Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 03-17-2014
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Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella

There's a good deal of cloth on a boat besides the sails. We take it for granted until it needs to be repaired, renewed or replaced. Then we need smelling salts at the first price quote.

A great deal of cloth, indeed: Covers for mainsail, hatches, winches, binnacles, grab rails, dinghies, outboards; sheet bags, cockpit shade, biminis, dodgers, and belowdecks, well, my boat has 16 installed cushions.

The thing is, most of us can splice a line, tune a rig, and don't hesitate to dive into the 12v system with a multimeter. But a rip in Sunbrella? A rotted tiller cover? Call the Coast Guard immediately.

I, too, was a member of this hapless club of the fabric-challenged, protected only by my checkbook from the merest tear or inevitably aged-out sail cover. However, I am no longer. I have Recovered, in every sense, and now go house to house issuing pamphlets urging you to do the same--to cast off ignorance and fear, welcome into your lives the sunshine of a sewing machine, and become the fully functioning yachtsman that destiny always intended.

Here are four parts on "Sewmanship", beginning with the selection of the machine that will change your life:

Sewmanship 1–the Sewing Machine - Blogs - EY.o Information Exchange

Sewmanship 2--Covers for Dinghy, Hatches, Pedestal, Mainsail - Blogs - EY.o Information Exchange

Sewmanship 3 – Cockpit Shade, Main Hatch Cover, Interior Upholstery - Blogs - EY.o Information Exchange

Sewmanship 4--Line Bags, Seat Locker, Grab Rail Covers - Blogs - EY.o Information Exchange
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2014
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Re: Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella

Nice job.
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Old 03-18-2014
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Re: Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella

Thanks for this, very encouraging to a doofus like me. We already have a mid century Singer machine that weighs more than a Corolla.
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Old 03-19-2014
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Re: Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella

Woah far out. Duck is the heviest i have ever tried when I buy a boat I will remember you fondley.
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Old 03-19-2014
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Re: Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella

Awesome thankyou!
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Old 03-19-2014
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Re: Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella

My wife has a lot of sunbrella aboard and has made a bike bag, grill cover, cockpit cushion covers, hatch covers and on an on. She seems to enjoy it and she really has the boat looking great. I think it took her 15 min. to make a winch cover that look great and fit like gloves.
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Old 03-19-2014
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Re: Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella

Nice work.

Yup, BTDT. Currently going through the dodger and bimini enclosure replacing glass in all the panels using my Sailrite machine. Someother projects include dinghy cover for our CD10, seat covers for my dad's toon boat, extension cushions for the salon settee, patching the bimini at wear points, custom curtain for our Ericson, interior and exterior cushions for our Pearson.

Here is the latest panel I sewed. 6 more to go.

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Old 03-19-2014
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Re: Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella

Very nicely done. If I may offer some tips:

Learn how to help the cloth through the machine by pulling gently on it as it goes under the needle. You can also stretch the cloth some as you're sewing it. Techniquish, I know, but if you learn how to do it you can get rid of the puckers which is more a function of the way a drop-feed (opposed to walking foot) machine pulls cloth under the needle.

If you're deconstructing an old piece to use as a pattern, instead of ripping the seams, just cut along the seam and remember to add 1/2" (or whatever you use) as a seam allowance after you trace it out.

When you rip seams, pick one side or the other. Every five or so stitches, cut a stitch, proceeding to the end of the line. You'll then have one side with cut stitches every five or so, and one side with an intact row of stitches. Go then to the intact side, and grab the intact thread, and pull that out, which pulls the cut bits out. You'll have less chance of ripping the cloth, and longer thread bits for less mess, and it's actually a bit faster.

You might want to mention the way needles work. Needle size and thread optimum combinations, as well as needle systems.
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Last edited by Multihullgirl; 03-19-2014 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 03-19-2014
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Re: Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella

Very nice. And excellent post title!
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Old 03-19-2014
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Re: Sewmanship--How to become a God of Sunbrella

Thanks for the tips Christian and Multihull Girl! I made lots of stuff with a home sewing machine, and recently upgraded to a Sailrite, and wish I did it long ago. I'm self taught, and your tips are giving me all kinds of ideas about how to do things more quickly and easily.
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