Uh huh…

Honey, where’s the Tums?

Steve has heartburn. That means he’s stressed. He’s asked for the Tums several times over the last few weeks. I’m wondering why and I ask him while we are lying in our comfy V-berth looking out the hatch at a sky full of stars.

It’s hard to explain, he tells me. I am living my dream but there is so much to learn and do and see. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. Sure, I had stress at work, but that was stress I was used to. Normal work stress. This is “I’m not sure what I’m doing” stress. Add that to me taking you away from our home, our family, and our dogs and yeah, I need a Tums every now and again.

Okay, I get that. I get heart palpitations when tackling a sewing project.

All the canvas on FNR needed to be replaced so shortly after buying her, we purchased a Sailrite sewing machine. Since Steve used to hang out at his best friend’s canvas shop, he figured making a sail cover, bimini and full enclosure wouldn’t be a big deal. And besides, according to him, the only difference between us and the people who do canvas work for a living is experience and we’re fixing to get that experience.

Uh huh.

We have a Sailtainer mainsail. It is stored in the boom so the sail cover is cylinder-shaped. Steve wants to make the sail cover first. He says it will be a “good” first sewing project.

Uh huh.

We take the old sail cover home and rip it apart so we can see how it is put together and use it for a pattern. We measure, cut, sew, install snaps and head back down to Oriental, confident that FNR has never seen such a good-looking sail cover. We start pulling the cover over the mainsail working our way to the mast. Wait, it must be bunched up somewhere. It’s not fitting. We pull, stretch, and straighten to no avail. It’s too short. Six inches too short to be exact. Perhaps that’s why the end of the old sail cover had ripped apart.

Uh huh. Chalk that up to experience.

We take the new sail cover and the old bimini home. Luckily, adding length to the sail cover is not that big of a deal, but the thought of making a bimini gives me heart palpitations. My mother is an accomplished seamstress and she taught me how to sew when I was a little girl. I can baste, dart, pleat, gather, hem, and sew a pretty straight seam but I struggle with sewing zippers. And, OF COURSE, a bimini has a boatload (no pun intended) of zippers. And, OF COURSE, they are not the normal clothing size zippers. I am looking at zippers ranging from 36” to 96” long.

I watch YouTube video after YouTube video before sewing my first bimini zipper. I rip it out and sew it again and rip it out and sew it a third time.

Uh huh. Chalk that up to experience.

I get better at zippers but we use the old bimini as a pattern for the new bimini. The old bimini was saggy and water pooled on top. The new bimini sags and water pools on top.

Uh huh. So much for experience.

We take the new bimini back and forth a few times trying to get the sags out. It’s not perfect but we’re satisfied.

Since we don’t have a full enclosure, we are going to have to “pattern” one. Novel concept, huh?

Uh huh.  That’s experience talking.

Steve can visualize projects like this in his head. I cannot. I have heart palpitations. Steve tells me that the front curtain is going to consist of 3 panels that zip to the bimini and to each other and then snap or fasten to the deck. I have no idea what he is talking about. The hand goes up. Don’t even try to explain it. Just tell me what to do.

Oh, the Places You'll Sew!
Oh, the Places You’ll Sew!

So he does and guess what? It takes us all day but we make the center panel and it looks pretty doggone good.

YES! I knew I could do it!!
YES! I knew I could do it!!

We make patterns for the other two panels the next day and voila! We have a front curtain!! No more getting wet going up and down the companionway when it rains which, very zen-like, it did that night.

Patterning panels 2 & 3
Voila! We have a front curtain!!
Voila! We have a front curtain!!

Tums? Heart palpitations? Nuh-uh. We have experience!

4 thoughts on “Uh huh…”

    1. Deb: Thanks for the comment. We actually did use Sailrite’s patterning material. I uploaded the wrong picture!! Today we are cutting a window in our bimini so we can view the main sail trim . Wish us luck! Marci


  1. My, oh, my. Never remembering you being an accomplished seamtress, but you surpassed my talent. Just think how that will look on a r’esume.


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