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View Full Version : Who's got experience w/ homemade gear?



tdaward
2006-07-26, 21:26
I'm toying with the idea of making a "tarp tent" style shelter. Anyone have any advice? Outdoor Fabrics web site has patterns and material, but I have no experience at it.....

Just Jeff
2006-07-26, 21:50
Get a sewing machine and some $1/yd material from the Walmart remnants bin, and make some stuff sacks and a hammock. Be sure to use thin nylon - it's different to work with than cotton cloth.

If you can do that, tarps and the like will be pretty easy too - but you'll want to practice before you go cutting $7/yd material.

dropkick
2006-07-27, 06:32
You also might want to invest in a walking foot (feeds top and bottom material at the same time).
It will make a tremendous difference in your seam sewing (especially with nylon).

Streamweaver
2006-08-04, 12:37
www.thru-hiker.com is a great site that sells fabrics etc for diy projects .They also have alot of project ideas and instructions.They have the instructions for Henry Shires tarp tent. I agree with Just Jeff ,practicing with cheap fabric will save you alot of grief!!! Check www.backpacking.net for listings of other sites that sell fabrics etc.

JAK
2006-08-04, 14:24
It might sound lame, but I would start with a 4'x8' poncho tarp.
They are very handy.

Streamweaver
2006-08-08, 13:57
It might sound lame, but I would start with a 4'x8' poncho tarp.
They are very handy.

Not lame at all,good idea!!! :biggrin:

JAK
2006-08-08, 15:41
How slow is hand stitching?
I have hand stitched webbing and stuff, but what about long seams?

Besides not needing a machine, you could do it in the field.
How long would a poncho/tarp with a hood take to do by hand?

blackbishop351
2006-08-09, 03:40
Hand sewing is VERY slow. It's also very, very hard to get the same quality seams and hems that you get from a machine. Basically, the longer the seam and looser the stitch (you want a pretty loose stitch for anything that needs water resistance), the harder it is to do a good job. IMHO, stick with hand stitching for straps and such if you want, but get a machine for bigger jobs.

dropkick
2006-08-09, 05:19
How slow is hand stitching?
I have hand stitched webbing and stuff, but what about long seams?

Besides not needing a machine, you could do it in the field.
How long would a poncho/tarp with a hood take to do by hand?
My Great Grandmother and my Grandmother could both do handstiching that was (in my estimation) superior to machine stitching. It was stronger, and the seams and etc. lasted longer than those done with machines.
Also for small jobs like sewing cuffs on pants it was faster to have my Grandmother sew them by hand, as by the time you got the machine set up she would almost be done. She would have been able to sew a poncho easily in one afternoon.

And all you need to do to gain her skill level is sew all your own and your family's clothing, quilts, drapes, and what-have-you for 30 or 40 years.

I use a sewing machine.



Grandma did get a sewing machine that she used occasionally. I still have it, it's a treadle powered Singer. Even when electricity reached her, she never bought a electric sewing machine, as she felt that for her it would be a waste of money.