French Mattress Style Cushions with Sunbrella Icon Collection Fabrics

Who doesn’t love a comfy seat? A great way to turn any bench, window seat, chair or floor into a soft place to sit is to add a French Mattress Style Cushion. These plump, plush cushions feature a rolled edge and tall boxing reminiscent of a mattress. They make excellent floor pillows because the stuffing and tall profile of the cushion provide a lot of padding between you and the floor. These cushions are also easy to sew and have a finished look without adding piping. Let’s take a look at how to make a French Mattress Cushion.

Mattress style cushions can vary in look depending on your application. Some cushions feature large rolls at the edges, some are tufted, some are very plump and some are a bit flatter. In the video, we give patterning instructions for creating a plump, floor pillow stuffed with Polyester Fiberfill and also for making a flatter cushion with foam inside. If you choose to use foam as your filling, wrapping the foam in batting will help you create a fuller look, while still not being as puffy as the fiberfill.

These cushions sew together just like a typical box cushion with one exception–the rolled edge. After you assemble the cushion, turn in right side out and topstitch along the edges to create that piped look. We chose to make our cushions in a Sunbrella Upholstery fabric, but you can use any home décor fabric that you choose. If your cushions are for the patio, use an outdoor home décor fabric like Sunbrella, Waverly Sun N Shade, or P/Kaufmann Outdoor.

In this video you will learn how to pattern your fabric, create boxing, sew the cushion together, add the final mattress style seam and fill the cushion.


Materials List:

You can find all the materials needed to make your own mattress style cushion, including the new Sunbrella Icon Collection fabrics featured here, at www.sailrite.com.

How would you use a cushion like this? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!





We often have customers ask us where they can take their Ultrafeed Sewing Machines to be serviced. Our answer might surprise you, we tell them not to take it anywhere. At Sailrite, we are committed to helping you to learn how to service your own sewing machine, right in your own home. You may be wondering if that’s a practical option, and we whole-heartedly believe that it is.


The Ultrafeed’s all metal, mechanical parts

The DIY spirit is all about self-reliance and knowing that you can do things yourself. We take this same approach to our sewing machine service. It is our goal to make sure we provide you with all the resources you need to effectively and confidently service your own sewing machine.

Our sewing machines are made from mechanical parts instead of electrical boards and circuits, so you don’t need to be a skilled electrician to tune them. In fact, anyone with even a small amount of mechanical skills can service their own Sailrite sewing machine.

Both the Ultrafeed Guidebook and the Ultrafeed Set-up, Use & Maintenance DVD are great resources for information on both routine maintenance and more advanced troubleshooting. If you run into a problem that you can’t solve through the included materials, give us a call. When you call in, we’ll start a custom support case for you to document any and all issues you may be having with your machine. This also helps us track your case until all issues are resolved. Then, you’ll be promptly contacted by a member of our sewing machine staff, often with a custom support video specific to solving your problem. If you find after the video that you need still further assistance, a staff member will work with you over the phone. No other sewing machine company provides this level of service.

Of course, there are at times reasons to have a machine professionally serviced like if your machine fell overboard or if you simply don’t have the time to service the machine yourself. For these occasions, Sailrite has a full service repairs department.


To learn more about the Sailrite Ultrafeed Sewing Machines and Sailrite’s top-notch customer support visit www.sailrite.com.

Have you ever had to troubleshoot your own Ultrafeed? How did it go? Share your experiences with us in the comments!


Finished Lifesling Cover on our Islander37

A Lifesling is a very valuable piece of safety equipment to keep on board your boat at all times. This man-overboard recovery system makes it easier than other recovery methods to hoist crew members back on board. However, the number one complaint of sailors is that the deployment bag that stores the Lifesling doesn’t hold up to UV rays and chafing. We’ve received many requests for instructions on how to make a sturdier Lifesling cover. We listened to those requests and today we’re sharing our latest how-to video that will detail how to sew your own Sunbrella Lifesling cover.

We modeled our cover off of the original pouch that comes with the Lifesling. To give our cover better UV protection, we used a Sunbrella Marine Grade fabric. Many sailors like to use a Sunbrella that matches the rest of their boat canvas for a cohesive look. We also added a chafe protection patch of Phifertex Plus Mesh to the back of the cover where it will rest against the stanchion. We also added Phifertex Mesh to the bottom of the cover to help promote drainage and airflow.

To give the cover a sturdy shape, we created internal pockets to house plastic stiffeners. You can buy thin sheets of plastic at a hardware store to insert in your cover, or repurpose the sheets from your existing Lifesling cover. Although we do not show this in the video, it is also a good idea to cut out the instructions from the original Lifesling bag and sew them to your new bag so they can be easily seen.

