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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an old dodger that I'd like to recondition. The canvas is in excellent shape but the stitching and one of the zippers are coming apart. Anyone have a recommendation for someone who'd do a good job restitching for a fair price in the Salem/Beverly (MA) area? Any recommendations would be much appreciated!
 

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69' Coronado 25
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DIY get everything at Sail-rite.
 

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You could also diy with home sewing machine. Just buy the polyester thread from Sailrite and new fresh #16 or#18 needle. For upto 3 layers of Sunbrella home sewing machine is ok. Just make sure your Admiral is out shopping before you start sewing. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the suggestions :) - I thought about doing it myself, but we don't have a sewing machine and my wife will kill me if I embark on yet another boat project instead of taking her out sailing...maybe I should wait until next winter.
 

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A basic Sailrite sewing machine is about 550$

A trawl through Craiglsit and Goodwill might find you a Pfaff that will do the job and much cheaper. Look for something with a cast iron armature and zig zag. A walking foot is nice but not essential. I paid 30$ for mine in Miami.

Don't scrimp on thread buy V69.
 

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Owned by Velcro
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The best thread by far for canvas work is Tanara as it is 100% UV resistant. Ya won't have to do that job again for a while.


ATB

Michael
 
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I took my sail cover to one of those sewing places in the mall that mainly do business hemming new pants or skirts. They have the industrial sewing machines.
I did not tell them to use polyester thread but I only wanted them to add some zigzags to the existing stitching. Cost me $10.
This winter I will get fabric, cut it and pin it and have them stitch me a new one. I will supply the thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's not a bad idea. In my case, the canvas is in excellent condition, but the stitching is falling apart. Whoever made the dodger originally, clearly didn't use the best thread.
 

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THANK YOU TS FOR SAYING THAT ABOUT CLEANING! Not only will your canvas fabricator thank you, but if you keep your canvas clean in general, it lasts longer. Dirt includes not only abrasive dust but also biologicals, all of which will work to eat your cloth and stitching.

A good V-92 thread, such as Heminway and Bartlett etc should last about five years. V-138 probably lasts a couple years more. Sunbrella is guaranteed for 10.

My usual advice is that you have the canvas fabricated, then in five years you get a restitch, then by the next restitch your canvas will likely need replacing.

Tenara thread is a PITA in a machine (which is one reason why it's expensive), but there are new brands of PTFE thread which are easier to use, is it Sunsure? But you still have to at least buy very particular needles to use any PTFE thread.
 

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Before taking the cover to any shop, you might want to clean the cover. Even canvas shops might charge you for cleaning before sewing. The reason is to protect their machines.
So I have a question (thread high jack approaching), what's the best way to clean a Bimini canvas?
 

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Tenara thread is a PITA in a machine (which is one reason why it's expensive), but there are new brands of PTFE thread which are easier to use, is it Sunsure?
The other PTFE thread you mention might be Solarfix. From what I've read on other forums, Tenara tends to twist and knot more than Solarfix. Personally, I've never had a problem with Tenara, but at $125 a spool, and since I have two spools, I haven't tried Solarfix. I use the needles for Tenara that I use for bonded polyester

Based on posts in the Sailrite forums, Sailrite Ultrafeed machines seem to have a bit more difficulty with Tenara than industrial machines. Perhaps the reason is that Ultrafeed machines are oscillating hook machines but typical industrial machines, including the Sailrite industrial machine, are rotary hook machines.

As for cleaning canvas instructions such as Sunbrella:

Marine Tops and Covers Care and Cleaning: Sunbrella fabrics

and a video:

Care and Cleaning: How to: Sunbrella fabrics
 

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[Y]ou still have to at least buy very particular needles to use any PTFE thread.
I typically use MR needles sewing canvas with both bonded polyester and Tenara, and have had no problems sewing with either.

"If fabricators have problems with skipped stitches, Singer's Multi-range (MR) needle (which has a deeper scarf than other needles) promotes the formation of thread 'looping'. Therefore, skipped stitches are eliminated."

Source: Gore Fibers
 

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Owned by Velcro
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Once you have the drag on the bobbin and top adjusted right, Sewing Tenara is not difficult at all. I use a Sailrite machine. Your millage may differ
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This is a thread I started about a year ago asking for some one who could do canvas work. Based on the responses, I got one of the sailrite machines instead and restitched the dodger myself. Today I restitched part of the UV protection on my genoa - the latest in a string of project - next up a proper winter cover. A great investment - thanks for the advise!
 

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Unless you're willing to do a lot of your own work, a sewing machine that will do it will cost too much. I killed 3 home version Singers (don't touch the wife's machine) and I bought one POS on eBay before I broke down and bought a Sailrite Zig Zag. Now she uses it for canvas bags and such so it pays for itself.

Ask around at your marina is anyone doing sewing? or who do they use? There's always somebody doing this for spending change. Or you can spend the money and the time to learn to do this stuff. Doing it right takes some practice, the first few projects will be somewhat frustrating, you won't learn this in a day.
 
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