Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm Sewing A Blimp!?

I have been slightly MIA for a while and, well, it's because I have been inundated with a blimp...

Never really thought I'd say that.

I was approached by a friend I have worked for in the past (aviation related) who had a sewing project he needed help with. Little did I know that the next day I would start construction on a 12 foot by 10 foot blimp!

It's a really unique shape, not traditional in any way and is meant for indoor arenas, sporting events, and if they get enough funding, an outdoor large scale version. I'll post some pics of what I have been working on and as I finish up the project I'll get some pictures of it inflated and flying.

The 'gondolas' (two parts) have been the most difficult part, very similar to designing a tent, just upside down; a lightweight carbon fiber frame supporting a complex shape made of lightweight ripstop nylon. It has compound curves, an awkward shape, lots of zippers, and needs to be able to support motors wires and rotational torque. yuck.

The rear gondola:

The front gondola:

A custom pressor foot I made from an old plastic one for sewing a zig-zag stitch over a carbon fiber rod:

And the immense yardage of ripstop used for the 'towers' that hold the helium bags:

More to come,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Quick Camera Strap

Good friend of mine bought a new camera, that unfortunately came with a lame accessory, the strap.

So it was fairly easy to grab the seam ripper, tear it in two, and stitch in the new fabric. I went with the same fabric I had used for the wallet, mainly because my friend had asked for it, but also because it is a fairly heavy weight, and will withstand the abuse I'm sure it will get in the next few years.

Not much of a tutorial, but I fell it is fairly self-explanatory. Raw edges are turned in and a straight stitch near the edge to finish, then I followed the previous stitches on the ends to finish it.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Tailoring a Dress Shirt

I am a tall guy, not rail thin, but in order to get shirts with long enough sleeves that don't have a parachute of fabric around the mid section, it's nearly impossible. Even 'slim' fit shirts don't cut it.
This was the 'slim fit' style

So why not alter your own shirt, take out an inch or two in the waist and alter your shirt so it flatters your figure instead of take away.

First measure and mark with a light colored crayon on the inside of the shirt. I placed my pleats 6 inches from the side seams.

Using a plaid shirt actually makes things a lot simpler. Make another mark 10 inches above the first mark. Then pin the shirt so it is creased along the 10 inch long line.

Now sew by gradually starting close to the edge and working your way in about 3/4 of an inch and gradually back to the edge by the end of the 10 inch line.

Finish it off by back tacking on both ends. and add a drop of super glue to the thread after you trim is short so it doesn't unravel.

Now wear your now slimming shirt.