View Full Version : I'm taking an interior upholstery class

22-12-2008, 07:52 PM
Just wanted to share that I am going to be taking an interior upholstery class. According to the description it will include sewing seat covers, etc. Hopefully the class will teach me some new tricks and stuff that I can bring back here so we all can learn. Class doesn't start until early January, but I'm excited already. I'll be taking in one of the Miata seats I have, to learn on.

On a related side note... anyone ever built their own seats before? I'm still concerned about head room and thought about building my own seat frames, padding them and upholstering them.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Warnings?

22-12-2008, 08:43 PM
I would start with the stock seats and go from there. They are as low as you can really get and already set for upholstering.

22-12-2008, 11:02 PM
Good point... however in my case.. they don't lean back far enough. I have thought about cutting through the sides, leaning the seat back to the position I need, securing the angle and the glassing it into the new position. But the idea of actually doing it... scares me :scared:

22-12-2008, 11:11 PM
I'll be following your progress, Nic. On my own car, since I've got a great big piece of iron right behind my head, I'll probably wind up building a set of seats to fit the car. I'd like to make them adjustable...but that might be more trouble than it's worth. I don't suspect that building a frame is too terribly difficult if you don't want a suspension style seat with the internal springs and padding. I've torn enough VW seats apart to say that the overall design is easy...it's making it look good with the upholstery and padding. After all, most hot rod shops custom build their own stuff, so why can't we?

23-12-2008, 03:05 AM
I've been in your shoes NIC. I had these high back padded bucket seats installed originally, until recently. They were super comfortable and sat pretty low with the seat adjustment. I drove it and my head was hitting the roof, and my passengers were crammed into the same seat but without the lowered floorboard. They looked uncomfortable but were always ok with the sitsuation.

This was my true motivation behind raising the roof! There really isnt any other way about it. Or else I recommend using the original seats built for the car. They may look cheap but when installed aren't a bad choice, and they fit great in the pan.

23-12-2008, 08:53 AM
I've done both the 'start from a home made GRP shell and pad that' and the 'start with a production seat and drastically alter its frame then re-pad and recover' routes in the past, with the wife doing the recovering in one case, then me learning to drive the sewing machine myself.......
It's not that difficult - and you can learn an awful lot of 'tricks' by dismantling a few scrap seats (needs to be a big scrapyard so they don't notice what you're up to! :twisted: )

23-12-2008, 09:07 AM
Im also quite tall (6 4), I took stock Recaro seats from an old Ford Capri and modified these. I chose them because they recline, tilt forward and the base already had limited padding.

They were too wide for my foot wells so I took the padding off, cut 2 inches out of the middle of the metal frames to make them narrower and welded them together again (not really that difficult). For the time being Ive stuffed the old covers back on (albeit wrinkled due to the extra material) but aim to get them retrimmed professionally when the car gets nearer to paint.

These are then bolted directly to the floor so as not to add additional height from the runners

Here is a link to the video I made at the time


Big Birds Car
23-12-2008, 09:36 AM
needs to be a big scrapyard so they don't notice what you're up to

Oh the joys of scrappying That no longer exists in this neck of the woods, they dismantle the car themselves now and you buy off the shelf, only ONE scrappy within striking distance to me that still lets you prowl and that is very very small and is as I write changing to comply with H&E and EU rulings so won't be long before that one becomes vertually useless.

Alex you must live in an area that hasn't heard of the European rule makers or more correctly described as HEAVEN. :cry:

23-12-2008, 09:44 AM
It's the Wild West! :clapping: :tongue:

But I know what you mean, the EU funspoilers are bu****ing everything up here too, it just takes that little bit longer. I guess the people who didn't grow up through the seventies just don't have any idea what they missed out on........

23-12-2008, 02:13 PM
Careful what you guys say about the EU...Big Brother is watching!

http://www.legaljuice.com/big%20brother%20orwell%20rally%20privacy%20loss.jp g

23-12-2008, 07:24 PM
I luckly i have an old fashioned type about 4 miles from me, has never changed since the 70's.

24-12-2008, 12:48 PM
I am tempted to have a go with these buggy seats from a GS Moon 260, they are quite cheap but comfy' they have to be. and they fit straight in. I wonder ig the boss will notice two are missing :whistling:

24-12-2008, 05:03 PM
peter thats class right there
do they come in blue?
i want some

15-02-2009, 04:13 PM
Nic - how is the upholstery coming?

15-02-2009, 04:25 PM
peter thats class right there
do they come in blue?
i want some

Ever since Peter first posted those seats I have tried to dig some up similar to them in the states to no avail.

15-02-2009, 11:44 PM
The class is going well, learning lots. I keep meaning to take pictures when I am in class. Last week I finally got to the point of cutting the material out for the various pieces that make up the seat cover for the Miata.

28-09-2010, 10:05 PM
Long overdue update here.... I never finished the upholstery. The seat bottoms where completed, but the seat backs were not. I was looking at them last night, dreading working on them again. Not sure if I could finish them properly and not have a crappy looking seat.

The seat covers you can buy from FLAPS, would it be "bad" to use that as the main seat upholstery? Would it cause the foam to erode/rub off from all of the in and out of the seat? I'm looking for a quick and easy and not bad looking alternative to covering the seats.

30-09-2010, 05:54 PM
If it's "bad", we can be Bad together. :laugh: After i narrowed my toyota seat frames, i narrowed the foam and the factory seat covers (to hold the foam in position). Then i bought some basic, stretchy black covers to go over them. If they're not going to be nice, custom leather Recaros, i figure i might as well make them as un-memorable as possible...

30-09-2010, 09:17 PM
Er... why not simply spray-glue the fabric to the foam? You couldn't replace it easily if it got damaged, but at least you might be able to emulate the factory look.

30-09-2010, 09:47 PM
I feel better being bad with company, instead of being bad alone.

Not a bad idea Rick.

01-10-2010, 04:52 PM
Er... why not simply spray-glue the fabric to the foam? You couldn't replace it easily if it got damaged, but at least you might be able to emulate the factory look.

In my experience, spray glue on foam rarely lasts too long under abuse. After a while, the fabric is loose again and when you pull it apart, you find that the glue didn't fail, but the foam broke down; the surface of the foam will still be glued to the fabric, but no longer part of the larger foam body. Granted, this has happened to me mainly on headliners, but that is only gravity acting against the glue and i can only imagine that the problem would be worse when it's my big ol' butt acting against the glue! :laugh: This is also my experience from using OLD foam in OLD seats - not necessarily NEW foam which may (should) better resist breaking down.

02-10-2010, 07:47 AM
Ditto that, I've found that spray glue gives you an instant 'fix' to many surfaces in the car, then the fabric gradually peels away again over weeks and months. This doesn't have to be over foam, it seems to do it from GRP, hardboard or pretty much anything else. I found the solution to the thin GRP canopy trims, (which peeled really annoyingly) was to glue the leather cloth in place, then drill and saddle stitch - looks much better and will definitely stay in place now! :D

02-10-2010, 01:40 PM
:laugh: I didn't think of the abrasion factor! I do like Alex's idea of stitching it in place after it's been glued. That's a job for one of these cold winter nights here!

02-10-2010, 06:09 PM
What's a saddle stitch?


02-10-2010, 07:55 PM
Have a look at this: http://www.britishblades.com/forums/sho ... -2-needles (http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?19963-Saddle-Stitch-Tutorial-stitching-with-2-needles) - they say it far better than I could! :whistling:

03-10-2010, 07:27 AM
Thanks Alex