In this video you will learn how to pattern the panels, create the inside pockets, attach a back flap, and assemble the cover.


Materials List:

You can find all the materials needed to make your own Lifesling Cover at www.sailrite.com.

Have you ever made a Lifesling Cover? Share your experience, tips and advice in the comments!


Even though the summer is starting to draw to a close, there’s still plenty of time to go outside and have a picnic! Why not picnic in style this year with a custom, quilted picnic blanket? Picnic blankets are great to store in your car for kids sporting events, concerts, and, of course, picnics. Stow a picnic blanket on your boat for a nice place to sit on trips to shore! Today we’re going to show you how to make your own quilted picnic basket and also include a tip for making sure it won’t blow away on a windy day.

There are many different styles of picnic blankets, and we’re going to outline one way to make one today, but you can customize your design to be exactly how you want it. To make our plush picnic blanket, we chose two outdoor fabrics, which will make the blanket durable and reversible. As added protection against the wind, we added grommets to the corner of the blanket that can be staked into the ground with golf tees or other stakes, so wind won’t disrupt your meal.

Picnic Blanket Materials:

How to Make a Picnic Blanket:

1. Decide which of your fabrics you want to wrap around the other. That will be your top fabric and the other will be the bottom during construction. Also determine the finished size you’d like your blanket to be. Ours is 47” x 64”.


2. Cut the bottom fabric and the batting to the desired finished size of the blanket. Measure and cut the top fabric to the finished size plus 2-3/4” on each side. This extra fabric will make the border.


3. Stack all the pieces so the top fabric is on the bottom, then the batting, and then the bottom fabric.


4. Run a row of basting tape along the edge of the larger piece of fabric.

5. Fold the fabric over the tape to create a small hem.

6. Baste along the hem and fold over the batting and smaller piece of fabric.


7. To create a mitered corner, pinch the fabric at the corner and fold the extra fabric to create a triangle. Fold the triangle of fabric under one side of the border so the border creates a 90-degree angle at the corner. Pin the corners in place.


8. Sew a row of stitches around the perimeter of the border about 1/8 inch away from the inside edge of the border.

9. Find the center location of each side of the blanket and mark it with a fabric marker.


10. Using a ruler, connect the center locations to form a large diamond. Run a row of stitches along the lines you traced to quilt a diamond in the blanket.

11. Measure out from each sewn line 6 inches on either side and draw a line. On the inside of the diamond, measure in 6 inches and create another diamond. Continue to measure and create lines and diamonds until you have your desired quilted design.


12. If desired, add a grommet to each of the four corners of your blanket to accommodate for stakes to windproof your blanket.

13. Have a picnic and enjoy your new blanket!

All of the materials needed to make your own picnic blanket, including a great selection of outdoor fabrics, are available at www.sailrite.com.

Where is your favorite picnic spot? Have you ever made a picnic blanket? Share your experiences and stories in the comments!

One of the big selling points of Sunbrella fabric, besides its legendary durability, is how easy it is to clean. It won’t be stained by chocolate, marker, red wine or other hard to remove stain causers. With regular, light maintenance Sunbrella fabrics will stay looking great for years to come. We’ve put together this handy guide for you to know exactly how to care for your Sunbrella fabric so you won’t have to worry about life’s messes!


General Cleaning

All Sunbrella fabrics need to be cleaned now and then to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime. Different uses and lines of Sunbrella have slightly different general care methods.

Sunbrella Upholstery fabric can be used indoors on upholstered furniture pieces but also on removable items like pillow covers, cushion covers, slip covers and draperies. To clean these removable pieces, you can wash them by hand or toss them in the washing machine. To hand wash, soak the fabric in a solution of 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a sponge or soft bristled brush to agitate fabric if necessary and rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Sunbrella can also be machine washed in cold water with a mild detergent. Always allow Sunbrella to air dry.

For general care of Sunbrella Upholstery fabric on outdoor furniture, brush off any loose dirt from the fabric and prepare a solution of 1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of lukewarm water. Use a sponge or soft bristled brush to clean, allowing the solution to soak into the fabric. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue and allow to air dry.

Sunbrella Marine Grade fabric on your boat covers and tops requires some routine maintenance, too. To clean your marine tops, brush off loose dirt from the surface of the fabric and hose down. Prepare a cleaning solution of water and mild soap like Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid or spray with 303 Fabric and Vinyl Cleaner. Clean with a soft bristled brush allowing the cleaning solution to soak into fabric. Rinse to remove all soap and allow to air dry.

