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Old 19-05-2014, 16:00   #31
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Re: Sewing Your Own Awnings


Thanks so much for coming back to me. You're right, the Juki that you bought wouldn't work for me at all, too heavy, etc. I need something I can use on the table top. Nonetheless, thank you for the feedback.

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Old 19-05-2014, 17:08   #32
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Re: Sewing your own awnings

Originally Posted by forsailbyowner View Post
I do canvas for a living. One issue you will encounter with the sailrite for the project you have at hand is throat depth. Stuffing full 60" of canvas through a small hole like the sailrite is like wrestling a bear for hours. it can be rolled up and a slide made, you will still feel it after a couple of hours. A sewing machine isnt the only thing you will need. A press n snap is worth the investment at $139. Sunbrella is retailing at around $25 a yard or so. Take some off if you can find a wholesaler to set up a trade account. Ptfe thread is a must if you plan on keeping your boat longer than 3-4 years. The thread goes for around $90 for an 8oz spool. What kind of construction method are you planning on? I tried 3 methods for my awning before I landed where I am. Im using heavy fibeglass battens that measure 1/4"x1 3/4"x 8'. I found these hold their shape in high winds. The lighter ones would bend weird and turn into a sail that would drag an anchor and one time even pushed a piling over I was against. The ends must be reinforced with multiple layers as the battens work against the material when the bows are bent. The bows go away when a hole is worn thru. A grommet tool will be required. A hammer and punch can be used with the proper dies for the press n snap. Use seaming tape to hold the long seams together while stitching. This makes full flat felled seams less of a chore and adds waterproofing, but will gum up your bobbin case and hook they will require periodic cleaning.

I have done canvas for some people who did it theirselves the first time and did a wonderful job. One person in particular told me he saved thousands, but when he figured out how much time he had into it it was worth it to hire me to restitch his canvas and recover some cushions.

Add up the cost of the tools, the sundries the fabric, then subtract the total from the lowest bid you got. Take how much time you think it will take, then triple it. Then see how much your getting paid per hr for the canvas work your going to do. You might be surprised. This weekend I made about $5 an hr doing a somewhat complicated seat I put a price on. This included multiple trips to the hardware store because I got mixed thread t nuts out of a bin and had to tear the seat apart once it was stapled together and replace half of them. Believe me, there arent any millionaire canvas workers out there, even as steep as the price seems sometimes.
This is good, honest feed back!!!
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:44   #33
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Re: Sewing Your Own Awnings

Based on posts from several years ago (I don't remember what forum) I purchased Pfaff 130 on Ebay. It seems to be able to sew through most anything. It weighs about 30 pounds but it is a table top type machine. There are lots of instructional videos on Youtube on how to use it and adjust various tension settings. We enjoy being as self-sufficient as possible and hope to be able to sew our own new covers one day, not just repair the old seams.

I can see where the throat would be an issue but since we are not going into production on anything we can probably go two falls out of three with the bear.
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:23   #34
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Re: Sewing Your Own Awnings

Good luck w/ your machine.

Welcome to the forum.

There is also a forum sewing Community Group w/ additional topics and information that you may join.

The typical solution for the limited throat depth is to roll the fabric / assembly.
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