Here all of the pieces have been cut out and sorted into the various gores.
Note: the scissors were not used to cut these out. It was all hot cut.
The printed guide is invaluable. Use it to confirm what goes where. It saved a lot of potential errors.
The template held over two stitched parts of a gore.
Stick to the seam allowance as closely as you can and you parachute should come out consistent and even.
First lot of gores stitched together.
Vents have a binding on the edge to give them a bit of stiffness and strength.
The binding is V-shaped so it covers both sides of the panel.
The whole layout arranged according to the gore map. The section under the scissors is all sewn up.
Leaving some of the binding on at the ends will give you something to sew together to keep all the parts in one piece.
Here you can see how much stand off there is.
All the gores joined up. The canopy is grey, white and orange but the difference between the two lighter colours isn’t major.
Next up will be binding the crown.
Tidy up the opening.
Seen here is a green tin plate underneath the fabric. Two reasons: The canopy is domed so lifting the middle removes some of the creases, plus it’s a great surface to cut on.
I used a little bowl from the kitchen as my template for the hole by turning it upside down.
Make sure you have the template over the hole – centrally – or you’ll end up cutting it off centre. Trust me, it’s easy to do at this stage of the project and will spoil your day.
Bias bind the newly cut hole with a strip of ripstop cut at a 45 degree angle. Keep the whole thing thin and it will be easier to make the tight inside bend.
This binding is cut thinly (about 21mm wide) and folded double. The edges are then folded into the fold from both sides. You can see in the picture who the two edges are folded into the middle.
Binding finished. The 21mm binding ends up enclosing the top and underside of the edge and is around 5-6mm wide when done.
Don’t forget to sew in some tabs for the centreal “apex pull down cord” that parasails all have.
Clean up the bottom edge by trimming off any bits that stick out. This will make it easier to seam the bottom of the parachute.
Fold 10mm of fabric and sew. Do that all the way round the bottom edge. Next add your small sections of cord as anchor points for each line. Sew each one on and go back and forth to secure it. Carry on stitching to the next anchor point etc.
Lines: I use 40daN Dacron black. It’s white with a little fleck of black in it and not only is it strong and feels good but it also looks like miniature paracord. Lovely stuff to knot.
You can get 100m on a roll like this for about £13 from Tony at Go Kites. Magic stuff to use for projects like this.
Here is the homemade parasail being tested. I still have to add the side skirts to the parachute and add the centre line for pulling the canopy apex down a bit.
The template was spot on and the whole project was the most painless I have done to date.