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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 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. However any outdoor living fabric would be great for this application.

Materials List:

How to Make an Outdoor Bench Cushion with Boxing

  • Outdoor living fabric
  • Foam
  • #5 Continuous zipper—long enough for the back of your cushion
  • Outdoor Thread
  • Piping Cord

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 video at by searching (#200665XHT) Sailrite.com 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® outdoor fabric. 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:

  • Outdoor fabric
  • Piping Cord
  • Polyester Fiberfill
  • Curved sewing needle
  • Thread

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. Search (#200665XHT) at Sailrite.com

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. 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.

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.

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. 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.

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

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

With spring right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking ahead to warmer weather and outdoor living spaces. If your outdoor furniture is looking sun bleached and tired, you can sew up new cushions and pillows before the season begins. This month we’re going to share two different patio projects to help you get ready for warmer weather.

How to Recover a Bullnose Cushion

The cushions on this patio set were looking faded and worn from years of use, but the chairs were still in great shape. We gave the cushions a colorful makeover with a colorful Sunbrella® fabric. We also recovered the pillows with a coordinating and that tutorial will be out later this month.

The cushions on these chairs feature a bullnose shape, or a rounded front. We’ve made bullnose cushions before, but the shape of this chair’s base made this assembly a little different. We’ve broken down the process step-by-step so you can recover your own bullnose chair cushions.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Materials List:

  • Outdoor fabric
  • Polyester fabric
  • Polyester thread
  • Piping cord
  • #5 Coil continuous zipper
  • #5 Coil zipper slider

How to Recover a Bullnose Cushion

Measure each panel of the cushion. Note the width and height of one side, the overall width and the height around both sides. The bullnose at the front makes the height all one panel.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Cut out all of your panel pieces. You’ll need two side pieces, one main panel, and pieces for a back zipper plaque. Our side panels were 19.5” long by 4” wide, so we cut them to 20.5” x 5”. Our main panel cut measured 23.5” wide by 44” long. Our zipper plaque is 6” wide by 23” long.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Take the two side panels and lay them on top of each other so the right sides are facing. Then fold the two panels over widthwise. Draw a slight curve at one corner and cut it out with scissors. This will create the front curve for the bullnose.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Make matching bias piping. Follow our blog (#200665XHT) at Sailrite.com for this step.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Start pinning your bias piping to the right side of one of your side panel pieces. Cut relief notches in the piping’s flange to help the piping curve smoothly around the front of the side panel.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

At the back of the panel, 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 Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Lay the exposed cord next to the pinning 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 other end of the piping on top of it so the cording ends are meeting.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Fold the angled fabric over to create a clean piping junction and pin in place. Repeat this process to attach the piping to the other side panel.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Using a piping foot or a zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew the piping cord in place on the side panel.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Next, make the zipper plaque. Cut your 6” x 23” zipper plaque piece is half so you have two 3” by 23” pieces. On one side of each piece, fold over a 1/2” hem and pin or baste in place.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Take one side of your zipper plaque fabric and pin it in place along the zipper tape. The folded edge should cover half of the zipper teeth. Cut your zipper to match the length of your fabric if necessary.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Using a zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew the fabric in place along the zipper flange.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Repeat the process on the opposite side of the zipper.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

To assemble the cushion, start by attaching the side panels. Take the main cushion panel and fold it in half to find the center location on each side. Make a small snip with your scissors to mark these locations. Then, take the side panels and fold them in half widthwise to find their center points. Make a small snip to mark this location.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Match up these center locations and start pinning the side panel and the main panel pieces together. Cut relief notches in the main panel if necessary so it will smoothly curve around the side pieces.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Take the assembly to your sewing machine and sew the side panels in place.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Find the center position on each side of the back of the cushion. Match up the zipper plaque with these center locations. Pin the zipper plaque in place along one side.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Cut two small scraps of fabric and fold them in half. Pin these fabric pieces in place on either end of the zipper to create a stop. Be sure your zipper slider is in place before sewing the zipper on.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Sew the zipper onto the rest of the assembly. Start sewing at the short ends and then move to the long edges.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Pull the zipper teeth open with your fingers so the zipper is completely open. Turn your cushion over right side out.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

We cut open our old cushion and reused the foam that was inside. If you’re starting from scratch, you can use polyurethane foam for your cushion insert.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

We wanted to make our new cushion fuller than the previous, so we wrapped our existing foam in new polyester batting. We just wrapped the batting around the cushion like a book jacket on three sides and cut off the excess batting.

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Carefully insert your batting wrapped foam into the new cushion cover. Smooth out the filling and zip up the cover. Now you’re finished!

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

Enjoy your bright new patio cushions!

