Monday, May 23, 2011

Shade Fly Update III

Most of the construction is done – I just need to do one more casing for the cross supports, and then it’s on to woodworking.  Because it ended up so much larger than I was originally anticipating, I may need additional poles in the middle, but that is still up in the air.  I want to set it all up as is and see if the sag is too much to ignore.  I tried stretching out the whole thing so I could show you all a picture of the completed project, but, alas, that may have to wait until set up, since it’s too large to photograph indoors!

As it got closer and closer to being done, it got more and more difficult to manhandle all the fabric, and boy, are my arms tired!  I finally hit on a method of folding up the shade fly lengthwise with only the seam I needed at the moment exposed, and then rolling up the rest, so I ended up with a ‘shade fly scroll’ that had to be adjusted every few feet or so.  With a larger sewing area and/or a helper, things would have gone much more quickly, but I got it done!


It took me all day to get to this point; between running all over town to find the correct bias tape, and my machine flatly refusing to sew; I’m sorry my poor machine, I’ll be nicer to you from now on, I promise! 

Oh, what I wouldn’t give for an industrial machine!  I’m never, ever sewing on this scale with my ‘nice’ machine again….I will certainly be hunting down an industrial if I ever am silly enough to do this again!  I had an awful time sewing over joins, and my machine regularly needed tension adjustments.  There are some seams that I’m still a bit nervous about, but there’s nothing to be done about it without a more heavy-duty machine on hand.

All in all, I was having a spectacular ‘dragon wing’ moment day.

For now, here's a picture of the finished stake loops…..of which I decided better to be safe than sorry and went a bit overboard on how closely they were spaced.



  1. I once attempted to sew a fly for our pavilion using my Babylock, Francis' vintage workhorse Singer and a slightly-less vintage-but-still-workhorse-Singer and it was the most frustrating/terrifying thing I have ever sewn.  And it was all straight seams!  Granted, I was using 12oz Sunforger fire-resistant marine canvas... That was probably part of the problem.  Never again! 

    Yours looks way nicer than mine turned out, though... We only used it until I cajoled Francis into splitting the cost of a Panther sunshade. ;)

  2. I hear ya....I was a nervous wreck the whole construction!

    Don't speak too's not been set up yet and there are plenty of potential points of failure!  I'm going to have to put on the 'puppy dog eyes' to get hubs moving on the posts.....although I may have just ruined my reputation as a gal who does not ever use power tools.....