Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Carseat Cover Makeover

Today, I want to show off a project I worked on weeks before Elena was born (like 4 months ago...eeks!). I had seen several projects like this on the web like here and here. I always thought about recovering the boys carseats until my procrastination got the best of me and I just never got around it. 
But Elena was coming into this world without a carseat (the one the boys used was loaned out to my nephew) and I knew I had to get the project started. STAT. 
So my thrifty self went to a thrift store and grabbed this carseat, not yet near its expiration date, and snagged it for $4. Yep. Big spender. The only thing wrong with it was the cover. It had to go. 
This project requires you to take apart the existing cover. I carefully made notes and took pictures of how each piece was assembled so I could replicate it with the new cover.
Next was the fun part: choosing out the fabric! I was absolutely smitten by these colors and this beautiful pattern. I know it might be a bit much for some people, but I've gotten a ton of comments on it so I feel they complement each other well. One thing I refused was pink. Please God, no pink. 
I traced my fabric over the disassembled pieces. I also bought new batting and some cotton backing for it. Pieced and pinned them all together ready to sew! 
I absolutely loved watching this cover come together! I never thought I would be capable of making something like this. After sewing it together just place the old cover on the new one and mark with a pencil the parts that need to be slit for the straps and buckles to go through. Then sew it! It is just like sewing a button hole, just longer...
And next, was elastic! I measured out the old elastic, marked the areas they stretched from the old cover onto the new one and voila! The project was almost complete.
Once the elastic was done, the bias tape pulls it altogether and gives it the neatness effect! Making bias tape, to me, was the hard part. Until you understand the concept of bias tape, it's not going to make sense why you need to do it a certain way...I had to enlist the help of youtube several times and my genius Mother-in-Law to understand the measurements and how to go about it. I still messed it up a bit but was not about to go through another headache of re-doing it and I just made it work (I'm lucky I have that skill). I wish I could have bought the bias tape they already make in stores, ha!
I did have to hand-sew some plastic clips onto the cover though (sorry, no pic of that). It wasn't difficult, but they were absolutely necessary. They fasten the cover securely over it all and make the cover wrap itself nicely over the seat. 
When Elena was born, the cover was complete, but I had no time to finish the 'whole' package like strap pads, head cushions and canopy. I would get around to that later. 
A few weeks went by and I could finally finish the project. I visited the fabric store once more to find a third fabric that would complement the other two. I ended up with small green polka dots on white, and I love how they all simultaneously work together!

It's so good, she gets mesmerized by it. 
You guys, I can't believe I managed to pull it off! And if you have some sewing skills, you can too! Let's get to it!