Meet the Ultrafeed v.3

We’re excited to announce the upcoming release of our latest Ultrafeed model, the v.3. Coming this June the Ultrafeed will include several new drive parts and an updated look. This new machine is still the Ultrafeed that you know and love but with a few improvements.

Here at Sailrite, we have a long history continually improving the Ultrafeed Sewing Machines to maintain their status as the best portable, heavy-duty sewing machine around. If you’re interested, you can read the full history of the evolution of the Ultrafeed in our article “The Ultrafeed Journey.” Because we’re always improving, even though we loved the v.2 machine, we knew that we could make it even better. This fine-tuning and optimization process is what led to the v.3 machine.

What Is New?

The Ultrafeed v.3 has 3 basic new features: three of the drive parts have been re-designed, the feed components are improved, and the PLUS and PREMIUM packages come in a new Industrial Carrying Case. So what do all these changes mean? Let’s break them down and take a closer look.

Drive components

Meet the Ultrafeed v.3
For the v.3, we re-designed three of the drive components: the motor bracket, jack drive and the motor pulley. All of these parts have been optimized to create less friction and to be better aligned for smoother operation. This also results in less noise while sewing and less wear on the parts, increasing their longevity. These updated parts are actually not unique to the v.3 Ultrafeed, but rather have been phased into our v.2 machines starting in 2016. So if you bought your machine during the first half of 2016, you may already have these parts.

Feed Components

Meet the Ultrafeed v.3

We have made improvements to the feeding mechanism to make it last longer and grip even better than before. Unlike other sewing machines with knurled feeding mechanisms, the Ultrafeed has sharp teeth to grip and evenly feed your material through the machine.

Industrial Carrying Case

Meet the Ultrafeed v.3
Our new carrying case come standard with all Plus and Premium Ultrafeed packages and can be purchased separately if you want to upgrade your existing Ultrafeed. The new case features a specially padded lid to support and protect your machine, even when stored on its side. The Sailrite logo is silkscreened on the case lid and serves as an easy guide to remember which way the lid fits and which direction to set the machine for sewing. Other new features include extra-large rubber feet to keep the case in place while sewing, and heavy-duty butterfly latches securing the case lid.

Meet the Ultrafeed v.3

The Ultrafeed v.3 machines will continue to be tuned and finished in our Indiana facility and will offer all the power, performance and quality you’ve come to expect from Sailrite.

Look for the Ultrafeed v.3 Sewing Machines at Sailrite.com starting in June 2016.

Lifetime threads are more expensive than traditional polyester thread, but for projects that will be outdoors all the time, a lifetime thread is well worth the extra investment. Sailrite stocks two brands of lifetime thread, Profilen and Tenara, and today we’re going to break down the strengths of each so you can decide which will work best for you.

First, let’s go over what all lifetime threads have in common. They all carry a lifetime guarantee (hence the name) and are unaffected by exposure to UV rays, harsh cleaning agents, pollution, saltwater, rain, snow, cold and rot. These threads can be left outside all year round in all of the elements and they still will outlast the fabric they are sewn into!

Selecting the Right Lifetime Thread

All 5 colors of Tenara Thread.

Tenara Thread, by Gore, is the original lifetime thread and is made of a unique fluoropolymer fiber construction. It is available in five colors on 8 oz. cones and comes in two sizes: regular, which is similar to a V-92 thread, and heavyweight, which is similar to a V-138 thread. Tenara thread is lubricated with a very small amount of silicone wax. This wax finish helps to provide lubrication during the sewing process. This extra lubrication can make the thread tricky to sew in some sewing machines, but is ideal for use with rotary hook sewing machines. In a rotary hook machine, the wax lubricates the machine too, and helps to create excellent stitch quality with very low stretch. We recommend Tenara thread for use with rotary hook sewing machines like the Sailrite 111, the Sailrite Professional Series and the Sailrite Big-N-Tall.

Selecting the Right Lifetime Thread

Profilen Thread in both colors and cone sizes.

