Make your own Boat Enclosure Aft Curtain
Boating needs: canvas and upholstery jobs : Buying a New or SH boat enclosure is expensive, here is helpful information about how to Make your own an Boat Enclosure Aft Curtain.
Below, you can learn the steps required to make your own enclosure aft curtain for your boat. Every detail from patterning, sewing, fasteners and installing zippers. Making your own enclosure curtains may save you thousands compared to having a canvas shop to do it. The aft curtain will be attached to the radar arch of the powerboat via awning rope and track. The awning rope will have a zipper sewn to it so it can easily be installedand removed.
Boating needs: canvas and upholstery jobs - Do it yourself
Make your own an Boat Enclosure Aft Curtain
Do it yourself : canvas and upholstery jobs
Since this radar arch has a rather abrupt curve you can use Flex a Rail awning track for this boat curtain application.
At first, take measurements of the area the Flex-a-Rail awning track will need to extend. Since the Flex-a-Rail is shipped in a few different lengths you
need to think about how many sticks you need and where each junction will fall.
For this boat, "Maxum powerboat" the center of the radar arch to the coaming measures 95”. The awning track comes in 44 or 90 inch lengths we will use 2 each of 90” sections and 1 each of 44” section and butt them together. conservative 21” from center on both the port and starboard side of the radar arch. Marks will serve as a reference for creating a pattern so you can bend the track appropriately. To make on the fiberglass he is using a pencil.
Then measures up from the coaming to the spot where the track will begin to take a
curve and places a mark. Measure up on the opposite side and place a mark at that measurement also on that side. For easy reference when making the pattern he uses a strip of 3M filament strapping tape along the marks and extends it to the top of the boat radar arch so it can be easily seen.
It will also extend to the side of the radar arch here. To gain access for patterning he will unsnap the bimini top from the radar arch.
In Fact: Use some cardboard as a pattern being sure it covers the entire radius of the corner and temporarily tape it in place along the curve. Mark the locations where the strapping tape falls at the top and side and then trace the curve onto the cardboard pattern.
Now,repeat these steps for the starboard side and be sure to label the pattern for easy reference. Sailrite’s Flex-a-Rail track is, as the name implies, flexible. But the curve we need is rather abrupt and does requires some special steps to achieve.
Using the measurement we took on the boat ,from coaming to beginning of cure transition mark the track up from the end that amount, plus an extra inch for a fudge factor. Starting at the mark on the pattern walk the track along the cardboard pattern to the point where the curve transitions to an almost straight away and mark the track there also.
Heating, Using a heat gun
Using a heat gun on high heat you will focus the heat on the section he outlined. Moving the heat gun over the track rotating the track as he heats it up. The track will eventually start to take a bend. It will almost become the consistency of a spaghetti noodle that has cooked just long enough to start to take a bend.
After about a half minute or so he tries again. After about 2 minutes 30 seconds it is starting to bend slightly. After about 3 minutes he thinks it is just about ready to take the full bend. Before bending insert the awning rope to help stabilize the opening and keep it from collapsing. Do this quickly before the track cools again and become ridged.
Notice that you can uses the cardboard pattern as a reference so you can hand bend the track to replicate the curve on the pattern. The track has cooled to the point where it will no longer bend easily and he is not yet happy with the amount of bend.
Now, remove the awning rope and reheat it once more. Only as smaller sections needs bent more, so it will take less time since it is a smaller section of track that needs our attention. Before bending again, insert the awning rope.
You can use Keder awning rope here. Does it match the pattern perfectly, no but
it is close enough. Notice here that we can make modifications by simply flexing it, so we can match it up to the curve on the radar arch when we are inserting each screw.
Remove the Keder or as some pronounce Keder awning rope and inspect the tracks opening,
if a wall has collapsed slightly you can open it back up by reheating that section and using a blunt object that fits almost perfectly between the walls of the track. Our track’s walls are in good condition, but we want to demonstrate what should be done just in case yours is not.
