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I have to replace a french seam in order to replace a damaged vinyl side panel on a bucket seat. Two problems come to mind, though. First, I obviously have to tear out the outer 2 seams around the seam that actually joins the two panels. Even if I replace the french seam afterwards, won't the holes in the leather from the old seam show? Second, how do I lock the stitches of the rest of the panels once I open this seam up? Is it practical to replace panels like this, or should I be re-upholstering the whole thing?

I wanted to see how well I could do replacing this one panel before I decide if I should be doing my own upholstery. The stadium cushon in the Automotive Upholstery Handbook just doesn't seem exciting enough for a starter project. :D :D
 

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First name...............Shawn
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The best bet would be to completely remove the enitre seam that is french stitched, and re-sew the whole seam. If you can't remove the whole seam, you can pull both threads through to the inside and tie them in a knot, that way they won't come out. Its not the most effective way to lock a stitch, but if you have to, it will work.

You're right, the holes from the needle will show. You can sew it VERY carefully, and make sure the needle goes into the old holes. I have done that before, its a tedious process. You will be sewing most of it by turning the wheel by hand, but it can be done.

Man, that stadium cushion was the first thing I ever sewed.
 
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