OK, so I have been meaning to sew a new car seat cover for a little while as the padding in the old one was starting to disintegrate and I didn’t think it would stand up to being washed again. I had even bought the fabric but just couldn’t seem to get motivated…
…My little one must have known because last week she had her first go at ‘poop painting’ while we were in the car on the freeway aghhhhhh!!!
Needless to say I found the motivation to make a new cover and here are the results:
This actually looks a lot more impressive than it really is, this is a pretty easy project, although a little fiddly in parts, and don’t worry, there is no quilting involved:)
What you will need:
- Your old car seat cover
- New fabric (pre-quilted) approx 1 m
- Binding of some sort (I used fold over elastic but bias binding would work too)
- Elastic (if you are not using fold over elastic for your binding)
- Fabric marker
- Sewing machine (and a serger/overlocker is optional but makes it a lot easier)
Get started by removing your car seat cover and cutting it apart exactly on the seams (there are a number of different ways to make a pattern without cutting your old cover apart, but cutting it up is by far the easiest and fastest, and my cover had reached the end of it’s useful life) .
As my cover was symmetrical (as I imagine yours is), I cut one side apart to make my pattern pieces and left the other side together to remind me how the pieces went together.
Lay your pattern pieces out on your new fabric and draw around them with a fabric marker adding enough for a seam allowance. If you are using a serger/overlocker you only need to leave about 6mm, if you are using a sewing machine you may need to leave a little more. Cut your pattern pieces out.
The next bit is the fiddly bit, but it is not too bad if you take your time.
The centre piece of your pattern, you will notice, has lots of little slits and holes for the seat belts to come through. With your old car seat cover piece on top of your new fabric simply trace around all the holes and slits. Next carefully cut the holes and slits in the new fabric.
Next use your binding to bind the cut edges of the holes and slits. Fold the end of the binding to the back and sew it down to finish each one. I found it easiest to cut the binding to the right length and pin it in place before beginning to sew each one.
This is how mine ended up looking:
As you can see they are not the prettiest, and I am sure there is a better way to do this bit, but this worked and will stand up to vigorous wear and washing.
The next thing to do is overlock/sew the rest of the pieces together.
I started with the individual arm covers and then sewed each arm cover to the centre bit – see pics below:
Remember when you get to the bit where the back rest turns to the seat you need to leave a gap in the seam for the sides of the seat belts to come through. I just overlocked the raw edges here but you could bind them if you wanted.
Finally sew binding around the entire outer edge of the cover. If you are using fold over elastic, stretch the elastic a little at the top at the back and on the sides so that the cover fits snuggly over the arms. If you are not using fold over elastic you will need to add a piece of elastic to these areas either before or after you add the binding. Add it along the inside edge stretching as you sew and using a zigzag stitch.
And there you have it – new car seat cover!
Just a quick note, by way of a disclaimer, I am not a safety expert and you should check with the manufacturer of your car seat to see if doing something like this would void your warranty. perhaps in this case you could make something to go over your existing cover :)