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buzzboy Reader
8/4/18 9:40 p.m.

I love racing seats. They are so much more comfortable than BMW Vaders. I found a pair of Taiwanese Brides for a good price and here I am.

My Vaders are faux ostrich skin and they suck. They don't breathe at all causing major back sweat in the summer. My goal is to have the Brides reupholstered in a cloth that matches my rear seats and door cards well enough but is very durable and breathes well. Shouldn't be too hard right?

I'm going to use one of the seats to make the pattern so I can drive the car with the other seat in the meantime. Here's one of the seats in the condition I received them and one with the cover off. Luckily the foam is good so I won't have to fix that.

I started off by marking every individual pice of cloth in the seat cover. Each panel has a letter and marks going to the adjacent panels to line them up correctly.

Finally my stopping point for the night. I used the seam ripper to take apart all the seams as well as to remove the interesting cable/spring system that is used to secure the cover to the seat. Now I can measure how much fabric I need to order and finally pull the trigger on a pattern for the seats. Not shown are the seat cushions which will be less difficult and may be upholstered in a different pattern. 


About this time my father walked in and said I'm a "better man than him." Going to be a fun project.

SnowMongoose SuperDork
8/5/18 12:09 a.m.

Think I agree with your pops but will watch this thread, have a (mismatched) pair of seats with covers in rough shape.

Cooter Dork
8/5/18 10:11 a.m.



I want to see how this turns out.  Maybe you will inspire me to finally use that industrial sewing machine I bought years ago. 

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
8/5/18 10:43 a.m.


Im going after different seats in the duster, and scruddy recaros are at the top of the list.

clutchsmoke SuperDork
8/5/18 12:03 p.m.

GRM did an article/walk thru of race seat recovering a while back. Watching with interest. 

buzzboy Reader
8/5/18 12:32 p.m.

I'd love to find that article. It's actually kinda hard to find other people redoing seats online to kinda follow. Luckily for me my mother is a seamstress and has done some upholstery.

californiamilleghia Reader
8/5/18 6:38 p.m.

not sure what they are going into,,,,,,

But....are you  going to put in the seat heater "pads" to make them comfy in the winter ?

buzzboy Reader
8/5/18 8:33 p.m.

They're going into my M3Ti which is my summer daily. I'd thought of seat heaters but eh...

wlkelley3 UltraDork
8/5/18 8:40 p.m.

That's exactly how I was taught upholstery when I did the interior of my Opel GT. A friend does upholstery as a hobby and been doing it for years.  The old style hanging headliner was the hardest part.

PeteD New Reader
8/5/18 8:50 p.m.

Thanks for sharing this ... I'm considering a similar job & am very interested to see what I can learn!


  -- Pete


buzzboy Reader
8/7/18 7:36 p.m.

Fabric has been purchased! I went for a color that is close-ish to my rear seats and a contrasting print that will go well with my car's color.

The main seat body will be

The cushions will be


On the other hand I tried to buy brackets today. To get the proper Bride brackets will take 8-10 weeks. Guess I'll be piecing together a mount/slider solution.

buzzboy Reader
8/12/18 5:12 p.m.

The fabric arrived on friday. They sent me an extra yard of the cushion fabric so I've got WAY more than I need.

Time to start laying out my pattern pieces. First everything gets ironed with my mom's fancy Germany iron

Then all the symmetrical pattern pieces have centerlines drawn on them

On the weird shaped pieces I made marks showing the direction of the grain of the fabric.

With all of the lines marked on the pieces I can finally start laying everything out. I'm going to set up the cushions to follow the pattern in the blue fabric with the dark part in the crack of the seat. It'll be a bit wasteful of fabric but I'll be left with some scraps to do accents in the car. Maybe a shift boot or door card. It's a pretty loud pattern but I quite like it.

klodkrawler05 Reader
8/13/18 9:47 a.m.

Following with interest! looks like you have a pretty awesome resource in your mom I'm excited to see the finished product!

buzzboy Reader
8/14/18 9:47 p.m.