Profilen thread is made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and also features properties that repel dirt and water and it is self-cleaning. Profilen is available in two colors on 4 oz. or 8 oz. cones and the thread size is comparable to a V-92 thread. Profilen thread is softer than other lifetime threads, which makes it easier to sew properly. We highly recommend Profilen thread for use in oscillating hook sewing machines like the Sailrite Ultrafeed.

If you’re not sure if your sewing machine has an oscillating or rotary hook, our Rotary vs. Oscillating Hook Sewing Machines blog post outlines how each type of machine works and tells you how to tell which type of machine you have.

All in all, you cannot make a wrong choice with lifetime threads, but selecting the one that will sew best in your sewing machine will give you an easier sewing experience.

You can find both of these lifetime threads at Sailrite.com.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

Adding a decorative flange or ruffle to the edge of your pillows is a fun way to mix up the look. These little pillows would be perfect for a living room, bedroom or even outside on your patio. They are a quick and easy DIY project that you can do in just a day to add a little bit of color wherever you need it in your home.

Over the last couple weeks we’ve been sharing several projects for the same patio, we recovered bullnose chair cushions, made lumbar pillows and sewed up a bench cushion. Today is the final finishing touch and we’ve made these flanged pillows for a set of sling chairs to keep the colors flowing all around the patio. We’re using a Waverly Sun N Shade fabric, Santa Maria Mimosa for these pillows, just like we did for the lumbar pillows.

Materials List:

How to Make a Flanged Pillow

1. If using a fabric with a pattern, determine which part of the design you’d like featured in the center of the pillow, if any. Mark the center of this design for patterning reference.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

2. Pattern your fabric using the same dimensions as your pillow form. Our form was 18” x 18” so we traced out an 18” x 18” square on the fabric.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

3. Cut out your first square and use it to pattern the second panel.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

4. Lay your two panels on top of each other with the right sides facing each other so the pattern lines up symmetrically.

5. To make the corners of your pillow fuller, trim a little fabric from each corner. At one corner of your fabric panels, measure down 4” and make a mark. From the corner again, measure over 1/2”. At an angle, draw a line connecting the two marks. Do this for both sides of the corner, then cut along that line.  Repeat the process on the opposite corner.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

6. Fold over the fabric and use it as a guide to trim the two remaining corners.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

7. Pin your two fabric panels together. Take them to your sewing machine and sew around the perimeter of three sides of the pillow. Leave an opening at the bottom of the pillow big enough to insert your pillow form.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

8. Trim the excess fabric from each corner.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

9. Turn your pillow cover outside right.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

10. Carefully work each edge at the seam so it lies as flat as possible.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

11. Pin the seams flat and the pieces together around the perimeter of the pillow cover. Take your fabric to the sewing machine and sew 1/2” in from the outer edge of the fabric on three sides. This will create a 1/2” lip around the pillow.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

12. Carefully insert your pillow form.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

13. Fold under the raw edges on the pillow’s opening and pin a 1/2” in from the folded edge to create the lip along the bottom of the pillow.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

14. Using your sewing machine, carefully sew the opening closed.

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

15. Enjoy your new pillow!

Easy DIY Flanged Pillow

You can find all the materials needed to make your own throw pillows from pillow forms to decorative fabrics at Sailrite.com.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

A bench cushion is a great way to bring color and comfort to your home plus it adds softness to hard seats. We’ve shared how to make a simple bench cushion before that didn’t have any boxing. In today’s tutorial, we’re going to share how to make a bench cushion with boxing on the side. These box cushions aren’t too complicated to sew and are great for mudroom benches, window seats, banquettes and more.

For this tutorial, we’re making a cushion to fit on the top of an outdoor storage box. This box keeps patio cushions and pillows out of the elements when not in use and by adding a cushion to the top, it will now be able to be double as a bench for extra patio seating. We’re patterning our cushion off the dimensions of the box top. Since our cushion will be outside we chose a P/Kaufmann Outdoor fabric with a playful, small-scale pattern, Little Hipster Poolside. However any outdoor living fabric would be great for this application.

