Monday, January 30, 2017

January 2017: 9 Nights in a DIY Hammock

I slept outside for 9 nights in January 2017 in my homemade setup:  4 in Asheville, NC, 3 in my back yard, and 2 at the New Jersey Winter Hang.  I stayed warm, slept some with a dog, and had a branch rip through my newly sewn winter tarp.  It is all in the name of fun, so I repaired my tarp and kept hanging.

Ivy practicing for hammock camping in the back yard.

Stuart practicing for hammock camping in the back yard.

Tear I got in the nor'easter.
New Jersey Winter Hang

New Jersey Winter Hang 2017: My DIY Hammock Setup

It got fairly cold at the New Jersey Winter Hang; cold enough for a gallon jug of water that I left out of my car to freeze solid.  I stayed toasty warm in my DIY setup, though.  I took this video on Sunday morning before packing up.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Make an Underquilt Protector for Hammock Camping

I'm very thrilled with my underquilt protector, and its ability to keep me warm and cozy while blocking the wind.  Check out my video on how to make one, and join me in this quick and easy DIY project.

Make a winter tarp with me

Join me while I make a winter tarp, using the pattern from DIY Gear Supply.  This is a multi-part video series, and I'll cover the following topics in separate videos.

Part 1:  Cat curves and fabric cuts
I will show you how I made the patterns for the catenary curves and cut the fabric for the winter tarp.  In this video I use XTrekker's Catenary Curve Calculator.

Part 2:  Sewing the ridgeline
I sew the ridgeline using the flat felled / french seam hybrid method.

Part 3:  Tie-outs
I'm deviating from the sequence of the pattern a little and I'm attaching my tie-outs so that the webbing is on the inside of the reinforcement fabric.  It works out and I am happy with the product.

Part 4:  Rolled hem using the *rolled hem foot*

I hem the tarp, including the catenary curves, using my 1/8" rolled hem foot.

Part 5:  Side pull  outs
I attach side pull outs to the tarp, and like the tie-outs, I'm deviating from the instructions somewhat.

 Part 6:  Seam Sealing
I use Silnet to seal the seams on the ridgeline and the side pull-outs.

Download the Winter Tarp pattern from DIY Gear Supply:

XTrekker's Catenary Curve Calculator:

How to sew outdoor fabrics with the rolled hem foot:

Monday, January 2, 2017

How to sew outdoor fabrics with a rolled hem foot, including lightweight and waterproof fabrics

The double-rolled hem is the preferred method for finishing single-layer fabric edges on outdoor fabrics.  I have heard some complaints on Hammock Forums that the rolled hem foot is problematic for these applications, leading to inconsistent results and big headaches.  Instead, DIYers are resorting to using hundreds of pins to secure the edges of hand-rolled hems.

In this video I troubleshoot the problems and show you how to sew outdoor fabrics using a rolled hem foot, including challenging fabrics, such as very lightweight (1 oz Hyper D ripstop nylon, 0.66 membrane taffeta) and waterproof (1.1 oz silpoly), using a rolled hem foot.

You can put a rolled hem on your tarps, underquilt protectors, and other outdoor fabric projects without needing a thousand pins. 

You can roll a hem on fabric cut with a catenary curve, or on the bias of the fabric.

The trick is to use a strip of tissue paper beneath the fabric to provide traction between the feed dogs and the fabric, and to pre-fold and guide the fabric into the foot while sewing.  If sewing a straight seam (not a zig-zag), the tissue paper will easily tear away when you are done sewing, and your rolled hem seam will be straight and true.

If you are new to the rolled hem foot, I suggest you practice your skills on scrap fabric first.