Thursday, February 17, 2011

Boat cushions project complete

From my earlier post, you would have seen I was starting to make cushions for the cockpit to make things more comfy at anchor. Well, I've finished the set of cushions for the seats. For the technically minded, they have been made from Sunbrella marine grade canvas with 'leatherette' piping and zips at the back of the cushions. The foam is mostly dry cell foam to allow water to drain away quickly with a layer of closed cell foam for comfort. There was some wrestling required to get the foam into the covers but this give the cushions a fuller look. 

All materials were sourced from Sailrite in the US, who have a amazing range of materials for canvas projects and sail work. Fulfilment and delivery is very speedy. The also have a great DVD which made this project much easier. 

Must say I'm happy with the result for a beginner cushion maker.

In response to  question about how I did this at home, I've added some further information that may help others. I used a domestic Husqvarna machine (surprisingly) which coped well. I bought a piping foot but it couldn't cope with the thickness of piping, so I ended up using a basic foot for straight sewing and a zipper foot for the piping. If I did it again, I would try using a welting foot and I think a walking foot would be helpful also.

The needles which did a great job were Schmetz 110/18. I also used a thread stand to manage the larger spools of speciality polyester thread for outdoor use.

I purchased very thick T pins and basting tape, both of which I ended up using occasionally only as the materials were reasonably easy to handle.

Finally, the zips were continuous zips (Sailrite #5) with locking zipper pulls. These were installed using the "invisible zip" technique.


  1. They look fantastic - job well done! Did you use an industrial machine and if not, any tips on needles/feet - would imagine a walking foot would be ideal. Thanks also for the source - I actually wanted to make a cushion for my sun lounge. Will check them out.
    Ps: Nice boat.

  2. Thanks Evelyne, I've included more information in my post which should help. Don't hesitate to let me know if you have further questions.

  3. Gosh, well done - looks like a great job and I really admire you for getting through such a 'practical' job! I always seem to find excuses to procrastinate about those sorts of things. Good to know your domestic machine coped fine, too.


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