A Stitch In Time….

… is looking like it’s going to save me a great deal of money but, I mustn’t get too cocky about it until I’ve done the corners successfully. I first laid out on the floor the old hood over the new fabric…

Cutting out

… and drew around the old hood with tailor’s chalk and then again to create about a 1 1/2″ selvage which gave me the cut line. The only thing left to do was to get the scissors out and hope I was on the right track but I paused for thought as I wasn’t sure how to create the edge. I knew it had to be folded over and sewn but as the old hood was rather untidily finished inside, I elected to fold roughly 1/2″ in once and then another 1″ again to get back to the original hood size. This gave the inside a clean finish.

Seam stitch

Then it was time to have a go on the sewing machine. I’ve never used one of these before and the one I bought to do the job (and sent back) I was completely defeated by. However, this borrowed machine (a Sailrite LSZ-1) was a different kettle of fish and the instruction manual was written by someone who, early in life, had clearly had a similar experience to me and was determined to make the world a better place; the winding of the bobbin, the threading of the machine and the setting up of the tension was simplicity itself. We got off on the right foot.


After a couple of practice runs, there was nothing to it but to cut up the cloth and have a go. I thought that it might be difficult to hold the 3 folds of cloth in the right place so I ironed each fold individually with a steam iron – not using water would create a shine on the cloth as I found out on the test pieces. The first seam went very well – I put a piece of masking tape on the bed of the machine to act as a guide for the parallel stitching – and then the phone rang and the next seam I had to unpick because having been distracted – I did the second stitch first without folding the seam under. Still, it was easy to unpick as I just ran a scalpel down the middle of the fold and then spent a few minutes picking the bits of cotton off the material.

Trial fit

After the two side seams I thought it would be as well to have a bit of a trial fit. So far, everything was looking fine. The length was good – I’d allowed myself plenty of surplus – and the edges sat nicely over the frame.


Some big Bulldog clips came in handy for this exercise.


But the tricky bit will be the corners. The fabric has to lie flat and smooth on the curved frames without any creases caused by too much or a lack of tension. I’ll have to think about that and make some improvement on the original which did look a bit of a mess at the back and wasn’t helped by the rear window….

Rear window

… which probably would have defeated even Mr Hitchcock.


One comment on “A Stitch In Time….

  1. Sheila Tuscott says:

    Hi Nigel. Am following your blog and loving it, even if I dont quite understand some of the more technical bits and bobs….. I hope you dont run out of things to build! Brave man, making the hood … your machining is so much straighter than mine!
    Sheila Truscott

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