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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gailainne's Avatar
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    How to layout large shapes and cut

    I'm starting a new project, making a tarp tent, linky, but I've never tried to mark out and cut such large sections before, the mat'l is lightweight silnylon.

    Any advice on how to lay out the mat'l, mark it up and cut it would be appreciated.

    Cheers

    Stephen

  2. #2
    Senior Member traftonm's Avatar
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    I cut mine out by folding material in half and then cutting so that both sides were done at the same time. Easc peice was done then the parts were sewn together. Easer if both sides are the same.

  3. #3
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    A big room. In the garage. Outside.
    Anywhere that provides enough room to work all the edges of your fabric.
    I have a 12 x 16 room and slide the furniture to one side, which leaves enough room to work around the fabric and get things laid out.
    I use some small weights to hold the fabric, especially sil.
    Any breeze will get the sil flying

    Maybe some school room or empty office room will be available. Thats another option.

    If push comes to shove, you can fold the fabric over for the longer measurements.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  4. #4
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    My mother was a seamstress and she sewed very large pieces for long drapes and even bedspreads. My father made some saw horses out of 2x4 and adjusted the leg height for her. Then he took sheets of plywood and tacked quilt batting on them. The batting allowed her to pin things down and smooth things out, or even iron fabric. There were two of these setups side by side in her shop.

    I would think you could do something like this and put it up in a garage or basement. It could easily be dismantled when you are not using it and tucked into the rafters or other hiding place.
    Shoreborn
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  5. #5
    Senior Member grich9860's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by traftonm View Post
    I cut mine out by folding material in half and then cutting so that both sides were done at the same time. Easc peice was done then the parts were sewn together. Easer if both sides are the same.
    same for me.
    Hops

  6. #6
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    Hardboard

    I cut and lay out my large fabric pieces in the garage (on the floor) on top of 4x8 sheets of 1/4" hardboard (Masonite). You can use the edges of the hardboard panels to help square up your pieces. The hardboard will not damage your rotary cutter blades and you can tape your fabric down to the hardboard to keep it taut. The hardboard has a rough side and a shiny side - I keep the shiny side up. It is easy to store the hardboard by leaning it against the wall (but it is kind of floppy).

    Happy Trails and enjoy your project.

  7. #7
    krugd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gargoyle View Post


    A big room. In the garage. Outside.
    Anywhere that provides enough room to work all the edges of your fabric.
    I use a 16 x 16 room. It has a parquet floor with 6x6 squares,making it easy to (rough) measure my material.
    --Don---

    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Ed Abbey

  8. #8
    WV's Avatar
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    I follow Gargoyle's and Tpkanu's methods, except that I "cut" with a soldering iron along a metal straightedge. The masonite makes a good backing surface.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gailainne's Avatar
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    Cheers guys

    I like the idea of laying down hardboard sheets, I should be able to clear an area big enough in my livingroom to lay them out, that will also give me a nice surface for measuring and marking the mat'l out as well, which was my biggest concern.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rjcress's Avatar
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    Great feedback from everyone!
    For sil I use a thin pointed sharpie for marking and lots of weights to hold it in place while I am measuring and marking.
    I've been cutting with electric fabric shears, but they don't do well on Sil.
    If you can get a backing board and use a rotary cutter or hot knife/soldering iron, those sound like the best way to do your cutting.

    I also really like the suggestion of taping down the fabric.
    Whether you use weights or tape, but sure you don't stretch the fabric too much and throw off your dimensions.
    "I keep telling myself that if I make perfect seams, nobody will believe that I made it... " -JohnSawyer

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