Sewing Sailors

Planning for the "blasted winch covers" (Sailing Journey)
Sailing is expensive!  We all know that a big way to cut costs in the boating world is to DIY!  Teak, boat systems, and bottom paint are things many of us have figured out how to do in order to save cash, but have you ever thought about sewing?  Canvas covers are expensive!  CUSTOM canvas covers are really expensive!  What about those cockpit cushions!?  Expensive!  Whether you're a stitching stranger or a skillful seamstress, here are some posts to inspire you and hopefully save you a few bucks!  Enjoy!

Topic Coordinator: Drena (Sailing Journey)
Annette at The Seamless Sailor has been sewing since she was a teen.  She is a wonderful resource and has made quite a few treasures for her boat Magnolia.
  • Here you can find her instructions for a double sided line bag.
  • Here is a list of must have sewing notions, according to Annette!
  • Here is a detailed DIY for a "better bucket."  Annette borrowed these instructions from Lin and Larry Pardey!
  • Here is a link for Annette's DIY pillows and pillow cases. 
  • Here you'll find Annette's DIY for a windscoop. 
  • Here's a great link for making your own custom winch covers. 
  • Here's a link for DIY boat curtains. 
  • Here's a link thats walks ya through making a sun shade for your cockpit.

Brittany at Windtraveler got her hands on a heavy duty sewing machine and has completed quite a few "easy" sewing projects.
  • Here's how she used sarongs to make a reversible blanket. 
  • Here's how she threw together a lee cloth for overnight passages. 
  • Here are her easy-schmeasy, non-skid placemats she made for the salon. 

Julie from S/V Second Star does a great job prioritizing her boat projects.
  • Here she'll show you how to make a noodle float seat!

Ruth is a very seasoned seamstress and has an amazing site.  She makes tons of cool stuff for her MacGregor 26S and Endeavour 37.  The "Canvas Mods" page is definitely worth checking out, but here are a few of her easier projects...
  • Here you'll find lots of pictures and a good explanation on how to make a fitted sheet for your V-berth.
  • Here you'll get step-by-step directions for making cock pit cushions.  This post is 1 of 3, the rest you should be able to find. 

Drena from S/V Journey is a sewing NEWBIE!
  • Here she'll walk you through making life line covers and blasted winch covers. 
  • Here she'll tell you all about her blackout curtain project for her O'day, Journey.

Laurie from S/V Mother Jones finds lots of stuff to sew.
  • Here she shares lots of boat stuff to sew as well as other cute craft projects like a maxi dress and baby shoes!

Octopussy from S/V Octopussy is a repurpose-ful seamstress.
  • Here she'll show you how she used an old spinnaker and turned it onto a sun shade for her pups!
  • Here she makes UV screens using SPF Phiferex.

Genevieve from S/V Necesse is married to a "seamster!"  (Is that really a word!?)
  • Here she explains how her husband Eben, made a lee cloth "play pen" to snag her some freedom.
  • Here she tells us about Eben making a windscoop, hatch screens, propane tank covers, and settee cushions!  Geeez!

Deborah from S/V Wrightaway uses her resources!
  • Here she'll show you how she used Sailrite's DVD to pattern and make her own dodger.

Kelley at Sailing Chance knows her way around her machine.
  • Here she patterns a sail cover from an existing one.
  • Here she converts her hank jib into a roller furling jib and adds a sun cover.  

Diane from S/V Ceilydh took a sail repair seminar in La Cruz and listened carefully!
  • Here she blogs about how her husband, Evan, took care of their mainsail by replacing damaged slugs and repairing small tears (among other things).

Charlotte over at Rebel Heart is a sewing professional and even has an Etsy shop!
  • Here is a link to her blog where she has an entire tab devoted to her sewing projects.  Boat related projects include cushions, line bags, kayak covers, binnacle covers, and custom v-berth sheets.

Tammy from S/V Dos Libras was quickly convinced to buy a Sailrite!

  • Here she makes a simple pillow case for some extra storage.
  • Here is when she decided to buy Sailrite machine to tackle some tricky bimini repair.  Here too!

Dani from Sundowner Sails Again, has a really helpful Mom!

  • Here her mom helps her make foil backed curtains.
  • Here mom helps with a custom grill cover.
  • Here her mom helps with a settee cushion cover.  

Hi, blogger! Do you have a blog post about canvas projects?  Please post your link with a brief description in the comment section below and we'll add it to this list. Already have a link on this page? Feel free to link back here so that your readers can find other posts on this topic. We have low-tech and high-tech instructions:

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  1. Hi there, feel free to include my projects too:

    Custom fitted v-berth sheets: http://www.therebelheart.com/charlottes-blog/2010/4/4/custom-fit-covers-top-sheetsblankets-for-the-v-berth-tutoria.html

    Custom seaberth sheets: http://www.therebelheart.com/charlottes-blog/2011/9/26/custom-sea-berth-sheets-coras-sheet-and-pillow-set.html

    Custom salon cushions: http://www.therebelheart.com/charlottes-blog/2013/7/29/custom-salon-cushions-for-a-sailboat-getting-crafty.html

    My many posts on custom lee cloths: http://www.therebelheart.com/charlottes-blog/tag/lee-cloth

  2. Great! I needed this post. I got a sewing machine to work on updating my hatch and tiller covers. I haven't used the machine yet but I'm looking at small projects to get started.

  3. Hello Drena, one quick edit for our posts, just your write up, my husband's name is spelled EBEN. thank you ;)

  4. Thank you Red Charlotte! I'm pretty sure I asked you if I could include these a few weeks ago and then I lost your info! Thanks for re-posting! And I'm SO SORRY Necesse for screwing up your hubby's name! It should be all fixed now!

  5. Great List! If you would like to include some of mine here they are:
    Dani with Sundowner Sails Again
    Curtains Foil Backed:http://sundownersailsagain.com/foil-backed-boat-curtains-custom/

    Slip covers for cushions in ultrasuede:


  6. Here is another one for you!

  7. And my second sewing project... http://thingswedidtoday.blogspot.com/2013/08/second-sewing-success.html

  8. Earlier project: http://thingswedidtoday.blogspot.com/2012/11/nesting.html

  9. Not as much work hourly that I thought you might have to deal with but you sure do have a great step aboard! Well done. New York Sailing

  10. We created a cool way to store toilet paper in the head! Check out our sewing project:

    S/V LUX: Terry And the T.P. Adventure - Blogger