If the tracks walls were hot enough this cut off screw driver would be forcing the wall apart as they cool down and become ridged again. And that’s all it takes to force Flex-A-Rail awning track to take a sharp turn. Coming up next we will show how to install this track to the boat’s radar arch. Since the track will extend all the way to the coaming and the ends need to be cut to match the profile angle we need to tape it
in place so we can mark it appropriately. Remember to added an extra inch for the curve so you have some here and can cut off without losing too much. We can mark the cut with a pencil trying to match it up with the coaming surface.
Flex-A-Rail track cuts easily with a hacksaw.
Now, determining which side of the track needs to have a cut out made too and he will grind off one side of the wall (usually a 2” opening is enough to allow the awing rope to be inserted). You can use a grinder or a Dremel tool with a sanding drum.
Predrill holes in our track before taking it to the boat for installation. This first hole will be very close to the end of the track. This hole will be almost directly
over the coaming, so we will angle it back at about 45 degrees so you can drive the screw in at a slight angle avoiding the coaming obstacle. All other holes will be driven straight down.
Position screws holes about 4 to 6 inches apart. When you get to the curved section or crown switch the hole positions to about 4 to 5 inches apart there.
Water tight seal
To accomplish a total water tight seal we will use Trimmable Butyl Tape. Sure you could use a marine silicone, but that captures dirt and also is a major pain to clean up off the fiberglass when it expands past the track. Butyl tape always stays flexible and is easy to remove from surfaces. If you don’t use it along the entire length of the track it should be used as a bedding compound for the screw holes. The holes that will be drilled in the fiberglass need to be protected from possible leaking using the butyl tape around each drilled hole will be a perfect bedding sealant for the hole we make in the fiberglass.
After ensuring that it is where you wants it to lay drill a hole through the predrilled hole in the track and into the fiberglass. You can use a 1/8 inch drill bit which is the perfect size for the special screws that the Flex-A-Rail track uses. These stainless steel screws feature a flat head that fits perfectly in the opening of the track to allow passage of the awning rope. A square head screwdriver also needs to be used.
As each screw is inserted and tightened down you will notice the butyl tape expands beneath the track - drilling and screwing one screw at a time. After the track is secured cleaning up the excessive butyl tape that has been squeezed out is easily done by running a knife gently beside the track then rolling the butyl down creating a “snowball” like wad.
The tape will act differently depending on the working temperatures. Note: Working in a temperature of about 65 degrees. Normal room temperature or cooler is optimal for the consistency of the butyl tape when applying it to your work. After applied it works in all temperatures.
Always ensure that a screw is about one inch away from any end where a junction is made between two tracks.
The openings at the bottom of our track are less than 2 inches, we need to open them up more to make it easier to insert the awning rope in a future step.
Now inserting the Keder or Keder awning rope into the track. Coming
up next we mark where the zippers need to be installed and also show you how to make a gorgeous zipper plaque to cover the zipper and protect it from the sun.
You can use the awning track and rope with zippers sewn to the awning rope to attach the new curtains and making on the fiberglass with a pencil where the door opening was located.
The zipper which attaches the two is not directly over the hard break (or corner). We will duplicate the location where it rests at now, mainly because snaps are already installed to accommodate the panels at the lower edge. However, if possible, it is always best to position the hard break (facings with zipper) as close to the corner as possible. The clear vinyl window material typically does not lay neatly at the hard turn, while the canvas and zipper do.
Next step is to install the awning rope in the track. If your track has a rather sharp curve, you will have to pull it thru. When the rope reaches the other side, pull it back out a few inches and cut it so it is exactly the entire length of the track. Then push it back into the track so the ends are flush. Then mark the awning rope with a pencil at each location where a zipper needs to be installed. This is the door and these are the sides of the aft curtain which attach to the side curtains.
Pull the awning rope out of the track and let’s get ready to install the zipper along with an awesome looking canvas plaque.
