Friday, November 17, 2017

Sew Barefoot | Quick Tips to Sew Better

Kick off those boots and sew in your socks.  Sew barefoot!  You'll have better control with your presser foot and you'll have an easier time sewing.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Deluxe Tree Strap Bag, Video with Pattern

Click here to download the pattern (pdf).  Print in landscape orientation and verify that the scale is correct my measuring the 1" square on each page before cutting your fabric.

You will need:
Fabric of your choice (I used 300 Hyper D from Ripstop by the Roll)
Zipper Tape (a scant 2'), (I used a size 3 zipper)
2 Zipper pulls
6" Grograin ribbon (optional)

All seam allowances are 1/2".

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Black Cat Tarp

Click here for the pattern and Dr. Sally's Catenary Curve Template
Print the Catenary Curve Template in Portrait Format without changing the size.  Make sure the 1" reference square is truly 1 inch.

Black Bishop's Black Cat Tarp Tutorial:

· Tarp Fabric: silnylon or silpoly (waterproof ripstop), 1.1 oz/yd2
· 1 yard of ripstop nylon fabric for tie-outs, 1.9 oz/yd2
· 4-6’ webbing for tie-outs, 3/4” or 1”
· 6 D-Rings, 3/4” or 1”, nylon/ heavy duty plastic, sized to match the webbing for the tie-outs
· Polyester thread, Gutermann Mara 70
· 14 yards Grosgrain Webbing (for finishing the edges), optional (instead you could sew a double-rolled hem)
· Seam sealer

· Pencil
· Scissors
· Measuring Tape
· Straight Edge
· Sewing Machine
· Needle of your choice
· Small brush for seam sealer

Assembly Instructions:
1. Cut out and tape together the catenary curve template (included).
2. Cut the 2 sides of the tarp fabric).
3. Cut the catenary curves into the tarp edges (c and e).
4. Sew the ridgeline with a flat-felled seam.
5. Cut the corner tie-out reinforcements so that they are at least 6” deep + seam allowance.
6. Sew the 6 corner tie-outs to the tarp (they can be attached on the inside or outside of the tarp).  Sew several parallel seams for reinforcement.
7. Hem the edges of the tarp, either with grosgrain ribbon or a double-rolled hem.
8. Sew the webbing (with D-rings) to each corner.
9. Seam seal the ridgeline.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Super Nova Extra Wide Jungle Hammock

I've had some requests for the pattern of my Super Nova Hammock, so I wanted to throw it up online for anyone interested in the proportions.  The sewing is a little different from the regular Nova, so I'll upload some video tutorials soon.  Things have been a little hectic around here, so I appreciate your patience. 


Monday, April 3, 2017

Nova 132 Harmony Jungle Hammock

This is how I made the Nova Hammock, an 11’ integrated bugnet double-layer hammock derived from mathematical principles using the Golden Ratio.    

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Deriving the opitimimum ridgeline length by using the Golden Ratio

I presented my sister Sally with a challenge, to help me figure out if there was a basis in mathematics for the 83% ridgeline that has been widely recognized as the optimum length for hammocks.  What she came up with is quite elegant.  Using the Golden Ratio, she identified a range for a hammock ridgeline length, the average of which is exactly 83%.

The lower bracket of the range (80.9%) is based on the Golden Pentagram and the upper bracket (85.8%) is based on the Golden Spiral.

The Golden Ratio is replicated in nature, in the human body, and in plants and animals: chambered nautilus, fiddle-head ferns, cyclones, sunflowers, rose petals emerging from a bloom, the shape of a human ear and fist... the list is nearly infinite.. 

The Golden Ratio is famously depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, (circa ~1490) with the Golden Pentagram and the Golden Spiral superimposed in the image above.

When adjusting the ridgeline of our hammock, you may identify with the symmetry of the pentagram or the harmony of the spiral, or you may find yourself equally channeling both by finding maximum comfort right in between.

The golden ratio in the ridgeline proves that hammocks truly are divine.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Round Bag Fundamentals + Calculator + Pattern + Tips

Click here to download my Round Bag Calculator (excel).
Note:  Fractions may not be view-able if using a mobile device.

Click here to download the Small Round Bag Pattern (pdf).
Print in portrait mode, and verify the 1" square on the printed copy is truly 1".

Tips for sewing round bottoms into bags:
  • Mark your seam allowance on the circle with a pencil so that you can verify that you aren't deviating off course. 
  • Mark the quarters of your bag and the side of your bag, and then check to make sure those marks line up when you are sewing.
  • Use a magnetic seam guide, or mark the needle plate of your sewing machine with a piece of tape, to help see the seam allowance when you are sewing.
  • When at the sewing machine, place the side of the bag on the bottom (against the feed dogs) with the right side facing up. Place the circle with right-side facing down. 
  • When sewing, hold the with your right hand.  Use your left hand to ease the circle so that the edges of both pieces of fabric line up at the seam allowance. Hold the circle at least 1/2” in from the edge to prevent bias stretching.
  • Stop sewing with your needle in the down position, lift your foot, and ease the fabric when needed to keep circle stitching smooth and to prevent puckering.   
  • You could also use pins to hold the side of your bag to your circle on the quarters or eights.