Sunday, June 22, 2014

Car Seat Cover Redux

So back in the day I made a car seat cover for a friend. I learned how from the blog Cluck Cluck Sew: Car Seat Cover (aka Greeter Deterrent) How To. This is a great and easy project. The pattern is super easy but as you have come to know me, you know I am not going to do anything the same way twice.

The bit of feedback I got back from the mom who received my first car seat cover, was that she tore or ripped the seam (I haven’t seen it yet so I don’t know for sure) on the Velcro straps. The Cluck Cluck Sew's strap is rather big. What that told me is there was some kind of combination with the amount of Velcro, fabric with no stabilizer or interfacing, and/or the straps in general are too big. Because the amount of Velcro it was probably too intense for the fabric or seams when taking off the strap. Anyways, I decided to make a smarter strap for the car seat’s handle.

I feel like I am doing you a disservice since I have yet to make one of these covers having the car seat in front of me. Yes, that’s right folks, I have remotely made another car seat cover. So the added pressure of making it right the first time when I am totally changing the pattern up had me shacking in my boots the whole time.

I made many sketches, this is the one is the one I landed on. On the next page there is a sketch of the straps I wanted to make. Do they look weird to you? I was inspired by a frog's feet & toes. Mother nature is the best engineer right? I wanted to make a strap that had less Velcro on it to prevent it from being too strong. Because I was making it remotely I wanted to be insured that the straps were adaptable.

After that I just figured out where things will go and how. Nothing like a little preplanning and strategizing to figure out how to piece it all together.

The second picture is to show you the final size of the straps. I made them long so that way after being sewed into the seam it came out to about 3 inches.

First I folded the fabric in half, cut it down to size (a little bigger of course), then cut a 3 inch strip down the middle. I made my strip down the center however (I imagine) you can move the strip to where you need it relative to handle. Also this method also allows you to use different fabric for the panels or make the ‘front’ bigger than the ‘back’. Customization rocks.

Alright so what you see below are 4 sets of straps and 36+ inches of cording cut down into 4 sections (the cording I wanted to make came from My Poppet: Handmade Scrap Fabric Twine. However I tried to figure how to it but I couldn’t, but I wanted to…. Bad! Because it looks so cool so I’m sharing like a good little seamster.)

So you can see on my ruler that I placed the straps 8 inches apart and the cording another 3.5 inches from that. On the right you can see how I CAREFULLY folded and pinned the cord and the straps to the center strap. I didn’t want to sew them into the seams of the center straps when I sewed them RST. So once I got it all pinned down I sewed the center strips and the two side planels RST.

I of course left a hole in each of the sections to make sure I could flip them inside out. Ironed it all out and this is what you got….

Here is what that looks like. Two more seams to sew and you’re all done. Take this center strap and sew it (once again) RST with the two panels.

Yay! I can’t believe how great it turned out. That's not the car seat the cover is going to, but I tested it when I was near by one. Because of the straps, the way I made them and placed them, it should be great... hopefully!

I loved the experience, love the fabric -- got the last two  yards of it at Nob Hill Fabrics. It’s perfect for the recipient since they had a boy and its like a fancy camouflage. Very Wisconsin – Go Packers.

I learned a little something on this project, and here what I learned this time:

  • I was really proud of myself for trying something outside the box.  I was a fun discovery.  Even though the pattern was simple, I still made it and it worked.
  • The straps really worked well! They are cool. The tinier, cording straps are the best!
  • I've already thought of two different ways to make this car seat cover.  I hope I get to try it some day.