Boat Canvas can be expensive. Eliana doesn't have a dodger or bimini, and they can be thousands. The Helm cover doesn't fit properly after adding my instruments and the sail cover recently needed to be repaired. So I decided to try my hand at sewing to see if it would be feasible for me to sew myself an expensive dodger or bimini. I borrowed my mom's very old machine and first sewed a few sets of boat window curtains just to learn how the machine works. Once I had the basics, I bought a kit to make a duffel bag out of boat canvas. It's actually a pretty nice bag for less than $30. The kit included everything, even the heavy duty UV thread. ( http://www.sailrite.com/Tote-Bag-Kit-Sunbrella-Fabric )The goal of that was both a more complex project, and to test the machine with heavy fabrics. If I need to buy a $1000 purpose built machine it defeats the purpose of my sewing my own stuff. The machine worked fine. There were a couple times I needed to turn the wheel by hand to get it moving through 3 layers of canvas and a heavy vinyl strap, but nothing to difficult. The heavy polyester UV thread worked fine, and was actually easier to thread through the needle. There was even enough left over canvas for me to make a simple cover for my Magma grill. I still can't sew a straight line, but I am confident enough to make something functional and structural sound.