Spot Cleaning


Stains happen and sometimes you’ll need to clean your indoor and outdoor upholstered fabric pieces. Here’s how to spot clean your Sunbrella.

To spot clean upholstered pieces, apply a light mist of mild soap and water to the spot using a spray bottle. Remove any stains with a very soft bristle brush or a sponge and rinse the area to remove soap residue. Wet-vacuum or blot away excess water and allow to air dry. Repeat steps if necessary.

Heavy Cleaning for Stubborn Stains and Mildew

While Sunbrella does not promote mildew growth, dirt on the fabric can grow its own mildew. To remove it and other set-in stains, you may need to clean with bleach. To do this, prepare a solution of 1 cup bleach and 1/4 cup of mild soap per gallon of water and soak the stained area for 15 minutes. Use a sponge or brush to remove the stain until all the soap residue is gone and allow fabric to air dry.

You can alter the bleach quantities if the stain is especially severe. For cleaning recommendations on specific stains, see Sunbrella’s Stain Removal Chart.

Re-Treating Fabric


Sunbrella fabrics are coated with a special finish that helps them to be stain and water resistant. After a thorough washing, the fabric should be re-treated to keep this finish fresh. After your fabric has completely air dried, apply a coat of 303 Fabric Guard. You can learn more about 303 Fabric Guard in this Restoring Water Resistance to Fabric post.

Additional Tips and Hints:

  • • Do not iron Sunbrella with a steamer or an iron set to steam. If you need to iron out wrinkles, use an iron set to “synthetic fabric.”
  • • Protect the area around your Sunbrella when cleaning with bleach.
  • • Removable outdoor pieces like cushion covers and umbrellas can be machine washed in cold water. Still allow them to air dry.
  • • Be aware of the environment when cleaning marine tops with bleach. If a bleach cleaning of your fabric is needed, it’s best to move the fabric away from bodies of water.
  • • Cleaning with bleach may affect your thread in a sewn project.

Be sure to browse our full selection of Sunbrella Upholstery and Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabrics at www.sailrite.com.


The sturdy tires used on boat trailers and RVs need different care than the tires on your car. Since these tires spend a lot of time stationary outdoors, they become susceptible to damage from the sun’s harsh UV rays. Protect your tires from the sun with fabric tire covers. Tire covers are easy to make and will make a big difference in the longevity of your tires.

The style wheel covers we make in the video protects the tire from all sides. To keep the covers securely in place, even on a windy day, the covers secure around the axel with a Velcro flap. To protect the very bottom of your tires, place a piece of plywood between the tire and the pavement.

When selecting a fabric to use for your tire covers, look for something with excellent UV resistance to provide maximum protection. We used a Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabric, for the best weather protection. Since the cover fits loosely at the bottom, the tire will get good airflow, so your fabric doesn’t necessarily have to be breathable, which means you can use a vinyl fabric, too.

In this video you will learn how to pattern your fabric, create Velcro flaps and assemble your tire covers.


Materials List:

All of the materials you need to make your own tire covers are available at www.sailrite.com.

Do you cover the tires on your boat trailer or RV? Have you ever made custom covers? Share your experiences, thoughts and advice with us in the comments!


Lifeline netting can be a great way to keep children, pets, headsails and crew members on board a sailboat and often adds extra peace of mind for the boat owner. This diamond patterned netting can run on your lifelines around the cockpit, around the bow, or even around the entire perimeter of your boat. Today we’re going to show you how to install lifeline netting.

To add lifeline netting to your boat, you first need to determine how much netting you will need. Measure around the perimeter of your boat where you’d like the netting to be. If your lifeline has a gate, like ours does in the video, measure two sections; forward and aft from gate to gate. To determine the amount of netting required, multiply your measurement by 1.35.

We used a method of installing the lifeline netting by lashing the netting to the lifelines using leechline along the top and bottom of the netting. To determine the amount of leechline needed, take the perimeter measurement of the area where the line will be installed and multiply it by 2. Then, multiply the product by 1.6. This is the amount of leechline that will be required for this project.

Installing lifeline netting is a simple process, but it does take some time to securely install. You want to be sure everything is secure, so the netting can serve its function. In the video you will learn how to weave the leechline through the netting, how to secure it to stanchions, how to secure the netting between stanchions and how to create a gate opening.

If you need to cut a hole in your netting for your headsail or other obstacles, we’ll also show you how to secure the opening in your netting.


Materials List:

You can find all the materials and tools needed to install lifelines and lifeline netting at www.sailrite.com.

Do you have lifeline netting on your boat? Did you use this method or a different one for installation? Share your experiences, thoughts and opinions with us in the comments!


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