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Old 07-25-2019, 09:26 PM   #9
Senior Member
City: Sneads Ferry NC
Country: U.S.
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 124
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
Cushions cost so much partly because they are labor intensive. I do all my own canvas with a Sailrite machine. I have not gotten into cushions yet but this winter the Stidd helm seat on my boat is due for new cushions. So I guess I will learn all about cushions. Good luck with yours.

Cushions are actually quite easy once you get over the fear of making/sewing piping. I got my cushion start in the early 1970's when my 2nd-hand living room sectional needed recovering. I signed up for an adult ed upholstery course & loaded one piece/cushion in my Rambler station wagon each week for a semester & by the end of the class I had a completely refurbished couch that I eventually passed on to a daughter years later. The very first night of class made my 1st cushion, & I haven't stopped since. Boat cushions, usually Sunbrella, are easier because 1) the fabric is not a thick as most upholstery fabric, so a pro machine is not required; 2) Velcro (I prefer the soft version) is easier than zippers.

I took a Sailrite sewing machine cruising years ago, but was frustrated by the fact that I had to re-thread whenever switching from straight to zig-zag stitch. It's great if you need to stitch sails or make a bimini, but overkill for slipcovers & many other boat projects. I sold the machine in Mexico to a fellow cruiser & bought a household machine that carried me through for thousands of miles & 2 bolts of Sunbrella. It was invaluable for making all my own clothes on the household machine as we traveled & I discovered the fabulous fabric stores in Latin America (where all the wares are 60" wide). I eventually passed on that machine to a granddaughter & a quarter century later I think it is still being used.

I now own more sewing machines than I can count without using my fingers, several that are designed for specialty stitches (hemming, serging, embroidery). However, when I took up a pastime that required some heavy-duty stitching a few years ago, I invested a c. $125 in an exceptionally sturdy & versatile machine that worked so well I bought 2 more as 1st sewing machines for great-granddaughters. It is similar to my own first machine, purchased in 1962, that I used heavily until I sold it in 1991 when I left the U.S. This new Singer is also mostly metal, unlike most plastic machines today, & is sold under different model numbers (4411, 4423, 4432, 4452). Yes, you can add a walking foot, & there are several different built-in stitches. Switching from straight to zig-zag is just a turn of a dial. This Singer is so inexpensive & versatile, as well as easy to set up, that if one ever needs to invest in a Sailrite, you just might want to keep the Singer for less heavy projects. It is fairly widely sold, & you can probably see it in fabric stores like Joann's. However, the best price I've found is at Amazon (FREE shipping), which sometimes has it on Lightning Deals & Black Friday. I've also bought it at a discount through Amazon Warehouse. This is the sewing machine that will cruise with us on our next boat.
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