Materials List:

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

How to Make a Bench Cushion

1. Measure the bench you’re creating a cushion for. Write down those measurements. Then add 1/2” to each measurement. This will be your cut size for your fabric panels. Measure this out on your fabric and cut out your first panel.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

2. Use the panel you just cut to pattern your second panel.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

3. Next you’ll need to cut out the boxing. The boxing will need to wrap around your cushion on 3 sides (because the zipper will be in the back). Your boxing height should be equal to the height of your foam plus 1/2”. For the width add the measurement across the front, and the two sides, plus 8 inches. The extra 8 inches will let the boxing wrap around the back corners to meet the zipper plaque. Pattern and cut out your strips. If your boxing needs to be sewn together to have enough width to wrap around the whole cushion, cut one of your strips in half. Then sew the short ends of that divided boxing strip to either side of the full width strip. This will evenly distribute the seams on either side of the cushion so neither seam will fall in the front.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

4. Cut your zipper tape so that it’s 2” shorter than your cushion width.

5. Since the fabric we’re using is a little thin, we’re going to double it to add strength to our zipper plaque. To do this, cut out your zipper plaque fabric with a length equal to that of your zipper and a height twice the size of your other boxing. Cut two fabric strips of that size. If you’re fabric is thick enough, cut your zipper plaque to the length of the zipper and a height equal to the height of your boxing plus 1”.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

6. To double your fabric, press or pin your boxing strip in half. If your fabric doesn’t need to be doubled, press or pin your boxing fabric down 1”.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

7. Pin the boxing on one side of the zipper so the folded side is half way across the zipper teeth.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

8. Using a zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew one side of the zipper plaque to the zipper.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

9. Pin the opposite side of the zipper plaque in place on the zipper flange and sew it down as well.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

10. Make bias piping. Follow our How to Make Bias Piping video for this step.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

11. Sew the piping to the right side of both your cushion plates (top and bottom). Start at the middle of one long side of the plate so your piping can join in the back of the cushion.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

12. To join the piping, let the piping overlap itself by a few inches, and then cut off the excess piping. Use scissors to open the stitching in the piping cover on the free end to expose the cord.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

13. Lay the exposed cord next to the sewn piping and cut the exposed cord so it lines up exactly with the other end of the piping. Fold the remaining fabric at an angle and then lay the sewn end so the cords are meeting.

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14. Fold the angled fabric over to create a clean piping junction and sew in place.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

15. Take a small piece of scrap fabric and fold it in half to create a small zipper stop. Pin in place. Do this for both sides of the zipper. Be sure your zipper slider is installed before adding your stops. Then sew the zipper plaque to the boxing on each side.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

16. Find the center location of each side on one of the cushion plates. Match up those centers with the proper places on the boxing and pin in place. You’ll likely have extra boxing fabric at the back of the cushion. Create a fold so the excess fabric is under the zipper and pin in place.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

18. Sew the boxing to one of the plates.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

 

 

19. Repeat the process with the second plate.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

20. Unzip your zipper and turn your cushion cover right side out.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

21. If needed cut your foam down to size. Our foam was a little too big, so we traced out the measurements we needed on the foam with a Sharpie and then used an electric kitchen knife to cut the foam to size.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

22. Stuff your foam into your cushion cover. Make sure to push out the corners so they are well filled out. If you want, you can even add a little stuffing to the corners to give them more of a rounded look.

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

23. Zip up your zipper and you’re done!

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing


Everything you need to sew your own outdoor bench cushion from foam to fabric is available at Sailrite.com.

Do you have an outdoor bench that could use a cushion like this? Have you made a project like this before? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments!

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

Lumbar pillows are great for supporting your back in a deep or uncomfortable chair or they can be used for purely decorative purposes to add another color or shape to a pillow arrangement on a bed. Whatever you need a lumbar pillow for, the process of making one is the same and we’re going to walk you through it today.

We are making these lumbar pillows to go with the bullnose patio cushions we made a couple of weeks ago. The existing brown lumbar pillows weren’t in bad shape, but they no longer coordinated with our new teal seat cushions, so we use the old pillows for patterning and then borrowed their stuffing. Since our pillows are going to be outdoors, we’re using a Waverly Sun N Shade fabric, Santa Maria Mimosa. This fabric features 500 hour UV protection and up to 1500 hours of light fastness, which makes it a great choice for patio pillows.

