Upholstery lessons

All things related to upholstering your boat.

Moderator: billy c

Post Reply
Posts: 1514
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 12:52 pm
Location: McKinney TX

Upholstery lessons

Post by Hercdrvr »

Bought a Sailrite walking foot sewing machine and learning to sew, my wife is my instructor. Her machine was inadequate for layers of thick vinyl material I’m taking on this new skill not out of desire but necessity. My experience with Upholstery shops is slow, expensive and marginal quality. At least now the marginal quality will be my own fault.
Matt B

Posts: 1229
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Re: Upholstery lessons

Post by JimmY »

Good for you! It is not that hard, you just need to go slow and plan things out.

My wife's Husqvarna Viking was not very happy, but did a decent job on my cushions. I used a leather needle which is sharper and didn't have much problem going through 3 or 4 layers of marine vinyl. I did need to hand sew a few spots, mostly because of the small size of my cushions and not being able to maneuver the fabric around the machine.

The sailrite videos and pdf files are a big help and really help with patterns and sequence for sewing things together.
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

Brad Tucker
Posts: 342
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:20 am
Location: Washington, GA

Re: Upholstery lessons

Post by Brad Tucker »

Yeah I had the same issue. I was mad at first, and upholstery was the ONLY project I was farming out. After it fell through, I bought a sailrite machine. The first time I'd ever touched one was when I pulled that one out of the box. Long story short, I did a good enough job, in less time, with a free machine and some spending money!

User avatar
billy c
Posts: 2451
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:59 pm
Location: NH

Re: Upholstery lessons

Post by billy c »

Congrats Matt
Those are nice rugged machines. The learning curve is not that steep for average boat upholstery as most cushions get staples around a form to give it shape. Do get an electric knife to cut the foam (or your bandsaw) Sanding discs handeled deftly can ease the edges, add a few stainless or monel staples and you are good to go!
After that you will make boat covers upholstery and be in the business. People seek you out!
Here is a wicker set I upholstered over the winter for our cottage
(insert Witty phrase here)
Billy's Belle Isle website

User avatar
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:29 am
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Re: Upholstery lessons

Post by BayouBengal »

Good for you, Matt!

I want to get one too. I used an old antique industrial machine my brother loaned me, but there's challenges with it and I can't find replacement parts and it needs some. I keep debating whether it's worth the $900 or so. I guess I'm just looking for another upholstery project around here so I can justify buying one.

Call me a "girly man" if you want, but I must admit that I enjoy sewing.

Post Reply

Return to “Upholstery”