How to Make a Personal Watercraft Cover

Item # X-HT-200524

We just finished making a semi-fitted personal watercraft (PWC) cover for Matt's jet ski. While filming the instructions, we realized there is a lot to learn about patterning odd shapes. This instructional video places special emphasis on the patterning phase of the project as well as all the sewing. This PWC cover features Sur Last® fabric (because it's very durable, breathes, and stores well) and an elastic shock cord drawstring in the bottom hem. We hope you enjoy the video and learn something new even if you don't own a personal watercraft!

Test fitting our personal watercraft cover on the jet ski

Tips on Patterning Odd Shapes

Patterning odd-shaped covers, like semi-fitted PWC covers, require a little extra attention to detail. Here are a few tips about making a pattern for irregularly shaped objects:

1. Keep plenty of patterning material on hand! It may take an attempt or two to get the pattern perfect. It is better to start over with new patterning material than try to use stretched out material and decipher which marks are the "right" marks. We like Dura-Skrim® Patterning Material.

2. Utilize a match-up system to keep all the panels lined up perfectly until all patterning is completed. Your cover will not come together as planned if you continue patterning on panels that have shifted even an inch. (Check out min. 8:25, Patterning Using the Match-Up System).

3. Mark and tape together all pleats and darts on the pattern (we're talking overkill!). An accurate pattern shape will result in an accurate cover shape! We also use straight pins to hold darts and pleats together when transferring the pattern to the actual fabric (it really helps while sewing!).

4. Add seam and hem lines after transferring the pattern to the actual fabric. Extend all the patterned lines through the sharp edges and corners, and then continue to mark the seam and hem lines by measuring perpendicular to the patterned lines (minute 29:15).

Video Chapters:

  • Framing with Filament Strapping Tape - 0:34 min.
  • Applying Double-Sided Tape – 7:20 min.
  • Patterning with a Match-Up System - 8:24 min.
  • Finishing & Cutting Out Patterns – 22:47 min.
  • Transferring Patterns to Fabric – 29:14 min.
  • Pinning & Sewing Darts – 40:46 min.
  • Installing Reinforcement Patch – 46:14 min.
  • Basting & Sewing Panels – 48:31 min.
  • Test Fitting - 57:08 min.
  • Adding Chafe Protection Patches – 57:37 min.
  • Creating Shock Cord Sleeve – 59:41 min.
  • Final Fitting - 60:00 min.

Materials List:

  • Marine Cover Fabric (we used Sur Last® Light Grey 60” Marine Fabric #386200)
  • Shelter-Rite® 18oz Grey 61” #112015
  • Dura-Skrim® Patterning Material #122463
  • V-69 White Polyester UV Thread #20203
  • Seamstick 3/8” Basting Tape for Canvas #129
  • Filament Strapping Tape #5643

Tools List:

  • Permanent marker
  • Tape measure
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler #102400
  • Fabric Marking Pencil Yellow #111002
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ-1 Sewing Machine #300602
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife #103800>
  • Deluxe 5-1/2” Magnetic Sewing Guide #103597