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Author Topic: Kite Sleeve Build  (Read 2219 times)
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sugarbaker
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« on: October 11, 2011, 05:51 PM »

For all of your kite sleeve needs! Learn to sew, then read this thread, then never be required to buy a cheep kite sleeve again!  (I may even show two ways to do this (the fold over way used on Revolution and Blue Moon Kites, and a draw string style). 

First, acquire a sewing machine - even the lousiest sewing machine at Target or craigslist will probably be able to handle this project, but if you plan on making kites I'd go for something a little better.

Now acquire some thread - heavy duty, all purpose thread will be fine.  I tend to use the v30 sail thread I use in my kite making, but this is overkill and not necessary.

Now acquire fabric.  My favorite (pictured here) is this diamond pattern Denier ripstop... I use 400x300 heaviness because it is what was available locally to me when I bought it.  PM if you need a source for this fabric.  Also note that I have used any number of fabrics including old shower curtains, heavy nylon ripstop, duck cloth and other.



Be sure you order enough length of fabric that you can fit your kite in the bag when it is done... I like to have the option of packing the kite without the leading edge broken down, so I order 3 yards worth at a time and cut strips the long way (so 3 yards long).  This will absolutely give you more length than you will need for most kites, but I uses the left over fabric to make trinket sacks or bags for small single line kites (foils and diamond kites I've made).

Using a huge straight edge, a metal table and a fabric cutter is the easiest way to cut this fabric (scissors work fine, but you want to measure and draw a chalk line to guide you.

I cut the strips to be 6" wide.  This is enough for all of the kites I've made and then some. You'll need two strips at this width.



Next post will get into sewing up the bag.  While you are waiting for this thread to continue, you can enjoy this pic of the day... taken during sunset overlooking Boulder, CO where I used to live.  Did I mention that I take all of the pictures in my threads unless otherwise noted. 



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sugarbaker
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 10:30 PM »

now, having cut two strips of fabric (6" wide each and approx 72" long), start by finishing what will be the open end of the sleeve.  I fold a 3/8" portion of fabric over toward what will be the inside of the sleeve, then fold it again to hide any cut edge of fabric on the end of the sleeves.  I sew it in place using a default zig-zag stitch. 



Now, with one of the sleeves laying so the finished outside color of the sleeve is laying up, fold 2 inches back and stitch the sides with a straight stitch (approx 8mm from the edge).  Only sew the portion that is folded back. 



Now you have two distinct halves... one with a 2 inch pocket at the top.  orient the two haves so that what will be the outside of the sleeve on each half is facing one another... outside color on each strip is touching. 



The strip with the 2 inch pocket should be situated slightly higher than the non-pocketed strip.  At this point, I stitch one side of the sleeve together with a straight stitch, 8mm from the edge.  I recommend pinning the fabric before you sew.  This way the strips will stay aligned. 



I use the edge of the standard foot on my sewing machine as a guide to keep the stitch parallel to the edge of the fabric.



I stitch both sides of the sleeve closes (it should be inside out when both sides are stitched).  Then I measure the kite... and cut the sleeve 1 to 2" longer than the kite it will house.  Then cut the sleeve and stitch the bottom closed. 



This picture shows that I was a little sloppy with my cutting and sewing... the reason I show this is because it won't matter.  After you stitch the bottom closed, all you have to do is turn the sleeve right side out and you won't see the minuscule mis-alignment at the bottom because the seem will be on the inside of the sleeve.  Now you're done.

I realize that I didn't get a picture of the final product and how it closes.  Will post those pictures soon.


« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 10:40 PM by sugarbaker » Logged
ae
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 02:04 AM »

Hrmm,

why bother with using two pieces? Why not simply use a single piece, fold it in half lengthwise and sew the length close?
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mikenchico
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 07:35 AM »

Takes a bit more pre-planning and working out the lengths? I've done it with a single length too, it commits you to using 130 inches or so off the edge of your fabric. That requires a pretty long cutting table and straight edge since I prefer to hot cut those edges, nothing I hate more then the kite all tangled up in fraying threads from the bag when you want to fly.