Here you can use a clear acrylic ruler to measure out some Sunbrella Marine Grade fabric to size for our zipper cover. We are cutting a strip of fabric that is 4 inches wide. Use a soapstone pencil and here use the Sailrite Edge hot knife to cut it out
and keep the edges from unraveling. To save on fabric cut along the width of the fabric, meaning we made a lot of 4 inch strips to cover the entire length of our awning rope.
Those need to be joined together. To do this we will sew a straight stitch along the edge about a half inch away from the raw edge. After that stitch is completed the fabric will be turned so the right side is facing up and a top stitch will be placed about 1/8 inch away from the seam’s fold. This is called a semi-flat-felled seam. Be sure to
sew through the bottom ½ inch fold while sewing this stitch.
All strips have been joined together to form one long length that is equal or slightly longer than our awning rope length. Fold that assembly in half so the outside surface is facing out (seam should be on the inside). Then using a Swing Away 1” Straight Angle Binder from Sailrite and 1” bias binding sew a binding over the two raw edges.
doing this prior to installing the binding for an easier sewing job and checks the underside to be sure he likes the stitch quality and where it is placed on the binding. This binder attachment folds the prefabricated 1 inch binding over the edge and keeps the stitch in the right spot. All has to do is fold the assembly evenly and push it up inside the edge of the binder’s feeder, the binder does all the rest of the work. He now creases the edge up against the shape edge of a table (do this only on a work table, as the abrasion may damage the table’s edge).
Onto the Keder or Keder awning rope and apply the 3/8” wide seamstick for canvas ,double sided tape, to the flange on the awning rope. Baste the awning rope to the assembly we just made being sure to leave at least a half inch of extra canvas at the end. Notice that the canvas is sticking out above the awning rope’s top edge, this is a preference and not a rule.
Trying to achieve is a slight tail that will cover the awning tracks edge slightly, as seen here. Next we will sew this awning rope to the assembly so the stitch is right up against the rope’s edge. To accomplish this you can use a roping zipper foot left on sewing machine. If you do not have this foot just sew as close as possible to the rope. As with any and most sewing applications do some reversing at the beginning and end of you sewing.
Install three zippers to this awning rope assembly. Each of the three zippers will secure one curtain panel. We have applied a ¼” seamstick for canvas to the flange of the zipper on the correct side of the zipper. It is best to install the side of the zipper with the starter post or sometimes called starter pin on the awning rope.
It is easier to zipper each curtain in place when the zipper’s starter box is on the
actual curtain then the box can be pushed onto the zipper’s pin and the slider pulled more easily. Notice that we leave about 1 to 2 inches of space between zippers. To sew the zipper to the awning rope you can places the Deluxe 5 ½” Magnetic Guide down on the sewing machine. However, that is not typically needed when sewing zippers because the walking foot or presser foot often just rides up against the zipper’ teeth as it is sewn down.
At the very end of this awning rope the last of our three zippers is a little long. So
the end will need to be cut off (this is the end with a factory stop) and a new stop will
need to be made. We will use a cut section of 1” binding to accomplish that. It will
be folded over the teeth and then sewn down. Here is the outside surface and here is the inside surface. The opposite end was cut to the correct length for our project and at that location the zippers had to be cut also, so we will need to install a zipper stop there too. But before we do that lets finish the canvas ends with binding. Cut them so they are no less than ½” from the end of the zipper.
Then sew on a length of binding reversing at the beginning and end. This gives it a
finished look. Then use a hot knife to seal the ends of the binding to keep them from
unraveling. The awning rope now has zippers installed to the flange and it also has a
protective fabric cover that adds a touch of class.
The curtains could be secured to the radar arch using snap instead of the awning track and rope. If snaps were used instead of the awing rope we will pattern the edge of our panels about a half inch or inch outside the row of snaps on the radar arch. However, you can use awning rope and zippers so it must be fabricated before patterning can be done. Here at the bottom edge we are securing 3M filament strapping tape about a half inch (not more than an inch) away from the row of snap studs on the boat. Along the radar arch we are securing the strapping tape along the closest solid surface next to the awning rope/track, because it is much easier to pattern on a solid surface then one that is on a zipper and hidden by a canvas edge. Once we are happy with the pattern that you will transfer the pattern to the zipper’s flange.
