I have made both awnings and most recently side curtains with shade cloth... both worked better than expected. Australians make great shade cloth in several colors and and densities. I used the tightest weave which blocks 90% of the sun and I reckon 99% of rain.
The side curtains are fixed to our hard bimini
with plastic bolt rope
extrusions screwed under the edge of all four sides and were made wide enough to either clip diagonally out onto our lifelines
OR vertically along the cockpit
The best part was the final touch when I made permanent Sunbrella "socks" for each section (sandwiched between the length of bolt rope
extrusions) which allow the shade cloth sections to be rolled-up and stowed in place. Shade is always at the ready and can be rigged around the cockpit
in less than a minute. The socks close in a jiffy with sun protected velcro.
We live aboard in the tropics and this enclosure is not rain-proof... but we do stay dry and comfortable in anything but hard driving, monsoonal rains. I will soon work-out a way to catch & filter rain with the shade curtains, too.
Send a PM for any details you may wish to know.