Materials List:

How to Make Lumbar Pillows with Piping

1. Determine the dimensions of your pillow.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

2. Transfer those measurements to your fabric. We wanted our pillow’s panels to be the same on both sides and we wanted the main flower of the fabric’s pattern to be centered, so we patterned our dimensions around the focal point on the pattern.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

3. Cut out your panels.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

4. Lay your panels on top of each other with the right sides facing so that the patterns line up symmetrically.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

5. To make the pillows corners of the pillow fuller, we trimmed a little fabric off the corners. At one corner of your fabric panels, measure down 4” and make a mark. From the corner again, measure over 1/2”. At an angle, draw a line connecting the two marks. Then cut along that line. Do this for both sides of the corner. Then repeat the process on the opposite corner.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

6. Fold over the fabric and use it as a guide to trim the two remaining corners.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

7. Make bias cut piping to accent the edges of your pillow. Follow our bias piping tutorial for this step.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

8. Starting at the bottom center on one of your pillow panels, pin the finished piping to the right side of the fabric around the entire perimeter of the panel. Cut a relief notch in the flange of the piping to help it curve around the corners.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

9. When you get back to where your piping started, let the piping overlap itself by a few inches and then cut off the excess.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

10. Use your scissors to carefully snip the stitching out of the piping flange on one side.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

11. Fold back the fabric so the piping cord is exposed and lay the cord next to the covered, pinned piping.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

12. Cut the exposed piping cord so it lines up exactly with the other end of the piping.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

13. Fold the remaining fabric at an angle and then lay the other end of the piping on top of it so the cording ends are meeting.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

14. Fold the angled fabric over the top of where the cording meets and pin it in place. Now you’ll have a clean junction point where the piping ends.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

15. With your piping or zipper foot still on your sewing machine, sew right next to the piping cord all around the perimeter of your fabric panel, starting just before the piping junction.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

16. Now you should have two panels, one with piping and one without.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

17. Lay your panels on top of each other again so the right sides are facing each other and the patterns are lined up symmetrically. The cording should now be sandwiched between the panels.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

18. Sew around three sides of the assembly, close to the piping cord, but being sure not to sew over it. Leave an opening on the bottom edge of the pillow that’s about as wide as your hand. This is where we will insert the stuffing.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

19. Trim the excess fabric out of the corners.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

20. Turn the pillow outside right, being sure to poke out all of the corners so they can get filled.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

21. Start stuffing your pillow. We cut open our old pillow to reuse the stuffing, but you can use new polyester fiberfill for stuffing, too.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

22. When it’s good and puffy, fold under the raw, open edge and pin it in place.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

23. Using a curved needle, sew a slip stitch to secure the pinned edge. To sew a slip stitch, start by going through the underside of one side of your fabric with your needle and thread. This hides your knot on your thread. Then go back and forth running your needle through a bit of the fabric on the right and then the left sides.

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping

24. Now your pillow is finished!

How to Make a Lumbar Pillow with Piping


All of the materials needed to sew your own lumbar pillow for your home or patio are available at Sailrite.com.

Where would you put a lumbar pillow like this, on a patio chair or on your bed? Other ideas? Share your ideas in the comments.

How to Retreat Sunbrella Fabric

All Sunbrella fabrics are treated with a fluorocarbon finish that makes them water-resistant, but after years of being out in the elements and being pelted by rain the finish can wear off. If you notice that your Sunbrella fabrics aren’t beading water like they used to, it’s probably time to retreat them and restore their water repellency. We’ll show you what to use and how to retreat your fabric so it repels water again.

To restore the water repellency of your Sunbrella fabric we recommend using 303 Fabric Guard. Actually, 303 Fabric Guard is also the choice of the manufacturers of Sunbrella as the best treatment to restore water repellency. 303 Fabric Guard also protects against stains and provides UV screening without affecting the color, feel or breathability of the fabric. While 303 is great for canvas like Sunbrella, it should not be used on vinyl, zippers, plastics, rubber, fiberglass or imitation suede, so be careful when applying it to canvas near these other materials.