That will be coming up after we show how to set up the pattern.
Here 3/8” seamstick for canvas is being applied over the strapping tape. This provides a double sided tape to stick the pattern to for proper patterning.
You can use Dura Skrim Pattern material and to be extra-large when you initially pattern, but as we baste it in place to trim it to size for easier tensioning and fitting. Always try to leave enough along each edge so it can be grabbed and fine-tuned easily.
Do not pull so much on the Dura Skrim pattern material that you stretch it
out of shape. Continue to pattern and if needed cut to size until you are happy.
Next transfer the pattern’s top edge (along the awning rope edge) to the zipper’s
flange on the awning rope. Try to mark where the zipper falls on the pattern material as it is up now.
Only cut where the curtain will attach to the awning rope, leave the bottom intact. Apply 3/8 inch basting tape for canvas along the flange edge of the zippers, on the correct side, the side that will face in towards the cabin. The zipper now needs to be zipped onto the side that is sewn to the awning rope.
The pattern is still attached along the bottom edge and may not need to be adjusted along those edges. Since the pattern is still in just about the right position, because it
was pre-fitted along the solid surface to our radar arch, we can easily reattach it
to the zipper’s flange. It is always a good idea to check that everything
looks good before drawing on the pattern.
Start by marking where the edge or corner of the curtain falls on the pattern material (this is between zippers).
Then he draws a line about 3 inches down indicating where the middle of the zipper’s teeth are located. At the bottom edge he marks where the zipper stops. Moving to the outside he marks around the outer edge about ¾ inch away from the snap studs on the boat. This will be the edge of the curtain. Be sure to label the pattern for easy identification so you don’t get confused later on. Instead of pulling the pattern material off the double sided tape along the zipper’s edge, instead unzip the zipper leaving it
attached to the pattern material. We can then take it to our table or floor and trace over the zipper more accurately. Simply remove the pattern from the double sided tape everywhere else. At the work table strike a straight line along
the inside edge where the larger aft curtain will be zipped together with this side curtain.
Since the zipper was left basted to the pattern material we can trace up against the zipper’s teeth ensuring a perfect line following the shape of the zipper on the pattern.
The zipper can now be removed and the basting tape on the zipper removed. This line we struck down against the zipper should be moved back a half inch, because the zippers teeth will extend past this edge slightly because they will be protected from the canvas strip
Not going to cut out the pattern, this is a good idea for the most part because the pattern material will not move around as it is being traced and all markings on the pattern material weather inside or outside the pattern will not accidently be removed if it were cut out.
Here you can see this line being struck down a half inch away from the first line
All other lines will be traced directly on top of them. We like to make the clear vinyl window material with a yellow grease pencil, as we are doing here, or a sharpie marker.
Clear vinyl window material should be cut with scissors.
To install the facings to the edges
It is now time to make the facings for the curtain. For the underside facing you can
use a vinyl fabric called Shelter-Rite, you could just use the Sunbrella or whatever fabric you have used for the outside surface as the facing for the underside as well.
To install the facings to the edges we could just make it for the outside surface only, but that would make the inside look kind of ugly, as you would see hems and double sided tape through the clear vinyl. In general these are common finished width
sizes of the facing strips along each edge. Feel free to modify the finished widths as desired for your project. For the inside surface you can use a vinyl fabric called Shelter-Rite. As with any curtain panel you have some choices regarding the facing material you want to use and whether or not to use any on the inside surface, as discussed.
If your curtain panels have curved edges, like this side, making your own facings as shown is a good idea. Why are we not using it for this project? Well prefabricated facing is a production shortcut, but it does not take a curve well, it tends to wrinkle or not lay flat if the curve is rather abrupt.
