Friday, April 11, 2014

V-berth Mattress Repairs & Topper

--Blog post written by Maggie

Our mattress in the v-berth was made by Handcraft Mattress Company about 15 years ago and has served us well.  The only sign of wear is in the spot where we slide our butts onto the v-berth due to the cabin's limited overhead clearance in that area.  In this one area, the mattress cover was actually worn through.  

Hole in 15-year Old Mattress

I used a piece of matte satin that I had on hand to patch this worn area.  I cut the satin about 9 inches larger (all the way around) than the worn area, serge stitched around the edges of the patch, and hand stitched the patch in place.

Worn Area was Patched Before Adding Topper

Adding a Topper

The next step in this project was to adhere a non slip carpet pad to the entire mattress surface.  Because of the way we have to enter the v-berth (butt first), I thought this would prevent the mattress pad from slipping around on the mattress.

To make the topper, we purchased two-part (king sized) foam at Sears.  The upper section of foam is a white memory foam while the lower section is a green (egg crate) polyurethane foam.  The total thickness of the foam is about 1-1/2 inches, even though it was sold as nominally 2 inches thick.

Two-part Foam Purchased for Topper--it is Upside Down in This Photo

At home with the v-berth mattress on our dining room table, I created the cover for the mattress pad out of an off white matte satin purchased at Joanne’s Fabrics.  I designed the cover with a length-wise opening at the back and self made piping all around for added strength.  Next, I laid out the topper foam, traced around the cover, and cut the foam to size using regular sewing shears. (I usually cut foam with an electric knife, but this foam was thin enough to cut with shears.) I wrestled the foam into the cover and sewed the back opening closed by hand. In order to keep the pad in place inside the cover, I hand tied tufts across the surface of the pad about every six inches.

The Plush Upper Surface of the New Topper

The final task involved sewing the edge of the topper sleeve to the edge of the mattress all around the perimeter using six strand embroidery floss for strength..

Wearing a Leather Glove Made it Easier to Grasp the Needle

The Topper Was Hand Sewn to the Mattress All Around

New Sheets

While the mattress was still at home (on the dining room table), I created two sets of sheets by altering king size sheets to fit the triangle shape of the v-berth mattress (another big money saver).  The king size sheets we purchased are 100% Egyptian microfiber linen with a 1500 thread count and were purchased from Amazon.

Our V-berth with New Black Linen Sheets

Even though I spent a lot of time and effort on the mattress repair, the addition of the topper, and making two new sets of sheets, it was remarkably low in cost (for a boat project, that is.) The total cost of this project, including the 2 sets of sheets and pillow cases was $160.  

We are still planning on buying a mattress for our quarter berth, in the fall (although we continue to vacillate between buying the mattress and creating it ourselves) since we have a little more space for our feet there. In addition, we will need the extra sleeping quarters for when friends and family come to visit or help crew.

My next boat project is making new curtains...stay tuned!

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