Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Fancy in Floral: The Car Seat Canopy fit for a Pretty Princess

I am a lucky man. I may not make new friends easily, but the friends I do have been my friends for centuries now. One of the numerous benefits of these long term friendships is that I get know their styles pretty well. This particular car seat canopy is for my super girly friend. She’s the type of girl who we all have to wait a minimum of hour before we can go out. She’s my sparkle princess of dance. So I ask you, how could I not make a SUPER girly car seat canopy for her first baby girl?!

She’s into the whole new owl trend (me too btw). I found these three prints in the discount/remnant section of Joann’s Fabric Store. That section is my finical downfall – I can’t even remember the last time I bought fabric off the bolt. I decided to use the flower print (because her car seat is pink and grey) and save the owls for a diaper bag. 

I knew for sure that this time I wanted the front flap to have an opening.  I googled around and found this awesome freaking tutorial: CARSEAT CANOPY by Genevieve.  She did a real nice job on hers.  Like her sewing skills are for real.  Anyways I just reviewed her work I didn't really follow it or anything.  One thing I did like is her binding-ish stuff around the opening. I rummaged through my scraps and found that pink and green print in the jelly-roll-left-over-container. Even though it isn't an exact match, it’s like the weird relative who stands out in the family photo but is the connecting thread amongst you’ll.

True to my unorthodox, dissenter self, I of course decided to do something new this time… maybe to my detriment however. I tried to upgrade the canopy pattern I have created over time. If you reader you might have seen my other iterations and evolution of this whole design. This time I created an opening in the front, something that was requested from both previous recipients. I went willing into the breech, what problems could this present for a noob like me…?

I guess the first error is a folding shortcut gone wrong. I am really not a super fan of measuring so I prefer to use the origami method of measuring and cutting fabric. So here was the logic I followed. Find the total length, divide in half, at the half way point measure ½ the total length of middle insert and cut. Somehow, mysteriously, miraculously something got a little cray cray on the cutting portion of this project. Here’s the stitch, I didn’t notice that I messed up the cutting until everything was done. 

Le Sigh… IF ONLY I reexamined this photo before continuing on maybe I would have gotten clued in. There’s another tally in the column for doing things in a more practical manner. Whatever

Anyways everything turned out okay in the end. I did a very pretty job on my straps. I even did a fancy top stitch on them. woot
And I had fun creating the straps from scraps. I used variegated thread (that’s multi-colored for those not in the know) and a simple zig-zag stitch.
 I love it! Its all SO CUTE!

Like I said, everything turned out okay, luckily. I realized by the time I was ready to put all the pieces together that things were wonky. I just hoped for the best at that point and soldiered on. I think if there was a lesson to learn this time is that I thought to make the middle insert wider. I think I was misguided in that misgiving. The middle should be thinner, not wider, if there should be one at all. There was another tragedy on this pretty princess sparkle tour - my recent fascination with batting. I used it in the straps and loved the feel and the look and the weight. I ATTEMPTED to use it for the binding around the opening. I ripped it out because of a last minute, late night decision that it added too much weight for the front flaps. I’m not going to get into what a life changing experience it was too rip the stitches out of batting and a fragile piece of fabric.

I stopped at this point to test it on the car seat. Like I said I knew by this time that I cut the front panel too short so I needed to know if panels had to be added in the front. Plus like, what if the straps were too short or something?

I ran it over there and JUST BARLEY did the front section cover the car seat (Only when the handle was all the way up). So now all that was left was add the closures, velcro the straps, and top stitch. Should be easy no? NO!

Putting the snaps on (the very very pretty snaps) took about 2 or 3 hours and about 20 to 30 years off my life. It was horrible, I think I even broke down and cried, internally at least, at one point in time. Probably when the tool broke… which might have happened while I strangling the life out of it. I think I need to get one of those pillars looking things that put the snaps on.

I don’t know why it was so hard this time, maybe because there was no batting inside of the binding. I put on snaps once before and even though the first couple of times were a little hard, it was nothing like this. I think I bought like a pack of twelve, the canopy used 4, I think I have like 2 left. Big thanks to Kelly over at the Indiana Inker who wrote an amazing illustrated blog post on how to use these Dritz Easy Attacher Snap Fastener.  And after reading her tutorial it got better and finally got a few on there.

These pretty embellishments were pretty much a given. They weren't easy to sew on with the machine, but somehow I got it work. I wish the maker had a like some instructions or something. The base was very tiny.

I top stitched the whole thing with this little tulip pattern. Isn't it very adorable?!? I love it and they have functionality as well.

Sorry my final pics are so blurry.  Might have been the 8 cups of coffee that I had that day....

The lesson I learned this time came easier than making this pink explosion:

  • Mostly I think if I have to make another one I am just going buy the pattern I found while researching how to make this variation I found at Craftsy by Elizabeth Wyatt. Now that I have gotten some zipper time logged at the sewing machine, I think they are cool. I've never used a pattern before, I wonder what that would be like.
  • Also I am considering downgrading from sewing to gluing rocks together in the park as a new crafting outlet.