Making our own facings for this project for your boat
The Shelter-Rite has a shiny side and a dull side, we like the dull side to face up or out - tracing on the shiny side with the clear vinyl window facing outside surface
up. The yellow grease pencil works best to mark Shelter-Rite fabric.
Makes the facing for each side notice the helpful jig that was made out of an old
ruler that was notched with a dremel tool at certain measurements, so the pencil could rest in the grooves to create facing strips the correct size. When using this jig be sure to hold it always perpendicular to the first stuck down line.
Now that the inside facing strips are cut out we can turn our attention to the outside
facing strips. Ours are Sunbrella Marine Grade fabric. You can the inside facing strips to make these. However, they need to be about a ½ inch wider so a single hem can be created along the inside edge to give it a finished look.
A hot knife could be used to help prevent the edges from unraveling, but since the edge will have a binding installed on it and the inside edge will be hemmed under those edges will not be visible and thus a hot knife cut edge is not necessary.
As discussed earlier when adding the ½ inch to one of the long sides be sure to hold the jig perpendicular to that edge.
After the facing strips are cut to the correct shape and size it is time to sew them onto
the curtain. We need to be sure to install them on the correct inside or outside surface of the clear vinyl window material. Always start with the inside facing strips, if you have them, and baste them in placing using seamstick for canvas 3/8” on both long side. Because the facing strips were patterned right off the edges of the clear vinyl, they should fit almost perfectly.
Placing the vinyl
By placing the clear vinyl on top of a soft cotton fabric we can rotate and move the clear vinyl around without possibly causing scratches in our window materail.
Trim away any edge or end that may hang off. Next up we will work on installing the Sunbrella Facing which will go on the outside surface of the curtain. This time apply the double sided seamstick for canvas 3/8” to the outer and inner edge of the curtain.
To apply the facing we will remove the basting tape’s transfer paper only from the row of seam stick closest to the outside edge of the curtain. Then carefully baste that edge down.
Because a hem along the inside edge is required he trims away a portion of the end of each facing strip that is covered under the other to allow for a hem in a later step.
Now that you has all the sides basted down along the outer edge only, he will now sew the outer edge to hold them in place.
Keep this stitch very close to the edge as it will be covered by 1” bias binding in
a future step and we want to cover this stitch completely, so keep it about an 1/8” away from the edge. At the corner he will bury the needle in the fabric, lift the presser
foot, roll the fabric around, lower the presser foot and continues to sew.
Notice also that the soft cotton fabric is still under the clear vinyl window material
to protect it from accidental scratches that may occur while we are sewing.
Now we can create our single hem along the inside edge. Peel of the transfer paper from the seamstick along this edge and just match up the fold of this hem with the edge of the facing below for a great looking curtain.
The facing takes a rather abrupt curve here, so a few relief notches will need to be made to allow the hem to lay flat. Do not cut deeper than the hem allowance, which is a half inch here.
Now the inside hem can be sewn down. Sew about an 1/8 inch away from the folded edge. Reversing to lock the stitch in place is really not needed because the binding will cover the ends, but does it anyway because it is a good habit.
Please excuse the noise in the background. It is our 50 foot plotter bed plotting sail
kits. The noise is the vacuum which holds the sailcloth down as the plotter cuts and
marks each sail panel. Here at the corner he will do some reversing, remove the fabric, and start sewing from the next hem on the opposite run of facing.
Continue doing this until all sides are sewn securely.
an awl or center post so it can spin as it is being used up.
Keep the assembly feeding consistently inside the opening of the binder attachment. Let the binder do the job of keeping the stitch straight and the folding of the binding, you keep your eye on the assembly being sure it is pushed up into the opening so it catches the edge consistently for the stitch.
The binding cannot easily take a 90 degree turn so at any corners cut off the overrun
binding, if any, and overlay the next run so it covers the previous and do some reversing at that corner to lock the stitch in place.
