All zipped up

Sailing season approaches and our sailboat’s original cushions from the 1980’s were shot. My Husqvarna Viking 1951 sewing machine was purchased for the task.


Sailrite showed me the way. It’s my new, favorite website. They have great, do it yourself, videos to recover cushions, pillows, upholstery, sail covers you name it. And they have lots of great tips. For instance, I cut my fabric with a hot knife to prevent the edges from fraying.


By following the steps in one of their videos, I can install a zipper in minutes and it’s a good thing because I have installed over 40 feet of zippers!


So I am 7 cushions into the project and have gotten the hang of it. The old fabric was so shot, I used the cushions to directly measure the fabric. Just like knitting, it’s all about ease. This varied as I went along, early ones may have a bit too much “negative ease” and are a bit squished. Several cushions are mounted on a board and I forgot wood doesn’t compress in my measurements; my first attempt has to be partially redone when I can bring myself to pull out another hundred staples!

I am eager to see how they look on the boat. I have three of the longest cushions left and two more on boards to finish. The captain has decided he wants buttons to pull in the cushions as the boat had before. Sailrite has forms to easily make coordinated buttons.

20140421-074020.jpg Sewing in three dimensions is different from quilting. It’s a wonder as these squared, boxed covers emerge from the sewing machine. Of course not one of my cushions were square boxes and not due to my sewing prowess. Every cushion was wonky. They are angled in the back to nestle against the boat’s curved sides. They are narrower towards the bow, wider at the stern. Now they are just a bit more interesting.

Even my knitting has zippers. I’m almost done with this baby sweater with a zipper up the back, I found on an archived web page. I never owned one when my kids were little but friends say they are the easiest way to dress a squirmy little one.


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