Friday, August 27, 2010

DIY Carseat Cover

Last weekend I washed Peanut's old infant carseat cover. After washing it, and letting it air dry it was looking pretty sharp. All the spit up stains and random carseat crud came out just fine on the actual cover, as well as the infant cushiony insert. Then I remembered that I gave the winter carseat cover that we used with Peanut, to an expectant mom last year. Well here we are having a baby in Sept/Oct. Obviously by Nov/Dec, we'll need a cover for the carseat. Especially when carrying her into and out of the boy's school each morning at 8:45am. Yes, I could just cover her seat with a blanket, I know that. But while carrying her, I'll be holding Peanut's hand while Bubba and Pooks walk in front of me. One gust of wind and the blanket flies up (or off) and I'm in the middle of a parking lot with 4 kids, one of whom is about to get super cold. I need the cover/blanket to stay put. So I decided to make one...are we really surprised? That's the theme this pregnancy.

Here is what it looks like finished:


I promise it is super super easy, took about an hour start to finish and I watched Burn Notice while doing it.

You will need:

- 1 yard each of two coordinating fabrics (I used a cotton print and an anti-pill fleece)
- wide grosgrain ribbon (I used 1.5inch)
- coordinating thread

Instructions: 
**It's important that if you are using a cotton fabric, to pre-wash and dry your fabric first. It will shrink when you eventually wash it and then it may not fit correctly. Fleece will not shrink so it's not necessary to pre-wash**
  1. Cut the 2 main fabric pieces to be about 36″ x 33″. Round the corners if you'd like. (I actually used one of the boy's old blankets as a template because it was the perfect size.)
  2. Pin the fabrics together, with the RIGHT sides facing in/together, sew with a basic straight stitch, leaving a 6-8" space for turning. Trim corners. If using 2 cotton fabrics, press seams open. If using fleece, it really won't matter.
  3. Turn right side out, using the 8 inch hole that you made on one side. Be sure to poke out the corners so they are nice and pointy.
  4. Fold the 8inch opening to the inside, pin your opening shut.
  5. Topstitch around the entire thing, taking care to sew the opening (that you used to the turn the blanket  right side out) shut. I sewed about 1/4" from the edge but 1/2" is okay too.
Now you have a blanket. Tada, you're all most done! Now we're going to attach the ties.

-Measure out 2 pieces of ribbon that are about 24-26 inches long each. Toss the blanket/cover over your carseat, adjust the blanket as needed and decide where you want the ties to go. Pin the middle of the ribbon piece, where you will want the ties.
Where you pinned the ribbon, sew across the width of the ribbon, several times to secure the them tightly. You'll end up with about an inch of stitches. I recommend using a zig-zag stitch or a small X-box to really secure it. 
Now, tie your cover on and viola, you're done!
And when you baby is the car or store, simply push the carseat handle back and push the blanket over the the handle. You don't need to un-tie it everytime. (The carseat handle should always be down/behind the carrier when in the car...never over the baby.)

Oh and did you notice the matching strap covers I made? Yeah well when I washed the cover and the infant insert that came with the seat, they came out spotless. However, the strap covers didn't fair so well. They came with the seat and were the same material/cover as the insert but for some reason, I just couldn't get the stains out. And it was obvious they were dirty, especially next to the nice clean cover. I know that your are not suppose to use aftermarket strap covers {often times they are too big and it's impossible to get the chest clip to where it needs to be. Also, in the event of a crash, they can compress down and leave the harness straps too loose} so I wanted to clean/replace the ones that the seat was safety-tested with. I washed them by hand and in the washing machine, to no avail they do not look clean. And in my pregnant state, it's really bothering me that they look dirty.

On to plan 2: make new ones that were the same size and thickness as the old ones. Maybe not the best choice but I do not feel like the new ones compromise Sweetcheeks safety at all. They are the exact same size as the ones I removed, the difference is they are clean (yay!) and these velcro on and off so I don't have to un-thread the straps each time they get dirty. Plus they are pretty stinking cute ;) I did not provide instructions or a tutorial for strap covers because unless your seat came with them, they really can be unsafe.

2 comments:

  1. That is the cutest darn thing I have ever seen. Thanks so much for posting instructions- although I will be contacting you to make me one if I ever need another one! ;) Your little girl is so lucky to have you to make her adorable stuff like that!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a great idea! I would get frustrated with a blanket always blowing off last winter... never would have thought to make one to attach!

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