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Discussion Starter #1
Everything I know about upholstery work was gleaned from youtube or bugging friends for tips. I'm not a pro, but I know my way around a sewing machine. I decided I'd like a black and gray seat for my TW because I don't like the blue one. I guess I prefer a boring looking bike.. I may experiment with this seat for comfort reasons as well. New foam inserts or additional padding on top.



I ebayed a whole 1987 seat because I wanted to make my own seat cover. The seat I have is nice enough I didn't want to mess with it.



I carefully removed the staples from the pan to remove the cover.





Apart, the pan and foam are in great shape.







Time to cut it up (carefully) for pattern making purposes







Patterns being used







New marine vinyl pieces are cut out







I bought a Consew walking foot sewing machine off of an AM radio call-in classifieds show last fall. I'm glad I'm finally using it to make useful things. I double stitched the seams for durability and a good look.







The final step after this is going to be finding a shallow set of staples and carefully applying my new cover to the seat. I'm going to make a new grab strap as well.



 

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great looking! did you make it a bit bigger for added cushioning?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Tonight I got out the steamer to soften the vinyl and gave it the stretch and staple treatment. I was using 1/4" staples in an Aarow T50 staple gun. It was barely powerful to penetrate the seat pan. I assume since it's a 1987 seat that the plastic has hardened a bit. Anyway, I'm happy with the results. Here's some decent photos I took before the sun set.







I wrapped a nylon strap in vinyl for the grab strap. Then I used metal grommets to ensure they are durable at the fix points under the seat.







Old versus new







Detail of the double reinforced seams. I did this throughout just because I thought it looked nice.











Symmetry is pretty decent given this is the first time I've done this.









A couple of shots of the bike with the seat. The plan is to ditch the blue gaiters on the forks and get black ones. I just want a non-descript bike with no logos or anything.







 

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You did a really nice job on the seat. Really improves the look. Funny, my stock seat looks similar to the one you have and I used vinyl paint to cover up the silver or white section to make the seat all black. Course the silver cover in mine didn't go well with tan. Last photo is pretty cool too!
 

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Wow, you did an incredible job, especially for your first time. Your seat looks very nice, like a professional with years of experience did it. I'm also going to do some work on my TW's seat, but I'm confident it won't end up looking that good. Nice job!
 

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OK. I don't know what you do for a living "BUT" quit that job and start making seats........ That looks waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay good... OMM.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have had a passing interest in doing my own upholstery for years though. Last autumn I dragged this guy home, much to my wife's chagrin:







It's really the unsung hero of the whole operation. A walking foot (compound foot) sewing machine is what allows you to control your work and lay down seams where they should be. Before I had that machine, everything I did around the house got fed through a Singer I bought at GoodWill.









And though the singer is gear driven and it's a simple workhorse to make clothing or curtains, it can't handle punching through five or more layers of vinyl. It also uses too small of a thread to hold vinyl together well.



Some of my 'old work' with the Singer includes a Yamaha XS650 bobber thing I was dinking around with a few years back. I did a tuck and roll seat with sparkle vinyl.







And my cafe CB350 last summer was also made with the Singer machine and turned out decent. However before this winter, I had never really sat down to teach myself some of the patterning techniques and sewing tricks so that the seams look nice. Also someone in the biz told me to start using a steamer to heat the vinyl up and make it much more stretchy so you can pull it into place and center it on your seat properly. He also told me to not be afraid to pull staples and start over




Here's my CB350 from last summer. That seat was fun because I made it out of wood and used the back half of a motorcycle helmet for the back of the seat. Also it snapped on and off of the pan, so I had my registration and insurance papers under the cover.





 

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You did an incredibly job on that seat! The stitching looks perfect.



Also, even though I don't know a thing about sewing machines I am in love with yours because of its appearance. As a mechanical device it has a look of solidness and quality. I especially like the industrial look of the hammered grey finish and the labels. It looks like it weighs a 1/2 ton and I want one to display in my living room. What is the vintage of your machine?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That machine is probably early 70s, but it's a clone of a Singer 151 which is Korean war era.



In fact, the Singer 151 came with instructions on how to destroy it so that the enemy couldn't use it if it was captured during war. They used them to mend tents and sew parachutes, etc... But Consew, Juki, and several other companies copied the design such that most parts are interchangeable. It weighs probably three times what a good solid house sewing machine weighs and the table is 1.5" thick particle board and steel, so it also weighs quite a bit.



I bought this one to do leather work, but haven't worked my way up to good enough sewing to risk ruining leather goods I make (wallets, belts, bags, etc...)



I just sew my leather stuff by hand still.



The only downside about this Consew 225 is that like the Singer of old, it has no reverse. You have to start your stitch and then pull back three stitches and sew over them to lock the start and end of your run. A modern machine (costing about 1500 dollars) has reverse. It's the only thing I would like. Otherwise, this machine will sew through 3/8" of leather




Mine is in really good shape because a hobbyist owned it from new. Most of them were used in sweat shops for the clothing industry or upholstery creation and are missing all of the paint and have been repaired several times over since they were new.



I am having fun trying my hand at new projects though. I learn at least one new thing each time I attempt something else.



This is a friend who is a real upholsterer showing me the ropes and using his modern Pfaff machine to do the same thing. It's very nice, but I don't do this for a living, so I can get by with my old beast. Consew was a high quality Japanese machine. I'm not sure where they're made currently. Pfaff is German and is still made in Germany, so they're top notch.



 

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You really have done a nice job on those seats. REALLY NICE.
 

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Very nice job! I love seeing the stuff this crew makes!!



I picked up an Artisan sewing machine a while back to do similar projects. So far I've only made myself a pair of waterproof riding pants, but it's a start!



I like the look of your double stitch! Having done only a little sewing, I'm impressed that you kept the spacing between the stitches so consistent! Nice Work!
 

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wow great job with the cover!!!...i just sold my grandfathers old singer leather sewing machine for $800...it worked great!...wish i would have thought of trying something like this before he sold it...don't think i would have had the patience though





 
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