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How to make an awning

Well, the bag of "stuff" has been sitting on the dining table for long enough. Inspirational stories were flowing from my Instagram vintage caravan lovers @my-tiny-caravan and I decied to get started on this awning.

 

When we bought the van, there was a tarp style awning included.  I doubt it had ever been used, so we strung it up and it was a perfect fit.  All good to go with the same measurements.

 

Sounds pretty straight forward and with help from https://projectmidge.wordpress.com/do-it-yourself-awning-instructions I hit the ground running.  That's when I came to the first hurdle. Where am I going to lay out all this fabric ?

I needed 3 pieces with a narrow piece through the middle.  I don't have a mathematics degree so working out how to match up the stripes was proving problematic, so I just changed the width for the middle joins.  French seams ???? I'm your gal.

 

An industrial sewing machine would also have come in handy . . . . . .

Round 1 - I win :)

Feeling a bit edgy . . . .

With the main cover taken care of, it was time to tackle the scalloped edging.  I knew from other's experience that this was not so fun, well the bias tape around the edging was not fun.  I thought I would take the easy way out and do a square edge, but looking at all the different styles I figured what the heck.

So I'm going with E. It will be easier on the curves to attach the binding. I printed off a template and cut the pattern with the deep end plus seam allowance at what would be the corners. The remaining pieces I joined along the shallow end of the curve. 

The canvas I chose freys very easily so there were constantly little bits of thread appearing from under the binding tape when attaching it.  It wasn't  that hard a task. What came after was the real horror story.

With the scalloped edging ready and waiting, I attached it to the front of the awning.  No problems there. It is BIG and it kinda hangs all over you when you're trying to sew and the foot pedal gets lost in all the fabric. I was happy just to stare at it folded on the table. I knew it was going to get a lot more difficult.

 

Attaching the edging to the sides was another exercise requiring mathematical genius.    Better check the measurements again before I do anymore. Lucky I did.  It was 20cm too wide which meant 10cm from each side had to be cut.

This of course made the edging shorter which meant it didn't match up with the side pieces. It would have to do and as Shane kept saying "no-one will notice".

So the sides were sewn on.  When it came to the back section where the rope attaches, I had no idea how I was going to attach it with the edging hanging there.  The online instructions were a little hazy.  They jumped a few steps from "sew bias tape to seam" and "there doesn't that look marvey ?"  I was ready to give up.

 

I folded it all up again and went onto the rope cover.  That was a nice easy job.  Sewing it onto the rest of the 6 sq metres was not.  It was so heavy, it kept dragging the sewing machine off the edge of the table ! I was ready to neck myself  Time for a cup of tea . . . .  and chocolate. Once all the edges were sewn and re sewn, overlocked and re overlocked and covered in bias tape and overlocked again I was left with a heap of raw edges.  So I just used more of that bias tape and covered them all up.  There is a big gap between where the scalloped edgeing ends and the rope cover starts and where it meets at the two side fronts, the scallop doesn't match. Oh well !

Now let's see how much trouble I can get into putting these eyelets on . . . . .

Thank you lord for making tea and chocolate biscuits !

Number One Rule #  When attaching grommets, always do a few practice runs first.  I broke this rule, straight up. We chose the front left one and botched it completely. The metal grommet tore a hole in the 2 layers of fabric (instructions only said to add a one thickness patch to the area).  Back to the sewing table, cutting out another patch.  In the meantime Shane was having a few dry runs (better late than never) with not much success.

Let's sleep on it . . . . .

The following day we went down to Bunnings and purchased a new Eyelet Kit and also some funky Blue plastic eyelets. "Oooh Blue - matches the van".  We took them home and did a few more dry runs.  The metal ones, ripped the fabric. The plastic ones . . . .  not too bad. Even better with 4 layers of fabric.  The metal ones were also a lot better . . . . .  when WE TURNED THEM UP THE OTHER WAY . . . . . . AAARRRGH

So which ones did we use ?

Da da . . . . . Mission Accomplished

 

Well there you have it . . . .  How NOT to make an awning.

 

However the end result does look kinda "marvey"

Da da !