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Old 10-22-2020, 01:33 AM   #1
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Making new cushions and learning to sew

New cushions finished...finally. After getting a very loose quote for someone to redo my interior cushion I decided it was time to learn a new skill. I think the quote would have been around 1500 to 2000 plus, and that was reusing the old cushion foam. Bought A $149 dollar Singer and watched the Sailrite video and bought the supplies. Probably have 30 to 40 man hours in these and about $500 including the machine. But I had a bunch of time wasted with errors. The last three cushions took me about 8 hours total. They are by no means perfect...and I am going to redo one at some point, but they are a world better than the 35 year old original cushions the boat came with. I found sewing so useful and the list of things to make so long i am now on the lookout for a walking foot machine for canvas and window covers etc. Also pics of the new Isotherm 130 Cruise Elegance fridge and fabricated switch panel I made to fill the void since this fridge was shorter and deeper.

And a short video to go along with it.
https://youtu.be/zj3WDRPRgOs
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Old 10-22-2020, 01:48 AM   #2
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Very nice work. We have a Sailrite 111, great machine but I donít think they make it anymore. We have saved probably close to $20K over the years using it.
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:27 AM   #3
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20K!!! Sign me up. I am on the lookout for a Sailrite or maybe a Sailrite clone if I can find one. I have canvas to do soon and probably need a Walking Foot style machine.
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Old 10-22-2020, 05:56 AM   #4
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Nice work... especially for a starting project.
It is not rocket science and Sailrite videos are very good.
Machines are out there just keep looking and searching online.
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Old 10-22-2020, 06:34 AM   #5
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Very nice work. I have done a little canvas work (generally covers) but have not taken on interior which needs a higher level of quality/precision - you did well!!

As for sewing machines, I have used a 1950/60ies Singer, which had metal gears, and it worked fine for up to about 3 layers, and was better than ruining my wives 'good machine'.
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:00 AM   #6
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Very nice work. We have a Sailrite 111, great machine but I donít think they make it anymore. We have saved probably close to $20K over the years using it.

Where do you buy your material? Sunbrela?

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Old 10-22-2020, 07:12 AM   #7
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Looks great, and impressive.

However, even as a DIY guy, I'd probably pass on this, having zero experience with making cushions and have some super vendors that do it very reasonable.

However, not a bad skill to have, and if one gets the wrong vendor, they can be horribly over priced with boats.

Just got a quote for cushions from my "low cost" boat canvas guy and my auto guy beat them by 40% and doing it faster. Quality and materials the same.
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:59 AM   #8
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Nice work! Gives me inspiration!

I just started practicing sewing, and looking to replace all my cockpit cushions. I bought a Singer 44S (around $140 walmart.com), and a walking foot attachment (good for vinyl). Seems to be an OK machine. I also found out you can slow the machine down, by taking apart the foot control, and turning the little adjustment dial with a screwdriver. Otherwise, it went from 0-100mph in 2 seconds...

I think the clone to the Sailrite is a Reliable Barracuda 200ZW, which can be bought for around $500 on their site (more $$ on Amazon). If I get through this project successfully, I might upgrade to a better machine, but the Singer seems ok for now.
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:25 AM   #9
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Good price of $350 on this eBay Thompson Mini-walking foot. Originally, Thompson was the brand Sailrite sold. Over the years, they have re-branded their own. I purchased this same machine from Sailrite about 25 years ago.

To the OP - nice work. I found long upholstery runs impossible without a walking foot.

https://www.ebay.com/c/1005515602

Peter
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Old 10-22-2020, 08:53 AM   #10
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Sewing has become a standing joke with my wife and me although I didn't intend for that to happen. I have learned a universe of skills as a boater from fiberglass repair to mechanical and electrical. I suggested to my wife that when/if we become full time or snowbird cruisers she should consider picking up a useful skill. I have been staggered by the cost of marine canvas work and suggested she might learn to sew that stuff. I told her about the sailrite videos and told her I'd get her a machine...

Well... That didn't go over too well. Apparently I shouldn't be "recommending" her hobbies to her. I told her I wasn't necessarily fascinated with fixing diesel engines but have had to learn to keep boating affordable and to be self sufficient. Somehow it didn't translate. Perhaps I didn't deliver my thoughts in the most productive manor. Anyway, I'm still working on her....
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:00 AM   #11
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Sewing has become a standing joke with my wife and me although I didn't intend for that to happen. I have learned a universe of skills as a boater from fiberglass repair to mechanical and electrical. I suggested to my wife that when/if we become full time or snowbird cruisers she should consider picking up a useful skill. I have been staggered by the cost of marine canvas work and suggested she might learn to sew that stuff. I told her about the sailrite videos and told her I'd get her a machine...

Well... That didn't go over too well. Apparently I shouldn't be "recommending" her hobbies to her. I told her I wasn't necessarily fascinated with fixing diesel engines but have had to learn to keep boating affordable and to be self sufficient. Somehow it didn't translate. Perhaps I didn't deliver my thoughts in the most productive manor. Anyway, I'm still working on her....
Sounds like a Venus and Mars thing. Occasionally I venture into similar forays. I'm reminded to hide sharp objects.