How do you know when to retreat your Sunbrella? We recommend always retreating your fabric after a thorough cleaning and also when you notice the fabric stops beading water. Do a quick test of your cover every couple of months by flicking a small amount of water on the cover and see if the water beads up and runs off or soaks into the material. If the water soaks in, it’s time to retreat.

In this video we’ll show you step-by-step how to retreat a boat cover with 303 Fabric Guard. Also included is a brief discussion of the differences between the different lines of Sunbrella fabric and how to tell which side should face out on your projects (hint: for most Sunbrella fabrics, it doesn’t matter!).

You can find 303 Fabric Guard and other products for cleaning and caring for your fabrics at Sailrite.com.

Do you use 303 Fabric Guard on your Sunbrella fabric? Share your experiences with it in the comments.

If sprucing up the cabin in your boat is on your spring to-do list this year, this is the post for you. Recovering settee cushions, sewing cabin curtains, and adding colorful throw pillows are popular sewing projects. If you’re going to re-do your boat interior, it’s important to start with a game plan of which fabrics you’re going to use and the feel you want for your home aboard. Today we’ve rounded up three different cabin “looks” to help get your ideas flowing.

Before we get into the designs, we should take a moment to talk about fabric fiber choices. In a boat cabin you want the cushions to be comfortable but also to not allow mold and mildew to grow. To do this, avoid cotton fabrics and opt for acrylic, olefin or vinyl instead. You’ll also want to use a durable fabric for settee cushions and berths, but accents of occasional use outdoor fabrics are a fun way to bring in different colors and patterns. All of the recommendations we make in this post are fabrics that are appropriate for use in a boat cabin.

Classic Nautical

3 Boat Cabin Design Ideas

A perennial favorite, the classic nautical color scheme and patterns are still the first choice of many boaters for their cabins. This includes traditional colors like true red, navy, royal blue and white. This looks remains a classic for a reason, these colors look great alongside a traditional teak and holly interior. Our look imagines using a traditional navy blue as a base color with added pops of a red fabric with a knot motif. The fabric with sailboats and burgees is also a playful nod to the sailing life.

Get this look:

  1. Geobella Nantucket Navy Fabric
  2. Sunbrella Spectrum Indigo Upholstery Fabric
  3. Sunbrella Lido Indigo Upholstery Fabric
  4. P/K Lifestyles Outdoor Square Knot Cinnabar
  5. Waverly Sun N Shade Set Sail Atlantic

Light & Neutral

3 Boat Cabin Design Ideas

Boat cabins don’t always get a lot of natural light and with the abundance of wood finishes, they can sometimes feel dark. A great way to brighten up your saloon is to use a light-colored upholstery fabric on your settee cushions and other fabric finishes. A soft neutral like this Light Oyster Ultraleather (#1 in the image) makes a great base for cushions. Then, other colors can be brought in with throw pillows and other accessories. If solid beige isn’t your looks, think outside the box! Neutrals don’t have to be solids; patterns in soft colors will also brighten your cabin. Also, gray is a great neutral with a modern feel.

Get this look:

  1. Ultraleather Light Oyster Fabric
  2. Sunbrella Empire Dove Upholstery Fabric
  3. Sunbrella Frequency Ash Upholstery Fabric
  4. Geobella Fire Dance Bisque Fabric

Tropical & Bright

3 Boat Cabin Design Ideas

Another way to brighten up your cabin and infuse it with personality is to incorporate vibrant colors. Bring the colors of the Caribbean to your cabin with bright, tropical tones like in this popular Sunbrella fabric, Seville Seaside (#3 in the photo). Balance out your punchy colors with either a darker coordinate color like this dark navy or a light neutral like a beige as accent colors for curtains or pillows.

Get this look:

  1. Sunbrella Dupione Peridot Upholstery Fabric
  2. Sunbrella Canvas Navy Upholstery Fabric
  3. Sunbrella Seville Seaside Upholstery Fabric
  4. Sunbrella Sailcloth Sailor Upholstery Fabric

You can find more fabrics for your cabin in these looks and many more at Sailrite.com.

To read more about which types of fabric to use in your cabin, check out our Cockpit vs. Cabin Cushion Fabric Choices post.

Which design idea is your favorite? Do you have any of these themes in your boat? Share your opinions and ideas in the comments.

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