Holy cow I am not even sure where last week went! All I know is that I didn't get much done in the way of crafts or home projects. I did however manage to make a car seat canopy for one of my employees that is having a baby boy in the next couple of weeks.
I guess that counts as crafty, right?
Last year I was on a mission to find a pattern for the cute baby covers I had been seeing everywhere. I didn't have much luck on the web and even finding a pattern I could buy on ETSY wasn't as easy as I thought it should have been. I ended up pulling together a few different techniques and making some tweeks here and there. Everyone seems to go about sewing these in a slightly different manner. You can get pretty crazy with rick-rack and embellishments but I tend to like them a bit simpler.
Here's what works for me.
Difficulty - Easy
Frustration - Low
Make-ability - 100% worth it
2 kinds of fabric each 1 1/4 yard ( I usually get 1 1/2 to be sure)
Fusible interfacing (~l/4 yard)
2 Buttons (1 inch diameter)
4 inches 5/8 wide sewable velcro (do not get the sticky kind, it will mess up your needle..don't ask how I know)
Ribbon (16 inches of 1 1/2 inch wide ribbon)
Compass (for drawing)
Step #1: Cut a 42 x 36 inch rectangle from each fabric. Determine which fabric will be the top of your canopy and which will be the underside. You will also need to determine the direction you want your fabrics to lay if there is a pattern that has a particular direction.
**Note if you have a directional pattern the 36 inch side goes across the baby carrier from side to side while the 42 inch side goes from front to back.
Step #2: Create a template for rounded corners. Take a piece of paper and line it up as shown in the picture by either using a cutting mat or ruler. Measure 2 inches along each side then 2 inches up. Place a compass point on the upper point. Extend the compass pencil out so that it hits both marks along the edge. Draw a line. Cut along the line and you have a pattern for rounding your corners!
Step #3: Line up your rounded pattern along each edge of your 2 fabric rectangles. Pin your pattern to the fabric, trace and cut. You should end up with 4 rounded corners on each of your 2 fabric pieces.
Step #4: Determine which of your 2 fabrics you want to use for your handles. I typically choose the fabric that I selected for my underside. I like the contrast against the other pattern. Cut 4 10x4 inch pieces.
**Note if you have a directional pattern the 10 inch side goes front to back while the 4 inch side goes side to side.
Step #5: Cut 2 9x3 inch pieces of fusible interfacing.
Step #6: Take 2 of your small 10x4 handle pieces and iron on the interfacing to the WRONG side of the fabric. This will give your handles a bit more strength.
Step #7: Take one of the pieces with interfacing and one of the plain fabric handle pieces and pin them right sides together. Sew 3 of the 4 sides together (leave on of the short sides open) with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. You need to leave one side open so that you can turn the handle right side out. Repeat with the other handle pieces.
Step #8: Carefully clip the corners and turn the handles right side out. Fold the open side under ~1/2 and press all sides. I typically pin the open side shut. Sew a 1/8 inch top stitch around all 4 sides of each handle.
Step #10: On the upper side of the first fold (see picture) eyeball the middle of the strap and pin one of your scratchy velcro pieces. On the upper side of the other fold place one of the smooth pieces of velcro in the middle of the strap and pin. Double check that the pieces line up when you fold the pieces together like you were closing the strap. If they line up correctly sew the velcro onto the strap as close to the edge of the velcro as possible. Sew the other piece. Repeat all steps for the second handle.
Step #11: Cut 2 8 inch long pieces of your ribbon. Fold your ribbon into thirds like you did your fabric handles. Position your ribbon onto one of your fabric handles, center your button, and sew the button onto the fabric handle. You will be sewing through the ribbon as well as the velcro and fabric. Repeat for the second handle.
Step #12: This step is my least favorite. It is kind of tricky to work with the big fabric rectangles. Find a large work space and line up your 2 large fabric rectangles right sides together. You will want to put pins fairly close together as working with this much fabric things tend to shift around a bit.
**A couple of tips. Make sure your fabric is completely smoothed out before you begin pinning. You don't want wrinkles between the 2 fabrics once you start pinning. Don't panic if your pieces don't seem to match up 100%. I usually have to trim a bit here and there to have them layout perfectly.
Step #13: Sew all around your pinned 2 pieces using a 1/2 seam allowance making sure you leave about a 6 inch opening (not sewed) along one of the edges (it don't matter what edge) so that you can turn the cover right side out.
Step #14: Clip your corners. Because these are large rounded corners I typically notch them a few times. Turn your cover right side out.
**Note the handle should open toward the open side of the bottom of the canopy, away from the fold.
Nothing too hard with this one but there are a bunch of steps!