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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-23-2013 07:01 PM
JJ269J Thanks Dan. I'll keep you posted on my progress and I'm sure more questions will be coming! It's cool guys like you that make doing cool stuff like this possible for us newbies. Thanks.
07-23-2013 08:47 AM
DanTwoLakes Yes, I'd make a complete cover for each one. You wouldn't need to use sew foam, if it fits without the sew foam it will fit better with it. You don't need to use the insert fabric either, just the black vinyl. When I used to make cutting patterns I would use plaid fabric to make sure everything would be square and true. I would use a 1 1/2" listing for the trial covers, and if that's too loose, you can go down to 1". The sew foam will make a difference there, if it's slightly loose at first I wouldn't worry about it.
07-23-2013 08:22 AM
JJ269J Thanks for the complements, Dan. That's big from you and your experience! I have several yards of some black vinyl, similar to the final material, someone gave me a while ago. I was planning to use that to make the patterns. So are you saying I should sew together a complete test cover to test fitment before I use the good material, including sew foam??? I'm planning to match the rear seats with the fabric insert. Would that change things for the pattern? I wouldn't think so.

I'm thinking if I make the pattern with the plain vinyl and then add sew foam for the real cover that will help tighten the cover on the foam. True or not?

Last question, how do you determine how deep in the listing wire groove to go for measurements where the center insert meets the vinyl? Or do I not account for the groove, just measure to the edge and adjust the listing tape to pull the seam down where I want?
07-23-2013 07:04 AM
DanTwoLakes You've done a great job so far. Take my advice and go slow with the seat covers. Don't try to use the final fabric on your first attempts. Buy some cheap vinyl and keep tweaking your patterns until they are right. Even pros don't try to make a seat cover from scratch on the first attempt.
07-22-2013 07:55 PM
JJ269J Hey guys!
Here is a quick update, The UPS guy dropped off a present for me today. The front seat foam I ordered from TMI arrived. I got the sport R/II foam and the look pretty sweet. They look huge compared to the worn out stock foam.

While I was waiting for the foam, I tore down the original seats, repaired a few broken springs (the typical side springs were broken on both sides of the drivers seat), blasted the frames and sprayed them with rust encapsulator. Then I replaced all of the stake wire and upgraded the original burlap with a synthetic deck pad to protect the foam from the springs poking through. Now the real fun begins....I have to make the covers from scratch, cause the stock covers are nowhere close to use as a pattern.....this outta be fun for a newbie like me . Here are a few pics:

07-14-2013 11:55 AM
DanTwoLakes It's also used on Corvette seats, and it is hard to come by. I have a supplier that handles it, but internet searches don't seem to work out very well. I'm pretty sure it is clear rigid vinyl, and would only come in sheets which you'd have to cut into strips. It's available in sheets of different thicknesses from U.S. Plastic online.
07-14-2013 09:50 AM
JJ269J Hey guys,

I finished up the bottom section of the rear seat. Overall, I'm pretty pleased for my first attempt at auto upholstery. I think I need to readjust the back cover because the bottom cover is pulled very tight because of the listing at the center seams so the top and bottom covers are not in perfect alignment, but I can shift the top piece left or right and they line up. In other words, I think I need to pull the top cover towards the outside on both sides and everything should line up. There is no listing in the top cover center seams so its not stretched like the bottom is. Here are a few pics.

Top section shifted to the left:

Top section shifted to the right:

I also started tearing down the front seats. The driver's seat was in pretty sad shape and of course there are a few broken springs I need to repair. The question I have now is about the bottom cover and how it is secured to the frame. I have seen J hooks before, but these have what looks like a flat piece of plastic that slides under a lip in the frame. Does anyone know the name for this stuff or where to get it? The original is in fairly good shape, but I still do not want to reuse it if I can find a replacement. Here is a couple pics:

Bottom cover secured to frame:

Plastic channel (you can see the lip it slides under):

Oh, and here is what I'm starting with:

06-17-2013 06:55 AM
JJ269J Then it's the perfect time of year down here to sit them out in the sun for a while and see what happens. Thanks for all your input, Dan. Once I start on the bottom section and the front seats, I'm sure more questions will be coming your way.
06-16-2013 09:50 PM
DanTwoLakes You live in Florida, and the first time that seat gets warmed up in the sun it will be fine.
06-16-2013 03:16 PM
JJ269J Hey guys. I finally completed the back section for the rear seat. For my first cover from scratch, I am happy enough with it. They are a far cry from the beat down things I replaced.

There are still a few small wrinkles, any tips for getting those out? What's the deal with steam or heat. I've read that helps but have never use it. Anyway, here are a few pics.

06-11-2013 07:22 PM
JJ269J Yeah, the pleats are narrow. I like how it came out though. When I laid them out I measured 1 3/8" and after sewing they are about 1 3/16". Next time, I will definitely go a little wider. Here are a few more better quality pics:

The french seam (so-so):

06-11-2013 07:15 AM
DanTwoLakes You're doing just fine from what I can see. 1/2" sew foam will have more wrinkles than 1/4". Remember, this isn't steel or wood where you can be as precise as the equipment you cut it with, this is more art. The wrinkles will come out. My only criticism is aesthetic. Your pleats are very, very narrow in your insert. Narrow pleats are very hard to make good looking to the eye, especially vertical ones on 1/2" sew foam. In the future, 1 1/4" pleats should be the narrowest you use. The inserts are still well done. Hmmm, maybe it's just the picture is so small.
06-11-2013 05:02 AM
JJ269J I made a little bit more progress last night on the cover. Most of the back section is complete. I just have two more pieces on the outside of each side and a small piece at the bottom middle to complete. Then I plan on test fitting it to see where exactly the listing tape needs to go to make everything tight. The original listing was just about non existent, so I could not get a good measurement.

For my first cover, I'm fairly happy so far. There is a little bit of wrinkling around the curves for the inserts (I guess I pulled on the material a bit trying to make the turns). I'm trying not to obsess over it. I had little bit of trouble getting all four radii to be the same. I tried to start and stop the turns at the same points, but I wasn't measuring how much angle I was moving the material after each stitch and I was trying to follow the selvage edge but they did not come out perfect. Looking back, it may have been better to draw the stitch line on the material and follow that since I'm new to this (the rest of the sewing, I've just been using the selvage edge as my guide. Anyway, here is a pic of where its at now. Comments/suggestions are appreciated.

06-10-2013 08:42 AM
DanTwoLakes Use Fantastik and a soft bristle brush.
06-10-2013 08:01 AM
Originally Posted by DanTwoLakes View Post
Air nozzle. It's best to just blow it off. It should come off easily.
Tried the air nozzle, some came off, a lot did not. I was expecting it to come easy and it did from the vinyl but not the fabric. I rubbed it lightly with my finger and a piece of scrap cloth. Still see it. Maybe I pressed to hard or something. It looks to be down in the tweed threads. Any other alternatives to remove it? I can get a pic this evening if it will help.
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