sewing 101: circles are hard

this is our debut blog entry on sailing journey!  which comes as quite a surprise ’cause i didn’t think we snatched it up yet.  but, since it’s here, i’m gonna use it!

cute fabric i found.  wish i could think of a use for it.

cute fabric i found. wish i could think of a use for it.

i’ve been itching to talk about sewing!  i decided some time ago that i wanted to learn to sew.  one, because i though it would be a cool skill to have, but two, i knew it would come in handy on journey!  y’all know we are super cheap, so any way we can pinch pennies and add to the cruising kitty, we’ll do it.

sewing is not easy.  well, let’s say the learning curve, as with most boat things, is treacherous!  luckily, i have a few knowledgeable teachers, including my momma (surprise!), my tia tequila (i mean dorita!), and my friend, penny.

i went from knowing nothing like, “whoa, what’s a bobbin?” to knowing lots like, “oh, i should have used pi and then added my seam allowance!” all in a very short time.

so my short list of things to make for journey are as follows:

  • life line covers
  • winch covers
  • grill cover
  • dinghy motor cover
  • binnacle cover (dun dun duuuuun!)

and guess why 2 of ’em have a strike through?  ’cause they’re done!  cool right?

the life line covers were easy.  especially since i used the ones that were on the boat already and took them apart to see how they were made.  nice long rectangles, a couple of hemmed edges, and an easy-schmeazy barrel seam.  jr decided he wanted velcro ends instead of a shock chord.  great.  even easier.

the winch covers were a different story.  perhaps i’ll tell it in a picture slide show…  click pic 1, and hopefully my captions help paint the picture…

here are a few things i learned:

  1. iron, iron, iron!  ironing makes the canvas way easier to work with and is invaluable at the machine when sewing the hem.
  2. measure and cut the circle for the winch cover, after your base is done.  that way you get an exact measurement and you’re not dealing with a circle that is too big or too small.
  3. use pi when calculating your measurement for the length of the rectangle.  the resource i was using, said to take the diameter of the winch and multiply it by 3.  that’s part of the reason my take 1 cover was too dang small!  times 3 IS NOT the same as pi :)
  4. mark the circle and sides of your base by quarters.  line them up for a better seam.
  5. attach that god awful circle with staples.  the more the better.  you’re not gonna hurt that canvas, i promise.  i stapled each quarter mark first, then between each quarter mark, and so on.
  6. take your time on the machine.  i was working with 3 layers of canvas.  slow down, and reposition, slide, twist, and move as often as needed.

best resources ever


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