7.09.2010

Infant Car Seat Cover Tutorial

Car Seat Cover Tutorial

This tutorial is going to be set up in a couple of parts. I would have finished this part of the tutorial if I had purchased the right bias tape, but I didn't. So, I'm posting this much for now and I will show you how to attach the last step, the bias tape, this weekend. Next week I will post the last part of this process.... the visor, hood, whatever you call that thing. :) In this tutorial I am showing you the process with a chicco car seat, but the same process can be applied to ANY infant car seat. It's just a matter of being a tad courageous and trying it. what's the worst that could happen? It doesn't turn out and then you buy a new one from the manufacturer, right? That's not the end of the world, is it? For all you know, it will turn out amazing and your time will be well spent. I would say this is an intermediate tutorial. but only because of the button holes (the holes for the straps). Just practice on a scrap piece of fabric. It just takes a few times to get it down. But most people are not going to stare at the craftsmanship of your holes... they'll be so amazed that YOU MADE IT!!!! So give it a try!!!

You will need:
1 yard each of 2 contrasting fabrics (more for the hood later on) so, 2 yards.
thread
sewing machine
heavy duty machine needles
seam ripper
bias tape (buy the same size as the one already on the car seat
a sandwich bag to hold all the little pieces

1. The Old cover
Get out the old, ugly carseat cover.


2. Something to keep you entertained (if sewing isn't enough:)
Turn on the bachelorette episode you missed the other night and get ready for some fun!


3. Marking pieces.
Label all of the pieces on the car seat cover.



4. Get out the trusty seam ripper.


5. remove hardware.
Remove all of the little pieces that are used to attach your cover to the car seat and put them in your sandwich bag so you do not loose them. Some car seats do not have these, but my combi and this chicco one do.


6. Remove bias tape.
Locate all the elastic parts and start removing the binding that is covering the elastic. Be careful not to rip the elastic. If this is still in good shape, you will be reusing this later. If you need new elastic, you will have to put your cover back on the base and figure out how long of a piece of elastic that you need to keep it tightly on your carseat. This shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Just take your time. If this is something you need to do and you need some help, let me know if you have questions.


This is how it will look once you have removed all of the bias tape.

Once you have the bias tape off, mark where the ends of the elastic are attached on the BACK of the cover. If you mark it on the front, you won't know where it goes when it's time to attach it. Then, it's a really big pain to figure out where it was (trust me... I've done that). Then, remove the elastic.

7. Taking it apart.
Locate the seams on the back of the cover that look like this:

This is what you will be ripping apart.

With your seam ripper, make a small hole in the seam.

Then, with your hands, just pull it apart. This part should be easy but if it won't pull apart easily, use your seam ripper. But these things are thick so pulling it apart won't destroy it. At least, it hasn't for me.


8. remove any unwanted parts.
Chicco car seats have this cord right where the baby's head will eventually press against it. That just does not look comfortable to me, so I removed it.


When you take the cording out (the red piece), you will be left with a hole. just top stitch this down. You can do so now, or later. but don't forget.

9. The pieces.
Once your pieces are apart, you should have something like this.

You will have more or less pieces depending on the brand of your cover.

10. The Fabric.
Now you get to use your fabric... here's what I have.


11. Tracing and Cutting
Decide where you want your fabrics to be. I put the flowers in the center and the dots on the outside pieces. Then, lay your fabric out, face down. Put your pieces on top, face down. Then, either trace it with a parking pen, or pin the pieces down (I didn't, but you really should take the time to do this step) and start cutting them out.



12. Start Sewing.
Use a straight stitch to sew your new fabric to your old pieces. Do this with all of them.


Trim the edges on all of the pieces so that the new fabric matches up with the old piece.

13. Sew any crease lines.

There will be some lines on some of the pieces. They look like this:

See the line down the fabric a few inches from the bottom? That's the crease line. Your cover needs to be able to bend here. So, to help it do so, just top stitch on top of that line.


14. The button holes.
Don't fret this part. It really looks worse than it is. If you haven't done it before, just get a scrap piece of fabric and practice. You will need that dusty manual for your sewing machine to figure it out.

First, I pinned my strap holes shut. Then, I just top stitched around it to hold the hole closed. Use a long stitch so it is easier to pull out later (which you will probably be doing). I didn't, but you should! It will save you the hassle that I had! :)

This is how the top will look. It doesn't need to be pretty.

On the top of the fabric, mark the length of your strap hole. That way, when you're making the button holes, you know where to start and stop.

Once you are done, you will have this. See where that straight stitch is showing? Grab your seam ripper and pull those out, being careful not to pull out the stitches for the button hole you just made.

Now, insert the seam ripper in one end of the strap hole and slide it across to the other side. Don't cut your seams... do it gently. I didn't have one, but you could use a razor blade to have more control.

It should now look like this. Just take a small pair of scissors and trim it to be a nice clean edge.


15. making the hole for the strap adjuster.
Some covers may not have this. This is where you pull the strap to make the shoulder straps tighter.
First, cut an "X" in the middle and pin the pieces to the back.

Do a zig zag stitch around the edges.



Once you're done with that, flip it over and trip the pieces down.



16. Assemble!
Now, the fun part, and a bit difficult. Make sure the needle on your machine is a heavy duty needle. If not, it's just going to break often.

Pin two pieces together, right sides facing.

You will be able to see where you pulled out a straight stitch (I couldn't get a good picture of it). Do a straight stitch there and then a zig zag stitch around the edges... or, if you're more lucky than me, use a serger. Either will be fine.

You can kind of see both stitch lines on the above picture.
Do this will all of the main pieces except the un-padded ones that pull to the side and back of the car seat.
You should now have this:


17. Sewing the side/back pieces.
Now, working with the un-padded pieces:

Now you need to sew the back pieces together. right sides facing, sew all of the seams the way you did in the other steps. straigh and zig zag stitches.

You should have one long piece once you're done.

I didn't sew it in a complete circle until I had it all pinned (next step). You could if you wanted to though. I just wanted to make sure everything would match up.

18. Attaching the side/back pieces.
Pin the long piece to the cover.


Once you have it all lined up, sew the bottom seam shut, closing your long piece that you just pinned on. Then, sew the pieces together with a straight stitch and a zig zag stitch.

Now you should have this:


19. Attach elastic.
Pin the elastic down and sew the ends down a few times.


Now you just need to add bias tape around your edges. Then, do the same process with the visor. Take it apart, recover, and sew it back the way it was.

9 comments:

Chris said...

I love the fabric you chose. I've also recovered car seats...I think they are more comfy for baby and prettier for mama too.

Stephanie M Larsen said...

Thanks so much this is great!

Derek said...

Nice Post thanks for sharing.

Janine Zargar

candyland224 said...

So I love the car seat cover, but I have a question for you. On the chicco, it has those three plastic pieces to hold the cover to the car seat, how did you attach those? Did your machine go through those ok as long as you were using a heavy duty needle? Thanks for your help! And thank you for posting this! We are about to have our first baby and I really want to have something special for her!

Deidre said...

That is exactly what I did. I managed to just use an upholstery needle to attach it back to the carseat. I thought it was going to be to hard but the needle held up great!

SM Blogger said...
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SM Blogger said...
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jyotirmoy biswas said...

hi Deidre,
Amazing tips . Thank you so much. My baby currently using Britax Marathon 70-G3 car seat . My question is , Can i use this for my baby?

Thank you
jyoti

Anne and Carrie said...

This is SO helpful! Did you ever get a chance to post the tutorial for the hood? I looked but couldn't find it? Thanks so much!