Friday, December 26, 2014

last minute sewing

When I woke up on Christmas Eve, I had a task that had to be checked off my list...sewing a Christmas gift.

It was way different than the sewing projects I usually work on. It was putting together a nylon tarp that my younger son wants to use with his hammock. He requested this as a Christmas gift.
Since it is to use while backpacking, it has to be very lightweight.

Above are the materials, 5 yards coated nylon, heavier reinforcing nylon, webbing straps and plastic D rings.
All was ordered online from DIY Gear Supply, a website that sells supplies to make your own outdoor gear and has instructions on how to do it.
I have had the stuff for about a month, but kept putting off working on it until the day before Christmas. I work better with a deadline.
This coated nylon was so slippery! Like sewing together live eels!

Lucky for me, my machine has a setting for hard to handle fabrics.  See the red line and the shapes above it?  When you choose that setting, a tiny pin comes up with the feed dogs on every stitch and helps grab the fabric to advance it for the next stitch.

I never thought I would need that setting but it really helped out on this project.

Now sewing reinforcements in the six corners...the white lines are chalk lines I marked to follow.

Hemming the sides...

Sewing on straps and D rings. From what I understand, this tarp gets strung up above the hammock, making a sort of a tent-like cover.

I did take several breaks but finisned up in plenty of time.

It's a huge thing!  

He was happy with it and I enjoyed the challenge of making it.

This is unrelated...It had rained early in the day on Christmas Eve, but later the sun broke through for just a few minutes. It lit up the bare tree branches and they were so beautiful against the dark sky. 
The camera just can't fully capture it (or maybe the photographer).


  1. The tarp looks like it came out very nice. The coated nylon is very strong if it is like the GI ponchos are made of. He should be very happy with it.

  2. Thank you! I was a little heavier than I expected. I guess the coating on the nylon adds weight. He didn't mention it and seemed pleased.

  3. If you're looking for another project that might be appreciated, I don't know what "the kids" like but I sometimes use a standard army type poncho. The fit seems OK for me but "the kids" might find them a bit small, I don't know, ask... Around the house we use poncho liners, a.k.a. Woobies. Despite the name they aren't intended to be used as an insulating liner for an in-use poncho, and as such have NO head hole. The liner part comes in when used with a poncho as a sleeping bag. They are about 5' x 7' so you can see that would make for a snug fit, the "boys" might enjoy something a bit larger.. They are made of the thinest ripstop nylon available and a very thin batting of synthetic... They might enjoy thicker batting... Just tossing that out there...