Fled Kite Build Page

This is some information that might be useful to those making the Fled Kite without the benefit of being at the Workshop.

In the kit, you should find:

Kit Parts:
2 Wing Panels
2 Flare Panels
1 Body Panel
4 Drogue Panels
1” Tab Stock
2 Spreader Pockets - 1”x 5”

Before you start, we did not edge-bind the V in the Body Panel. You can edge bind yours if you want to and have the material to do it.

Step 1: Mark Panels for a ¾” hem. It is a 3/8” finished hem. Fold at ¾”, fold to the fold. DO NOT hem the longest edge(s) on each panel.

Details: the Panel Parts are cut with an allowance for a ¾” hem. On the Wing and Flare Panels, there are 4 edges that need hems. DO NOT HEM the longest edge of these panels. The Body Panel gets a ¾” hem across the bottom (19” short side). There are two 1” ‘ears’ on the V end of the Body. They get folded towards the Bottom and hemmed.

The picture above shows that the short edges on the ends of the  Wing Panel and Flare Panel get hemmed as well.

The picture above shows a tool I made for marking the short hems on the ends.
Above shows the tool in use.

DO NOT HEM the longest edge of any panel.

The 1" ears on the ends of the Body Panel get hemmed as well.

I used the tool to mark for the 3.4" hem.

The other short end (19") gets a 3/4" hem as well.

There seemed to be confusion in the workshop of how to do a ¾” Double Fold Hem. Click here to go to the web page about how to mark, fold and sew hems.

Once the hems are done, the kite is nearly finished.

The first assembly step is to sew together the Body, Flare and Wing. Place the Body flat on the table, good side up. Okay - there is no 'good' side or 'bad' side of the fabric. Good side is the finished side, the bad side is the side with the folded hems. So, place the Body on the table, hems down, hems towards the table.

Now, locate a Flare on the Body, hems towards the Body.

In a perfect world, the ends of the Flare match up with the ends of the Body. If they don't, there are two options. Option One: The points of the Flares and Wings should be at a point 10 inches down from the top, or 26 inches up from the bottom. If you you measure down from the top, and up from the bottom, and the marks are in two different places, use the one closer to the bottom. Draw a line or fold a crease across the Body at this point. Now every time you add a Panel, align its point to this line.

Option Two is to pick and end, bottom or top, and line every edge up with that. WARNING: One person in the workshop managed to mark, fold, and sew their hems so that the points on the Flares were in two different places relative to the ends. Option One, the line across the Body, was the best way to align all of their panels. Option One is the best option.

Okay - where were we. We have the Body, hems down. We have the Flare placed, hems down. Lightly hot tack (or Blue Tape) the Flare in place and find a matching Wing. The Wing will look just the Flare, except it will locate HEMS UP.

Wing is placed on the Flare, hems up. Hot tack in place. Sew the edge, the bottom edge in the graphic above, 3/8" of an inch in. Basically, use the right edge of the Presser Foot as a seam guide, and all is well.

Now, repeat the process for the other side. Place the Body, Flare, Wing assembly on the table, and locate the Flare on it, hems down.

Keep in mind, all the points of all the panels should be on the same imaginary (or drawn or creased) line across the kite.

Lightly hot tack the Flare in place. Locate the Wing and locate it on the assembly, hems up.

Sew the edge, the bottom edge in the graphic above, 3/8" of an inch in. Basically, use the right edge of the Presser Foot as a seam guide, and all is well.

Now for the fun part. The next step is to sew the sleeve(s) for the Longeron(s). We are doing it this way so that the sleeve for the longeron is on the front of the kite. Open out the kite so that you can lay it on a table, with the Body on the table HEMS UP, and the wings and flares away from the Body. Place weights along the Body. Lift the Wing up away from the Flare and place it over the Body. So, now, the Wing and Body should be together, and the Flare is all by itself. Below is a graphic of what we are trying to do:

Here is another look:

The table that is farther away is the better depiction. Body on the table, hems up. Weights on the Body. Wing folded up over the weights. Gently pull the Flare away from the Body while pushing the Wing away from the Flare. Crease this fold as ACCURATELY and COMPLETELY as you can. You can even hold everything carefully and hot tack along the edge about 1/4" away from the Flare. Because your next trick...

... is to sew a seam 1/2" away from the first seam. If you don not have an Edge Guide:

Mark a line 1/2" away from the first seam and sew along the line. But wait - there is more. We want to sew the ends of the sleeves closed, and we want to leave a 2" section at the rear of the kite so that there is a place to put the sticks in. Below, the black lines indicate where to sew.

Before we go any farther, spread the kite out, hems up, Flares down, and check the distance from wingtip to wingtip. It should be very close to, hopefully slightly less than, 4 feet. Are we good?

Our next step is the Spreader Sleeve. So, while you have the kite spread out, hems up, put a straightedge from wingtip to wingtip. We are using a 1" piece of fabric for the sleeve, so we are off-setting the location line by 1/2". We used a quilting ruler placed on the wingtip to locate the straightedge 1/2" away from the wing tip, and we placed the 3" sleeve against the straightedge. The Sleeve is a piece of ripstop, 1" wide and 3" long.

Above, straightedge wingtip to wingtip. The quilting ruler is placed on the Body to double check its width, which should be 18". This kite was, so the straightedge was centered at 9" on the quilting ruler. That put 36" on the straightedge in the center of the kite.

Then the quilting ruler was used to locate the straightedge 1/2" back from the wing tips. (below)

Now the Spreader Sleeve can be located in the center of the kite.
We used a sleeve the same color as the Body. A contrasting color was used here to make things clearer. Sew along the long edges of the Sleeve, backtacking on each end. No, we did not hem any part of the sleeve.