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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Knit Me a Tent...

Princess Auto winch covers
75% off winch covers for me to refashion...
... or, sew me a winch cover.

During the second season of The Partridge Family, when Shirley and Laurie take a weekend camping trip away from the "men" (Keith, Danny and also Reuben as it turns out), they take along their knitting. The guys — sneakily following behind — make fun and joke that maybe they'll knit a tent. Later, when Laurie has trouble securing a tent peg, Shirley tells her how to make a proper knot using knitting terms. I clearly remember Danny then saying, "Hey, they are knitting a tent!"

My husband believes that since I've been sewing again, I can sew anything. (Yes, it's great that he thinks so highly of my abilities.) When he bought a winch for his truck last fall, he immediately started egging me about fashioning him a winch cover. At the time, I told him that it would have to be made out of strong waterproof material (and who knows how much that would cost) that may be difficult to sew. Not to mention that his description of what he needed sounded to me like just so much freakin' work!

And not to mention still that the project really didn't interest me, to be honest. You know how it goes... I just thought it would be less of a hassle to buy the thing.

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We have a chain called Princess Auto in Canada. (Think that's an odd name? So did I, just now. I looked it up and apparently it comes from the fact that their roots go back to a location on Princess Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba.) They carry stuff from generators to gloves to light bulbs to shovels. It's a popular browsing place for those who are testosterone driven (seriously — the place is filled with male shoppers like it's Christmas Eve), but I happened to accompany my hubby there a few weeks ago and saw these winch covers for sale at 75% off.

We bought two, thinking to keep one for a spare. Here's what one looks like.

Princess Auto winch cover
One winch cover, approximately 17" long...

Back home, hubby tries out the fit and says that the thing may cover the wire rope part of the winch, but it's too small to buckle up. And in any case, he'd prefer to have the entire unit (spool, crank, etc.) covered. Could I take both of the covers and turn them into one longer one?

Like this?

refashioning some Princess Auto winch covers
Two winch covers combined into one longer one...

Yes, it was a fairly simple sewing job... given that I had something to start with. All I had to do was unpick a couple of seams, cut off some excess and then sew the two new ends together. (At some point before I did the actual sewing, we went back and picked up another two covers for a new "spare".)

A while later, hubby tries out the fit. The front part of the unit is bulkier, so when the cover sits over it, the back is exposed to the elements. Is there any way to make the back part longer? Like, if we sacrificed another cover to the project, could I possibly use it to augment the back?

You mean, something like this?

refashioning some Princess Auto winch covers
Taking another cover apart, I use its longest piece to create an additional back panel...

In addition to taking the centre piece out of a third cover, hubby suggests I also remove the two straps and buckles from it and add them to the refashioned cover. Good idea.

Here it is, all done.

refashioning some Princess Auto winch covers
Three winch covers are refashioned into one!

And here it is, covering the winch! (I've seen worse looking winch covers selling on eBay for a whole lot more than what we paid.)

refashioning some Princess Auto winch covers
Looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself!

And here is the back view!

refashioning some Princess Auto winch covers
I'd say the fit is right on!

And here is what it looks like when installed on the truck:

refashioning some Princess Auto winch covers
It fits and functions!

We have one original cover left over. So what do we do? Off to Princess Auto to buy two more (this is now six in total, in case you've lost count), so that we have enough materials on hand for me to make that "spare" cover at some point. All in all, a tremendous deal. We peeled out less than $20 for everything (except my time, and we sewers know that our sewing time is free — LOL) and in essence, now have two custom winch covers. So much better than the original idea of "knit me a tent"... or rather, sew me a winch cover. ;-)

What's more, this little project ended up providing me with fodder for a blog post, so it's win-win.

What about you? What is the most unusual sewing request anyone has ever made of you?


  1. Wow Rochelle that was quite the project. I've made lots of things for my husband, but nothing too unusual.

  2. Love the winch cover (and the story!)... My friend Jeff is always coming to me with strange requests. I had to fix his tent, which luckily turned out to be a patch job with glue... and then there was the time I had to make him some photographic backdrops with horrible cheap tarty fabric for his boudoir photography venture...

  3. Certainly is different to our usual sewing projects, Rochelle. I have to admit, I would have procrastinated like you. Well done on modifying the covers to make a new one. And you even made a spare!

  4. Awesome cover. It's when he 'volunteers' you to his friends (to make their winch covers) that you need to firmly close the door to the sewing room.


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