Thank you, Brother! I haven't been here much ... but only because I haven't had any issues with my truck that I needed help with.
I do poke my head in every now and again though. And now that I'm starting to work on what is my real passion with hotrodding (interiors), I'm here to share and/or learn from some of the pro's here. I sure am glad to know you're watching, enjoying and gaining from the stuff at my site ... it slowed down there for a bit.
If you've never done this kind of thing before, here's what I suggest -- hopefully you have a seat cover on that Merc that is fairly intact:
remove the old seat covering ... bring it in the house and separate all the seams. Wherever it is sewn, take it apart using a razor blade to cut the thread
-- this is time consuming. You don't want to cut the fabric; you only want to cut each stitch of thread and separate the entire seat cover into the sections that were sewn together. This means nipping 1-4 stitches at a time with one hand, while pulling the two halves apart with the other as you go. NOTE: Number or label each piece as you go so you know how it all goes back together!
2. Now you have a pattern to build a seat covering with that is going to fit your Merc seat perfectly.
3. Use all the above pieces as patterns
which will be used to cut the same shapes out of your leather. Here's where you are going to need a large table/workspace! You'll cut the same patterns out of the leather and lay them all out in proper order of what gets sewn to what. NOTE: When you cut the leather to match the old stuff, make sure they are both face up!
4. Once all your patterns are cut, you are ready to start sewing sections together. Be sure that you are stitching exactly where the old cover was stitched so that your sizes are going to match correctly with the seat -- mark the backsides of the leather pieces where the stitching is going to be, according to the old seat cover.
Now for the sewing machine setup:
1. You'll need to buy some #18 leather needles
. These are stronger than #18 Heavy Duty needles and have a special point on them that punches a hole in the leather to send the needle and thread through. I have SCHMETZ 110/18 Leather needles
... you can find these being sold on eBay -- type what I've bolded into eBay's search tool and you'll find them.
2. For thread, you'll want to purchase some Coats #64 or #69 Nylon Upholstery Thread
... this stuff is UV protected; won't fade in sunlight and isn't going to rot out (like cotton thread would). You can buy this stuff in any sewing outlet.
3. Do a practice run on a couple of scrap pieces ... make sure your thread-tension setting is correct by looking at the stitches you are producing: If the thread is laying flat and straight across the bottom of your pieces, your thread tension setting needs to be higher; if the thread is laying on the top of your work, the thread tension is too high. You want the stitches to be buried in the center
of the pieces.
4. Once your stitches are running right, you're ready to start sewing.
That should do it, Bro'! Sounds like a fun project -- all the best to you with it -- keep me posted on your progress ... I'll be doing the same here!
PS -- I'll be using what's called a French Stitch
on my seats, etc. This is achieved so:
1. After you've sewn two pieces together, you take the flaps that are to the side of your stitching and open them left and right ... if you know what I mean. When I do mine, I'll have pictures of all this.
2. You then sew one flap down flat, keeping your stitching an eighth-inch to the side of your original stitch.
3. Do the same with the other flap on the other side of the original stitch.
When you are finished and you look at the finished side, you'll see the seam where the two pieces were originally attached to each other, with a nice stitch running left and right of the seam. I like this look better than piping.