Sew Your Own Shifter & Parking Brake Boots

SKU: X-HT-300691



Welcome back to our Automotive Refresh Series! In this tutorial, we'll show you an easy way to add luxury details to your car by making custom covers for your gear shifter and parking brake lever. These covers, also called boots, are so easy to make. If you're new to sewing, automotive restorations or both, this is the perfect project for you. These simple items will make a big difference in your car's interior. Let's get started!

Since our parking brake and gear shift boots will get a lot of use, we needed a fabric that's durable, but that still delivers the high-end look we want for our car refresh. Ultraleather® checked every box on our wish list. This upholstery fabric is an animal-friendly alternative to leather. A supple, buttery texture makes Ultraleather an excellent choice for applications that call for a touch of luxury. And with its water resistance and durability, this fabric will be a top performer in all your indoor and auto projects for the long haul.

Another way we gave our covers a premium appearance was by sewing French seams. These seams are used a lot in deluxe items such as leather couches and luxury car upholstery. Plus, they're easy to sew! They do take longer than other seam types, but the extra time is worth it to give your covers a high-end, bespoke look. We also used red thread for our French seams, which contrasted beautifully with our black Ultraleather. This not only adds a pop of color, but highlights the fancy seams. If you want to give your covers some extra visual interest, we definitely recommend using a contrasting thread color.

A "before and after" of our custom shift boot and emergency brake boot.

If you've never worked with Ultraleather or sewed a French seam before, you don't have to worry. Our how-to video will walk you through all the steps of making shifter and e-brake boots with the high-end finishes your car deserves. Your completed covers will look so upscale that no one will believe how quick and easy they are to make! Ready to try your hand at this simple one-day project? Watch the video now to dive in.

This is the second project in our Automotive Refresh Series. We're giving a 1992 Volkswagen GTI a few simple upgrades to make the interior look and feel more sophisticated. They're all beginner-level projects that you can do in a weekend — even if you've never done any DIY car upgrades before. Watch the other videos in this series to learn how to insulate your car, replace fabric on your door panels and redo your headliner. Don't miss out on any of these car interior upgrades!

Materials & Tools List:

  • Ultraleather® Original 54" Fabric in color of choice (we used Raven Wing #104298)
  • Tex 70 UV Bonded Nylon Thread 4 oz. (1,500 yds). in color(s) of choice (we used Black #106137 and Old Glory Red #106143)
  • Sailrite® Deluxe® Fabricator Sewing Machine Package (110V) (#400600)
  • Chalk Pencil Cartridge Set (#121669)
  • Professional Stainless Steel 10" Scissors (#123615)
  • Sailrite® Battery Operated Thread Burner (#122432)
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler (#107040)
  • Small Fabric/Leather Clips (50 pack) (#123121)
  • Hog Rings - Shock Cord Clamps 3/16" (#100951)
  • Hog Ring Pliers (#100950)
  • Shock Bungee Cord Black, 1/8" (#104327)
  • Assorted (#5-10) General Hand Sewing Needles Round/Sharp Point (16 pack) (#123124)
  • Sailrite® Patterning Material 78" (#125402)
  • Sailrite® Edge Cordless Hotknife 18V Package (#122177)
  • Sailrite® Tempered Cutting Glass (#121915)