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Message Board > Creative Sewing > Car upholstery ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Car upholstery
Anyone tried it?
CConverse
CConverse
Beginner
NY USA
Member since 4/29/11
Posts: 96
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Date: 3/29/12 4:45 PM

So DH is fixing me up a new Camaro Convertible!!!! The engine is running and just needs a few tweaks. Then it's going in for paint and body work. Going to be metallic teal green with a black top...

HOWEVER - the interior is SHOT. We have replacement seats from another parts car which are ok... but I'm thinking since the seats are pretty much garbage anyway it might be a fun thing to try reupholstering them myself. I think if I'm careful about materials my reg sm can do it. I don't really want leather or vinyl in a summer car anyway, so I'd be sticking with plain fabric. And the Singer 237's are pretty hardy from what I've heard. DH has already agreed to let me tear apart the junk seats to practice on and figure out the process and use the fabric to lay out a new pattern. Anyone else have any experience doing this and/or know of vendors that sell nice auto upholstery fabric?

lesew
lesew
Member since 4/30/09
Posts: 17
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Date: 3/29/12 7:00 PM

I've never tried this but my husband and son have suggested that I give it a try. Do you know about www.jalopyjournal.com ? It is a forum with info re: cars. I've seen many posts dealing with upholstery on cars with tips for a good job. Maybe you could get some helpful info on that site. Just try the search option. You may have to register for the forum to search. I'm not sure about that. Good Luck!

pakrk
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pakrk  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 11/22/05
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In reply to lesew <<


Date: 3/29/12 7:26 PM

thanks for the link to jalopyjournal.com. The tutorial there for seat upholstery was just what I've been looking for!

------
~Kathy
Pfaff Creative Performance
Babylock 5380E

CConverse
CConverse
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NY USA
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Date: 3/29/12 7:58 PM

I will definitely check that out, thanks for the tip! I had been searching around for some good info and found some videos which made this look very doable. I figured by giving it a shot on some throwaway seats that maybe I could learn a few things before doing it for real. I'll have to see if he can pull some more interior parts out of scrap cars to practice on... who knows, maybe I'll get good enough to resell the parts at a profit!

NhiHuynh
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NhiHuynh
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CA USA
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In reply to CConverse <<


Date: 3/29/12 9:57 PM

I've recovered a sports seat for my bf's Porsche years ago. I sewed it on my cheapy Kenmore that was $80 new with few problems. The seat had piping, the back was a fake leather and the front was a low pile velour like fabric. I uses what was left of the old pieces as my template. To get through the layers without breaking a bunch of needles i used a large size needle. I used a walking foot but still hand walked it through portions that were fairly thick. Good luck on your project.

------
I finally have a blog. www.detectivehoundstooth.com :)

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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TX USA
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In reply to CConverse <<


Date: 3/29/12 11:20 PM

I've done both, diy and taken a vehicle to professionals.

My diy job was really nice. The professional job on my 1967 Chevy SS convertible was amazing. They restored the upholstery to factory original with the exception being that the quality of the materials was probably improved over the originals.

Unless you are looking for an adventure, I'd check out the pricing on professional work before making a final decision.

Congratulations on your convertible, your going to love it.

Is this your first convertible? I married a Catalina convertible that morphed into a GTO convetible. He was surprised when I brought home a bright yellow Delta 88 convertible which morphed into my Chevy SS convertible. Lots of fun.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Lynnelle
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Lynnelle  Friend of PR
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MI USA
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Date: 3/30/12 6:58 AM

Maybe you can contact this guy for ideas. I remember Melody talking about him using some of her eyelets to refinish this seat.

CConverse
CConverse
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NY USA
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Date: 3/30/12 9:30 AM

a7yrstitch - thanks for your input, and I am in a way looking for an adventure. Right now we actually have a set of good seats to put in the Camaro, so I'm just looking to practice and learn right now. He always has parts cars so there would be a lot to practice on. And somewhere he's got an old '55 chevy truck that he wants to restore and that will definitely need a new seat. (if the owner ever gets around to doing the paperwork, but that's a long story...) DH does a lot with vintage cars.... both autos and vintage railcars. So in the long run I could see having the skills to do that kind of upholstery work to be a real boon to our business. Plus even though we have seats, if we can find a salvageable set at the junkyard or auction, then down the road I could fix myself up a neat custom interior! Even though it would take time, seeing it as the fruits of your own labor gives more satisfaction than having it done by a pro imho. I figure if I can figure out all the alterations to get a jacket or princess seam dress to work for my short waisted, large bicep-ed, ultra pear-shaped figure, I can probably figure this out too!

Lynelle - that's worth checking out, thanks a lot for the tip! Oh and just what I needed, a link full of classic Camaros... those are gorgeous!

dscheidt

dscheidt
Member since 6/8/09
Posts: 333
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In reply to CConverse <<


Date: 3/30/12 9:51 AM

Quote: CConverse
a7yrstitch - thanks for your input, and I am in a way looking for an adventure. Right now we actually have a set of good seats to put in the Camaro, so I'm just looking to practice and learn right now. He always has parts cars so there would be a lot to practice on. And somewhere he's got an old '55 chevy truck that he wants to restore and that will definitely need a new seat. (if the owner ever gets around to doing the paperwork, but that's a long story...) DH does a lot with vintage cars.... both autos and vintage railcars. So in the long run I could see having the skills to do that kind of upholstery work to be a real boon to our business. Plus even though we have seats, if we can find a salvageable set at the junkyard or auction, then down the road I could fix myself up a neat custom interior! Even though it would take time, seeing it as the fruits of your own labor gives more satisfaction than having it done by a pro imho. I figure if I can figure out all the alterations to get a jacket or princess seam dress to work for my short waisted, large bicep-ed, ultra pear-shaped figure, I can probably figure this out too!



Lynelle - that's worth checking out, thanks a lot for the tip! Oh and just what I needed, a link full of classic Camaros... those are gorgeous!

Then get the proper equipment. An industrial walking foot machine, with gauge parts to suit the weight of materials you use, will provide results far superior to anything a domestic drop feed machine can. It'll also be a lot less frustrating and more enjoyable.

If you buy used, you'll be able to resell for about what you paid for it, if you decide you don't want it.
CConverse
CConverse
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NY USA
Member since 4/29/11
Posts: 96
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Date: 3/30/12 9:59 AM

d - I agree that the proper equipment would be a necessity if this is something I'd do in the long term. I'm hoping that if I get good enough with lightweight materials then DH will fund the industrial gauge equipment....

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