Zip, zero, zilch, nada

I have no idea what I’m doing here. None. At all.

During a very long process (which The Captain, I’m sure, wishes had taken about 1/4 as long as it has…. Please note the irony of adding this post to the ‘Relationships and Community’ category.), I am making canvas covers for different things on Big River. First up was a hatch cover for the front berth, second was a cover for the companionway. Currently I’m working on a new sail cover. (Next up are the binnacle cover and winch covers.)

Beautiful. Fine. Lovely.

Except we have no patterns. And with the exception of the sail cover, for which we have the existing moldy and ripped mess, we don’t even have something to copy. Hmm. Interesting.

So here’s how it’s been coming together:

Laying out the roll of canvas:


raw canvas where I've traced the old sail cover

After tracing, what my “pattern” looks like. I love this picture, and I loved working on this piece:


Extension piece, blade cover and mast wrap; inside view

All those notes are there as my version of ‘measure twice, cut once’ so I don’t hork up the whole thing 5 time as I assemble and sew… because this canvas isn’t cheap and I don’t want to have to order more.

My Sewing Center, aka the kitchen table. I bought the upright spool holder for this project, and it has been a lifesaver.


Love my Bernina basic quilting machine, it has turned out to be an awesome workhorse.


Seriously… this thing is B-I-G. There is only one place in the entire house where I can work on it, and this is it. Unfortunately, the space also crosses the major thoroughfare for the house. Too bad, puppies!

Second side, main body and extension seamed together with flat felled seam

The thread for this project is a plastic-coated poly. It has a massive diameter for thread. On my standard machine, the spool can only hold so much, so I start with a full, fresh bobbin before long runs. When I sewed the two seams on the bottom hem and pulled the piece to extend the thread ends and snip them, I found out I had exactly this much remaining on the bobbin.

Whew – that was close!

In sum: Shooting from the hip. Flying by the seat of our pants. That’s how we roll here at CI.

Added: We did a dry fit over the weekend and it’s looking pretty good. This week I’ve been making a few adjustments: finishing hems, and adding velcro closures, zippers, and leather patches. I’ll also be adding vinyl waterproofing fabric as an interior liner. More pictures of all of that (and the hijinks that accompany them) will be up in a future post.


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