How to Make a Car Coverby Heide Braley
Not everyone has the luxury of owning a garage for his or her special cars. For those of us who have to find an alternative, there are a few options; a tent or canopy, renting garage space or using a car cover. Sure, you can do a little hunting around and find one suitable for your car--maybe even custom for your model, but if you have the creativity and tools, you can make your own at a fraction of the cost of a new one.
Decide what kind of a cover that you want by understanding the different options. Maybe you just want a lightweight cover to keep the leaves off during the fall. Perhaps, your car is no longer waterproof and you want to keep rainwater from leaking inside, so want a waterproof cover. Maybe you just want an all-purpose cover to keep ultraviolet rays off the paint as well as bird droppings or tree leaves and would pick a breathable cover.
Measure the amount of material by adding up the yardage it would take to cover your car. Start in the middle and measure from the bottom of one side, up and over the top and down to the bottom of the other side. Most material will come in panels of 48 to 60 inches in width. Figure out how many panels you will need for the top section and then measure the back and front trunk and hood from side to side. Add up all your measurements to figure the total needed.
Find a local fabric outlet that has some variety to choose from and purchase anywhere from 15 to 20 yards of the fabric of your choice, depending on the measurements you took of your car. Make sure you have a strong thread that is not cotton or it will degrade in the weather.
Cut out your panels starting with the middle section. Sew the two front and back panels to the middle panel with a straight and tight stitch. If you are using vinyl, you will want to set your machine stitch to the longest length. Attach the remaining panels to the front and the back of the cover.
Drape the cover over the car. Some of the panels may hit the ground but just get the cover centered on the car. With a sharp pair of scissors, cut off the excess so that the whole cover is about three inches below the bottom of the car. Work slowly, and step back and check your cut often to make sure you are not going crooked.
Hem the bottom edge that was just cut by sewing a 1 ½-inch seam all along the bottom.. Attach a large safety pin to one end of the elastic. Slice a small opening on the inside of the hem and work the strip of elastic into the hem, by pushing the safety pin through the hem, working it all the way around and back to the original opening. Make a secure knot and push it into the opening. The cover should now fit snugly over the car and be gathered under the bottom edge for a secure fit.
Things You'll Need
- 15–20 yards of fabric
- Heavy-duty sewing machine
- Strong thread
- 25 feet of ½-inch-wide elastic band
Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.