Introduction: Vespa Seat Cover
I am restoring my Vespa GS 150 Scooter and with Covid 19 find myself short on funds to lavish on the project, but I need to get it done, so I decided to quickly recover the seat by myself, rather than spend over $300 for a new one. I had saved the leather covering off an old couch, which I used to hand sew a home made version of the seat cover, which will do until I can afford a professional job. Everything but the rivets on this project was recycled, including the spray adhesive and leather treatment, which I culled from the re use shed at my local dump. I knew I was saving that stuff for something.
Recycled leather from a discarded couch. You can find them on Craigslist usually.
Recycled foam from old couch pillows, pads, mailing foams, or foam surgery recovery supports.
Spray adhesive found at the dump's recycle center.
Recycled upholstery fabric
Plastic from a broken flat screen TV.
Drill with small drill bit.
Step 1: Cut and Install Plastic Plate.
cut the plastic sheet to the right shape, drill holes and install by pulling springs through holes. You can get an idea of what I mean by looking at the finish seat picture. The plastic I believe serves to both protect and strenghten the seat.
Step 2: Measure and Cut Foam Pieces.
I traced and cut out a piece for sitting on then roughly shaped a soft pillow fill section big enough to cover everything. I left enough extra so the synthetic stuffing could wrap around all sides, including front and back.
Step 3: Trace Outline of Seat Onto Leather and Cut Out.
Trace the seat outline by placing on the leather and the top piece. Also determine one side profile and cut out two identical pieces from this, making sure to leave enough material at bottom edges so you can wrap around the frame and glue the leather onto itself. .
Step 4: Sew Sides to the Top
Now comes the hard part if like me you don't have a sewing machine.
Stitch the edges together with needle and thread, working with the inside (or suede side) out. I used a pair of pliers to push the largest needle I had through the tough leather, one stitch at a time. This took me all night and while my lines were initially crude, making three passes resulted in strong seams, and I found myself getting better at it. I also cut out front and back pieces after marking where seams would go for a tight fit. The back piece had a basic top flap that I sewed onto a tail overhang, which I later hid by screwing on an optional metal plate I cut from scrap metal, using existing holes in the frame.
Step 5: Install Foam and Cover With Upholstery Fabric.
A flat thinner foam bottom piece went first, then risers for front and back seat. I shaped the risers by cutting them out with scissors and tearing out little pieces until I got satisfactory wedge shapes that I glued to the flat foam using spray adhesive. Then I cut some grey upholstery cloth that tightened over the foam, which I had covered with a soft infill material. I attached the cloth after spraying it's inside edges and the frame with adhesive, then pushing it tight onto itself. Sorry I don't have a picture of that here but it's visible later before before final glue down.
Step 6: Install the Leather Cover
I did this surprisingly easily with the help of spray adhesive, but it was a bit messy on my hands. I also added additional padding because I thought the first piece was too thin. This came from a large wedge I had used to keep my legs apart while recovering from hip replacement surgery recently. It had a big hole that I decided to place under the area a driver sits, theoretically to minimize seating pressure. With some effort I managed to tighten the cover pretty well by folding bottom edges over themselves onto the frame.
Step 7: Rivet Sides Securely
To mechanically hold the sides on I drilled a few holes and riveted outer leather to inner leather. I later painted the rivets flat black to make them less noticeable . I also put a metal plate on front and back for extra holding power ( though I'm still debating with myself whether I want to keep these).
Step 8: Treat With Leather Sealer to Waterproof.
I applied "Sno Seal" to the leather to waterproof it, and sprayed "Camp Dry" underneath.
The finished cover may look a bit loose, but it feels solid and comfortable