Home » Decade » 1970 » My Vintage Volkswagen Westfalia – Progress Report #4

September 18, 2012

My Vintage Volkswagen Westfalia – Progress Report #4

By Andrea

Before I get started with this week’s progress report, I just wanted to share the cover of the Campmobile manual with you:

I think “It goes on vacation with you” might be one of the greatest vehicle slogans ever!  I’m just sayin’.  Anyway, on to the update!

Replacement curtains were what I thought were going to be the easiest sewing project when it came to the Westi.  After all, it did come with curtains for me to copy – what could be easier!

These are the curtains that were in the back area of the bus.  Very 80s looking, and very faded on the other side.  Not to mention, definitely not our taste!

For the curtains I made to replace these ones, I decided to use the Moda American Jane retro camping panel fabric.  I love the retro camping families!  I made sure I centred the print on each curtain panel.  This is one of the finished curtain panels, they were pretty straight forward to copy.

The front curtain that came with the Westi, was in fact the original curtain.  This curtain covers the driver’s side window, the windshield, and the passenger side window.  It also has some carefully placed holes in it, which allow the child’s hammock to fit through. It attaches via snaps.  The fabric was cute, and I can see how it would have coordinated well with the harvest gold interior.

However, copying this curtain gave me nothing but grief!  I wanted to make the curtain double sided, unlike the original.  Trying to get the holes for the hammock to work out nicely gave me more trouble than it definitely should have.  However, I finally got that done, and figured it would now be smooth sailing.  Hah!  No, not so much.  I went to go and snap up the curtain in the Westi, and it did not fit!  It was waaaaaay too big over the windshield portion, but only the windshield portion.  I did try to get a pic of this to show you all, but it appears my camera decided to eat the picture.

So, now I was totally puzzled.  I took the curtain down and compared it to the original.  Nope, it was identical.  Totally puzzled!  So, I cracked open the manual.

What I am speculating, based on the pictures, is that there was originally a piece of elastic going across the top of the windshield section which gathered it, making it fit that section.  However I think over many years of use, the elastic eventually just disintegrated and let go – making that section when I copied it way too big.  I plan to instead gather it to attach to a piece of velcro, which we will attach the other side directly to the Westi.  I think this will hold up better over time, and will make it a bit more light tight as well.

Here’s all the finished curtain panels!  The blue plaid one is the grief-inducing front panel, and the red ones are the rear curtains.

So – if you were wondering, my sewing projects don’t always go smoothly, either!  I hope you enjoyed my tale of sewing woes!


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6 Responses to My Vintage Volkswagen Westfalia – Progress Report #4

  1. Sara In AZ Reply

    September 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    You…..had trouble sewing something Andrea?!? YOU??? I can’t believe that, the Earth must be off it’s axis or something then!!! 🙂

    • Andrea Reply

      September 19, 2012 at 1:07 am

      LOL! Yes, Sara, and it was something that should have been easy!

    • RetroRuth Reply

      September 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      Hee hee!

  2. RetroRuth Reply

    September 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Andrea, I have TOTAL faith that whatever you decide to do to to fix it will fit perfectly! 🙂 Can’t wait to see the after pics for this one!

  3. Hils Reply

    October 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this revamp! My mom and her family flew to Germany, bought one of these at the factory, and spent the summers of 1971 and 72 driving around Europe (both eastern and western) in it before shipping it home to Canada. Imagine 5 people (including 2 teenagers) living in one of these for 3 months straight, it can be done. I’ve loved hearing her stories since I was a small child and sharing this series of blog posts with her brought back many fond memories.

  4. Jack Reply

    September 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    The original curtain in my ’73 looked like your photo. The snaps
    attach at the top of the A and B pillars. The center section,
    which covers the windshield, is snapped to both A pillars. It had
    elastic band inside which could be stretched around the rear mirror.
    That section of curtain could also divide the cabin from the cockpit
    by snapping it above both B pillars. The elastic inside would
    tightly draw the top of the curtain straight across.

    Your original curtain used to have the elastic. After 30+ years
    rubber parts like this get baggy. Thanks for sharing, I’ve not seen
    that curtain fabric pattern in years.

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