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  1. #1
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    Embarking on a Tarp-Making Journey...

    Over the last few months I've been cutting my teeth on various DIY projects for my hammock setup, and now I think I'm ready for the brass ring: Rainfly.

    Not only that, but two rainflys. I've bought enough sil-nylon (1.9) for two hex-cat tarps (very) closely based on the popular DIY Gear Supply plans

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/a...4&d=1338473823

    I've seen linked numerous places around here. I've got a great machine, lots of quality polyester thread, is there anything I'm missing? Any tips or tricks that ya'll think I may find helpful? I've so far sewed up skins, a fitted fising rod case cover, bishop bags (****, this is addictive), and I'm halfway through a fitted pack cover, so I believe I'm technically up to this task. I'm mostly worried about laying out the pattern properly, since large swathes of fabric (even sil) move and stretch as you try to mark them.

    Any tips for keeping everything square?

    TCB

  2. #2
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    I have found that a large flat area to lay your material out for marking is a must. I have also found that for marking long, straight lines, a chalk-line is a great tool for marking sil! Also, either lots of pins, or if you don't want to poke holes, then mini binder clips work really well for me.


  3. #3
    Redoleary's Avatar
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    If you're doing a flat felled seam down the middle, I found that barrettes work well for holding it all together and they don't snag as much as binder clips, and don't make holes like pins. You can get barrettes at the dollar store or get like a 30 pack at Joann's Fabrics in the quilting section (they obviously don't call them barrettes) I make my flat felled seams like THIS. For me it has been the easiest way to to keep everything squared up etc. because on the first pass both pieces are on the "outside" of the machine, and lying on top of each other.
    Good luck,
    RED

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  4. #4
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    +1 on what Redoleary posted. That is exactly how I make my FF seams. Works like a charm, and is pretty easy.

  5. #5
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    Good video of simplifying the seam. Is it possible to get the sil to fold as she does in the video? I don't think you can iron sil can you?
    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartc View Post
    Good video of simplifying the seam. Is it possible to get the sil to fold as she does in the video? I don't think you can iron sil can you?
    Thanks.
    Yes, you can make this seam in sil, but like you, I have never successfully ironed sil. I just fold it over and make the seam. I have found that using a piece of grisgrain or a 1/2" wide ruler to make the fold with helps. Fold over a guide of some sorts, slide it down, out of the way of the needle, sew 6-8", and repeat. It helps me keep an nice, even width hem.

  7. #7
    Redoleary's Avatar
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    I iron sil all the time. The secret is to set the iron to pretty low, like "1" and then iron it on a piece of wood rather than an ironing board, and run the iron parallel with the fold so the full length of the iron is holding down the fold as you make it. Then you get a decent crease in the fabric. Its not gonna lay down like you just ironed a piece of cotton but it will take the crease pretty well so when you put go to stick it together its obvious where it goes.
    Good luck,
    RED

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  8. #8
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Thanks Redoleary! I will have to give that a try.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    A chalkline? Brilliant! That sounds much cleaner than dragging a soap-bar down a straightedge. Have to try out those binder clips (I suppose paperclips would work too, though not nearly as strong). I tried wondertape once, and that was enough (God, that sticky goo was such a pain to sew through).

    I've ironed nylon (not sill) in the past for another hammock; ironing on a hard surface is how I had to do it too. I also recall it took quite a while with a low-temp dry iron to get a nice crease.

    I still need to figure out what to use as my work area, since I've never done a project this large. To illustrate my enormous financial backing , I'll mention I've been using a "refridgerator" box my foam mattress came in (you can apparently buy a mattress online now) as a sewing table . I may have to upgrade to a card table for this one

    Thanks, I knew you folks had a few tricks up your sleeves...

    TCB

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redoleary View Post
    I iron sil all the time. The secret is to set the iron to pretty low, like "1" and then iron it on a piece of wood rather than an ironing board, and run the iron parallel with the fold so the full length of the iron is holding down the fold as you make it. Then you get a decent crease in the fabric. Its not gonna lay down like you just ironed a piece of cotton but it will take the crease pretty well so when you put go to stick it together its obvious where it goes.
    Thank you. I will definitely try it.

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