How to Recover a Bullnose Patio Cushion

All of the materials needed to recover or make your own patio cushions are available at Sailrite.com.

Stay tuned for the full step-by-step tutorial on making the coordinating lumbar pillow with piping as seen in the photos!

How to Sew an Upholstery French Seam

Add eye-catching top stitches to your boat and auto upholstery with a French seam. Taking the time to sew a French seam not only adds visual interest to your upholstery but it also strengthens the seam. We’ll show you how to get this look for yourself in a quick video tutorial.

The French seam demonstrated in our video is also known as a “double top stitch” and is commonly found in applications using leather, faux leather or vinyl. When sewing lighter materials for apparel and some home goods applications, the term “French seam” refers to a slightly different technique.

When sewing a French seam for your upholstery, we recommend adding a backing material behind the first seam. This way, if the seam is stretched when the seat is in use, the backing fabric blocks the lining under the fabric from being seen, while also adding additional strength. To get the best appearance on your top stitch, we also recommend using a heavier weight thread so it will have a thicker appearance. You can also sew with a contrasting thread color so the stitching will pop against your fabric.

Find all the materials to sew your own boat or auto upholstery at Sailrite.com.

These French seams will be featured in a boat cushion video out later this year. Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a post!

How to Make a Hobbled Roman Shade

If you love the look of Roman Shades for your home then we think you’re going to love our newest how-to project—a hobbled Roman Shade. These shades, sometimes called teardrop shades, are a twist on traditional Roman Shades. Like a typical Roman Shade, a hobbled Roman Shade looks stacked when it’s raised. Where they differ is that hobbled Roman Shades retain their pleats (or hobbles), even when the shade is lowered. These pleats add a little extra statement to your window.

The assembly process for the hobbled Roman Shade is similar to a regular Roman Shade the loops on the back are just spaced in such a way as to create the hobbles. In this video you’ll see how to use the special lift tape, which can be used on traditional Roman Shades, too. This tape helps prevent the formation of hazardous loops that can cause injury to children.

To find the full video on this process, go to Sailrite.com and search (#200696XHT). This blog will have all the materials listed that you’ll need to make these custom shades

Warning: Cords can be hazardous, even fatal, to young children. Keep cords out of reach of children. Keep cribs, playpens, and other furniture away from cords. Do not tie cords together or allow cords to twist or loop together.

These instructions are intended for personal use. If making shades to sell or gift, they must comply with the latest safety regulations.

What do you think of this style of Roman Shade? Would you use these for your home? Share your opinions and ask questions in the comments!

How to Repair Sails: A Video Series

Our sail repair posts and videos have been so popular that we recently decided to go all out and create a comprehensive video series on the topic. We filmed all of our techniques as we inspected and did regular maintenance on the sails from Sailrite founder Jim Grant’s Islander 37 sailboat. The series is broken into 13 videos and walks you through a variety of different repairs as well as inspecting and folding your sails. Watch all 13 videos or jump right to the one you need!

Sail Repair Video Series Includes:

  1. Inspecting Your Sails for Next Sailing Season: For seasonal sailors, the end of sailing season is a good time to inspect your sails so you have all winter to make repairs and get them ready to go for the spring. In this video, Jeff Frank, our sail designer, inspects the sails for the Islander 37, sharing as he goes what issues to look for and how to approach common fixes.
  1. How to Replace a Sail Window: If the window material in your sail is cracked or just hard to see through, we’ll show you how to replace it without causing performance issues in your sail. This video also demonstrates how to add a brand new window to a sail.
  1. How to Repair Sail Luff Tape: This video will show you how to repair a rip or a tear in your sail’s luff tape without having to replace the entire tape. Also included is a quick fix for when the end of the luff tape is shredded at the head of the sail.
  1. How to Restitch Damaged Sail Seams: It’s not uncommon for the seams on your sail to fail from UV damage, stress or abrasion—even new sails have this problem. This video is a quick demonstration of how you can fix those seams that are coming apart by sewing right over them.
  1. How to Patch Holes & Rips in Sails: If you find you have holes that need patching after your sails have been in storage or from a rough day on the water, this video will walk you through the process step-by-step.
  1. How to Remove a Spur Grommet: If the grommets on your sail are corroded and failing, you can easily remove them and replace them with new grommets. This video shows you how to use a Dremel tool to remove an old spur grommet and how to set a new one.
  1. How to Repair a Sail’s Batten Pocket: This video demonstrates two different batten repairs. In one, we replace the elastic at end of the batten pocket and in the other repair we replace the Dacron on the pocket because the batten has chafed through the original material.
  1. How to Repair a Sail’s Spreader Patch: A spreader patch is used in sails, especially genoas, to combat damage that the mast’s spreader tip can cause to the sail when they brush against each other. This type of damage is common and on our sail it was pretty extensive. In this video we demonstrate how to remove old patches, replace the damaged sailcloth and install a new Insignia Dacron Spreader Patch.
  1. How to Repair a Leechline Cleat or Tensioning Device: This video will show you how to remove a broken Leechline clamcleat and how to install a new one. We also replace worn out Velcro on a Velcro tensioning device.
  1. Re-cutting a Sail’s Leech and Foot Edge: The genoa on Jim’s Islander 37 is an older sail, and when used it was clear the leech had stretched out because it was fluttering terribly. To get a few more years out of the sail and improve performance we decided to cut down the leech and foot to provide a better shape.
  1. How to Re-Install a Sail’s Corner Ring: When cutting the leech and foot of the sail to enhance the shape the sail’s corner ring had to be removed. This video will show you how to use Dyneema webbing to install a new D-Ring at the clew corner.
  1. How to Fold a Sailboat Sail: This video will show you the proper techniques for folding (or flaking) a mainsail, a dinghy sail and a genoa sail.
  1. Using the Speedy Stitcher to Sew Webbing and Canvas: In this bonus video we demonstrate how to use the Speedy Stitcher® Sewing Awl, which is a handy tool to use for sewing projects and repairs when a sewing machine is not available for practical. To demonstrate the tool we also show how to make a “dog ear” to help the sail reach the tack pin.

