Making a Steering
Pedestal Cover


When I had my dodger made by Canvas Creations, I also got a quote for a cover for the steering pedestal to protect the elkhide on the wheel as well as the compass, the teak cockpit table and the teak drink holder. After due consideration, I thought that $250 was a bit high all considered.

After a bit of procrastination, I decided to drag out the sewing machine that had been stored in the closet (ever since it began acting up breaking thread with regularity) and see if I could clean, adjust and lubricate it.

After cleaning and oiling the machine, it took about 20 minutes to find out why it kept breaking the upper thread. It seems that the last person I loaned it to had put the needle in backwards. I replaced the needle and I was now ready to give this project a try.

Material Required:

2.5 yd. of 60 in. Pacific blue Sunbrella ($25.00 on eBay)

Blue polyester V-92 sailmaker's thread (on hand)

72 yd. roll 3/8 in. wide Seamstick acrylic basting tape ($7.50 from Sailrite)

White tailor's chalk ($2.00 from fabric store)

Brown craft paper to make patterns (on hand)

3/4 in. wide ordinary masking tape (on hand)

Total cost: $34.50


Tools Required:

A selection of clamps to hold pattern paper and/or fabric to the pedestal

Measuring tape

Household sewing machine


Let me preface this procedure with a simple statement. "Sally Seamstress" I am NOT so you will have to bear with me as I am a rank amateur and I am sure some of you could have done a better job and probably in a much more efficient manner.

Below is the step by step procedure that I used to make the cover.

1. I started by attaching the brown craft paper to the wheel with tape and clamps and making the pattern for the aft side of the cover.

2. Next I repeated the procedure for the forward side by making a pattern to fit the pedestal guard allowing some extra width in the area of the cockpit table.

3. I then made a pattern of the starboard side panel. This pattern will be used for both sides by just flipping it over.

4. I marked all the craft paper patterns with the lines where the stitching would be and cut the patterns on these lines.

5. I traced this onto the fabric using the tailor's chalk.

6. Seam allowances were then added and a second line (the cutting line) was marked outside the first line on the fabric.

7. The two side panels were now sewn together at the top of the cover.

8. The rest of the sewing was done with the "wrong" side facing out and once completed, the cover was then turned right side out.

9. The after piece of the cover was now sewn to the side panels.

10. The forward piece was now sewn to the side panels.

11. The final step was to sew the hem in the bottom edge of the cover.

I was pleased with the overall results, but if I had to do it again, I'm sure it would have come out even better. Oh well, my first canvas project!!


View looking forward of the aft
and forward pieces being
positioned to check fit and
make side panel patterns


View looking aft of the
aft and forward pieces
being positioned to
check the fit and make
side panel patterns


Finished cover

It took a rookie like me approximately 4.5 hours to complete this project.


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