Thursday, March 24, 2011

Here's the sample clip!

So I think I figured out this video editing is a sample of the footage I have so far. Ill post up videos of each major section of the build (cutting, sewing, welding etc.) when I have the footage. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two colors ordered

With all the crap that is going on in the world, prices seem to be going up...ripstop nylon included. I ended up only ordering two colors instead of four. The colors are dark pink and light green. Here is the new pattern....
I like the pattern but I have to admit I am a bit frustrated at the moment. Part of me wanted to buy the four colors anyways and fork out the extra money, but the other part of me could see the hole in my wallet getting too big. I'll just try to remind myself that in the end, Ill have a great balloon that I built by myself.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Slightly different design

So after calculating yardage and prices for the colors I wanted in the original design, 16 diamonds in 8 different colors, I have decided to do 16 diamonds in 4 different colors (Pink, Yellow, Lime and Lt. Blue). This should save me about $350 because of minimum yardage cuts when ordering. So here is my new design which is very similar to the original:
Here is the original:

In a lot of ways I like the new pattern. It seems much more vibrant against the dark fabric. And of course Ill save some money...

Monday, March 21, 2011

More cutting, more fabric.

I finished cutting panels 1,2,4 and 5 so far. I am going cut panel 3 (minus the colored diamond) tomorrow. I am putting in another fabric order for my colored diamonds tomorrow as well. They should be here in a week. I'm going to start working on the lower end and sewing together some of the panels I have cut while I wait for my new fabric to come in.

Also, I have started editing the time lapse video. I'm going to break the recordings down into 10 minute at the different stages of the build. I figured that would be more entertaining than watching over an hour of senseless repetition and quick movements.

Here's the updated color chart of panels that are cut.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Finally made some cuts!

So amidst all the chaos and bad weather I have finally made some progress on the balloon! I worked for about 4 hours creating my pattern on butchers paper patterns (five in total) and finished cutting all of the top panels (32 panels). Since I am working with "rights and lefts", meaning identical patterns only in reverse on one side, it us much easier to fold the fabric over itself and cut two panels at a time (1 right, 1 left). If I had someone helping me cut I could easily do four layers at a time, but dealing with that many layers of fabric by yourself gets difficult. It slides on itself and can be difficult to get exact cuts. If you are building your own balloon or cutting any fabric, I suggest investing in a GOOD set of scissors. High end scissors cut smoother and usually fit better in your hand. You're going to be cutting a lot of fabric and it will make a difference.

This is the first time I have pulled fabric off a roll larger than 20 yards and I must say it is a strange feeling. For the last 10 years I have had to be aware of how much fabric was left on the roll to make sure I could cut a full panel out of what was left. When you are pulling fabric off a 200 yard roll you don't have to think, just cut. I cut 32 panels so far and I barely made a dent in my first roll! Granted, the panels were only about 11 feet long, but still...

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I purchased a webcam to document the work and create a more entertaining way for all of you to watch my progress. I have 4 hours of footage but I am having some technical difficulties making it into a time lapse video shorter than 10 minutes. Once I have it figured out I will post it. If any of you have any FREE software suggestions to make one, please let me know. Ive tried MAGIX video and Microsoft Live Video Maker with no success.

I'm going to be filling in this chart with the amount I have completed (cutting) as I go. There are 32 panels for each section.
I am going to cut more panels today and tomorrow as well.  My goal is to have the throat panels cut today and make a dent in the equator as well.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hectic times...

Sorry to those of you who are checking in on my progress, I haven't done too much. I am in the process of moving into my first house, taking finals in college, and I had a death in the family. Needless to say I've been preoccupied. However, I finally got my fabric in (late thanks to UPS).
If any of you were's what 800 yards of ripstop nylon looks like!
I also got in my spools of thread and bobbins (size 69 black poly). I dont think they are worthy of a picture though.

So, my realistic plan is to start cutting fabric on Wednesday or Thursday (March 16th-17th). I am planning on purchasing a web cam to record the entire process of cutting, fitting and sewing the envelope to produce a time lapse video. I will probably do the same for building the lower end.

Sorry again to those of you who have been checking in. I will have longer and more interesting posts in the near future!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Custom N-number

Although I have more pressing matters to attend to, I cant seem to get my mind off this project. I just got done requesting a custom N-number on the FAA website. Im not sure if I am guaranteed my N-number or not (although it seems that way since it was available?).

In addition to designing the balloon to incorporate Dale Cummings influence in my life, I have decided to reserve registration number N247DV for my balloon. 2-47 is my father's birthday and his name is Dave Veliz (DV). So, N247DV is born! My father has always been supportive in my life, and is one of the reasons I am involved in ballooning today.

Thanks to Mike and Tammie for the tip about 3/4 inch load tape. I tested a piece today and it broke within 25 pounds the 1 inch did.