If you’re looking to add a window treatment that will provide shade and privacy to your home, boat, or RV, why not try a roller shade? Roller shades have a sleeker look than mini-blinds but are just as easy to operate and allow for sun when you want it and shade when you don’t. Today we’re going to show you how to assemble a custom roller shade using a Roller Shade Clutch Kit.
While the roller shade kit comes with all the hardware you need, you’ll need to select the fabric for your shade. Before you choose your fabric, there are a couple of factors to consider. First, don’t pick a fabric that is too thick or heavy, these fabrics will be difficult to roll up. Similarly, a hem on the edges of the fabric will prevent the fabric from rolling up evenly. We suggest instead, using a fabric that doesn’t require a hem (like one you cut with a hotknife) or serging the edges. Phifertex Mesh and Sunbrella Sling fabrics, for example, work well because they don’t fray or require a hem.
In this video you will learn how to measure your window for the shade, mount the brackets, install the fabric, and finish the shade.
Our roller shades operate via a pull cord on the side of the window. All kits come complete with a drive tension device that keeps the bottom of the cord secure against the wall so it does not form a dangerous loop. Keep the cords out of the reach of children.
Find all the materials needed to make your own custom roller shades at www.sailrite.com.
Have you made roller shades before? Do you have a spot in your house that could use a new shade? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
Winches are important pieces of equipment on sailboats that need to be kept clean and well serviced. To help keep your winches clean, why not cover them when not in use? A canvas cover on your winches can help protect them from rain, dust, UV exposure and other damaging elements. Winch covers are a project that you can easily make yourself and today, we’re going to show you how!
The winch cover design that we will make in the video features an inner shock cord choker, which helps to keep the cover from blowing off the winch. Winch covers are usually made from a Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabric in the same color as your boat’s sail cover, bimini, and other canvas projects. On our Islander 37, for example, we chose Sunbrella Jockey Red to match our cockpit cushions.
In this video you will learn how to measure your winches, pattern the fabric, and sew the covers together.
At Sailrite, we carry complete kits that contain all the materials needed to make your own winch covers. Each kit contains enough fabric to make four 7”x9” covers or eight 5” x 6” covers. You can also find downloadable PDF instructions online. In addition to your kit, here is a list of a few helpful tools for completing your winch cover:
You can find winch cover kits and all the tools needed to make your own winch covers at www.sailrite.com.
Have you made your own winch covers? Do you have any tips for the process? Share your ideas in the comments!
When working on sewing projects here at Sailrite, one of our favorite tools of the trade is a simple one—basting tape. Sometimes called Seamstick or seam tape, basting tape is a handy little tool that can make help make your sewing look professional. Today, we’re going to answer some common questions about basting tape.
What are the Benefits of Basting Tape?
Basting tape is a really helpful tool for sewers because it’s easier than pinning fabric pieces together, especially when working on large assemblies. Since it’s just peel and stick, it’s really easy to adjust if you make a mistake, too. Basting your fabric in place also helps to ensure that your fabric feeds evenly into the sewing machine. Basting tape also helps reduce puckering when sewing and helps make seams water resistant.
What’s the Difference Between the Types of Tape?
There are different kinds of basting tapes that are formulated to stick best to certain kinds of fabric. Here are some examples of different kinds and the materials you can use them with:
- • Seamstick Tape: The least sticky of the four tapes listed, this tape works well with smooth Dacron sailcloth, nylon, vinyl or cotton.
- • Seamstick Basting Tape for Canvas: This tape is sticker than the plain Seamstick so it sticks better on coarse, canvas fabrics like Sunbrella or Top Gun. This is our most popular basting tape.
- • 3M Super Seamstick: This tape was developed especially for sewing laminate sailcloth and is incredibly sticky. It also works well when you want a strong bond for sailcloth, spinnaker cloth, or canvas.
- • Mylar/Kevlar Basting Tape: As the name implies, this tape was made specifically for Mylar or Kevlar laminate sailcloth.
Does the Width Matter?
The width of the tape does matter in certain applications. A general rule of thumb is to select a width similar to the width of the seam you will be sewing. That way you’ll get the best hold, but won’t have any excess tape sticking out from behind your seam. We recommend using a thinner tape, like 1/4” for use in cushions because the seams are generally so small in those applications.
Will It Make my Needle Sticky?
It could. The stickier the tape, the more likely it is to cause your needle to gum up. To prevent build up on your needle, run it through a bar of Ivory soap or swab it with rubbing alcohol.
