How to Sew a T-Top Cover

Item # X-HT-300371

Any boater who has spent a whole day on the water knows the value of staying protected from the elements. A T-top is a great way to ensure that you’re shielded from the sun and rain while still enjoying your boat. Smaller than a bimini or dodger, a T-top can be added to your boat without taking up much room but still providing the protection you need. After you’ve acquired your own T-top frame, we’ll walk you through the entire process of sewing and installing your own T-top cover using premium Stamoid™ Top vinyl fabric.

Our T-top using Stamoid Top.

Our replacement T-top cover will be made out of Stamoid Top high-quality vinyl fabric, and for good reason. Most commonly used on super yachts where only the best is good enough, Stamoid fabrics possess all the characteristics needed to make the perfect T-top cover. As a woven polyester with a vinyl coating on both sides, Stamoid Top is completely waterproof as well as resistant to mold, mildew, stains and fading. It’s thick and heavy enough to block out 100% of UV rays while maintaining impressive dimensional stability. It will not sag, shrink or stretch over time! This is an ideal feature for a T-top cover as the fabric stretches taut within the frame, and you don’t want your cover sagging after a few years. You can also use Stamoid Top cover fabric for biminis, dodgers, convertible tops, boat awnings, shade sails, enclosure tops, protective covers, dinghy covers and more.

Browse Stamoid and many other durable cover fabrics when you search on our website! We offer well-known brands such as Sunbrella®, Top Gun®, Top Notch® 9, Weblon Regatta®, Herculite Rivera® and more. Not sure which protective cover fabric is right for your application? Check out the blog “Waterproof Fabric — Which Brand Should I Choose?” (300345XHT) and “Selecting the Right Cover Vinyl” (300158XHT) for even more information on what makes each of these fabrics unique and which will be the best choice for your next project.

For a T-top that fits beautifully on your frame, follow these step-by-step instructions. In our in-depth video, you’ll learn how to measure the T-top frame, how to measure and cut your fabric, how to sew and baste the facing strips, how to add hardware to the T-top and finally, lacing the T-top cover to the frame. We’ll also provide important equations to help you calculate the correct amount of materials needed to complete your project. We're confident you'll have a professional-looking finished product in no time!

If your goal is to add custom, professional-looking additions to your boat, Sailrite® is here to help. We’re the ultimate source for everything DIY-related, whether you plan to sew for your home, boat, RV or automobile. How did your T-top replacement cover turn out? We’d love to see photos in the comments section of your finished projects!

Video Chapters:

  • Measuring & Patterning Frame Corner – 1:35 min.
  • Calculating for Materials – 3:04 min.
  • Steps to Making a T-top - 5:16 min.
  • Cutting Top Fabric to Size – 6:38 min.
  • Cutting Facing Strips & Corners – 08:19 min.
  • Preparing Facings – 12:36 min.
  • Basting & Sewing Facings – 18:32 min.
  • Sewing Binding – 27:14 min.
  • Installing Spur Grommets – 29:42 min.
  • Lacing Top – 33:23 min.
  • Materials List – 39:51 min.

Materials List:

  • Stamoid™ Top - Item #120709
  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Sailmaking & Vinyl - Item #659 or Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas - Item #129
  • V-92 Polyester Thread - Item #100071
  • Sailrite® Woven Sew In Tags - Item #121604
  • Stamoid™ Bias Binding 3/4" - Item #11891
  • #1 Spur Grommet 5/16" (Nickel-Plated Brass) - Item #26315
  • Leech Line Dacron® - Item #212114

Tools List:

  • Grease Marking Pencil Yellow - Item #111002
  • Soapstone Fabric Marking Pencil White - Item #102766
  • Comfort Grip Rotary Cutter 60mm - Item #9655
  • Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat 24" x 36" - Item #120257
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" - Item #101017
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" - Item #102400
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler - Item #107040
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LS-1 PLUS (110V) Walking Foot Sewing Machine - Item #300502
  • Sailrite® 3/4" Swing-Away Straight Binder - Item #100102
  • Sailrite® Drill Hole Cutter 3/8" - Item #121820
  • Sailrite® Cutting Block & Die Holder - Item #121597
  • Pres-N-Snap Installation Tool - Item #109011
  • Pres-N-Snap #1 Spur Grommet Die - Item #100971
  • #1 Spur Grommet Die Set 5/16" - Item #18202
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Package - Item #103800
  • Barry King Mallet Hammer Style 3# - Item #68563
  • Tape Measure, Masking Tape, Marker, Cardboard, Straight Edge, Drill, Zip Ties