Upholsterey XIX

Upholstery XIX: Rear Seats and Door Pockets

I had one more seat cushion to upholster today, so I picked up where I left off from last week. After fitting the leather cover to this seat, I realized it was going to take a little more padding to make the leather cover sit wrinkle free on this cushion. Not two seat cushion are the same because I made them from scratch, so everything will need adjustments to make the leather fit. The covers were sewn with care to match in width, and size, but when fitting them to these seat pans, things can change, so I added some thin foam where it was needed.

Here is a detail of the foam edge that makes the distinct shape of the rear seat cushion. This took quite a few tries to get the cut to form the right shape.

I also added some fill material to make up some space behind this section of the seat cushion.

Once I got the extra fill in the right places, it was time to start gluing.

This inside edge was tricky to get it to anchor well, and take out the wrinkles on the other side.

It takes slow methodical gluing, stretching, and fitting to get the seat cover to fit right. I had these covers on and off at least a dozen times to get everything to fit just right. All this time I had to make sure the pleats were straight, the stitching followed the contour of the seat pan, the wrinkles were taken out as I anchored the leather to the seat pan, and that the seats matched each other! I think they look pretty good!

The next major step was to get the door pockets done for the door panels. I laid the old leather over the frame work to get an idea of how they covered these pieces at the Pininfarina Factory. They managed to cover 75% of the pocket frame with one piece of leather. It would almost seem impossible had I not seen the original piece. This was done so there would be no visible seams, so I had to try my best to replicate this piece of leather.

I cut a piece roughly into shape, and began gluing it to the frame. The corners were the tricky parts, and this is where they managed to utilize one piece of leather. The leather is REALLY stretched over the corners to make it form over the framework. Frank had me wet the leather to give it more elasticity so it would form to the corners. The glue would only hold for a little while before the water would make it unusable, but there was enough there to hold things in place. Eventually as the leather dried, I was able to re apply glue to tack things in place.

By the end of the day, I had covered one pocket frame and fitted the door and courtesy light to check it for fit. There’s still plenty left to do on this door pocket from fitting the hinges, the stops, and the return springs, but the next one should be easier considering I now know what to expect!

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