Why not give basting tape a try and see if it makes a difference in your sewing? Find a great selection of basting tapes at www.sailrite.com.
Do you have any other questions about using basting tape? Is it your favorite tool, too? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments.
When below decks, the salon (or saloon) is the hub of your boat’s cabin. It’s where you can sit and eat, work, and sometimes even where you sleep. So it’s important that the settee cushions are comfortable and that they suit your style. For our third and final project in our Project Boat Cabin Series, we’re going to show you how you can re-cover or re-create new cushions for your boat’s salon settees.
The existing foam on our Islander 37 was in pretty good condition, so we decided to re-use it with some fresh batting and new covers. If your foam needs replacing, we have full instructions for patterning new cushions in our How to Make Your Own Cockpit Cushions video.
For our settee cushions we used the same Sunbrella Upholstery fabric that we used for the v-berth cushions, to give our cabin continuity. In the video, we will show you how to line up stripes or a pattern so they flow from the seat backs to the seat bottoms of your settee.
You can find all the materials needed to make brand new salon cushions at www.sailrite.com.
It’s amazing how new cushions can really brighten up a space! Have you ever considered making new cushions for your salon settees? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
We still have many more projects to complete on the Islander 37. Be sure to enter your email in the right-hand column (or the bottom of the page on a mobile device) and subscribe to this blog to not miss a post!
So often it can be hard to find a small rug in fun, stylish colors and designs to brighten up your kitchen, bathroom, or entryway. Wouldn’t it be great if rugs came in the same designs as fabric?
Well, here’s a simple DIY no-sew fabric rug tutorial! Bring a little extra color into your home by wrapping a plain floor mat in decorator fabric and protecting it with polyurethane so it can withstand wear. Let’s take a look at how it’s done!
Fabric Rug Materials:
How to Make a No-Sew Fabric Rug:
- Cut your rubber mat to size. A traditional doormat size is around 2 ft. x 3 ft. I had the rubber mat cut for me off a roll at the hardware store, so I just straightened up the edges.
- Spread out your fabric and lay the mat on top, where you’d like the pattern to line up.
- Cut the fabric so that it is one inch larger than the mat on all sides. If your fabric tends to fray at the edges, add an extra inch of fabric on each side so you can create a hem.
- If necessary, iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles.
- If your rubber mat has a smooth side and a textured side (like mine does in the picture), apply the spray adhesive to the smooth side of the mat.
- Also spray adhesive on the wrong side (underside) of the fabric.
- Lay the rubber mat on the fabric so the sticky sides are touching. Smooth the mat down on the fabric to remove any air bubbles.
- If needed, add extra spray adhesive along the edges of the fabric and the rubber mat.
- Starting with the long sides, fold the fabric edges up over the mat. If you added two inches of fabric, fold the fabric on top of itself first to create a hem and then fold over the mat.
- Fold the excess fabric under at the corners at an angle for a finished look. Add extra spray adhesive if needed.
- Let the spray adhesive dry for 30 minutes.
- Paint a layer of polyurethane on the fabric. I found it works better to paint in the same direction as the ridges of the mat.
- Apply 3-4 coats of polyurethane, allowing 2 hours of dry time between each coat. The edges of the mat may curl a bit as they dry. Add some small weights to the corner to keep the rug nice and flat, if needed.
- Enjoy your new rug!
One yard of fabric can be used to make two small rugs, so you can add a second rug to your home or make one for a friend.
Browse our wide selection of fabrics, perfect for this project at www.sailrite.com.
Where will you put your fabric rug? Share your ideas in the comments!
Small portlight windows are great for letting a little extra light and air into your boat’s cabin, but they can be difficult to cover when you want a little extra privacy. For our third project in our Project Boat Cabin Series, we’re going to show you how to make simple-sew elastic covers for your portlights.
The benefits of using these elastic portlight covers are that they effectively provide privacy when they are in place, and that they are super easy to remove when you need a little more light or want to open the window. For our covers we used a Sunbrella Shadow fabric, which has an open weave that allows a small amount of light to still come through. If you wanted a darker shade, try using a heavier fabric like a Sunbrella Upholstery Fabric.
In this video, you’ll learn how to measure the portlights for the cover, pattern the fabric, and sew up the covers.
The best part of this project is how simple they are to make. You can sew covers for all your portlights in no time at all! Find all the materials needed to complete this project at www.sailrite.com.
Do you cover the portlights on your boat? Leave us a comment and share how you did it!