Monday, February 21, 2011

Uff!! The Mattress Extension Project!

I know...I know...everybody is waiting for sailing pictures, but this past weekend was put aside for the long postponed project to extend the mattresses in the aft instead of sailing pictures you will see sewing pictures. The plan was to add two big pieces to the already existing ones in order to form a U-shaped "playground", if I may say so :o) Having never done this kind of stuff before, I was not really looking forward to it...but hey...we live and learn and if you don't try you don't succeed!

I am happy to report that this dreaded fun project turned out alright...actually pretty darn good, that I no longer dread to cover all sorts of shapes and forms of foam :o) We purchased 5 inch high density foam from our friend Marianne (yes, Marianne from Trade Winds across from the marina) and had her make the two patterns and cut the foam accordingly. With this heavy duty work out of the way, it was time for me to sharpen the needles of my beloved Singer sewing machine. Seriously, this little Singer machine is like the little engine that could! Initially I made a slip cover, which is an easy thing to do, slipped it over the foam and pretended I was done with it! really was awful and after a night's sleep I decided I could not live with the result of such poor workmanship (mine). So I took the slip cover off again and vowed to produce a far superior product with my next try. This cover needed to be done properly, so that everything would fit and match with the existing mattresses!

Off to a new try and a great learning experience. I consulted my "Don Casey's complete illustrated sailboat" book, which contains a whole chapter on canvas and sewing projects for sailboats. I copied the formula for making cockpit cushion covers, which is the same as making upholstery covers...just a few little adjustments. I double checked my formula with Marianne BEFORE I started cutting the material (thank you Marianne). As it goes, the first cut is the hardest, because you just don't believe that a tiny seam allowance of 1/2" ( only half an inch for heaven's sake!) will be enough to make everything fit in the end. But my worries soon disappeared and I happily continued tracing, measuring, and cutting...all the while sending small little prayers that in the end nothing would have been done in vane. Ah well...only two things could happen...either it worked or it did not.

Since there was a lot of tension on Orion, the captain wisely decided to work on some projects that required him to be away for a while...(like checking the outboard motor on the dinghy)...Yes, we are a great team :o)

I was able to finish covering the foam pieces with the jeans-material I had selected (matching to the existing ones)...stuffing the foam into them is a different story...but I was successful with that also...hurray, hurray.
blue cheese head in place

All that was left was two tiny triangular pieces, which I conquered without too much fuss at all! So the two little "blue cheese heads" fit perfectly into the spaces they kewl is that?
"blue cheese head"

new mattress addition to the right

finished project, new extension to the left

After successfully covering the foam and putting the finished mattress extension in place, I draped everything with a blue king size sea shell quilt, which I cut to fit. The pillow covers and curtains you see in the pictures are home-made also...I did these almost three years ago already...and they still fit in with everything just least in my/our humble opinion :o)

finished project, new extension to the right
All in all we now have a very very comfortable aft cabin and can roll around any way we want...Life is good!

A closer look...

The quilt covers in place...

We turned the cupboard into a book cupboard :o)

The rear portholes with sun shade covers