Monday, May 24, 2010

Busy Monday: Make Your Own Seat Belt Cover with a Puppet

About a month ago, when I had some down time, I started making my girls some new car seat belt covers to replace the old grungy ones they've had for about 4 years. I cut both of them and began taking pictures, but my down time quickly faded away. They sat there for way too long begging to be finished, until about 5 days ago when I decided it was time! I grabbed my camera, finished both covers while taking pictures for all of you...and am now typing on a Saturday night with my girls in bed.

So Here's what you'll need:
  • 2 pieces of Fabric (7" x 7")
  • 1 piece of Cotton Batting (7"x7")
  • Contrast or Coordinating Fabric for Binding (2" x 35") (approx. 35")
  • 1 Finger puppet (maybe one from a mismatched set, or one with fond memories)
  • 2 - 7" strips of 3/4" - 1" wide Soft Sewing Velcro
  • Pins
  • Sewing Thread & Needle
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron (for making binding)
And Here's what you'll do:
Step 1. Begin by cutting out your fabric. I chose a home decorator weight canvas for my selt belt covers so they would last a long time. Why make something that will be used daily and wear out quickly? Cut all of your squares, the front and back, and also the batting. Also cut your Velcro and the fabric strip for your binding.
Step 2. Lay down your batting and the front fabric on top of the batting, right side up.
Step 3. Take the soft strip of the Velcro and place it vertically on the right side of your cover 1/2" away from the edge. Pin this in place to avoid shifting while sewing. You want to make sure it is straight so it connects to the other side from top to bottom. Now sew it into place by going down one side, turning, and going up the other side.
Step 4. Now, flip the front side down so you see the batting. Place on top, the back piece of the cover, right side up.
Step 5. Take the scratchy strip of the Velcro and place it vertically on the right side of your cover 1/2" away from the edge. This will be on the opposite side from the front Velcro strip - if you did it right. Be sure when you pin it into place, and when you sew it into place, that you only sew it onto the back cover piece and the batting. Be sure to take out from underneath you, the front cover, so you do not see the stitching. When you pull the side edges apart, it will look like an accordion fold.
Step 6. Flip it back to the front, and pull out from underneath the back cover.
Step 7. Place your Finger Puppet (approx. 2" x 3") off centered 3" from the left edge, and 2" from the right edge. It should be off centered because when the cover folds over the seat belt, you want it to lay flat and not have the seam connecting in the center. (Your finger puppet may measure differently, so please be sure to measure yours out and place it accordingly.)
Step 8. After you pin the finger puppet to the front and batting, sew the lower (flatter) body portion into place.
Step 9. Using a needle and thread, sew through the batting and front cover piece, to tack down the bobbing head to keep it secure and safe from curious children! Be sure not to sew the head to the back side.
Step 10. Line up all 3 pieces, the front, batting and back. I found it useful to do a tack stitch to keep the pieces from shifting while sewing the binding. If you choose to do this step, be sure to only sew at the 1/4" mark or slightly less.
Step 11. Now for the Binding. If you have never made or sewn your own binding, please know, it's very easy and you can breathe now! To get started, warm up your iron (adults only should be doing this part). Begin by folding your strip in half lengthwise and pressing with the iron. (Heat should be set according to manufacturers recommendations and the fabric you have chosen to use).
Step 12. Unfold and then lay flat.
Step 13. Take the top half and fold it down in half and press, while taking the bottom half and folding upward and pressing. The two raw edges should meet in the center.
Step 14. Once finished, fold it in half again so the two folded edges meet and press one last time. Now you've made binding! Yeah!
Step 15. ok - now we are going to place the binding. On the back side of your seat belt cover, starting at the bottom, mark your center point with a pin.
Step 16. Open up your binding, and place it face down 3" over to the left of the pin up against the edge. (First image on the left). Sew near or on the fold line, from the pin point to about 1/4" away from the corner.
Step 17. Flip the binding fabric straight up. (as if you were continuing the length of the cover and making one long straight line. You should now have a diagonal edge from the corner to the center of your cover.
Step 18. Now, holding the corner in place, flip it straight down.
Step 19. Begin sewing that edge of the binding from the top edge all the way down and stopping at 1/4" before the corner.
Step 20. Repeat this until you have sewn down all 4 corners.
Step 21. Now we are going to connect our ends of the binding to make it continuous and pretty!
(I've tried to simplify this and make it as easy to understand as possible! For more detailed instructions - you can visit this link for Heather Bailey's Binding PDF!) (If you have sewn your binding correctly so far, your binding will be connecting on the bottom and on the back of the car seat cover. When I sewed the Panda cover, I forgot to flip it over. Either way, the instructions are the same. Just know you won't see your finger puppet, as you see it in my images.)
Step 22. OK - make sure your opening is positioned the same as in the photo (on the bottom). On the left side, fold up your binding fabric strip to create a 45 degree angle. This means it will be perpendicular to the edge. You should see the front of the binding fabric.
Step 23. Take the right side of the binding fabric and lay it straight in the same direction it was going.
Step 24. From here, you can make a crease with your ruler, nail, or marking pencil. Pin the two pieces together and sew on the line you created. Be sure the edge of the cover doesn't get caught up in this stitch.
Step 25. Once you have finished sewing that diagonal line, you can trim the excess pieces off and finish sewing the binding along the edge all the way across. Now your binding is attached.
Step 26. Curl the binding to the front of your cover.
Step 27. Fold the raw edge underneath and begin sewing the edge of the binding. When you get to a corner, push the binding all the way to the right, tucking it underneath the corner, which will give you a diagonal line, sew that down and keep going around.
Step 28. Now all you have to do, is attach it to your car's seat belt!
Have a wonderful day/night - I'm going to sleep!


alicia said... [Reply]

OK, I'm not a sewer but these are adorable. I'm book marking it for later.

polwig said... [Reply]

I love it so adorable. There are also so many possibilities. I stumbled it ;)

Anonymous said... [Reply]

Very cute and thoughtful project. Will give it a try:-)

Post a Comment