Automotive interior is one of the most important areas of your car, it’s the one you spend the most time with! As I’m nearing the end of Operation Stude, I already have my sights set on the next project to tackle on her…the interior.

If you’ve been following me since the beginning, you’ll know that my 1955 Studebaker’s interior is the first thing I did on my own. Never having done upholstery, although I did have sewing skills, I wasn’t expecting professional results the first time. While I was pleased with the results, I’ve been looking forward to the next time when I could put to work everything I’ve learned. That time has come.

My interior has been shot for a while now, in fact I polled readers on what style interior they thought I should do next a full three years ago (how time flies)! While I’ve made impromptu seat backs from inexpensive vinyl, as shown in this quick-interior fix article, it really is time for me to commit to revamping my car’s interior.

Classy Car InteriorAs demonstrated by the wide variety of styles in the poll article, car shows are fantastic places to get ideas and talk to other people for pointers. The vote for interior, by the way, favored the above tuck and roll with simple button tufting with 18% of the vote (combined votes from both GreaseGirl and I like the variety of techniques used here and the texture that the tuck and roll and tufted sections create.

While I was at Lone Star Round Up last month, I came across two automotive interiors which totally blew me away…

vintage-upholstery-fabric-04First, this Cadillac’s classiness is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.vintage-upholstery-fabric-05

vintage-upholstery-fabric-03So nicely done, but without going over the top – it made the car something which truly stood out.

vintage-upholstery-fabric-06Next was the classic look inside this customized Edsel wagon.vintage-upholstery-fabric-02

vintage-upholstery-fabric-01The vintage look of this fabric, with the bits of metallic thread, is just what I’ve been looking for!

Before I fully commit to the tuck & tufted design voted on previously, I need to secure which fabrics and colors I’ll be using to know if it’ll work. My first task…to find the sort of fabric as seen on the Edsel! My friend Luis from Loyola Auto Interiors suggested I check out SMS Auto Fabrics, saying they’re the only ones he knows of who carry this style (and he’s been doing auto interior for over 30 years). SMS has a huge stock of actual vintage deadstock but they also reproduce similar items on their own looms.

fabric-swatches-smsI’m thinking that I’ll pull in gold as an accent color, since that’s now the engine color, so I emailed SMS asking if they had anything with both coral and gold. Within a week an envelope arrived with, not just a few, but fifteen fabric swatches!

upholstery-vinyl-irridescentAlong with some pretty iridescent vinyl samples Luis showed me…I’ve got a lot to think about! If you’re planning your own automotive interior, check out this video I made with Luis a few years ago – Pro’s Pointers on Auto Interior Design.

Leave a comment, which SMS fabric sample is your favorite?


8 Responses

  1. spannerbirdarie

    I just received about the same amount of swatches, and even though the current colour is blue, I don’t plan on keeping her that way. I really like the coral colour listed on the build sheet, so I’ll probably end up with something very similar to yours. I rather fancy bright colours. =)

    • Kristin Cline

      My car currently has blue carpet, very similar to the hue in your samples, and the two colors go very nice together! Go with something that will make you smile Arie!

  2. Kevin

    That cadilac interior is great, timeless, easily matches any exterior color. Some slip covers for a hot summer to avoid Denim bleed through and sweat stains.

    L would work with a few more dominant colors, Maybe consider E with the Sun Coral, (lower vinyl swatch)

    I’ve found interior keeps me up at night with all the choices as well. Narrowing them down though.

    • Kristin Cline

      I’ve never thought of doing slipcovers for a vinyl interior (perhaps because I’ve never considered a full vinyl interior!)…but great idea!
      On the vinyl swatches…the lower is nearly an exact match to Stude’s color, but the darker color on top looks amazing in contrast. I don’t think it, however, would go with any of the SMS fabric swatches.

  3. Sharon Wilson Smith

    Thanks for sharing your article about car’s interior. I loved your Cadillac’s interior photo. I agree that the classiness it resulted to is really great. If I were to have my car’s interior done, I’d make sure to refer to the fabric samples you posted.


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