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  1. #1
    New Member Spikestrip's Avatar
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    Tarp Center Seam Recommendation

    Looking to combine two lengths (3x9) of PU Coated Ripstop to create a 6x9 tarp. Concern is the best way to maximize the center seam strength with the strongest sewing technique. I've heard of a "felled seam" (http://sewing.about.com/od/techniques/ss/flatfelled.htm), but it looks a bit involved, and I'm not sure the machine will tolerate the thickness of the coated material. how do the DIY'ers solve the strength issue?
    Looking forward to hearing various successes!

  2. #2
    canoebie's Avatar
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    A felled seam is not difficult to sew. Most machines can handle it without difficulty. I use it a lot, it is simple once you do it. FYI.
    Revolution is about the need to re-evolve political, economic and social justice and power back into the hands of the people, preferably through legislation and policies that make human sense. That's what revolution is about. Revolution is not about shootouts.

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  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Unless you have a "toy" machine there should be no problem with a flat felled seam. It looks more complicated than it is. There are several sources for learning it. One of which is my "We Don't Sew..." series. Other folks like to use a modified french seam and do so with good success. IMO I think the flat felled seam is stronger, but I have no data to use to back that up.
    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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  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Spike when I made my first tarp I was nervous doing the felled seam too, 11 feet long ouch. But it was nothing but a thing. The problem I had was what I thought would be the easiest, sewing on reinforcement patchs. Think Nike, "Just do it"

  5. #5
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Practice first on some scraps. If you don't have any, get some. 2 12" squares of scrap fabric will let practice the seam, repeatedly. Align the edges, pin 'em if you want, sew and fold your seam, examine. Then cut off the seam and practice again, repeat till you feel confident in your techniques. Then move on to your big long seamm for your tarp, understanding that the sheer size of all that fabric will complicate the process some, but your confidence and knowledge you gained from practice will be a guiding factor.

    Flat felled or modified french seam are both excellent choices. Practice each on a small scale and figure out which one works best for you. Practice will also allow you adjust your machines settings, get everything dialed in, without doing unnecessary damage to your tarp project.

    If you do mess up, STOP immediately, grab your seam ripper and gently remove the bad spots and start over. Silcone can be applied to the bad areas later, and repair any visible needle holes in the fabric (they may still be visible, but they wont leak). If your machine is having a difficult time getting thru the layers...oil your machine, install a new needle. Any decent machine should not have an issue with sewing thru 3 layers of fabric. Practicing on scraps will reveal any issues beforehand.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  6. #6
    creativeKayt's Avatar
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    I completely agree with all here. A flat-felled seam is not as hard as it looks. It just takes time and some patience to set up or line up. I also think it is a little bit stronger than the modified French, but both are pretty strong. Some folks will put a bit of webbing inside the flat-felled seam to give it additional strength.

    My best to you. Post pics so we can see your progress!

  7. #7
    turnerminator's Avatar
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    Check out this vid from sailrite, it shows how to sew the 3 basic seams, the flat felled is on the second video.

    According to them, a flat felled seam has 100% of the strength of the joined fabric.

  8. #8
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I always go with a flat felled seam. I found it easy to do, even on my first attempt.

  9. #9
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    flat felled seam is the way to go

    Rev....whats a "Toy" Machine
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  10. #10
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenlespaul View Post
    Rev....whats a "Toy" Machine
    The equivalent of an easy bake oven...
    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."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

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