Several months ago, my husband asked me to sew a camping tarp for him. To be honest, my first reaction to the idea of sewing rip stop nylon was unprintable here. He showed me a book he'd read about backpack camping and the proper cover for this adventure. The book is here, if you're interested. He campaigned for the tarp and assured me that my superior sewing skills were no match for this project. (He's really good at flattery.) I finally agreed to consider the idea.
I browsed the book and studied the author's directions for creating the tarp. His sewing directions are obviously intended for a beginner, which made them hysterical to me. He offered kits with all the essential materials - cording, nylon, grommets, and heavy duty threads. After a bit of research, I determined that his sewing kit prices were certainly cheaper than ordering all the component parts. Mr. Neoclassic picked his desired color and we waited for the kit to arrive.
Meanwhile, I convinced him that the flat felled seam construction warranted a new presser foot for my Bernina. My mama didn't raise no dummy! I also pointed out how many times a simple home repair project resulted in things like a jigsaw, band saw, router or jig.
That's what we call payback, Baby!
Once the kit arrived, I moved the kitchen table out of the way in order clear enough space to cut the lengths of nylon needed for the tarp. With my pieces all ready, I moved the machine to the dining room table for a larger sewing area. My small office space next to the kids' computer wasn't going to accommodate the almost ten foot lengths of fabric. The actual sewing went very well. I did not use the new presser foot (shhhhh!) as the flat felled seams were a larger width than the foot would allow. I did use my walking foot and it made this project flow so smoothly!
The black patches have buttonholes and are stitched to the tarp "sides". They allow additional tethers to be added to the sides to pull the whole tarp more taunt. The shiny reflection you see is seam sealer. Mr. Neoclassic brushed it on all of the tarp seams to ensure a water repellent cover. The channel running down the center of the tent opens to the interior and I added cording loops inside. They allow for his glasses case to hang from the "ceiling" and not be stepped on or rolled over. He can also attach a flashlight for quick retrieval.
The rods on the ends are hiking poles. When the paths are steep (think Appalachian Trail), he uses those to help stabilize his climb. When packed and tucked into the matching bag, the whole tarp weighs less than 1.5 pounds - perfect for a backpack adventure.
Mr. Neoclassic is comfortable sleeping on the ground without an actual tent wall around him. I don't think I would have a peaceful easy feeling about that. Once road tested, I'll have to let you know how well (or not) it works.
Today's post title from The Eagles' Peaceful Easy Feeling