We hope these videos will be a help to you the next time you need to make a repair on your sails. You can find all the materials needed for your sail repair including the Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ-1 Sewing Machine at Sailrite.com.

Did you learn anything new from these videos? Share your thoughts on this new video series in the comments.

How to Upholster Bar Stools

Wooden bar stools are common in home bars and at kitchen counters. Give your wooden stools a little more personality and a softer seat by upholstering the top. We’re going to show you how to add upholstery to the top of a plain stool. If you have an already upholstered stool, you can remove the fabric and then follow these same instructions. This is a great entry-level project if you’re interested in trying out upholstery but don’t feel quite ready to take apart a big chair yet.

To start this project, we did a little thinking about how we’d like the finished stools to look. We decided to run a row of piping on both the top and bottom of the chair to create a really professional and polished look. This piping is an optional step and can be left out if that’s your preference.

Our stools were going to be for a kitchen counter, so we chose a Covington fabric because it’s durable and easy to clean. Any home upholstery fabric could be used for this project, so the choices are wide open. For the foam we went with Fairfield Nu-Foam Compressed Polyester, which is an economical option for occasional seating like this. If your stools are a high traffic seat in your home, you might want to opt for using polyurethane foam, which is less likely to compress over time.

To read the full blog, watch the step-by-step video and see what materials we’ve used, visit Sailrite.com and search (#200697XHT).

Any upholstery beginners out there? We’d love to know how your projects are coming! Leave us a comment and let us know.

How to Make Dinghy Chaps

When you’re on your boat, your dinghy is like your car; it’s how you get to shore or to neighboring boats for sundowners. As an important piece of your boating equipment, you’ll want to keep it in good working order. Inflatable dinghies, which feature rubber inflatable tubes, are a popular style. Protect the tubes from harmful UV rays and chafe with dinghy chaps, which are like a leave-on cover on the topside of the tubes. Every dinghy is slightly unique, so the best way to get a precise fit is to have them custom-made. We recently sewed up a set of dinghy chaps for Jim Grant’s dinghy for his Islander 37 sailboat. Watch our step-by-step video to learn how to pattern and sew your own custom dinghy chaps.

The key to getting well-fitted dinghy chaps is careful patterning. We used 12-gauge Plastipane vinyl as a pattern material for this project. The clear vinyl was a little sticky against the vinyl of the dinghy, so it stayed in place well while patterning. We also let a tiny bit of air out of the dinghy when we patterned, to ensure a snug finished fit when fully inflated.

We used Sunbrella® Marine Grade fabric for the main body of our dinghy chaps, with Shelter-Rite® for chafe protection patches. At the aft end of each tube we switched the material to Phifertex® Mesh to help promote water drainage at the rear of the boat. This is an especially good idea for dinghies that plane at faster speeds.

The chaps are secured to the dinghy via a leech line drawstring around the outer edge of the cover that is cinched in place. On the inside of the dinghy, we attached the cover with snaps and YKK® SNAD® fastener studs installed directly onto the side of the dinghy.

To watch the full video and see the materials list, visit Sailrite.com and search (#200682XHT).

Have you made your own dinghy chaps before? Do you have any tips to share on the process? Leave us a comment and share your experiences.

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