Ok, I’m all recouped from the haul-out and back to working on our to-do list.
This week I stitched up and installed the new dodger. The old one was only a few years old but the thread had completely given out so this time around I used Helios 100% PTFE thread. It has a lifetime guarantee and will last longer than the fabric. For the window, I chose the .40 gauge Strataglass and Sunbrella fabric.
Like the last one, I used Sailrites‘ Make Your Own Dodger DVD. They have done an amazing job with the instructional video. How they manage to break down such a complex and custom project into an easy-to-follow step-by-step “recipe” basically is quite amazing. Here is how it went:
Use dura-skrim and double-sided tape to pattern the dodger. The instructions show exactly how to draw the pattern and what and where to mark the pattern so that it will make sense once back in the sewing room. Once this step is done all of the “thinking” and “figuring” is done. From here on out it was just like following a recipe.
Trace patterns on to sunbrella and cut out all pattern pieces. (My hurricane stash of canned chicken worked great as pattern weights!)
Use double-sided tape to bind the pattern pieces together.
Sew it up. The DVD tells exactly how to line the pieces up and in what order to sew each piece. It shows each and every step from start to finish.
Install and smile at all the money I saved! Actually, I have a few finishing touches to finish up tomorrow, but I am proudly checking this one off the list.
Notes to self for next time:
1. This is not a two day project. Plan on at least four full days.
2. This is not a solo project. You will need Keith’s help for several steps.
3. The window zippers and straps are a major part of this project and the most difficult part to get through the sewing machine.
4. Pattern the side panels when patterning the rest of the dodger-it was easier this way.
5. Consider changing from a tucked rain tail at the rear of the dodger to a hanging.
Next up….. the Bimini and the full glass and mosquito screen enclosure.