My mother is the reason this is possible. I want to do the project myself but I like having her point me in the correct direction. Like telling me to take the velcro off the original pieces to reuse it. All labeled and ready to reinstall.

I laid everything out such that the pattern will be darkest in the crack of the seat.

After cutting out the three visible pieces I then moved them until they disappear and cut them out again giving me two identical pattern pieces. Here you can just barely tell there's a piece on top of the fabric, partially because of the blurry photo.

And here's every part of the cushions all cut out. In my hand is the only non-usable scrap so far. There's quite a bit of fabric left over for other things.

I'm told that my next step will be to run the edges through a serger then I  can start putting my cushions together.

buzzboy Reader
8/20/18 7:31 a.m.

To stop any edges from unraveling I was advised to serge everything. It doesn't look super pretty but it's all hidden within the seam allowances so it's okay.

A few hours later every piece for both seats is cut out and serged.

My side mount adapters showed up and now I'm only waiting on my BMW adapters and sliders so I can test fit the seat I didn't tear down. Next step, upholster the bolsters.

MarshHoltRacing New Reader
8/20/18 7:41 a.m.

Way cool! Pretty wild fabrics. I was just thinking about doing something like this.

ultraclyde PowerDork
8/20/18 8:05 a.m.

Brave. I just made some dog-proof covers for the rear seat bottoms on my Jeep. I pulled the seat pieces out (easy on a Jeep) and just traced them on the fabric. It was a PITA but turned out decent. Next time I won't pick a stretchy fabric like cheap fleece.

Interested to see how this works out, really dig the fabric choices.

buzzboy Reader
8/21/18 7:24 p.m.

The first cushion is complete! This is probably the most complicated piece as it's a single piece of fabric. Building a box with 2 pieces is like building with cardboard. Building a box with 1 piece involves some interesting folds.

The higher the consonant to vowel ratio the better the sewing machine. West German built helps too!

With much assistance and a little adjustment I got the first cushion done. It was a bit too big for the foam, likely because the factory material is a bit thicker than what I'm using.

Going to look good! Next will be the butt pad.

DjGreggieP Reader
8/22/18 2:23 p.m.

This makes me want to find a matching seat for the front seats of my car. 

Ransom PowerDork
8/22/18 2:35 p.m.

Stop Pfaffing about! Actually, nice work, carry on. I just couldn't resist. Sorry.

buzzboy Reader
8/28/18 6:44 p.m.

The original fabric must have stretched out over the years. So far both patterns we've done have been a little out of whack. I'm cheating a little and letting my mom help. It would have been easier to make our own patterns for these cushions but there's no way we could have known that from the start.

Here she's lining up some three dimensional corners which were throwing me for a loop.

Two cushions down, four to go. Also my wedge brackets showed up so I can at least get the non-disassembled seat mounted in the car so I can start tweaking the driving position.

buzzboy Reader
8/29/18 9:27 p.m.

I almost saw a mental breakdown today. Cheap Taiwanese seats aren't designed all that great.

This seam doesn't make sense to her

Here's what it looks like on the inside

It's pretty poorly designed she said and also designed around a slightly stretchy material, which mine isn't. After an hour of fiddling and looking at the other seat for reference we finally got a corner that looked about right. Then we noticed another problem. The gorram seats aren't symetrical! They're the same seat supposedly but the covers are made individually to fit the foam and the foam isn't the same seat to seat. That means all my patterns are from one seat but won't fit the cushions from the other. FFFUUUUUUUU

freestyle Reader
8/29/18 9:32 p.m.

Your mom has some pretty bad ass sewing hardware. 

conesare2seconds Dork
8/29/18 9:38 p.m.

You have a good eye. I wouldn’t in a million years have selected that pattern/fabric, but when you see it on the seat...it’s pretty snazz.  Good choice. 

MINIzguy HalfDork
8/29/18 9:42 p.m.

I did back and bottom cushions for my buckets seats too. Since my mom doesn't know how to sew, I went out and bought my own machine and learned via YouTube. I did one side and have given up haha. I'm not good at it but the cushions work.

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