So in Part I and Part II of the DIY reupholstering of my front seats, I’ve been working on the driver’s side first…just to get it out of the way. Most folks might think that both front seats are the same in VW Buses, but they aren’t. The drivers side seat has a full back side (back side of back rest), while the passenger’s seat (at least in my 71 Westfalia) only has a partial back panel so it can lock into place with the ‘hoop lock’ attached to the van itself. I’ll post some pics of this when I get to the passenger side seat re-upholstering.
For now, I am still in the throes of figuring out the various shapes I am having to create from the very worn out, tattered, and barely there pieces of the old driver’s seat. I am hoping for the best, while bracing myself for the worst.
I’ve lost a bit of momentum, I admit, since it took over a month to receive the faux burlap I ordered from Baja California Sur, Mexico. I wasn’t very pleased when I received it, because it is quite transparent. So…with hopes of remedying this problem, I have plans to fuse a very thick layer of PellonWonder Under fusible webbing to the underside. I guess we’ll see how that goes.
For now, here are a few pics of the patterns I have created from newspaper. I will post more pics in the next part of this series; when I cut and fuse the fabric. If you have re-upholstered the seats in your VW Van…ever, please feel free to drop me a note or two of advice. I could use it at this point!
Thanks for stopping by, and uber thanks for commenting!
*Never stop learning new, exciting, and useful things.* *Amaze yourself every now and then!*
Fold Back Panel Piece, Trace, Then Cut…Marking Fold on Pattern
Seat Side Panel Pieces – Cut 1 Pattern but 2 Fabric Pieces
Faux Burlap and Pellon Heavy Duty (not too stiff, but still strong)
Faux Burlap (feels almost plastic coated), and Pellon Fusible Webbing – Heavy Duty but Flexible
Close up of Turquoise Faux Burlap from Baja Mexico
Pellon will add strength and opacity to transparent-like faux burlap fabric
Back Panel (not seat back rest) Pattern Piece Cut From Newspaper
Seat Side Panels – Pattern Pieces
Allow enough room for sturdy wire insert, when hemming seat covers along bottom.
Seat bottom hem must have sturdy wire inserted within casing, to hook over prongs on bottom of seat frame.
All Driver’s Side Seat Patterns Traced From Old Seat Upholstery Scraps (guesstimation-like), and Created From Newspaper. Fabric and Fusible Webbing is Ready to Cut!
‘Need new seats in your VW Westfalia Camp-mobile or Bus, but you can’t afford to have them professionally done? Well…you’re not alone! I too found myself in this situation where the front seats in my old 71 Volkswagen Camper Bus were not only shredding and falling apart, but the seat springs were ripping our clothes when we sat down to drive. I knew I couldn’t put off upholstering any longer.
With minimal to no funds for prettying up my old bus, I had to get creative. Enter this Do-It-Yourself method I conjured up out of desperation and hard-headedness. Re-purposing some leftover (brand new and unused) carpet padding from re-carpeting our daughter’s tiny room, I found it was a perfect fit (firm cushion and water-resistant on top side) for the job.
So, here’s Part I of the creation of my van’s CHEAP DIY seats. : ) I welcome you to follow my blog for Part II of this project. I am awaiting my fabric so I can finish the job. Wish me luck! I’m learning as I go, and welcome any comments or suggestions any of you may have. Thank you for stopping by! : )
.V.. (Peace) & Love!
ITEMS USED for RE-UPHOLSTERING Seats —
A yard-and-a-half of Jute Burlap fabric
Tan Upholstery or Heavy-duty thread
Regular, but Large/Sturdy, Sewing Needle
New ‘Moisture Resistant’ carpet padding (enough for two layers on seat and back)
Hemp Twine in various thicknesses
Choice of Upholstery Fabric ( at least 4 yards) *Does not have to be upholstery fabric, but can be any medium or heavier weight fabric.*
Fusible Webbing like Wonder Under (heavy weight, but still flexible)
Elmer’s or similar school glue **Optional
THE PROCESS (in pictures) — PART I: The Tearing Down
The Driver’s Seat (the one I’m working on) Was Worse Than This!
Passenger Seat – Better Than Driver’s Seat Was
Coconut Hull Cushion From Driver’s Seat (what’s left of it)