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Old 02-10-2012, 04:13 PM
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Re-upholster boat - first project - tips?

I'm gearing up to tackle my first upholstery project - I am re-upholstering a ski boat . I plan to use the existing upholstery as pattern. I purchased an older Adler 267 that I'm trying to figure out how to use. Have marine grade vinyl, monel rustproof staples (for marine work) and have read Automotive Upholstery Handbook by Don Taylor. Still a little scared to get started though! I'm wondering if anyone has tips, suggestions, other helpful instruction books, etc. I do have sewing experience, but mainly garment/quilt piecing and quilting with a long-arm quilting machine but really know very little about this type of work.

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:25 PM
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I have found it best to just gather myself up and go sew something and you do not have to use the best material for a couple of practice projects to get your self back into the swing and for getting used to the machine..

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Old 02-10-2012, 07:14 PM
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Boat upholstery is the easiest thing you will ever tackle. If you are comfortable with an industrial sewing machine, you have 90% of what you need to do what you want to do. If you are not comfortable with the machine, sew simple things (straight, flat seams) until you are not afraid of the sewing machine. An industrial machine goes 5 times faster than a home sewing machine, so it takes a lot of experience to get to a comfort level.

You can't learn to do upholstery work from a book. You need to learn, hands on, while running the sewing machine, preferably from someone who knows what they are doing. Given that that isn't going to happen, this is my advise.

The problem most beginners have is assuming what they take apart, and make patterns from, is perfect, and don't know if it is perfect or not. The reality is ( especially with boat upholstery) is that what you take apart was produced on an assembly line and sewed together by people who are paid on incentive by how many pieces they can sew together the fastest, and by people who cut the material and don't care how close they cut to the pattern lines because they are paid the same way.

Learn how to use the sewing machine first, and then start your project.
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