Other than being on hand to provide moral (and calorific) support over the last few weeks, I haven’t been physically involved with the van’s evolution so far. But now, I have a job. I’m going to be responsible for upholstering the seats.
This is quite a big responsibility as, space-wise, the seats take up a fair chunk of room in the van. They’re also very… visible. There’s no hiding them behind a screen or a gas bottle if I mess up the seams (that’s not to imply Paul is hiding anything behind the gas bottles, he’s a complete perfectionist). Anyway, I figured if he can work out how to convert a taxi into a campervan, I should be able to cobble together some cushions.
And I’m not a complete beginner when it comes to sewing; I did cross-stitch a placemat when I was at primary school in 1990 (I remember the date because that’s what I appliqued onto the mat – I’m hoping I’ve retained some of that creative imagination). Since then though, there’s been something of a sewing hiatus.
So last weekend I went to a fabric store to get the lay of the land. And a scary land it was. Aisles and aisles of different styles and colours and weights of upholstery material. One of the nice sewing ladies took pity on me as I was feverishly trying to capture each one on my phone. She seemed to be partly speaking in a different language, but the main thing I gleaned was, as long as the fabric doesn’t have a plastic backing, it’s just a matter of taste. Well that should be easy then.
This was my absolute favourite:
A sort of Cath Kidston inspired surfer-chic. Unfortunately I knew it would be vetoed as soon as I got home. It was. As was this lovely floral:
And this one:
So much for taste. I looked at some more neutral, sensible colours:
But they weren’t very inspiring. A bit too caravanny.
These were a bit brighter and quite hard-wearing, a possibility:
And I quite liked these:
A bit like deckchair fabric and nice and soft, although maybe not quite tough enough. Paul thought these could be contenders – two out of 200 is not bad I suppose.
Next weekend I’ll be brave and ask for some samples.
Pingback: How to sew fabulous seat cushions (even if you’re a complete beginner) – part 1 « The Campervan Converts
Brilliant site failed twice until I read this
Oh that’s great Harry – thanks!
Dear Rach, thank you for this helpful primer.
I’m curious to know why you advise against plastic backing – I’m upholstering a rock ‘n’ roll bed and it struck me that a semi-waterproof fabric might be a good idea, partly because I don’t want damp to penetrate the foam, and partly so the bed doesn’t get soaked if we have to come in out of the rain etc.
Am I being short-sighted? Probably!