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The Chevy Bench Seat - Part 15 - Oct 1, 2007

Now for something I'm sure you've all been waiting for. Ok, maybe not. Here's the material I'm going to make the new covers out of.

I didn't take any pictures of the vinyl. It's automotive grade black vinyl - nothing very exciting about that. The fabric is automotive grade sculpted velour made from a nylon/polyester blend. The flash on the camera is playing tricks with the color here, but rest assured that it's black.

Now for the reason I drew those arrows on the seat inserts. This is what's known as a waterfall seat - meaning that when viewed from the front, the insert in the back will blend in with the insert in the bottom in a continuous flow. There is no vinyl separating the inserts where they meet. This means the nap of the fabric has to flow in the same direction on the bottom as it does on the back. If the nap of the fabric faced one way on the back and another way on the bottom, it would look like the fabric was two different colors or the seat was done using two different fabrics. I want the nap of the fabric to flow down the back, and then across the bottom, so I drew arrows on the inserts so I won't make a mistake when laying out the patterns to cut out the fabric. I can't accidentally get one of the patterns upside down unless I totally ignore the markings on my pattern.

The foam is called Scrim (also sometimes called sew foam.) It's basically a ½" thick polyurethane foam with a fabric adhered to one side so the stitching won't pull through. I had a choice of nylon or tricot fabrics, but I think there are others. I chose tricot because the weave of the fabric was finer and it looked like it would hold the stitching for my pleats better in the long run than the nylon would have.

I purposely bought a lot more material than I need for this seat, because I have a few other small projects around here that I need to do after I'm done with this project - including the office chair I'm sitting in right now. All in all, I bought 3 yards each of vinyl and cloth. I also got 2 ½ yards of scrim, and a large spool of black #69 nylon thread. With my student discount (20%) it all cost me $85, out the door.

That's where everything stands right now. I'll be taking the seat bottom foam, the old seat cover patterns, the scrim, and the new fabrics to class with me Tuesday. We're going to work on the seat foam, and start cutting out the pieces for the new cover.

Picture 1: The fabric I've chosen to do this seat. It's black sculpted velour. I'm going to have to really pay attention when I lay this out and start cutting. Everything is going to have to be perfectly centered, and absolutely square. Otherwise, it's going to look like a 4-year-old did it.

Picture 2: A close up shot of the sculpted pattern in the cloth. Yes, it is black - the flash on the camera is playing tricks with it.

Picture 3: This is the tricot scrim. I could have gotten nylon scrim, but the weave of the fabric applied to the foam was much coarser - in fact, it looked like cheesecloth. I thought this scrim would hold the stitching better, and the cost was the same as the nylon.
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