This is a rather thick assembly considering that it is 30 gauge O’Sea clear vinyl, Sunbrella, Shelter-Rite and now a binding folded in half. So, as you feed this thick assembly into the opening of the binder you may have to help push it through, since it is a rather a tight fit.
After you are done using a hot knife to seal the ends of the binding is a good idea.
Next we will install the zippers. To do this place the pattern material over the curtain
and mark the correct locations for the start and stops of each zipper. The nice thing about the soapstone pencil is the fact that it can easily be erased if a mark is place at the wrong spot.
First installing the zipper which will zip to the awing rope. Cut off the factory stop and remove the plastic slider. The boat owner wants to use metal sliders instead.
Apply to the flange of the zipper ¼” seamstick for canvas. Then baste the zipper to the curtain being sure the starter box is beginning at the correct position we just
marked on the curtain.
The zipper is attached to the inside surface of the curtain. Since this zipper is used
along the radar arch and the awning rope it will be zipped to has a protective cover,
we can leave the zipper’s teeth slightly exposed making pulling the sider much easier.
A zipper stop will be made with a strip of 1” binding. You may want to opt for the
YKK stainless steel top stops instead of this binding top. The zipper is too long so it will be cut so the binding stop will start at the mark on the curtain indicating where the zipper should stop. Since the slider was removed be sure to reinstall it before the stop is secured.
To sew on the zipper do some reversing to lock the stitch in place at the beginning
then sew over the stitch that secured the binding in place.
Cut my zipper to size then remove the sider. Sew on my zipper without having
to worry about running in the slider while sewing. Then once the zipper is sewed on you can reinstall my slider and then crimp on my YKK SS top stop.
A typical question we get here - can I sew this on my home machine -
Ok, for many canvas and upholstery jobs that answer is often yes (depending on the job). However, enclosure curtains like this do require a heavy duty sewing machine. Here at the corner we are going through 10 layers of fabric including the 30 gauge clear vinyl material. Now that’s impressive. The Ultrafeed is the World’s best portable industrial sewing machine.
to install zippers
So typically you’ll put this panel on first. Ah, when you go to hang your second panel on it, if you try to hold the panel with one hand and hold the zipper with the other hand it will be a lot easier if we put not our starter box on this panel, but rather our starter pin. That way when this zipper is stationary and in place you can have the other panel in your hand with the zipper slider and the starter box and you’ll be able to drop it onto that pin that is stationary and then with one hand basically zip it in place. When it’s on place on the panel that will be a solid object it will be much easier to start it on there and zip it down. So basically the starter pin should be on the first panel up or the stationary object if possible.
Going back to the curtain and using the pattern mark where the start and
stop position for the zipper that will join the larger aft curtain to this smaller side
aft curtain. This zipper should be almost buried under the edge. -This zipper runs
vertically to join another panel and we want to try to hide it from the elements to prolong its life. Be sure not to burying it too deep as it is more difficult to slide the slider up and down, if so.
The process for installation is just as it was for the first zipper, except that this
stitch which secures the zipper will not be on top of the stitch that holds the binding.
It will be sewn with the zipper facing up, so it can be viewed while sewing.
Zipper the curtain onto the awning rope. Then get ready to install the fasteners along the bottom edge, that’s coming up next. To install snaps along the bottom edge we will show two snap installation tool systems; The SnapRite system and the Pres-n-Snap Tool. To aid in snap positioning we will use the Quick Fit Pin Socket.
This socket is reusable and simply snaps over an existing snap stud. You can use about 5 Quick Fit Pin Sockets at a time then if my project requires more
install the snaps first and then reuse the QFPS again for the next set of 5 snaps. Nice
thing about the QFPS system is that you can reposition a snap just be removing the pin and repositioning it in another location without having to put a large hole in the project.
installing a SnapRite Button with ¼” barrel and a hard action socket
A mandrel has been inserted through the center of the SnapRite socket die and then the snap socket is inserted and pushed onto the die. The Quick Fit Pin Socket is removed from the fabric and the mandrel pushed through the hole left by the QFPS from the backside. The die can be snapped onto the existing stud on the boat.
