Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tent Trials - Planning and drafting

So it turns out that my sewing machine can handle several layers of the canvas. It also turns out that I had two free weeks before the next camping event. So guess what I have been doing????

Gardening. Alright that is what I should be doing, but I am also sewing my tent.

Some of my research links

Initial decisions
Our tent has two center poles, no exterior poles, and will be supported by guy lines. (KISS ie Keep It Simple Stupid) Our shoulder is six feet off the ground and our peak is nine. The bell at the shoulder has a 8' diameter, and 12' diameter at the base, and a 4' ridge. The walls will not be sewn onto the roof, but will be two separate panels, to allow for a door on either side of the tent. The rain flap will be an integral part of the roof, nothing to flop in the wind to let rain in. Where the rain flap and the roof meet there will be a 2" reinforced strip, to which the wall ties and the guy lines will attach to. The peaks of the roof will be reinforced by a metal ring and a few straps to prevent the seams from fraying. And there will be another rain flap used to cover the ridge and the peaks. We decided to not use any grommets, and instead we will be using straps. This decision was based on 3 main reasons; 1- Grommets are notorious for ripping out. 2- They can rust. 3- I do not have the right tools to properly set them. 4- The grommets alone would have costed about $60, while using canvas scraps costs us nothing. We will be painting the seams, and waterproofing the tent

So to start off my DH bought 3 large 15' X 12' 12oz canvas tarps online. I then used my sketchup model to create a pattern for the roof and wall panels, making sure to add in 1 1/2" seam allowance for each seam. I then printed it out, transfered it onto my roll of newsprint, and then reinforced the edges with masking tape. After that I played tetris with my patterns and fabric, and eventually got all the pieces cut out, with very minimal scrap. What little scrap I do have I will be using to make my ties.

 As for the painting I found several pictures which showed painted tents. Here are a few of my favorites. I like the detail and the patterns used on the roof. I noticed that most of the tents in the paintings I have found are painted blue, or occasionally red. The patterns are symmetric, and often include gothic arches, crests, geometric shapes, and occasional scrolls. The rain flap was usually solid, not scalloped or daged. the roof could have concentric patterns, patterns along the seams, or both.
Lastly here is a sketch of the pattern I plan to paint onto our tent. I choose not to use the typical blue or red, infavor of purple and green which represent our household colors, and hopefully will match my device when I get around to submitting it.

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