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  2. Motor Mounts
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  6. Set up a Lemonade Stand for your kids
  7. How to Load the Dishwasher.
  8. How to Get Rid of a Cooler of Rotten Meat
  9. Sew a New Shade Structure Canopy
  10. How to Return $100 Cash to its Owner
  11. Disneyland Shades
  12. How to Fix a Fog Machine
  13. Umbrella Base
  14. Patio Umbrella
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  25. How to Make a Sign
  26. How to Memorize the Geography of Africa
  27. How to Memorize the Geography of Canada
  28. How to Remove Shoes from Power Lines
  29. How Not to Build a Patio Cover
  30. How to Remove Slats From Blinds
  31. How to Remove a Toilet Ring
  32. Things I Figured Out, Part 3
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  34. Instructions on How to Fix a Fence
  35. How Fences Break
  36. How to Fix a Gate
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  40. how to make a mold out of silicone caulk
  41. how to have a halloween costume contest
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  44. How to Repair the Lens Mechanism
  45. How to Reset a Circuit Breaker
  46. Using the Hell out of your Digital Camera
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  49. What is the Learning Curve?
  50. How to change a flat tire
  51. how to make coffee
  52. How to change your brake pads
  53. How to fix a Lawnmower pull cord
  54. How to Cut and Paste
  55. How to make fire with two sticks
  56. Refilling an Ink Cartridge
  57. How to Fight a Speeding Ticket

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Easy, Illustrated Instructions on How to Sew a New Shade Structure Canopy for your Patio

It had been strange to calculate and add an extra five inches to every panel on this main canopy section, knowing it wasn't necessary, just decoration. After I was done, I loved the addition, and figured out that adding them had added 60" of cloth to the project, which cost $17. So, not counting labor and thread, adding scallops tacked $17 on the project.

I had to make a conscious effort to not align the first two panels at a 90° angle.

Because the canopy forms a pyramid shape, they meet at unexpected angle. The bottom angle is close to 45, but it is actually the tan-1 (55/52), or 46½º. The top angle is the tan-1 (52/55), or 44½º.

At the corners of the canopy, I had to resolve the corners where one set of scallops met another set. If you can imagine these two half-scallops hanging down, if everything worked out right, they would be hanging right next to each other. I sewed them together to form a little half-size corner scallop.

The canopy was held down by the corner pockets, and also by velcro straps which allow attachments to the shade-structure's iron frame. The original tan canopy had two sets of velcro tabs sewed into the seam down the edges. They are right on top of each other.

The tabs wrap around a metal rod, the hook and loop surfaces meeting each other.

I copied this arrangement to add my own tabs.

Here's a photo of sewing them into place. This was the most strenuous job for my sewing machine on this project, poking through two layers of velcro and a few layers of outdoor fabric. Next time I will probably start with a heavy-duty needle.

Two panels laid out, a little bit too large for the room.

By the end, I was hauling the entire load of cloth around the room, trying to align the next seam with the path of the needle. I was happy, because I was almost done!

At this stage, even though I had draped the half-finished project across the frame twice, I still had a fear that the canopy wouldn't fit correctly.

The position of the corner rod pockets was critical. If they were too loose, the canopy wouldn't hold tightly on the frame. If they were too tight, I wouldn't want to be able to stretch the canopy onto the frame at all. A wiser man would probably have sewed them on with a single stitch, but I went all out, attaching them with a double row of stitching.

It fit! The corner rod pockets held the canopy tightly, but I didn't have to wrestle it into position. The velcro worked too. holding the seams tightly to the frame.

It looked really good! This was the largest thing I had built in a while. It felt great to be finished and to have the final product fit so well. I didn't save any money making my own canopy, but I am certain I've got one of the best looking shade structure canopies in town.

One motivation to finish sewing the canopy was a pending backyard party for Anna's visit to northern California. I was thrilled my new canopy could help overshadow her visit!

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