Posted by: JoAnna | November 23, 2011

Agility Wing Jump… First Time Using a Serger!

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Now that I’m training my new puppy, I needed more jumps to practice jump grids in the back yard.  In agility, some jumps have “wings” attached to the sides just as a variation.  Often they’re made of PVC, wood, fiberglass, or plastic lattice.  Inspired by a photo posted on the Agility Nerd blog, I decided to make the wing panels out of sport nylon, the fabric used on outdoor decorative flags.  This cost about $36 to make, plus $15 for the Clip and Go Jump Cup Strips.

Materials Used

Building the PVC Frame
To build the frame, I cut the following pieces of PVC:

  • Eight 10″ pieces for the legs
  • Four 36″ pieces for the vertical part of the wings
  • Four 17″ pieces for the horizontal part of the wings

Sewing the Fabric Panels
The measurements I used were based on the PVC frame (I think it’s easiest to make the frame and then get the exact measurements before cutting the fabric).  For the width I measured the space between the PVC fittings, which was 15″ and added 2″ for the serging and hemming (although after the project was over, I think it was really 14.5″ between the fittings).  For the height, I measured the space between the top and bottom PVC, which was 37″ and added 13″–2″ for the hem and 5.5″ of fabric at the top and bottom to wrap around the poles.

This project was the first time I used a serger (although it was already threaded, so I didn’t have to deal with the really scary part), which I used to finish the edges of the sport nylon to prevent fraying.  Since I later hemmed the edges, I probably didn’t need to serge the ends afterall.  And the serged ends actually looked nice, so I could’ve skipped the hemming.  So in the end I could’ve chosen one or the other and the project would’ve taken even less time.

After hemming the edges, I wrapped one side around the top part of the frame and pinned the fabric where I wanted to sew it.

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My first one I did just fit on the pole, so I may have overcompensated on the next one 😛  One bottom ended up with too much fabric.  I sewed it on anyway, but I think I should’ve cut the fabric to match the other wing.  Doesn’t detract from the use, but just aesthetically speaking (though you can barely notice).

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I encountered some snags in the sewing.  While sewing the length of the panel, I had to be careful to not let the fabric bunch up or the machine wouldn’t sew smoothly.  Second, at the ends where there were several layers to sew through, I had to push the fabric through or stop the machine, lift the presser foot, and move the fabric so I could keep sewing.

Changes for Next Time
A few notes on the PVC frame, even though it’s not sewing related 🙂 It ended up a few inches taller than I had intended.  I wanted it to be 36″ high, but when I cut the PVC, I didn’t take into account that the fittings would make it taller.  I also realized (after the first time I used the jump), that I really didn’t want the fabric touching the ground.  It’ll get wet easily and perhaps get moldy.  I thought about adding 90 degree PVC fittings on the ends at the end of the feet to raise it off the ground, but I can’t lower the jump cup strip without cutting part of the bottom off (which you can do).  If I wanted to do feet next time, I could also use individual jump cups (sliding, or permanent ones installed with a screw). Or I could  make detachable wings like on the Agility Nerd blog.

Project Stats
Pattern: My own pattern based on a photo of Agility Nerd’s Double Wing Jump
Time: 2 hours
Fabric: 1 yard of green sport nylon
Notions: Thread
Other Supplies: Schedule 40 1″ PVC, four 4-way PVC fittings, four 90-degree PVC fittings, eight 1″ PVC end caps

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