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Monday, January 7, 2013

Steering Wheel and Seat Covers

By Victoria Kulig

Recently, I purchased a new car: Idriss. Well, new to me anyway, and yes, I name my things. I purchased her (She’s a beautiful, blue car named Idriss. Of course she’s female) because I have a lot of things I need to transport - mainly related to my dogs. My old car is absolutely covered in dog hair. It is embedded into the seats and even the almighty duct tape isn’t removing all of it.

So while my new car is going to be used to cart around dogs, there is no reason for her to be bathed in dog hair. I’m doing all I can to create seat covers and cargo mats to prevent her from getting as hairy as my previous car.

I started with something simple: the steering wheel. I actually like the steering wheel she has since it’s very comfortable for me to hold and to drive. However, it’s also a dark grey and I live in Central Florida. After a few hours baking in the sun, that thing will scald your hands!

Enter the steering wheel cover. To start with, you’ll need a pattern. I like to make all my patterns out of freezer paper; they can be ironed onto fabric if need be to keep them still, and they’re a bit sturdier than tissue paper. Additionally, if you wipe it off soon enough, you can even use dry erase markers!

To begin, measure your steering wheel. Take a piece of measuring tape, hold it on the wheel, and measure it out. Mine was 40 inches, so I used 43 inches to allow for seams. I honestly couldn’t figure out the best way to measure the width, so I searched until I found someone who had made a similar tutorial (which you can see here), and I used their measurement of 4.5”. Knowing what I do now, I wish I’d given it 5.5”. The finished one is just a bit too thin and kind of slides around on the wheel.

I used a simple strip of fabric, some thread, and a bit of elastic. I think mine was ⅜ of an inch thick - it was just what I had on hand.

Once I cut out the strip of fabric, the first step is to press the sides in. You’ll be making a casing for your elastic to slip into later, but by pressing in the seams - it will make the fabric lay nicely and be easier to sew later.

I pressed mine in half an inch. Be sure to press both sides of the fabric.

Once both sides are pressed, you will need to sew the ends together to create the circle. Take the two ends and pin them right-side together.

With the fabric I used, I had to be careful with how I closed my seams or it will fray. It’s a canvas type material, and you can see in the images how the edges are already fraying. So on my end seam, I used a french seam.

Your end result will be a bit like the above image. No open edges to keep fraying, just a nice seam with two lines of thread.

The next step is to finish the casing for the elastic. This is where pressing the seams will come in handy, as the fabric will want to fold in nicely on its own. Again, since my fabric frays, I rolled the edges under a bit to keep them inside the seam and not exposed. Pin a lot, then sew down close to the edge to create the casing. Be sure to leave a hole near the seam so that you can thread your elastic through later.

Once you’ve sewn the casing, repeat on the other side, and be sure to leave a hole on both sides of the seam for the elastic.

Now that the casings are sewn, you need to thread the elastic.

I always attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic to make it easier to thread. As you work it through the casing, I suggest pinning the other end to the entry hole of the casing to make sure that it doesn’t disappear inside the casing altogether.

Once you pull the elastic all the way through, sew the two ends together.

Repeat this for the other side. Once you have threaded the elastic and sewn the ends together, you need to close up the holes on both sides. Again, just roll the edges under to keep the unfinished side covered up, and sew closely to the edge. If you hit the elastic, don’t worry about it. As long as the rest of it can stretch it will still work fine.

Your end product will look a bit like a giant hair scrunchie. Now that it’s all said and done, go out and put it on your steering wheel.

I also made matching seat covers. For the covers, I used a McCall’s pattern, M5902. It contains several car organizers, bucket seat covers, and the back seat hammock. I decided to use the bucket seat covers, and using the same fabric I used on the steering wheel covers, get to work.

The pattern was very easy to work with, and I also elected to use dark grey fleece as a contrasting color to the pale fabric. The directions in this pattern were extremely easy to follow - but I will note that the seats in my car are a bit wider than the covers allow for. The fleece I used had a bit of stretch in it, so it still fit over the seat, but when I make them again I’ll be sure to leave some additional allowance.

These covers are incredibly cheap to make, and easy to replace if they wear out or rip. You can wash them pretty easily, and change them out as often as you see fit. The next time I make a set, I’m going to splurge on custom fabric from Spoonflower, or maybe even some faux fur for texture.

Then again, I may skip the fur. Fur is the reason I’m making covers for the car!

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog, thanks for sharing the information. I will come to look for update. Keep up the good work.

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