So I tweeted in between our time at Pembrey this summer about needing a sunshade for the canopy and the although liking a certain named brand one I wasn’t willing to spend nearly £100 on something that probably wouldn’t get used all that much in the UK.
When we were down at Pembrey at the end of June the temperature was extreme and I came up with a diy shade consisting of pegs and Decathlon microfibre towels (these are brilliant btw we’ve had them coming up to 10 years, take next to no space or weight and dry super fast).
Yes it worked, after a fashion, but it looked as if we were living in a laundry and the towels became a tad unruly if there was a hint of a breeze.
So my mind got to whirring, I mean I can dressmake, I’ve made covers for caravan seats, curtains, a cover for an inflatable sofa etc so a straight piece of something wouldn’t be hard.
The problem I had was deciding what to make it from. Obviously I needed awning beading, which I bought from Spinney caravans as it’s local to me and they had it available. I used double beaded, because that’s what they had but also so I could attach accessories if needed down the line.
For the main fabric though, what could I use? I trawled eBay, for sun screening and mostly this was available in the gardening section. The obvious place to go and look was our local garden centre and after mooching around Homebase and B&Q I nipped into our very local centre. Lo and behold, sold on rolls by the metre sun screening material. Although they had price labels up for 2m wide there was only 1m wide available and I had a shortage of time, but 1m wide is still plenty wide enough for what I needed – I didn’t need it touching the floor!
So armed with my purchases off I popped back to the house where my tiny sewing room, sewing machines and rip stop nylon awaited.
The first battle was cutting the 2 sides straight to end up with a perfect rectangle that’s almost 4m long.
Next step was easy, sew the beading onto the net. I say easy, the netting is quite stiff and there’s not much room for manoeuvre behind the sewing machine and the wall but with netting wrapped over my shoulder to begin with it was done.
But I didn’t like the raw edges down the sides, so in my wisdom rip stop nylon bias binding was made, because it’s easy to make bias binding – yes, but ironing rip stop nylon which is slippy and has a tendency to melt if you iron too long, not so much. Having some hair left, I used quilt clips to hold the binding in place along the edges before sewing it on.
I added 4 ply squares of rip stop to each bottom corner to strengthen it before adding 2 loops that could be used to attach the shade to the canopy poles.
A voila! A sunshade that cost less than £20 – it could be made more cheaply if you have the time to shop around for the bits. There’s no weight to it, it rolls up easily and is now in the front locker awaiting more sun.