Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Boat maintenance sewing
Yesterday I tackled a couple of small canvas jobs for the boat. I dislike this type of sewing, but it's my responsibility so it was time to suck it up, Buttercup, and get it done. This little table is made of teak and has a lip all the way around it to keep your wine glass from sliding off. Unfortunately, that lip also collects rain water, so the table needs a waterproof cover.
I made one four years ago from a pretty floral fabric that was supposed to be weatherproof, but it faded badly. Then I made a quickie cover out of a vinyl tablecloth, which disintegrated in less than a year. So I finally did what I should have done in the beginning, which is make a cover from Sunbrella, which wears like iron. It's also like sewing cardboard, but it's finished now and looks nice so I'll stop whining (maybe.)
The bottom is elasticized with bungee cord for easy removal.
You may notice that the top isn't flat. That's because even Sunbrella will eventually soak up water if it puddles for several days. So we stuff this Nerf football underneath to peak the center of the cover up. Then the rain rolls right off!
In the background of the top photo, you can see several blue Sunbrella pillows. The first two I made using regular cotton thread, which degrades in the bright sunlight. I have since started using UV stable thread, which is thick and waxy, like dental floss. Eventually, one of the ties that holds the pillow to the railing fell off, and I stitched that back on yesterday since I had the UV thread loaded in the machine for the table cover.
I also did a repair of our life raft cover. The life raft in its container is about the size of a suitcase, and sits on the back port side corner of the upper deck, hoping to never be used. To extend the life of the fiberglass case, I made this simple, boxy Sunbrella cover about three years ago. There is a rather sharp piece of the raft that sticks up underneath on one end, and it rubs against the cover when the wind is really blowing and flapping things around.
That rubbing eventually caused a small tear, which I repaired with an iron-on patch from underneath. However, it still didn't seem quite secure enough, so I also ran a line of UV stable stitching around it. The tear still shows, but that doesn't bother me much. No one is closely examining the life raft cover! I also decided the minor amount of mildew on the cover was acceptable for the same reason. I'd rather see a bit of black or green gunk than remove the waterproof coating with harsh cleaning chemicals.
After wrassling with thick, waxy UV thread and bulky, stiff and dirty Sunbrella, I'm looking forward to slipping some nice Aurifil into my bobbin and getting back to quilting on cotton!