Good luck -

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Old 10-22-2020, 10:24 AM   #12
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Sewing

During the month of April in the Covid shutdown I tackled these cushions for our home banquette, I hadn't really sewn much except a couple new hatch covers for the O.A in the past 20 years. I learned to sew in my pre power life as a sailor.. even built the cruising spinnaker that pulled us across the pacific years ago.


The big issue now is the Admiral ( who cannot sew a stitch) has decreed that I will make all new cushions for the O.A. over the winter! ...CRAP!!
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:27 AM   #13
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New cushions finished...finally. After getting a very loose quote for someone to redo my interior cushion I decided it was time to learn a new skill. I think the quote would have been around 1500 to 2000 plus, and that was reusing the old cushion foam. Bought A $149 dollar Singer and watched the Sailrite video and bought the supplies. Probably have 30 to 40 man hours in these and about $500 including the machine. But I had a bunch of time wasted with errors. The last three cushions took me about 8 hours total. They are by no means perfect...and I am going to redo one at some point, but they are a world better than the 35 year old original cushions the boat came with. I found sewing so useful and the list of things to make so long i am now on the lookout for a walking foot machine for canvas and window covers etc. Also pics of the new Isotherm 130 Cruise Elegance fridge and fabricated switch panel I made to fill the void since this fridge was shorter and deeper.

And a short video to go along with it.
https://youtu.be/zj3WDRPRgOs



That looks great!
Your in trouble now.. you'll now be sewing projects for years.
HOLLYWOOD

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Old 10-22-2020, 11:03 AM   #14
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Bud, there is a shop somewhere in the mid west that sells marine fabrics (including Subrella products at a substantial discount - ends and seconds. Will have to dig back thru receipts. Great service and prices. Give me a day or two - but there are deals out there!
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:26 AM   #15
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Where do you buy your material? Sunbrela?

Bud
I get a lot of it from Sailrite. I get Sunbrella from greatlakesskipper.com. Sailrite has most of the supplies and it is easy to do one stop shopping so I do most of the stuff from them. There may be some places that are cheaper on one or two irems, but overall I like Sailrite.
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:29 AM   #16
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20K!!! Sign me up. I am on the lookout for a Sailrite or maybe a Sailrite clone if I can find one. I have canvas to do soon and probably need a Walking Foot style machine.
I have made canvas for 4 different boats so it adds up. I got the Sailrite 111 which is no longer available. You want a machine with a deep throat so you can fit the canvas through it. Also I bought the upgraded motor that allows me to do a single stich at a time in 8 layers of Sunbrella. It really makes a difference.
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:46 AM   #17
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Where do you buy your material? Sunbrela?

Bud
Bud
Try Rochford Supply. https://www.rochfordsupply.com/?gcli...kaAq3rEALw_wcB
And check their seconds and close outs. Very good prices especially for starting out and making bags, covers etc. Don't be afraid of their Sunbrella like fabrics, I have used a lot of their stuff and prices are generally good and always better than Sailrite if they carry it. Sailrite is good for the selection and hard to find items.
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:49 AM   #18
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For those that haven't seen it here is a "thread" with some DIY Canvas Tips to getting started.
https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...d.php?p=365180
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Old 10-22-2020, 11:54 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Barking Sands View Post
New cushions finished...finally. After getting a very loose quote for someone to redo my interior cushion I decided it was time to learn a new skill. I think the quote would have been around 1500 to 2000 plus, and that was reusing the old cushion foam. Bought A $149 dollar Singer and watched the Sailrite video and bought the supplies. Probably have 30 to 40 man hours in these and about $500 including the machine. But I had a bunch of time wasted with errors. The last three cushions took me about 8 hours total. They are by no means perfect...and I am going to redo one at some point, but they are a world better than the 35 year old original cushions the boat came with. I found sewing so useful and the list of things to make so long i am now on the lookout for a walking foot machine for canvas and window covers etc.
You will never regret your purchase and the acquisition of your new skill. When our boat was new to us, the upholstery was done, used up, finished...
Using her old Pfaff machine, my wife sewed a complete new set.
Now, 26 yrs later, she has done it again, this time using the Reliable, industrial quality machine that she bought a few years ago. The project this winter will include sunbrella covers, to replace the Bimini, side cloths, hatch covers, a dinghy cover and the Tonneau. So far only the dinghy cover has been completed. Our fabrics came from jtsoutdoorfabrics.com (in Canada) and while in the US we always shopped at Sailrite.
Pix is the newest interior cushions.

Edit: Egad, Sorry for the flipped photo. I must have tipped the phone the wrong way when taking the picture. I hope one of the mods can restore it to an upright position. I have browsed the Advanced section to no avail.
Done
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Old 10-22-2020, 01:23 PM   #20
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20K!!! Sign me up. I am on the lookout for a Sailrite or maybe a Sailrite clone if I can find one. I have canvas to do soon and probably need a Walking Foot style machine.
There are Chinese knockoffs and their accessories on Aliexpress for ~$400. Just search "Sailrite."

A great job by the way. Expect to be receiving orders when word gets out that you have the skills and equipment. 👍
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