Author Archives: chrismanduka

Face Slit & Bind Zipper Approach

Face Slit & Bind Zipper Approach is the fifth video in our Sewing Zippers Video Series. The Face Slit & Bind zipper approach is a zipper installation method often used in an application where a removable backstay wire would need to protrude from a canvas bimini top. This zipper includes two sliders which would zip close around an object (a wire, rope or other) which exits from the zipper slit.

Watch this video for step by step instructions on how to install this type of zipper in your canvas or vinyl project.


Summer is just around the corner here in Indiana (and we’re jealous of you if can be out on the water 24/7). Since we’re not on the water yet, we’re in full-on project mode getting our own boats ready and of course working on some of the projects you’ve been asking for!

We just finished making a semi-fitted personal watercraft (PWC) cover for Matt’s jet ski. While filming the instructions, we realized there is a lot to learn about patterning odd shapes. This instructional video places special emphasis on the patterning phase of the project as well as all the sewing. This PWC cover features Sur Last fabric (because it’s very durable, breathes, and stores well) and an elastic shock cord drawstring in the bottom hem. We hope you enjoy the video and learn something new even if you don’t own a personal watercraft!

Tips on Patterning Odd Shapes

Patterning odd-shaped covers, like semi-fitted PWC covers, require a little extra attention to detail. Here are a few tips about making a pattern for irregularly shaped objects:

  1. Keep plenty of patterning material on hand! It may take an attempt or two to get the pattern perfect. It is better to start over with new patterning material than try to use stretched out material and decipher which marks are the “right” marks. We like Dura Skrim.
  2. Utilize a match-up system to keep all the panels lined up perfectly until all patterning is completed. Your cover will not come together as planned if you continue patterning on panels that have shifted even an inch. (Check out min. 8:25, Patterning Using the Match-Up System).
  3. Mark and tape together all pleats and darts on the pattern (we’re talking overkill!). An accurate pattern shape will result in an accurate cover shape! We also use straight pins to hold darts and pleats together when transferring the pattern to the actual fabric (it really helps while sewing!).
  4. Add seam and hem lines after transferring the pattern to the actual fabric. Extend all the patterned lines through the sharp edges and corners, and then continue to mark the seam and hem lines by measuring perpendicular to the patterned lines (minute 29:15).

All materials for making a personal watercraft cover can be found at

Spring has arrived much earlier than expected here in Indiana…and we’ll take it! In fact, the weather has been so nice, we’re chomping at the bit to get our boats in the water early this year.

In the meantime, we thought it was the perfect time to make new curtains. It’s a pretty simple sewing project and it can bring a fresh, new look to any room. The hardest part is finding the right fabric!

We’ve put together a 2-part video series that includes how to sew your own curtain panels and how to install the curtains using a standard curtain rod and tieback hardware. The videos begin with how to measure your window opening and calculate the appropriate curtain panel size and end with mounting your finished curtains!

These instructions feature a sleeve along the top of the curtain panels to fit a standard curtain rod and also the installation of drapery weights. We chose to use Sunbrella Furniture Fabric because it’s highly UV resistant, colorfast, and stain resistant making for excellent long-lasting, low maintenance curtains. Plus we really liked this pattern! For drapery fabrics and materials, visit

Bind & Slit Approach

The Bind & Slit Approach is the second zipper video in the Sewing Zippers Video Series that demonstrates a zipper installation which is often used in an enclosure panel on a boat. The Bind & Slit Zipper Installation does not require excess material for hems and thus is a great way to install a zipper where the size of the panel must be maintained. Visit Sailrite to purchase zippers and supplies


How-to Install Zippers Series

Zippers: An essential element to do-it-yourself canvas work and arguably one of the trickiest parts if you’re not sure what kind of zipper you need or how to install it properly in your canvas.

Here’s the good news. We’ve begun putting together a series of videos dedicated to zippers. We’ll be covering the basics, like what’s the difference between a Vislon and coil zipper chain and do I need a finished or continuous zipper, but we’ll also be demonstrating different zipper installation methods and techniques that you would use depending on what project you’re working on.

We’ll release a new video about zippers on our Sailrite YouTube channel every week (until we’ve covered just about everything we know about zippers!). If you want to receive the rest of our Sewing Zippers 101 video series, subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive email notifications when we post a new video. If you’d rather not subscribe, that’s fine! Just remember to check back here or visit our YouTube channel for new zipper videos.

Fold Under & Hem First Approach:

To start things off, our first video demonstrates two of the most common zipper installation methods, the Fold Under and the Hem First Approach. Both methods are designed for finished zippers and utilize a match-up mark technique that helps ensure perfect zipper alignment. Take a look!



%d bloggers like this: