How to Make a good Pattern From a Bad Original
Occasionally I get a seat to repair that is so screwed up that it's hard to make a pattern from. Here is the perfect example, and the problem is compounded by the fact that the left side of the seat cover is not the same as the right side, and the seat foam has been destroyed as well. Usually, I can make my pattern from the passenger seat, but this time I only have the driver's seat. Here's how to get around the problem. I spray a piece of pattern chipboard and the top of the vinyl piece I want to copy with foam to foam glue. (The vinyl piece has had the 1/4" foam backing removed from it. I use my 12" foam saw to do this just like removing the skin of a fish.) Then I lay the old vinyl piece loosely upside down on the chipboard. From there, I position the old piece until I think it looks correct and then press down firmly to hold the vinyl in place on the chipboard. How do I know how long to make the piece that is screwed up the most? I measured what that piece is sewed to to get it's length. I don't use contact adhesive because I want to be able to re-position the vinyl if I need to and the foam to foam glue doesn't hold as tightly as contact adhesive. After that, I mark the position notches, and cut the chipboard around the perimeter of the vinyl. Then I peel off the vinyl, make cuts in the chipboard where the position notches are and mark the notches on the other side of the pattern. Now I have my patterns and I know that the side without the glue goes up. I let the glue dry before I use the pattern so I don't have glue to remove from the new vinyl.
No one lives forever, the trick is creating something that will.