Attempting to make new curtains

So the other day I attempted to make a curtain for the first time (not counting the time where I attempted to by hand, cut myself and broke my phone by bleeding on it). Note the word ‘attempting’.

First attempt, I used the material I bought off sailrite. This turned to be designed for external material like a bimini or dodger so was really way to stiff to make good curtains. But it was all I had so I SUCKED IT UP. I used the video from Sailrite to do this, found here

First I cut the material to shape using a hot knife, which isn’t what you think it is. It’s actually a hot knife and not a delivery method for vast quantities of drugs


At this point I discovered that the central glass panel in my door wasn’t glass but acrylic of some kind, after I tried cutting on it. Whoops. No real harm done, except my door panel now looks like someone wailed on it with a machete. Makes the boat look tough, I keep telling myself. Don’t mess with tha’ boat with the machete scars.

Then I installed the rails on the cabin wall (they plug into those white things)



Next was to lay some basting tape (THIS STUFF RULES AND IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN PINS) and fold over the crease and lay the nobble tape (I can’t remember what its called) over the top


Then sew it. LOOK I’M SEWING

This appeared on first glance to be ok except that the thread mysteriously vanished at various points before reappearing again


No idea why.

Oh, also the other side looks like a spider got drunk with its friends and just started SHITTING OUT thread.


Not great!!!

I adjusted the thread tension and tried again



This is the ‘finished’ article


Notice all the threads hanging off the bottom like a jellyfish made out of cotton and failure.

SO, for my second attempt, I bought some actually soft, new material


Then I cut it to size and did the crease, basting tape etc





One thing I did was buy a ‘zipper foot’ for the sewing machine, this lets me get a lot closer to the buttons as it’s thinner


And then I sewed it


Not bad stitching! Though note again a mysterious gap. Weird.




Next to attach the little plastic widgets


And done! Note I forgot to take a finished picture. Also the thing is too large for the window. Sigh. Fits the next one up though so that’s good!

I ran out of hangers, so I will have to finish the rest after I buy more supplies.



  1. Very nice! I am hoping someone will explain the tale of the missing thread…

  2. The missing thread. Probably the thread snapped because of the sewing machine was incorrectly threaded, bobbin incorrectly threaded and the tension screw on the bobbin needs adjusting and/or the threads used are different or too heavy. A combination of all of the above would give you less than successful results. Standard domestic sewing machines are usually not built for “Sunbrella” type fabrics so that can add to the sewing mishaps. Having said that, you have a good eye Matt for laying out fabric!

    PS Did a manual come with the machine? You said you got it second-hand.

    • Yup, I found the manual. The thing I didn’t get is that it disappeared for a whole and then reappeared without me restarting the stitch!

      I found my bobbin was a bit bent, that probably didn’t help…

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