Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sew WHAT? (November 10, 2013)

     My Husband has a lot of faith in me as a domestic goddess.  He believes I can create and sew anything at his requests.  Believe me, I have never given him this impression and I don't know from where or how he conceived this idea, all I know is that he stands by it no matter what I think about it.  I am confident I can thread a machine, fill a bobbin, cut out a pattern, and sew a fairly straight line (thanks, Mom).

      Making covers and "stuff" for the boat started with shopping for a heavy duty, industrial style machine.  Something I might be able to do a few sail repairs, if needed. It had to take up little space and have good reviews from fellow sailors.  We decided on a Sailrite LSZ-1.  It is a semi-industrial machine, it is well suited for sewing medium, heavy and extra heavy materials such as canvas, sail, upholstery, and some leather.  It is pretty versatile and can be used for home sewing as well.

      Scott's first request was hatch covers.  Luckily for me on this project I had the old hatch covers that I picked apart and used them for patterns.  I found material similar to "Sunbrella" at a local fabric outlet store in Boise, and ordered shock cord online.  It was a fairly easy project. Six covers took approximately 12 hours to complete.  I was really liking this machine.  We bought it used on Craig's list, by the way, and it came with a lot of extras (bobbins, thread, belts, etc.).

     The next project I decided to take on was sheets and mattress covers for the boat.  Oh....this was much more of a challenge.  No patterns and no straight angles.  I managed one set of sheets for the Bucket's bed.  They worked, just okay. I was not satisfied with the results.  I decided the best thing was sheet straps (they are elastic pieces with clasps that hold the corners of the sheets secure under the mattress) they can be found at any department store in the linen section and are a terrific solution to misfitting sheets.

     I did make a mattress cover for our bedroom mattress and added about 270 inches of zipper so that it could be removed for washing.  I just want to add that we used the mattress we were sleeping on in the house (a standard queen) and had an upholstery place cut it to fit the boat.  The mattress that came with the boat was 5 1/2 inches thick and smelled of...I don't know what, it was bad! The new mattress was 10 inches thick with 2 inches of memory foam on the top.  Again, I was creating my own pattern. Ughhh!  I spent hours and days measuring, tracing, cutting, sewing, picking out, and resewing.  We have a mattress cover that is moisture resistant.  Does it fit perfectly? Nope.  Am I satisfied with the performance of the new mattress cover and the zipper (what a pain that was), yes.  And so it is, and shall remain until I am ready to take it on again, maybe 5 or 6 years down the road.  That is a big MAYBE.

      So here we are, living on the boat.  We were on the hard for about 3 weeks.  That put us and our windows (portholes) around 15 feet above the passerby's.  I was comfortable walking around nude if I felt like it (Zayden was visiting Hope at this time, so I could).  The Velvet Sky was splashed in the last week of September.  Now I could look out the windows and see the entire world at ground level.  Even though I was pretty sure they could not see in, I felt vulnerable and exposed.  I mentioned earlier, in another post the window cover thing.  I followed the same steps I did in making the hatch covers.  Cut blue velvet material the size to cover the porthole, made a one inch pocket for small, round elastic. This works! And, it saves on the tape (we were taping material to the window for privacy).

Let the sunshine in
Privacy and Room Darkening (for naps)

     The window covers were necessary as far as I was concerned.  Scott has ideas for necessary sewing projects, too.  We need a cover for our outboard motor.  Okay, I can do this.  No pattern, just ambition and my husbands faith in me.  Yes, it is a bit extravagant and a lot over the top, considering it could have been as easy as making a shower cap.  We have a good laugh over the (unnecessary) detail.

 Since I am on a roll....I will try my hand at a life raft cover.

The good side :)

My next project will be a cover for the binnacle.  I don't know when, but soon.  I want to shout out a big, "Thank You!" to Unk for making the master head of the Velvet Sky into a work room.  It makes a great sewing room and one of the shelves seems custom made to fit the Sailrite while stowed.


  1. everything is looking great! Thank you for the bday card it really means a lot to me...Wendy

  2. I would never even ATTEMPT to sew. And your use of the term "bobbin" makes it seem like you know more about sewing that you're letting on. I think Scott was right. Looking good, guys! Keep up the blog!