Using a standard rivet tool with the SnapRite Button Die screwed onto the nose a SnapRite snap button is inserted in the die. The button’s barrel is pushed over the mandrel and the rivet tool’s handle is depressed several times until the snap is installed.
Next - using the Pres-n-Snap Installation Tool to install a snap. Unto the socket die a snap socket is pushed and a button onto the button die. Now simply position the snaps barrel over the hole left by the QFPS pin and depress the lever of the tool once. The Pres-n-Snap creates a hole and sets the snap in one squeeze of the lever.
Before patterning the larger aft curtain the starboard aft side curtain must be completed in the same manner as this one.
Finally we can now pattern for the larger aft curtain. To the zipper at the top which zips onto the awning rope apply seamstick for canvas 3/8” wide to the side that is
facing the bow of the boat. Then zip it in place. Now apply 3M strapping tape to the
boat as a base for the seamstick that will be used to stick the Dura Skirm pattern material to.
Basically cut pattern material slightly large, baste and re-baste, trim away excess pattern material, re-baste until happy.
Trim away any extra then get ready to trim along the top edge just as was done for the aft side curtain, so you can join it up with the seamstick on the zipper’s flange.
Be careful to not remove the pattern material from the bottom edge. Now baste the pattern material to the basting tape on the zipper. A helper is always recommended for patterning, though we are not showing that.
To keep this corner from coming loose he will apply a run of strapping tape here, just because it is rather small.
When we are happy with the way the pattern looks we can start marking the pattern material.
You can mark where the edges, corners, zipper’s start and stops fall and any other important factors that may impact how this large aft curtain is made.
At the door location - strikes a line that will indicate where the future zipper will
be installed to allow passage and do this also at the top for the door. A straight line
will be struck down at the table or floor later on.
Along the bottom edge we will be using the Stayput Shock Cord Cover Clips to secure the panel. So the bottom edge will be rather high here at the stern. If fasteners like snaps or common sense or lift the dot are used more space would be required to install them.
Here we are marking the panels for easy identification. As done earlier try to remove the panel with the zipper still stuck to the pattern material.
At the loft table we will strike straight lines where we know they should be, like are
at the bottom edge. Then along the sides where this curtain joins up with the side aft curtain.
And at the door.
The top edge zipper is still attached. Turn the pattern material over and trace
along the inside edge of the zipper’s teeth. Then at the top edge, since we did not yet
mark the zipper’s start and stop position we will do that now before removing the zipper.
To install a zipper for the door slit. To do this measure how far away from
the edge the zipper ends at the corner then duplicate that measurement for the slit at
the door. So this will be the stop position for the door’s zipper.
Now the zipper can be removed from the pattern material.
As done with the first curtain you must place this pattern under our clear vinyl material and mark the vinyl.
Everything is cut out and now you will mark the desired finished size and the cut size
of the facing he wants on each curtain edge.
In general these are common finished width sizes of the facing strips along each edge. Feel free to modify the finished widths as desired for your particular project. You can make the inside facing from our Shelter-Rite vinyl fabric in the same manner by tracing around the edge of our clear vinyl window material matching the shape. This is the top edge and it is curved, However the sides, door slit and bottom are all straight runs so you can just cut strips of our inside facing to the correct width without having to trace the edges for the shape. The required facing strip at the top was longer than our vinyl fabric so is making a second section to be joined to make the correct length for that top edge section.
Cutting our Sunbrella outer facing strips is done the same way, except remember to add a half inch to the width for a single hem along the inside edge.
You can the soapstone pencil to make the Sunbrella because it comes off easily.
In an effort to save fabric we have joined two sections of "Sunbrella fabric" together to accommodate the required length needed at the top and bottom edge.
