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Has anyone sewn/made their own tent?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2022 6:11 am
by shirleyallen
Being about 6'3 and not liking my head or feet touching the sides of the tent I don't really like most 1-2 person tents because they just aren't long enough. I'm thinking of trying to make my own.
Have any of you done this?

Re: Has anyone sewn/made their own tent?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2022 6:43 am
by Pmullen503
I've done a lot of outdoor gear over the years. It helps a lot to have a walking foot sewing machine, but not essential.

You may want to consider adding a panel to an existing tent to extend it rather than sew one from scratch.

Re: Has anyone sewn/made their own tent?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2022 7:46 am
by JasenC
I made a large poncho/shelter for my get home bag out of 1.1oz silpoly on my $100 Kenmore, it was a PITA because the fabric was so slippery and thin plus the seam tape didn't stick to it to hold it together while I stitched it.
A walking foot as Pmullen suggested would have helped I'm sure.
I have made quite a few things out of Cordura from 300-1000D, much easier but that's not really tent material.

Places like Seattle fabrics and Ripstop By the Roll sell sample packs for cheap, you might start there to get a feel for what the material will be like to work with. RSBTR also have some tutorials.

Re: Has anyone sewn/made their own tent?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2022 7:50 am
by RJ Howell
I've also done a few items to extend living space with sewn materials. I did a tent extension off the back of my truck topper & 2 surrounds for my pop-top truck camper.

Choice of material is crucial. Light enough to be able to fold/roll and pass through a sewing machine, yet strong & water-proof. My last project I used 100% poly material, though I was nervous that it may not be strong enough.. the 50+ mph winds in Baja proved the material.

Design is very important. I built a second one because of design of the window covers. The material saturated and leaked. My latest design follows the RRT units as a awning/exterior flap and doesn't leak, yet a pain because you're outside to open or close.. Think about design, find one you like and try it ut if you can.

Sewing machine. I use a standard home unit. Not much of an arm on these! Design as in size of door/entry and amount of windows (and type) are part of the plan in how you will sew/manage with the machine. Doing the panels is straight forward, connecting those panels starts getting tricky. I rolled the material/panels and that final seam was a bugger!

Advise. Do not refrain from asking what may seem as silly questions! I joined two sewing forums and asked away. More though was the trips to my local Joanne Fabric store for advice on best threads and needles. Not only are the folks that work there advid sewers, but I've had other customers overhear and jump in with advise. Ask and you will be answered.

Design it out. Research a bunch of materials. Test out some designs (even if in a showroom). Finally, Go for it!