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Old 12-20-2013, 06:14 PM
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Making consistant pleats

I am rebuilding the front seat in my 55 Ford convertible that has the pleats that the thread can not be seen (cant remember the correct name) and want to get the pleats to be consistant,the seat is original and the quality of the sewing is not what I would consider good with the pleats being at different widths and the top stitching off in places. Its been many years since I have done a seat like this and the last time I done one I think every pleat was made with seperate pieces of material which will take a long time, I do not have the seats completely apart but it looks like the original inserts were made of a single piece of vinyl and folded over to make the pleats. Its been years since I done a seat like this and if I did it was probably a repair to one section so if anyone has a idea on how to make consistant pleats that does not take forever I am open to suggestions.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:19 PM
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Here is a picture of the pleats I am talking about,the quality of the sewing on the rear backrest is the worst of the seats and might be doing it too since I am having a hard time getting a exact match. The vinyl from LeBaron Bonney is too dark and what I can get through the shop is too light for the inserts.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:18 AM
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tuck and roll

DanTwoLakes posted a tutorial a while back. I try to link you to it. Old-school tuck and roll is made with a backer piece of material that has the lines marked on it. The top vinyl is also marked on the back side with lines that are usually 1 1/2 to 2 times wider. I like to use a warm house hold iron to fold and press the vinyl from the backside . then line up and sew one plete , then fold and sew the next . after sewing is complete you stuff the pleats , foam or cotton with a sheet metal stuffer. I have used 2 yard sticks with the foam stuffing strip in between a tight rubber band holding the ends together. . after a pleat is stuffed I pull the yard sticks out , opposite directions at the same time
Tuck and roll tutorial

do a search here on hotrodders for "tuck and roll" and you will get more info

Last edited by timothale; 12-21-2013 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:13 PM
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There are easier ways to do it. Just use sew foam for a backing and sew the blind seams in the fabric right to the sew foam. You would draw the lines on the back of the fabric exactly the same, and follow the lines when you sew. That will give you consistent pleats. Another way to do it is to sew each one of the pleated sections to sew foam individually and then sew them all together. That would take longer, but would be easier for a novice
to do.
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:50 PM
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Try sewing the pleats on 1/2 scrim, 5/8" larger than you want them in a "finished" size, then fold at the seam, face to face, and sew from the backside 1/4" in from the fold. Result is a hidden stitch pleat. Pretty fast and easy to do. Try some practice pleats to decide how much bigger you need to top sew the original pleats. But 5/8 works for me with 1/2 scrim. Jeremy
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:03 PM
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I have been experimenting and came up with a way that I like,I would love to have the thicker pleats but going to put it back more toward original,now that I have one backrest cut apart for patterns I do not like the color of the sample I have for the inserts. What I got from Lebaron Bonney is a little too dark and what I can get through the shop is a little too light,I have samples coming from SMS so I will wait to see what they have. I would like to do just the front seat now but have no problem doing both but do not want to touch the door and rear panels.
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