I'm a lousy seamtress! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-19-2014, 03:41 PM   #1
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Name: john
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I'm a lousy seamtress!

I've started making a new "boot" for my Compact Jr, the pop up fabric tenting.

My plan is to use marine vinyl. I'll cut out rectangles for the window area and sew in pieces of screen material and also sew Velcro around the edges.

Then i'll have slightly oversize vinyl pieces with mating Velcro to place over the windows so i'll have removable covers.

I've started with the removable covers, using heavy-duty thread and needle.

But my work looks pretty sloppy (does get a little better as I go along).

So I've been thinking of getting one of these sewing awls:

Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl

they seem to sell in the neighborhood of $15 and there are several youtube videos of them in action.

I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with them and can provide a review.

Thanks!
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:15 PM   #2
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I have one of those I've used on leather and some very heavy coarse weave nylon (folding chair backs and seats). They work quite well but are slowest of hand stitching I've seen or done. If need really heavy stitching they're the thing, but be prepared for a lot of hours of work.
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:44 PM   #3
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Name: Hazel
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Ummmm....what is a 'boot'? Why do you want to sew one? The only boots I'm aware of are worn on feet or are a storage space on an English car.


Awls are far slower to use than a heavy duty sewing machine. Most fabrics can be marked to give you a line to try to follow - also some pieces can be taped together to make things easier.


So - why do you want to sew a storage space for an English car or some footwear for a person with one leg?
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:15 PM   #4
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John,
Just a little advice. Sew your screening onto your vinyl BEFORE you cut out the window area. This will keep it all flat and stable. THEN cut out the window opening on the vinyl only. You will be left with the screening. Make any sense. Hard to put into words.
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:51 PM   #5
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I'm quaking in my "boots"!

Boots might not be a good choice of words Hazel but it's not an entirely wrong word.

Dig deep enough and you will find it defined as "a protective covering".

And it is relevant in the tent world. Check out these two links:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MILITARY-TENT-DRASH-ARMY-BOOT-WALL-UNISSUED-RARE-/390195375781


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Old 11-19-2014, 06:19 PM   #6
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I was going to make the pop top for our Trails West Campster out of marine vinyl but thought it was to heavy for my machine.
I made it out of ripstop-like sewing water!
It did work out fine but I do need to tighten it up and and make it fit better.
Hubby stapled velcro around the opening and I sewed velcro to the ripstop.
When storing we can just pull it off and put it away and it is easy to reinstall.
I didnt cut windows in the ripstop-was afraid I might cut something .
At night with the camper lights on the yellow ripstop looks neat and makes it easy to find our camper in the dark.
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Old 11-19-2014, 08:44 PM   #7
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I too used ripstop nylon on the Trailswest Pop top with velcro to hold it in place. Have screens for window opening too.

Ripstop is lighter and easier to sew than heavy marine vinyl and will fold better when putting the top down for travel.

Haven't used the sewing awl.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:10 PM   #8
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Name: Hazel
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Thanks for the added explanation about boots! That set up looks like it would lead to a bug filled experience in my part of the world, but maybe there is a way to seal up all the openings?
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teri85 View Post

Ripstop is lighter and easier to sew than heavy marine vinyl and will fold better when putting the top down for travel.

Haven't used the sewing awl.
Heavy vinyl as suggested is tough to work with and hard to fold up nicely. Another option might be to find a store that sells outdoor fabric such as gore tex or a polycotton that has been treated - they make tents out of treated polycotton these days or the nylon they use for making tents would work as well. Have done some sewing with gore tex as well as the tent nylon and neither needs a real heavy duty sewing machine to do. Don't think the polycotton would either.
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Old 11-21-2014, 04:36 AM   #10
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Your handiwork so far, is adorable. cute trailer, now I want a Compact.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:25 AM   #11
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Name: Eddie
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I am going to get DW make some covers for our sailboat. I was planning on ordering some extra Sunbrella and make a boot for our Mini Rover (Trails West). I had a Compact II which had a vinyl boot and it was really stiff in the winter especially the clear window panels.
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Old 11-28-2014, 06:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazel in Sk View Post
Thanks for the added explanation about boots! That set up looks like it would lead to a bug filled experience in my part of the world, but maybe there is a way to seal up all the openings?
Hazel, you can see what the 'boot' is on this photo.

John, I'd suggest that you take a look at how the inner plastic (or canvas) is installed onto the screen windows on pop up trailers. They use zippers (ack, I know!! sewing zippers!) around the top and two sides, keeping the bottom attached in place. That way, when the plastic (or canvas) is zipped up against rain, it won't run down the plastic into the trailer.
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