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AKA_MrBill
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 08:17 AM »

You could always cut a 12" wide strip off the edge and make it 60" long. When you fold it in half across the width, you end up with a single full length seam and one across the bottom. The difficult planning part is making the folding flap for the open end of the sleeve. It just takes a bit of planning.
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MtnFlyer
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2011, 10:16 AM »

You could always cut a 12" wide strip off the edge and make it 60" long...
This works well for a drawstring-style bag.

...The difficult planning part is making the folding flap for the open end of the sleeve.
Only problem with this method is it leaves a raw, unreinforced top corner on the unstitched side.

When making foldover bags, I prefer using two strips face-to-face as Sugarbaker did above, but I precut the length to save fabric. As Kmac once said, "It's only a bag".  Wink
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Bob
sugarbaker
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2011, 10:29 AM »

Only problem with this method is it leaves a raw, unreinforced top corner on the unstitched side.

This is exactly my logic.  Also stated previously, I will post another example of a drawstring bag in which I use a 12" strip.  For fold over bags, I prefer using two strips.  It only takes an extra 3 to 5 minutes to prep and sew the additional seem. and your final product looks great!

Something I did not show or talk about is that before I turn the bag to it's "right side out" orientation, I do run a lighter up and down the edge of the fabric to melt off any fraying edges.  I have found that hot cutting the material is slower with this particular fabric than my patience allows.
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Wayner
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2011, 05:52 PM »

Ideas on how you identify what kite is in the bag?

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DD
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2011, 06:28 PM »

Ideas on how you identify what kite is in the bag?

After looking at alot of my bags that have them i added a "flag" of fabric about an inch long and and about a half inch wide. You can use the colors of the kite or just use white and put the name of the kite on it. I stuck the "flag" inside the bag and near the top when i sewed it up and then upon turning it inside out it hung of the side. Works for drawstring or foldovers
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Sine Metu!
sugarbaker
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2012, 02:55 PM »

so, another style of bag that I use that has also been suggested here is to use one piece of fabric for the body of the bag.  Also, it utilizes a draw string top.   Starting with the fabric:

I'm using diamond pattern ripstop (pm for source).  This particular fabric is 'cinnamon' color.  It is a darker red that shimmers.  Also seen in AKA_MrBill's vortex build.



use the length that you need for the kite (this particular bag is for the P2... I start with a length of fabric approx 150cm long).  Measure out 12 inches of width and cut it off.  Sorry for the mixed measurement units.  Mark fabric with a long straight edge and cut with scissors. 





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sugarbaker
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2012, 03:03 PM »

Now, to prepare the open end of the bag and draw string sleeve:
I use a strip of 1/4" seem tape... it will help fold over the fabric and hold it there prior to sewing.  I prefer to use a hem with no exposed edge of the fabric for the open end of the sleeve.




After folding over the leading end, I add a 2cm strip of tape on the side of the fabric and fold over a corner... reason will be obvious in next few pictures, but the idea is that this will create an opening for the draw string; again with no exposed edges of the fabric.




then I fold over the end once again and tack it in place with pins.



I sew the edge closed with a straight stitch.  Note in the next picture that when I fold over the edge of the fabric that I fold it slightly past the corner triangle we previously made.  Be sure to remove pins as you sew.



After sewing the open edge/drawstring sleeve hem with a straight stitch, I re-enforce with a second straight stitch parallel to the first one.








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sugarbaker
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2012, 03:09 PM »

to complete the sewing portion of the bag, I fold over the fabric so the outer face is folded inward (bag will be turned inside out when finished so that all exposed fabric edges are inside the bag).  I line the edges up and use a zigzag stitch that goes all the way down the length of the bag and then across the bottom to seal the bottom of the bag. 



after sewing, turn the bag to it's "right side out" orientation and see how the draw string sleeve looks...



Use a tapestry needle and whatever cord you like for the draw string... thread it through the sleeve. Make sure you leave some slack cord.



Finally, thread a lanyard toggle over the cord.  I tie a knot in the end of the cord large enough that the toggle won't come off the end. 

Bag is finished.  The fabric is stiff at first and takes some time to soften up when closing, but it should close tightly with the draw string and toggle.

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