Kiri and


So, a needle pulling thread

September 3rd, 2013 (by Steve)

We’d never really planned to totally re-upholster Bertha… it, kind of, just happened! The long seat covers were a little worn at the seams, so we realised we’d have to do something about that, then we noticed the seat covers at the rear of the van weren’t quite the same material. Might as well do all of the seat covers then. And if we’re doing the seats, the curtains have to match (obviously!), so we might as well re-do those as well.

Now neither of us have done much upholstery work before, although with all of the bunting that we did for KISTfest (over 1000 flags in the end), we’re pretty handy with a sewing machine. Our first challenge was finding some strong, hard-wearing, cheap material. Bargain bins and charity shops had yielded a few offcuts here and there which will add some colour, but we struck gold with the idea of buying dust sheets – 24 feet by 9 feet for just over £20 – bargainous! These would form the bulk of the seat covers, then we could just sew patches of the other offcuts on top.


It turns out that dust sheets aren’t necessarily uniform in size. Or colour. Or type of fabric. And they may have stains on them. Or footprints. We like a challenge though, so set to work cutting coloured patches, ironing them flat and sewing them onto the dust sheets, before sewing the dust sheets up to create box covers for the foam seats. It’s amazing the difference that a few cheap patches can make to an even cheaper bit of cotton! It’s also amazing what lengths some people go to in order to try out a cushion cover for size…


As a result of the dust sheet revelations (can’t say we can think of anywhere in Revelation that it mentions dust sheets though… sounds more like something you’d find in Leviticus), we decided to spend a little more on the curtains. The plan is to re-use the linings of the existing curtains, then just add the new (red) fabric to it. We did splash out on an extra £8 for thermal lining for the cab though – we’ll trap the cold air in there in the winter!

As we stand today (because the seats aren’t all ready yet!), the main side seat has been re-covered in full and the base of the rear seat has been done. (Note the old curtains just in view on the left of this picture)


Only 6 more box cushions to do (of different shapes and sizes) and then it’s curtains for us.

3 Responses

Seat covers look great. Good to see Kiri and Storm busy but I thought Steve was also good with a needle?


looking forward to watching u have fun, good luck and enjoy.

Thanks Ron 🙂

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