Recent Projects, News & Events

Project Restoration “Nellie”

March 24, 2011

cushions and canvas for NellieThe largest and most interesting project of 2010 was designing and fabricating the cushions and canvas for “Nellie,” a 64 foot (LOA) Herreshoff gaff cutter built in 1903 and restored by Warren Pond Boatworks in South Berwick, Maine. The owners wanted to keep the look of the original cushions and canvas, using period fabrics and modern materials where necessary. The design of the interior cushions was based on the Herreshoff yacht Torch at the Herreshoff Museum and were made from a brass-colored linen fabric with modern foam, in a box style with buttons. Accents were done with throw pillows in an elegant gold damask, a rust and gold subtle striped velvet, and dark green velvet, with a variety of trims.

Pictures of the original Nellie showed tufted cockpit cushions, probably done in leather; these we modernized with a sunbrella furniture fabric, in the same brass color as the interior, tufted with a natural linen twine.

Her canvas is all cotton, in Sunforger Khaki, a total pleasure to sew, but challenging to design as cotton changes with the weather, shrinking when wet and stretching when dry. Leather reinforcing patches were used to match the leather used on the rigging.

The project required working closely with the owners and Warren Pond Boatworks to build their vision while making the final products practical, durable, and delivered on schedule. It was fun; there were several work sessions with ideas flying. Nellie was launched in the spring of 2010; she had a great summer sailing in Long Island Sound. The cushions were sat on, pillows were slept on, canvas was rained upon, and hopefully a little wine was spilled on those cockpit cushions (and easily cleaned of course).


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