Monday, August 15, 2011

The Dirty Project

AKA: Motorcycle Reupholstering

My husband was "hand-me-downed" a motorcycle. This motorcycle has a bit of a chip on its shoulder and has required some work to get it usable. The one must that involved me was the torn up upholstering. We were trying to hunt down someone who would do it within a reasonable price range when Brett said,
"I wish you could just do it".
I immediately responded with,
"I am sorry but this is way beyond me". The seed was planted. I thought about it for about 30 minutes while he went down the rest of the list of possibilities. After the last on the list turned out to be a dud. I told Brett that I did want to give it a try. We figured we would head over to Joann's and see how much the materials would cost. It wasn't so bad.
I had one major concern; I was afraid my sewing machine's stitches would be too small and would cut the material rather than sew it (it's happened to me before). So I sent my dad a text message about this crazy task I was considering and he suggested I come into his work and use his heavy duty sewing machines. Sweet!
I started getting very excited.
I cut the original upholstering along all the seems so I could make a pattern to work with. When all my new pieces were cut out I called up my dad and he arranged to meet up at his office after hours.
That first night I worked on the seat that I thought would go together most smoothly and things went great! I was riding a sewing high! I was thinking gosh! I really can do this!
I sewed the two sides to the center, did some schmancy top stitching, and then I made the fatal error of sewing the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top. Fail. We left dad's office after two hours of work on a low note but I was still quite optimistic.
I met up with my dad a week later to work on it again. I whipped up a second one and fought the machine trying to get the curves just right all while my baby melted down. Even though my sewing went faster than the first time I didn't get to finish the piece because Kent just wasn't having it! I went hope fairly dejected but dad said we could go back the next day and Brett would be available so I wouldn't have to take ANY kids. I was excited again.
The next day Dad and I went to his office by ourselves to get some serious work done! But I broke five needles and was going crazy. I had made some respectable progress but I thought I would snap if I snapped another needle. I made one last go at it when I broke the final needle. It snapped into different place and literally jumped out and slapped me in the face! I had had enough and gave up for the day. I couldn't believe how poorly that kid free attempt went. I was no longer looking forward to working on this crazy project and didn't even bother calling up my dad.
A couple days later my dad brought it up and asked if I wanted to go work on it that night. I'm glad he did. I needed to just get this all done!

This time I took Kent's swing with us and that made a huge difference. That, and Luke, Dad's coworker fixed our threading problem that caused all the snapping needles.
Like I said, huge difference! Things went so well I finished two of the three cushions/seats.
I knew that if things went smoothly it would only require one more trip to finish the project. But I knew they wouldn't and kept telling my hubs it would probably take two more trips.
I met up with my dad Thursday night and got down to work on the hardest piece. I worked non-stop for an hour and a half and things went so well. I was skipping and my dad was cheering. We left 15 minutes earlier than we had planned and when I got home Brett was pretty disappointed to see me. My dad had texted him saying that I had given up and was coming home. I was so glad because Brett's face when I showed him everything was all done was perfect!!

I'm not going to lie. I am pretty proud of myself. This was not an easy project but I challenged myself and I think I really rose to the occasion.

I love that my husband thinks that I can do anything, and while that can be daunting, I think that this time I really delivered and that made for one happy hubby!


  1. way to be fancy! it looks really good too :)
    i was totally right when i guessed motorcycle helmet!

  2. What a great job! Having a husband who has faith in your abilities is a true blessing, too. Way to go!