Introduction: Build Your Own Car Seat Covers

After much searching for a suitable seat cover for my 1993 Chevy S10 and not finding anything, I decided to try making myself my own set. I figured it couldn't be that hard, and it would be something handy to know how to do sometime in the future. It was quite a bit of fun, and I would like to share the process here with you today. Ive probably not done the best job in the world, but its definitely better than having torn seats ruin a perfectly good car.... so here it is.

Step 1: Make Your Pattern

First off, you need to have a pattern. The easiest way to get this, is to go and measure your old seat. If its a complicated seat, my recommendation would be to get some pieces of paper and cut them out to match the individual pieces that make up the seat. Enlarge these pieces a bit so you have a little bit of room to sew.

Step 2: Sewing

Secondly, you're going to need a sewing machine.

Now In the case of my bench seat, I decided to use a really nice blue spandex material with an orange thick polyester. The spandex gave me quite a bit of leeway in the seat and made for a really nice fit in the end. The only thing with using two different kinds of cloth was that it was a little bit hard to get both pieces to feed into the sewing machine at the same time... but more on that later.

My seat cover was in two pieces. One piece covered the bottom part and one piece covered the top.

Step 3: Make Butt Pads

On my seat, I chose to use a very durable feeling polyester for the seat part of the cover. To make a little bit of pizazz in the piece, I wanted some seams running down the middle.. kinda like you see on regular car seats. This was actually pretty easy.

I took the orange middle piece and folded it in half.

I sewed it just along the fold as close as I could to the edge.

Then I took both of the other sides and foled them to the middle. I did the same thing with those folds. When I was done, I had a solid square orange piece with four seams running down the front.

Very nice indeed.

Step 4: Sew Them Together

I did that twice and then joined them in the middle with a carefully measured piece of spandex.

A word here on the sewing: Through much trial and error (I made six seat pieces before I was happy with one) I have found that the best way to sew two pieces of cloth together is to lay them out the way the should be. Then, taking straight pins of some sort, stitch the pieces together with the pins. Put as many as you need to keep the two pieces from sliding around and changing on you. Then, as you feed the piece into the sewing machine, keep one hand firmly on the pieces going in to hold them together. Make sure you are controlling the cloth and that its not hanging down and pulling on any side. Then, go very slowly... I am pretty impatient with stuff like this, and as soon as something went wrong, my first instinct was to stomp on the gas and speed through all the trouble. It DOESN'T work that way. You have to deal with it and fix it.

Now, add the sides to the seats.
Once that is done, add the front and the backs to the seat.
These will drape over the seat but will be cinched up with a cord that we're about to sew into a hem.

At this point, you can cut holes for the seat belts and hem them up or just take a break or something.

Step 5: Add a Cinch Along the Bottom

Ok, the whole thing is cinched around the bottom of the seat. This keeps it from flopping around and sliding off. The way I did this was by sewing a rope into the edge of the seat as I hemmed it. This hem went all the way around the bottom and so did the rope.

Almost done now. The only thing left is to make one exactly the same for the top part and then make covers for the headrests.

Step 6: Make Headrest Covers

The head rests were a little bit tricky. using the paper technique described earlier, cut out two pieces for the head rest - one front, one back.
Stich these two together like a big U shaped sock.
One end needs to be sowed shut and then the whole thing put on like a sock. Then, the other end is stuffed into the base of the headrest.