T@b 320 Window Awning Tutorial
The following post outlines a tutorial for DIY window awnings for the T@b 320 trailer: front and sides.
A video of how the awnings are installed and used is available here. The window awnings in the footage have velcro straps, and this tutorial uses poly straps with a buckle.
What do you need:
Please, read through the tutorial several times before beginning. I have done my best to add clarity, make sure you're clear on the step your taking before you cut fabrics.
You will need the following notions to make a set of awnings. I have provided links to products that can work to give you an idea of what you are looking for.
Full disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate, which means I receive a tiny commission if you purchase an item with Amazon through one of these links. I am also supplying these detailed instructions for anyone who wishes to use them for FREE.
However, the links are primarily there to help you understand what I recommend you use and I have provided both names and links to other suppliers where I do not receive any compensation, so the choice of supplier is totally up to you.
- Fabric—patterned + solid lining (fabric.com, fabricguru.com, amazon.com or shopfabric.com)
- 3/4" Poly strapping with plastic buckle—(strapworks.com, amazon.com or countrybrookdesign.com)
- 3/4" plastic glide—(strapworks.com, amazon.com or countrybrookdesign.com)
- 1/2" poly strapping—(strapworks.com, amazon.com)
- 3/4" Elastic—white or black —(joanns.com or amazon.com)
- Outdoor thread—(joanns.com or amazon.com)
Fabric selection:Outdoor fabric is typically 54" wide and patterns can be symmetrical or abstract. The following image gives examples of both. When using a symmetrical fabric, you will want to try to center the fabric on the design when you are measuring it so that the pattern is placed evenly in the finished awning.
You will need to purchase 2 different fabrics:
- Patterned fabric for the outside—typically coordinates with your trailer trim or other accessories.
- Solid fabric for the inside lining—typically a neutral. I tended to use gray and avoided white as these awnings are put on windows that have just been towed and the lining lays up against the window, which can get a bit dusty.
- When the tutorial it says you need X yards for your patterned fabric, you will also need to purchase an equal amount for your lining.
It is important to note, that you WILL see the patterned fabric through the lining fabric when you are inside the trailer. It is light out side and darker inside, so you will see the pattern. To avoid looking through two different patterns, I do not recommend using a patterned fabric for the lining.
- The fabric requirement for the set of 3 awnings is 2.5 yards of the patterned and solid lining each. If you are using a patterned fabric that has large, symmetrical patterns on it that you would like to center on the awning, you may want to purchase a little extra of the patterned fabric.
The following illustration reflects:
- How the fabric is cut so that the design is centered on each awning.
- Use a yardstick or other straight edge to support marking the dimensions shown in Table 1.
- With a geometric pattern, the easiest way to center the awning is to place a pin on the fabric where you wish to have the center of the awning. Divide the width of the awning by 2 and measure that distance out to each side and mark.
- For example, if the center of the floral motif is the center for the awning shown below (see bottom awning). Mark this spot with a pin.
- If the width for the awning is 40", measure 20" (40 divided by 2) in each direction from the pin and mark. This represents the sides of your awning for cutting.
- This will land you on the same part of the design for each end. Double-check your math by using a measuring tape & measuring from one mark to the other, and this should be your original awning width of 40".
- Because all 3 awnings are on basically the same size window, it is beneficial to center the awnings both vertically, as well as horizontally if using an obvious symmetrically patterned fabric (eg having the hem of the awning start at the same place in the pattern for each awning). This is unnecessary if the fabric is more abstract like a floral.
Creating the buckle strap:
- Use a flame to burn both ends of each piece of polypropylene webbing to prevent it from unraveling. Be prepared to blow it out as it heats up.
- Using this video, for guidance, apply the tri-glide to the piece of 3/4" poly webbing that has the * next to it in Table 2. Follow the instructions for the red webbing on the video; however, instead of installing a D ring, install one piece of the 3/4" plastic buckle. You can stop watching the video at the D ring install. Sew the remaining piece of the buckle to one end of the remaining part of 3/4" poly strapping.
- Fasten the buckle to create one long strap.
Fabricating the awning:
- Cut one piece of each patterned and lining fabric for each awning with dimensions listed in Table 1 (e.g., 40"W x 26"T for the NC & LG side awning).
- Hems—the tutorial for the hems can be found here. Note whatever hem you do for the patterned fabric, remember you need to replicate it for the lining.
- On the wrong side of the patterned piece of fabric, use an erasable marker and mark a small dot where the corner straps (a) 4 dots, buckle strap (b) 2 dots, and elastic strap (c) 2 dots, are positioned in Image #2. The instructions for where to place these dots for each piece are in Table 1 under the last 3 columns labeled Markings
- (b) is measured from the top of the awning, and buckle strap should be placed right-side-up when it is placed between the two pieces of fabric.
- (c) is measured from the bottom. If you have added an angle or scallops to the hem, note that the distance from the bottom for (c) is from the ORIGINAL size, NOT after you have cut away fabric for the hem treatment.
Assembling the Awning:
- Place the patterned and lining fabrics, WRONG sides together, with the patterned piece on top, and the markings made in the last step visible.
- Place the straps/elastic BETWEEN the two pieces of fabric at the appropriate marks.
- Place the corner and buckle straps first (reminder the buckle strap will be rightside up as it is laid between the pieces of fabric—with the patterned fabric on top and lining on bottom),
- Double-pin the buckle strap to hold it in place,
- Pin around the awning and place the elastic piece last, as once in place, the awning will no longer lay flat on the table.
- A 10-12" section will need to be left open on the top to turn the awning right-side-out after stitching—mark the beginning and end of this section before stitching the awning fabrics together.
- Stitch around the perimeter of the awning, (leaving the opening at the top) using a 1/2" seam allowance.
- If you do not have a 1/2" mark on your sewing machine, measure 1/2" from your needle and use a 2" piece of blue painters tape to clearly mark it on the plate on your machine.
- After stitching, clip seams where appropriate (e.g. trim corners & clip between scallops).
- Turn the awning right side out. Be careful using anything sharp to push the corners out, it is very likely to go through the fabric. Use the eraser end of a pencil or something small like that with a dull end.
- Be very careful here. If using a polyester fabric, make sure the iron temperature is low enough not to melt the fabric. Use the fabric scraps to test the iron on until confident there is no issue.
- Pin the top closed, iron, and then, starting at the top with the opening first, stitch around the perimeter of the awning at 1/4". This will create the finished look for the awning.
TIP: watching the video on the scallops may be beneficial even if not making scallops as it gives tips on other things like trimming and ironing.
Fit the awning on your trailer and move on to the next one! The above steps are repeatable for each awning.
As mentioned on my blog post, it has been well over a year since I have physically made any of these awnings. The tutorials have been developed through memory, notes and photos on my phone. If you have a question, someone else probably does as well, so please reach out to me via the contact form on my website and I will get back to you (remember, I am on UK time, so there will likely be delays).
While I am happy to add clarity to the process, by using this tutorial, reader is assuming all responsibility for making and using the window awnings outlined in the above tutorial.
Happy camping all!