How to Make Window Screens

Don’t get me wrong, I was VERY nervous about embarking on this sewing adventure, but now that I’ve completed the passenger door window screen, I am feeling C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T!  One screen took about 2 days to measure out and sew from start to finish (I had the usual van conversion interruptions), the 2nd screen took only 1 day more.

We wanted something that you can just slip on the door and something that would be durable.  We’ve found using polypro webbing, neodymium magnets, screws and press stud snaps (I ended up getting a tool to make the application in the fabric easier) are the best bet for us.  As for the mosquito netting itself, I wish it were a little more rigid, but I think this will stand up to our use. Here are my steps.  I will try to attach photos of the process, but right now my phone is not cooperating.

  1. Place and pin the screen fabric on the passenger door.  As I took measurements I wrote them on masking tape and stuck them onto the fabric. I carefully carried this inside and laid it on the floor.IMG_20160726_141211

Total Height of Pattern: 65.5″      Total Width of Pattern: 48″ (you will cut out a triangle (base: 29″, height: 14″) for the slanted side of the door)

Once folded over itself:

Height on inside (will have snaps attached): 35″

Height on outside (will have magnets sewn in): 31″ 67″

Widest part around middle of the window: 48″

Length of top spine (from mirror to top corner of the door): 53″

Polypropylene Webbing (total= 225″) : 86″ for the edge from mirror to bottom right of window, 68″ for outside flap, 63″ for inside flap

2. Cut the pattern out and pin the webbing to the spine. You can never pin enough.  Keep pinning, trust me, you’ll be happier this way, the fabric doesn’t move unexpectedly while you’re sewing.  I started sewing the spine from the top corner down to the mirror.IMG_20160726_152954IMG_20160728_110651

3. Pin the webbing around the outside flap, from the split at the mirror towards the bottom right edge of the passenger window only.  Remember to include magnets every 8″ on this outside flap.  Next, do the same on the inside flap, you may want to put 2 magnets below the mirror because there is some metal the screen can cling to.  I made the inside flap longer because I wasn’t sure where to attach the snaps on the door, its better to have more fabric to fold under than not enough.  Sew the tape to both flaps.

4. Sew together the right side of the flaps, the right spine.  You’ve already done the top spine.  Make sure to overlap both screens so that the bugs can’t come in.  At the bottom right corner gather both flaps and sew them so that they come in at the same level.  Wrap the spine tape down around the flaps and about 1″ up the spine so that it doesn’t fray.

5. Finish off the flap connection by the mirror.  Make sure its a strong seam because this area will get a lot of abuse.  I gathered each individual flap and sowed it under the spine webbing.IMG_20160728_110526

And you’re done with the passenger side!IMG_20160728_105545

You can also secure the inside with snaps… Something I will do on the road.IMG_20160731_175542


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