Pegu Club came with a navy blue sail cover and dodger and green interior cushions. The dodger and cushions were reaching the end of their lifespan when we bought her back in 2015, but we inserted new foam in the cushions and limped along with the dodger before it all gave up the ghost towards the end of last summer. The cushions were tearing, Jeff was bottoming out on the settee from the wimpy foam, and the dodger leaked like a sieve. So we knew coming into this year that we would be doing quite a bit of sewing on the Sailrite this summer.
I’ve blogged about our Sailrite before – it’s a fantastic machine and has more than paid for itself. Sailrite has excellent step-by-step videos on YouTube. Even if you haven’t sewn before, you can definitely do your own canvas work as long as you start slow (I recommend a tote bag) before working your way up to more complex projects. Since it had been a few years since I’d sewn anything, I started by making a handful of totes to get used to the feel of the machine again before getting to the cushions.
Having made cockpit cushions already, I knew making interior cushions wouldn’t be too difficult. The hardest part was going to be deciding what fabric we wanted to use. Pegu Club is our home, and this was going to be a great opportunity to put our personal stamp on her decor. We’ve always gravitated to a mid-century modern style, so after ordering several sample pieces it turned out to be a relatively easy decision. The only tricky part was that the material was striped. I had never sewn with stripes before, and I knew it was all-too-easy for it to end up mismatched. We were going to have to be careful to make sure everything was lined up.
Lucky for us, we were able to use our good friends’ Jeff and Denise’s house to go on a sewing binge. We drove up there on a Friday with all of our supplies and foam and took over their living room and dining room for the weekend. We were SO grateful – we never could have sewed them on the Shenny picnic tables. The cushions were simply too large.
We used the Sailrite “30 minute box cushion” pattern for three out of four of the cushions, although at well over 30 minutes per cushion, there was clearly some creative licensing going on by Sailrite in choosing that pattern name. The fourth cushion was a traditional box cushion because it was angled due to the shape of the hull. Jeff W. was a huge help to my Jeff when it came time to cut the foam, and I think he was amused by my occasional teeth-gnashing and seam ripping.
We had a few hiccups that we were able to improvise fixes for, but by mid-morning Sunday we were all driving down to Shenny for the moment of truth: would they fit? Although I measured at least five times before we headed up to Jeff and Denise’s house, I was still pretty nervous that they wouldn’t. So you can imagine how thrilled we all were to discover that they fit perfectly, the stripes matched up, and the foam provided plenty of support so that Jeff no longer bottomed out when he sat down. Yes!
Even though we’ve had them now for well over a month, I still come down the companionway steps and think about how much I love this pattern. Well worth the effort it took to make them, the cushions reflect our personal style and has made Pegu Club feel even more like our home.