Do your own upholstry they said. It'll be fun they said.

wristwister

Super Anarchist
1,084
39
The Salish Sea
How hard can it be, right? Only 10 cushions down below to upholster. Pick up some fabric and piping, fire up the ol' sewing machine, and go for it!

The first cushion looks like absolute crap. I'll probably chuck it and do it again.

The second cushion is marginally acceptable, feeling pretty good about that one.

I completely botched up the third cushion last night. Tossed it in the trash.

... and early on I realized my old machine wasn't up to the task so I spent some bucks on a more suitable machine.

But I must say, the ladies down at the fabric store are getting a real kick out of me. A clueless man walks in and they kind of gather around and trip over each other trying to help me.

Any of you do your own upholstery? After you finished the boat, did you toss the machine and say "fuck that, never again!".

 

Haligonian Winterr

Super Anarchist
1,468
55
Halifax, NS
Myself and my parents did ours, probably 12-15 cushions, then decided to do a main cover, then a bimini, then a dodger... Conveniently started a canvas business after that. Lots of careful measuring and patience did it for us, with some help from SailRite.

Our machine is still going today, and has done some more heavy duty jobs (new corners on headsails, leathering, a few new boltropes)

HW

 

Ishmael

≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
48,316
9,500
Fuctifino
I had my sewing machine for about 5 years and never managed to make anything of value or utility with it.

 

us7070

Super Anarchist
10,226
241
my experience with a sewing machine is that it's easy to make stuff that looks like you made it yourself.., but hard to make stuff that looks like it was made by a pro

 

Pinching

Anarchist
599
16
Agree with 7070. The sail rite machine I have is satisfying on small projects, but the bigger machines used by the pros, plus their work tables and experience, result in a better product in my experience. I like making sheet bags and the like, but I've wasted a fair amount of expensive fabric on larger projects. Sail rite is a good outfit with some really useful videos and stuff. I have the patience to write checks, not to do complex angled corners of a berth cushion with piping.

 
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Max Rockatansky

holy fuckfarts!
3,543
816
Contact Sailmaker's Supply as an alternate:

http://www.sailmakerssupply.com

Try making cushions without piping first. They're more comfortable, and the piping traps dirt. I never understood why people like that shit.

Use a stapler to hold the fabric together, as you would do a pin

Don't do 90' corners, make them more of a curve. Clip the seam allowance with relief notches so the fabric 'turns'

Make cushion foam a little larger than the cushion cover, so it's overstuffed, and not wrinkly

 

wristwister

Super Anarchist
1,084
39
The Salish Sea
Max, sounds like you've been there done that. Staples, that's brilliant, much quicker than pins.

I'm doing piping mainly because the white piping looks real cool against the navy blue fabric, and it's pretty good at hiding some of my shoddy workmanship. But yes, it's a pain.

 
Years ago after snagging a good bit of Ultrasuede at cost, my wife and I decided that we would replace the original cushions ourselves. Our friends who sold us the material, are in the business and are sailors said "Don't be stupid. Hire a pro."

They gave us the connection to a local Annapolis seamstress (who wrote a book on the subject) and a month later we had all new cushions.

Smartest move we made.

We still use the Sailrite to make sailcovers and sheet-bags. Which is about the limit...

 

vjm

Member
How is the Ultrasuede wearing? Do you like it?

I hate sewing on land, I don't think I would enjoy it anymore as a boat project. Handsewing covers on longer passages I could see.

 

Dex Sawash

Demi Anarchrist
2,415
665
NC USA
I worked as an upholster in a beaty shop furniture plant as a teen, stapled covers on shampoo chairs and dryer seats by the hundreds. Drawing on that experience, I cut out sheets of 5mm luan about 2-3" smaller than my cushions. Folded the material over and stapled it like a damn dining chair seat. Did envelope folds at the corners. Trimmed the excess cloth with a razor knife.

Vee berth, 2 setees and two 1/4 berths took a couple of hours. Not a stitch in the whole damn boat.

People would shit when I lifted the cushions to show them.

 
I did them all in the C27 I used to own. Even though I did it very, very simply (no trim, zippers, etc), it was a serious pain...and the foam was stupid expensive.

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I was looking at doing it in our C-27. Not sure if I give enough of a shit to do it. For the foam - there are relatively inexpensive (read cheapo Chinese) smartfoam matresses that might serve the purpose, and BTW that stuff is a joy to sleep on. A 6" smartfoam in the firm grade (even if it isn't the toughest foam in the world) sprayed with an anti-mildew treatment seems like it'd hold up. I'm sure cutting smartfoam is a real joy too...

Just asking myself if I care enough to put myself through that, or, if I'm feeling that masochistic, if I shouldn't just pull out the checkbook, because putting $2500 of new cushions on a boat that cost me $2500 would scratch the S&M itch for a while.

 

Max Rockatansky

holy fuckfarts!
3,543
816
Wife, ergo seamstress, killed two electric knives cutting foam. I then found a cheap foam cutter on eBay, something like EZE Foam Saw. Was not that much. She'll be building a new mattress here before long so I'll let you know how it goes

 

RKoch

Super Anarchist
14,865
346
da 'burg
I worked as an upholster in a beaty shop furniture plant as a teen, stapled covers on shampoo chairs and dryer seats by the hundreds. Drawing on that experience, I cut out sheets of 5mm luan about 2-3" smaller than my cushions. Folded the material over and stapled it like a damn dining chair seat. Did envelope folds at the corners. Trimmed the excess cloth with a razor knife.

Vee berth, 2 setees and two 1/4 berths took a couple of hours. Not a stitch in the whole damn boat.

People would shit when I lifted the cushions to show them.
I've done a little bit of cushion and canvas work, came out ok, but your solution for non-sewers is brilliant.
 

wristwister

Super Anarchist
1,084
39
The Salish Sea
The 2nd attempt at cushion # 3 came out very nice. A decent walking foot machine with the right foot attachments makes all the difference in the world (got a screaming good deal on one on Craigslist). Now on to those V-berth cushions, a bit more complicated ...

 
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