After all the facing strips are cut to size for the inside and outside surface it is time
to baste them to the clear vinyl window panels. Since our curtains have an inside facing strip that is different from the outside facing strip be sure to apply them to the correct side of the clear vinyl. Always start with inside facing strips so the outside edge can be hemmed to match. The aft curtain includes two sections, the smaller curtain is the door panel. We will face each of them separately as independent
curtains, then later on when the top facing strip is applied they will be joined together permanently via a zipper and the top facing strips.
Notice that the clear vinyl window material is being worked on while still laying on top
of the white paper backing that it was shipped in. this is to avoid accidently scratching
the material while we work on it. Now you will attach the facing strips to the bottom edge and also at the door slit. Right now we are viewing the curtain with the inside
surface facing up. Now that those inside facing strips are applied we can flip the curtain panels so the outside surface is facing up.
Then we can apply the Sunbrella facing over top of those facing strips, just as we did
earlier with the aft side curtain.
The panels are placed over the pattern material so the zipper stop position can be
marked accurately on the curtains. Since this door slit or opening does not need
a separating zipper (called a finished zipper) because it will be sewn together at the top we can instead use a continuous length zipper. The panels will be flipped inside up and a length of continuous YKK zipper will be cut to size, slightly longer than the curtains height. Seamstick for canvas ¼” will be basted to the zipper’s sides or flange.
A soapstone works great on Sunbrella, but a grease pencil works best with vinyl. I do not recommend using a grease pencil on Sunbrella, as it is difficult to remove the marks. With both the main aft curtain and the door curtain lined up perfectly start basting the zipper in place.
Just in case the zipper moves places cross marks along the length of the zipper
on both sides. These marks make it possible to re-baste and sew the zipper down correctly, if it comes un-basted accidently. To separate the zipper just pull the ends apart and run a finger down the middle of the teeth. We must be careful to keep the zipper basted in place while this is being done.
Zipper Stops are not needed along the top edge as a facing strip will cover the zipper along the top edge. We can sew the zippers on while the panels are separated and thus easier to maneuver. Before reaching the top edge, stop sewing an inch away from the edge of the clear vinyl window material and do some reversing at this point. Keeping the zipper away from the top edge by about an inch or more will make it much easier to sew the top facing in place later on as we can cut away some of the zipper here.
You will have to end the facing strip at the top edge of the opposite facing
strip and create a pleasing single hem at that end.
Then before creating the inner edge hem sew the outer edge to keep it in place. As done earlier this outer edge will have binding installed in a later step. Then work on the inner hem of the facing matching it up to the facing on the inside surface underneath.
Once the facing is applied to the sides we can finish off the top edge. To do this we
must zipper the door curtain to the main aft curtain. With both panels side by side, lined them up perfectly slide the zipper slide onto the zipper’s teeth. We are using a double pull slider so it can be opened from the inside and outside of the enclosure curtains.
Now the inside facing strip can be positioned along the top edge. But first we must cut off the extra zipper hanging off the edge. You can cut it off as close to our stitch that stopped about an inch inside the edge. This will make it easier to sew the top outer edge (which will have a binding installed later) since the zipper is removed in that area. To save on fabric we made two length of this facing strip, since it was so long and taken from scrap fabric.
Flip the panel and complete the outside surface facing strip made from Sunbrella fabric here. How beautiful our door curtain slit transition looks.
When sewing and upon reaching the zipper in the door, it is best to walk the sewing machine by hand over this area since it is rather thick and we are sewing through the zipper’s teeth. After the facing is installed, simply install the binding along the top edge then the sides. Since the zipper stops about an inch away from this edge it is easier to sew the binding on this edge at the door slit.
Use the Edge Hot knife to cut any trailing binding off and to keep the ends from unraveling. Next we will install the zippers to the sides and along the top. To do this lay the curtain over the pattern and mark the start and stop positions of each zipper at the correct locations on the curtain.
After that is done, flip the curtain and work on it with the inside surface facing up. You will apply seamstick for canvas ¼” to the flange of the zippers and then baste them in place. Along the top edge allow the zipper to hang over the edge of the binding so the teeth are almost exposed completely.
materials by Sailrite video. www.sailrite.com