Canvas Stitching Question

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Veteran Member
May 9, 2022
Finally trying my hand at canvas repair, as I got tired of looking at the Gorilla Tape on the vinyl windows.

My first panel is assembled with Sailrite basting tape, and ready for sewing. I'll be using an old cast iron Singer machine that I barely know how to use, so this should be fun 😁

Question: The original window was attached with 2 rows of thread. I'll replicate that if necessary, but is it just overkill? What do the rest of you do?


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I started DIY canvas work with an old Singer but ran into problems with multi layers and expect you will have the same difficulty with clear vinyl. The issue isn't enough power to pierce the goods it that the feed is not uniform and results in N uneven stitches. Most pros and I believe Sailrite still advocates sewingbthe new vinyl in place over the old and cutting the old after. The issue is the raw cut edge looks terrible and catches dirt & water resulting in leaks.
I developed a method that leaves the old in place to retain shape but can be completely removed Eli M inating the cut edge unsightliness.
I'd suggest doing some experimenting with scraps to see if you are satisfied with the results before working on the real panel.
I have always done 2 rows of stitching and its required for my methodology. I'll do some searching for the file I wrote summarizing my approach. I did submit it to Sailrite and got good feedback but saying they would considervaddingva video of my method but I've never searched to see if they ever followed through.
If I can find my summary I'll post it here.
Here is what I have done when replacing vinyl for myself & others... IMO opinion it is worth the extra time to have a professional looking job vs an inferior looking result.

Vinyl Window Replacement Process
By: Bacchus
This is an alternate method to the Sailright Item # X-HT-102621 on Vinyl Window Replacement in a Dodger Video.
The difference is Sailright cuts excess old vinyl mat'l off outside of the outer stitch line and then installs the new vinyl on top (inside) of the old and removes the old vinyl from the front leaving an exposed edge.

An alternative I have used is to:
1. First mark & cut my new vinyl insert using the old as a guide / pattern -sometimes if there is room I may make it slightly larger - especially if the inner / outer stitch line are very close.
2. I then rip the outer stitch line and trim the old vinyl as close as possible to the inner stitch line as a first step.
3. I then install the new vinyl using basting tape to align & hold in place - either temp strips to align to old vinyl and/or complete outer to align to Sunbrella at outer stitch line.
4. ** Apply a strip of basting tape to the clear vinyl in the approximate location of the final (inner) stitch. Do not pull off the paper strip.
5. Stitch the outer stitch line to the Sunbrella
6. Flip the panel over - rip the inner stitch line and remove the old vinyl
7. ** Remove the inner stitch basting tape paper and align / attach the Sunbrella to the vinyl at the inner stitch line8. Sew the inner stitch line

NOTE: ** Suggested improvements by Sailright after they reviewed this method.
The advantages I see:
1. Eliminates old / stiff vinyl remnants
2. Panel lays flatter if old vinyl is stiff / curled etc3. Provides a neat / clean install closely matching the original constructionDisadvantages1. Some additional time to rip the out old stitch lines -

Bottom line It seems like a good trade-off especially if doing it for yourself and not trying to minimize time
Squidward Here is a link to a DIY canvas thread I started years ago... it may be helpful but warning it grew to 10 pages with more interest than I ever expected. It also contains the vinyl replacement method as a PDF file that can be downloaded

What thread are you using? If you are in a sunny climate then Poly thread won’t last long. I only use Tenara thread. Sailrite has a similar thread also. It is very slippery so the tensions on the machine has to be adjusted. But it will last forever.
I have read great things about Tenara and similar threads. I was working down my inventory of Poly and decided to sell my complete sewing shop. I would have liked to try it but never did. I certainly will make it a point with the buyer as he is a long time family boated, has 2 boats & an RV and us a fishing charter Capt in our marina

I no longer have a fishing boat nor motorhome and current cruised has no canvas!
I have backed off doing work for others and anxious to clear the space.
To make it easier on your machine, first buy one I have for sale !
Seriously, if you are using a large spool of thread, douche it real well with silicone. Helps go thru material & lines the needle a bit too.
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