Filling the gap… between our new and improved working arms!

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we now have fully (well almost fully) functional arms. For being so cooperative, I think the least we can do is provide them with something wonderful to span between them. Last night Elissa, Caitlin and I (Becca) tackled just this. Something we are learning through the process of these two projects is that outsourcing to an expert is the way to go. Last night our sewing expert was the one and only… my momma!

After our studio time was over, the three of us hopped in the car and made our way to my home in good ‘ole Goose Creek. We discussed a few options on the ride as to how we could go about attaching something as large as our screen to our structure. There were so many variables we had to consider such as the stretchiness of the screen, the distribution of tension, the strength of the material, the size of the screen, our budget, what could realistically be done, and so much more.

Once we arrived, my mom helped us sew a few different options on scraps of our material as tests. We quickly ruled out the idea to have multiple spots along the edges with grommets. With even a little tension these ripped right out of the material. It was made clear by this test that we would have to have a sleeve running all the way down both attaching sides. Our next test was just that. We pulled the fabric in tension and attached the sleeve with glue and grommets and then sewed two lines of stitching on the inner side of the grommets. This method passed our stress and tension test with flying colors. It was obvious that this was the way to go. From there we did a few other tests regarding how we would deal with the top and bottom of the screen and different stitching methods for our stretchy fabric. We decided that for the top and bottom we would fold the edge over and stitch, creating a channel. Through this channel a tense cable will be strung to help with vertical tension. As far as our stitching tests went, we learned that elastic threat isn’t even going to be necessary. The key to success with this lycra fabric is sewing with normal thread while it is in tension, so it can then shrink back down or be stretched out. Our list of obstacles’ them song: “Another One Bites the Dust.”

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