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Thread: Sewing time

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Sewing time

    Ok diy'ers, question for you. Roughly how long would it take for a beginner to tackle a tarp like the hex tarp posted on diygearsupply? I have been working on some small projects to get some experience, but I'm still pretty new and I'm trying to decide if it would be worth the cost and time to make one vs just buying one.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Resqsarge03's Avatar
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    I've seen folks say between 10-20 hrs total. Sometimes they say it is a weekend project. It depends on your experience level and they also say having enough room to easily lay everything out speeds it up a lot. There is a great deal of information on the forums about the process. It should help you out.

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Times can vary greatly depending on whether you can work continuously or not. I have to cut my fabric on the floor and need to take a break now and then, for the sake of my knees.
    But it can certainly be done in a weekend or a day if you keep at it.

    I will add that I don't make my gear to save money. Very little is saved. It depends on whether you have a sewing machine and other tools already. If you are making gear with the latest and lightest materials, they are expensive to purchase. I make gear because I just love to make gear! From the design stage to the using stage, it's just plain fun. All part of the hobby for me.

    I fly fish but also tie my own flies. I find both activities relaxing.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  4. #4
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    Times can vary greatly depending on whether you can work continuously or not.
    BINGO!

    I don't have a sewing table, so I put mine on the counter and have to stand on one leg, while the other delicately runs the foot pedal. I've gotten used to it (probably ruining my posture), but at first I had to take lots of breaks, and I just didn't feel like sewing as much (not fun!)

    My first tarp took 4 days (cut fabric, sew ridgeline, attach reinforcements, grosgrain)
    My second tarp is taking 2.5 days (cut and sew ridgeline, attach reinforcements and grosgrain) so far, and I'm not really pushing it after work, either.

    TCB

  5. #5
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    You said you were a beginner gear maker. That qualifies your question in such a way as to make it hard to say. We don't know your skills, the machine you have, and any similar experience you may or may not have. Based on my own experience of doing something brand new for the first time, it will take 3-5 times longer (at least) on the first one than the third one you will make, whatever "it" is.

    All of us here who DIY were beginners at some point. My advice is to do your homework, read the appropriate tutorials, get everything together, practice using the same material to get the feel for working with it (especially silnylon), then go for it. If at any point you're not satisfied, take out the seam, and try again. Perfection comes with practice.

    As far as saving money, you can if you don't count your time. The "I made this" factor can mean a lot. Whether or not that matters to you is a factor in determining the "worth" of DIYing your own tarp.

  6. #6
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    Well, thanks for the replies guys. I can't say that you've made my decision any easier, but you've given me more to think on. I'm planning on doing my first "big" project (an IX underquilt) as soon as the supplies come from diygearsupply (here's to hoping it ships before he goes on vacation). Maybe after I've done that I will have a better idea on if I want to tackle a tarp.

  7. #7
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    Well, I'm glad you're not discouraged from tackling a project. The IX UQ is a good project to start on, and Scott has good instructions for it. The fabric isn't too large to manage, the seams are shorter, all making for a quicker project. I followed his tutorial and had one completed in an afternoon.

    Good luck on it. I look forward to hearing how it turns out.

  8. #8
    doogie's Avatar
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    DIYing is addictive. I started before I found HF making stuff sacks and sleeping bag liners. Once I found HF, I quickly made myself some tree straps and whoopie slings and a fronkey bug net. Then I saw SteelerNation's gear hammock/camp chair/pack cover and decided to use that as my intro to new materials. It was a nice size project and got me used to dealing with silnylon without having to deal with too much material. I then jumped off the deep end and did a hex tarp, top quilt and gathered end hammock with side stretch knotty mod. I don't normally count my hours. The tarp had a fair amount of time at the thread injector, but I have things set up in my basement so that I can watch TV (or listen to it) while making gear. Sporting events are great since you can look up when something interesting happens. Anyway back to your question. My tarp I spent a few evenings preparing the space for working on the tarp, laying out the cuts and making them (measure twice, cut once), then I spent several hours on a Saturday and Sunday doing the majority of my thread injecting. By the next weekend I was ready to complete it by sealing the seams. I think that handling the silnylon previously saved me a lot of aggravation....or at least mentally prepared me for the aggravation.

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