are papers that you can put between the layers to keep them tracking properly but they can be a pain. A walking foot can help but it has its own limitations. My prefernce is pins and a good measuring rule for measuring hems.
    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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  3. #3
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Pins are your friends!

    But, the best thing to do is make stuff sacks. They are pretty simple and they will give you great practice. I tried to make a tarp with my first sil project. Suffice to say it didn't go so good. A dozen (or so) stuff sacks later and I was a lot more confident. My second tarp attempt turned out pretty OK.
    Trust nobody!

  4. #4
    Brian's Avatar
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    I would say that Cannibal's words about stuff sacks are correct - stuff sacks are a great way to get started.

    Start by taking a few narrow strips and keeping them in a straight line (use the ripstop as a guide, or draw your own lines). Then move up to a simple hem, and then finally possibly to a basic stuff sack.

    Don't forget, you can use the same single piece of fabric for lots and lots of passes with the machine, even if it's just to get used to the feel of the fabric.

    As for the slipping fabric, a walking foot would work in some cases, but I prefer to just make sure you have a tight grip of the fabric as it is being fed through the machine. That's something you can get used to by doing a few lines of stitching with some completely random scraps, before moving on to 'project-pieces'.

    Brian
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    Why are you concerned with pinning? The pins should be on the edges of the tarp. Nothing I would worry about in letting water in. On the ridgeline it will be in the seam that it's a good idea to seam seal anyways. I started out not pinning, but now I pin everything.

    You can still iron it to get a clean fold on the seam. You just need to be careful not to overheat the fabric.

    Another thing I do is use the ripstop lines as a guide when pinning, cutting, or sewing. As long as you don't pull or stretch the fabric, it is realitively straight.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member JaxHiker's Avatar
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    What do you guys use to cut? Scissors or a hot knife? I've been thinking of getting the latter but I'm not sure what to get. The Weller Portasol looks nice but I don't want to drop $60.

  7. #7
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    scissors I don't sear anything but webbing and such and I use a flame for that. All other raw edges get turned under and hidden in hems. It's a pain but so is searing and I don't have a hot knife.
    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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  8. #8
    Senior Member JaxHiker's Avatar
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    Good point. I guess if you're turning it over in a seam there's not much point.

  9. #9
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaxHiker View Post
    Good point. I guess if you're turning it over in a seam there's not much point.
    In my experience it depends on the fabric being cut. A cut sil edge holds together pretty well, and I don't bother with a hot knife. But I've had some Wally World polyester, and some very light 1.0 oz nylon that when cut easily frays very quickly to a degree that makes one roll of a rolled hem nothing but loose threads. I cut that fabric with a hot knife now.

    About $20 at a big box place will get you a soldering gun with a hot knife tip. Has saved me a fair amount of grief I think.

    Grizz

  10. #10
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    I cut along the ripstop line, way easier to me.

    Scissors, then flame on non-sil. I'm not sure if structually it makes a difference or not, but it saves headaches when sewing with edges fraying on me.

    Plus I don't have a good area to cut with a hot knife without branding the floor or myself.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
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