Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Motorcycle Cover

I have a fabulous client, Sarah, who wants to give her husband a motorcycle cover for his cruiser-style motorbike.

A while ago, I would have said this kind of thing is not possible because vinyl covers for boats, barbeques and motorcycle covers typically have a fabric lining underneath.

But this time, I thought that if I could successfully glue some fabric onto the underside, then recycled billboards could be used without scratching or sticking to the item that they are covering.

I did an experiment where I glued an old T-shirt to a section of tarp with Vynabond. It adhered well, so now I am going ahead with the design.

I asked my client for some measurements so I could get the geometry of the cover. I used TouchDraw on the iPad to make a scale model.  With this scale model I can easily determine the length of the outside edge and the angles over the handlebars and seatrest.  (The picture doesn't show the actual model of the client's motorbike, I just put it in for reference.)

I'm going to use some flannel sheets for the fabric lining.


I have been prototyping lately for a potential client. So I made this apron. It has the benefit of being reversible, since the ties are encased within the seam allowance.  I don't know if the job will actually go forward at this point, as I don't control the decision-making, but I enjoyed the process of putting my own stamp on an apron design, and putting forward some good work.  It took three iterations to get to this point.  The picture shows the back side of a frontlit tarp. It is blackened to prevent show-through.

I learned that thinner billboards -- front lit tarps -- work better than the thicker backlit tarps. The backlit ones are so robust and are better suited for things like wallets.

I added an iPod pocket so the chef can listen to tunes while cooking. But of course the pocket could be any size.

This apron uses 1" twill tape, which has tooth in it so it will stay tied. I was glad of previous experiments in working with various edging materials so I knew that the twill tape would be suitable.

I did a back stitch to reinforce the attachment point of the twill tape.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My new Art Cards Site
I have been thinking about making my iPad art for sale, so to get started I made this website. Right now I'm offering art cards. Once I figure out what the costs are for gallery-wrapped canvases I'll add that product, too.

You know what would be cool? a mashup of an old vinyl advertising tarp, sanded away or partially sanded away, then reinked with another design (by Yours Truly) to make an artwork. I'm going to have to approach the printing company where I get tarp scraps and see if they'll be amenable to trying this experiment. I haven't a clue whether it would work, I just want to give it a try.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Heat Sealing Vinyl Tarps

I had tried some experiments with a soldering iron to make a heat seam on vinyl tarps. But I couldn't get a good looking, scorch-proof result. I think the commercial ones cost an arm and a leg. As I recall they are like flat irons for the hair, only more robust.

So I recently got a Seal-a-Meal from Canadian Tire, and I thought I'd try fusing two pieces of recycled billboard vinyl tarp together with it. I had to do it twice with this particular vinyl in order to attain a good enough seal. But the ink doesn't migrate onto the machine and I'm happy with the result.

Test tarp with two sealed edges.
I don't know all the applications for seaming the vinyl this way, but one I can think of right now is making vinyl envelopes for my art cards. I had been sewing them but this method is quick and fun.

Well what do you know, the seal is waterproof.  I filled it full of water, no leaks.

Motorcycle Cover Material Experiment

 A while ago I got asked about making a cover for a boat. I said at the time it would have to be experimental because my tarps aren't flannel-lined. The inquiry came up again when faithful customer Sarah asked about a cover for her husband's motorcycle.  So then I thought, "What if I glue some fabric to the underside? That would work." So I decided to see if t-shirt material would effectively glue onto a used vinyl billboard.  And it does. So used vinyl tarps can be fabric-lined for reuse as barbeque covers, bicycle covers and motorbike covers.  The fabric lining is to ensure the tarp doesn't scratch or stick to the surface of the motorcycle or barbeque.
The style I have in mind. for the motorcycle cover.

Vyna Bond glue test, T-shirt to tarp

Seeing how well the glue adhered by pulling on the unglued edge.