Reupholster VW Bug Seat

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A friend of mine asked me to reupholster his VW Beetle. I’m not sure what year it was. Somewhere around 1967? I think. I guess I don’t pay a lot of attention to those types of details. I was more fixated on getting my sewing machine out. Which is step 1, find the sewing machine. I only do projects like this when the leaves start falling off the trees.

My friend wanted it simple so we went with a leather type of material. Oh, the other important thing to remember is to use upholstery thread. Why? Car seats go through a lot of pressure of hot heat, cold weather, and people sitting, crawling, sleeping, and jumping on them. Using upholstery thread will help make sure it all stays together. Sewing machine; check. Materials; check. Now comes the next step. Thankfully, I do not have emotional attachments to the seat so it’s easier for me to work on than my personal projects. I think I just discovered the reason for my lack of personal projects but we’ll go into that more later. The next step is removing the old fabric. When you flip the seat over, you’ll find that the fabric is held together by these metal teeth and a bunch of hog clips. If you want to save the fabric, be careful while removing the clips. If not, rip and cut it out. For this job, I carefully removed it because I wanted to use a different technique in putting on the new fabric. After removing the clips and the seat cover removed, I started to take apart the cover at the seams. I spent time doing this because…I couldn’t find my measuring tape. By taking the cover apart I can use each piece as a template for me to cut out the new material to sew together. This totally beats measuring twice (you should really measure 5 times).

After all the pieces were separated, I laid them on the new material and traced it out for cutting. This also helps figure out if you have enough material before starting. Now that all the pieces were cut, the next step is to sew it all together. For this, I used an Overcasting Stitch. This stitch is normally used to finish the edge. Not having done this in a while made me worry about the fabric separating.

I’m a little bored now. Pretty much do the reverse of how you got it off…my only advice is to start off with those metal teeth first, then hog clip the rest. Okay, I have more tips like use the same tension when you pull and clip the fabric. You want to do this to make sure there’s the same feel across the seat. Pulling it too tight will cause an indentation.

In terms of making sure you have all the tools you need, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE HOG RING PLIERS and RINGS.

Good luck on your project!

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