The CAVE gets an updated look

Now that I’ve taken pictures and have internet service once again I can now show you the two month project that I did. It was completed by dear hubby’s birthday.

Basically it was a idea and had to use my skills in order to make it more comfy for my husband to work on his project – – – he is building a jeep. We live on a septic field and in order to build a garage it’ll cost lots of money. So instead he purchased one of those car ports. Instead of just having a roof, he bought additional siding so that the whole item is enclosed. We call the car port the “cave”.

Now that my son and husband are finally in the stages of putting all the parts together on the jeep, the weather has changed. In order to keep the wind and elements from getting inside the “cave” and possibly ruining the newly sandblasted and powder coated frame, I decided to make covers for each end of the cave. Of course no pattern, just ideas running in my head. I figured I would give it a try, what do I have to lose, only time and money.

Our nearby Jo-Ann’s Fabric store was closing, a mile away a new one would open. I stopped in to see what material they had to offer at a great price. I was able to purchase outdoor canvas material at a reduced rate if I bought the whole bolt. Hmmm lets do the math… I need at least 8.5 yards and this striped material has over 9 yards, regular price is over 17 bucks a yard, 75% off, yeah lets take it. I mean this was just going to be a test to see if I could make a cover and for 45 bucks can’t go wrong. So now where do I start.

Well I had taken all the measurements of the opening. I took the fabric and cut the yardage in half. Then sewing the two pieces together at the middle, folding the seams to one side and then topstitching, folding the one seam over 1/4 inch and then cutting the inner seam, I then stitched down the opposite side. Yeah I know there is a name for this type of seam but I can’t remember what it is called. I then clean the ends with a finished look and reinforced it by doing a zig zag. Now lots of ideas are running through my head. We have field mice. It would be good to keep them out, however there would be no way to do this. I had envisioned taking aquarium rock and put it in the 2 inch hem to weigh down the cover, this way if the wind gets nasty, the cover would not be flapping all over.

Then next step was to make straps that would be attached all around the cover with snaps that wrapped around he metal posts. So I measured each area that there was a small opening to slip these straps. The straps are 1 1/2 inch thick and the length varies. Then I added snaps that you use on heavy duty clothing items. Man those snaps are expensive, 6 snaps for around 7 bucks. I needed a lot of snaps and I was going to be using up 4 packs that I got on sale, more where needed! Well I got one side done and ready to attempt the next side. Second side done, now to dragged the cover out and put it on. Mmm, disappointment. The cover was too tight. As my daughter put it, it looked like a tube top that was too small for the person, rolling eyes. So I had to take the straps and had to add additional binding to my straps so that it wouldn’t be so taught. Okay got both sides down, drag it out once again, grrrrr now its too loose! I’m not giving up yet, I just took my pins out there and as the straps were snapped in place and around the metal fixtures I pinned appropriately. Corrected the straps and now to do the top of the cover.

Grabbing the ladder I crawled upward, yeah I’m afraid of heights and the ladder was wobbly! Taking my marker I traced the arch of the roof and marked the areas where the straps would slip through. Dragged the dang thing back into the house, folded in half added 2 inches to the top for a finished edge and then cut. Gaining ground, made the straps, finished the edging on the top and feeling proud. Thing is I am working on this project while my hubby is at work, he is unaware of this surprise, until that one day, he came home early. He took a look and gave a funny smirk, one that you just want to hit em, lol. He felt the material and said what kind of material, I told him and he just laughed at me. I’m finally done and putting it up. Well the nerve. He goes out there and likes it after he laughed at me, then he has to say, you have a flaw in your cover. You can’t snap it closed when you are inside! Geez, all I have to do is make straps that close from the inside, but NOOOOOOOOO that is not good enough. Can you put a zipper on it! Come on, I’ve already have it all done, now you want a zipper (yeah it went through my head to put one in but where do you find a long plastic zipper).

Off I am back at the fabric store looking for a zipper. Well I put in a upholstery zipper, yeah its metal and it’ll freeze and lock up in the cold, snowy weather, but at least you can’t say I tried, giggles. So I get the zipper in looking nice and such. What does he do a week later, breaks the zipper, geez thanks kiddo. So of course the words from the wise, how ya gonna fix it, tie straps dear, tie straps! That didn’t go over good. So off again to the fabric store asking if they had long zippers, nope. So I was standing by the zippers and guess what I found. Sleeping bag zippers, whooo hooot! Thing is I was not about to rip out the other one so I placed it in the same area of the broken one, remember this was just a sample. Got it back up and it was great. Man he was saying how much it cut down the wind when he was working in his cave and when would he have the other side done. Again the nerve! Two weeks hun, two weeks.

So off I go to find some material for the other side, hopefully just like what I purchased, but guess what, can’t find it. So instead I bought duck cloth. Lot heavier and **cheaper**, bought it with a coupon 50% off, still a great savings. The associate didn’t like it when the bolt I had, had less than 9 yards on it and she had to re-measure another bolt, oh well. During the time that I was constructing the other side we were having major wind storms. Uh oh. Yeah the cover that was on the cave was coming off, the snaps were unsnapping, yeah you guessed it, complain, complain, complain. Hey deary, you have an open side and a closed side, wind blows through of course its gonna open up, rolling eyes. And your building a jeep, good thing your son is there to help!

With the second cover, I basically made it the same way, however I made a center seam to put in a zipper so I would not hear any whinnying. Unfortunately the zipper that is in there is a upholstery zipper (the other one broke after I put it in). He is being smart and is not opening and closing it (in the summer I will put in the sleeping bag zipper I purchased).

One day as the guys were talking, hubby was mentioning about getting a heater for the cave so he could work out there on cold days. Well I was planning this before the guys conversation, but I would be putting windows on this side. Yup I’ve got the screening and I knew I could get those windows in, as they would need venilation from the heater. I was really happy that I was successful with the windows and the cover was looking really good. One the outside of the screened window is a panel and straps with snaps so that the panel can be rolled up. When they are closed there is velcro to keep the panel down.

Our daughter made the comment one day, gee mom aren’t you glad you are doing this! Since I had already made one cover I knew that this one would go quickly. Again I did have issues with the straps, however because I did not wash the duck cloth material, it shrunk when we had a down pour and well I will have to add binding to the lower straps so it is not so tight and the zipper will close properly. Also the sides of this cover have a small opening, but that is okay because it’ll help with venilation.

The covers look great and serve their purpose, even though they are mismatched, (I already said I would make a new one in the summer to match with windows) but hey, the duck cloth cover already got christened. The axle of the car fell on it and leaked grease all over it, rolling eyes. MEN! When the wind blows the covers stay on, the only time the snaps break is when the man removes the cover and doesn’t grab the extra tag on the straps, shaking head.

Enjoy the story and the pictures. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post. If you have an project and need help, feel free to post!

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