Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Car Seat Canopy Tutorial

Alright, if you want to make a slightly wrinkled car seat canopy, like mine, then just follow along with these instructions. I'm guessing you have a basic idea of how to sew, but even with that, it's a pretty simple pattern to follow. Here is what you will need:

1 1/4 yard fabric for the outside
1 1/4 yard coordinating fabric for the inside
2 inches sew-on velcro
2 big decorative buttons
matching thread (scissors, needle, sewing machine, iron)

(When you buy your fabric, make sure both selections are the same width.) Alright. Cut each piece of fabric 1 yard long. (I fold it lengthwise so it's not so wide and unmanageable when I cut it.)

Now you should have two pieces of fabric that are each 1 yard long. Put right sides together and pin all the way around, smoothing out any wrinkles or folds. Get a dinner plate and place on each corner, tracing with a circle, to round out the edges. Cut on line.

With your remaining fabric, cut out two pieces (2 1/2 x8) from each piece of fabric. Put coordinating fabrics together, right sides together, and pin in place.

Sew a straight stitch around your large fabric and each of your strips, using 1/2 inch seam allowance. Make sure to leave an opening for you to turn your fabric right side out. After you get your fabric turned out, iron along the edges, making it look nice and pressed. Do this with both your large piece of fabric, as well as your two strips. When you iron along the opening, fold in the edges and press. Secure with pins.

Now, using a more decorative stitch on your sewing machine, using a 1/4 inch seam, sew completely around the entire edges. Do the same with your two strips. This makes it look pretty, but also closes up the opening.
Lay out your material on a flat surface and fold each edge in towards the center, making the two side edges meet in the middle, basically dividing your canopy into thirds. See picture.

Pin your material so that it stays this way, then iron the folds really well, so that it leaves a nice press in your fabric.

Remove the pins, open the folds, and look for your press marks. Sew down the press marks with the same decorative stitch you used along the edges. These two lines will not only add some decorative flare to your canopy, but they also serve to keep your two layers of material together.
Once again, lay out your material on a flat surface. Lay your strips down, matching fabric patterns together, like in my case, both stripes are together, exactly in the middle of the canopy.
You can see it better in this next picture. Right where my ruler is, is the original crease from the fabric, when it was folded half on the bolt. That is still your midline. Make sure your two strips are centered on that midline, and 3 inches inside of each decorative stitch running the length of the canopy. Pin in place.

Make two stitches across the width of your strips, on either side of your midline.
Take your canopy over to your carseat, and pin the straps to your handle, marking where your velcro should go. Then, go sew on your velcro using your sewing machine. Using a needle and thread, sew on a decorative button to the top of each strap.
You are done.

Iron out your canopy, even though I didn't. It'll look better. There you have it. Now that you have the basic idea, you can definitely increase the cute factor, by adding trim or edging the bottom with a coordinating fabric band going around it, or adding flowers instead of buttons, or quilting it, or using bias tape....etc. Go for it.
Hope this helps you. If the instructions don't make sense, blame it on my post-baby brain. Email me if you need clarifications.

Edited to add:  I made this cute canopy for a friend's baby girl, and I love it with the Ric Rac.  Give it a try!  (If you want to do ric rac, you'll need 5 yards of it)  Oh, and I also added snaps instead of velcro.  Feel free to do whatever your imagination creates.
I love the orange polkadot material on the inside.

This is one of my most popular blog posts.  A lot of you out there come across my blog through searching for car seat canopy tutorials.  If you make one, please leave a comment with a link and I'll come admire it!

38 comments:

Carol said...

This is awesome! I wish I had one of these about a year ago - I hated going out with the baby when she was tiny... I never understood how perfect strangers thought it was ok to touch her when she was sleeping... Great tutorial!

Jen said...

Awesome, Thanks Shaina. I just got material to do this a couple of days ago. Oh and I made the enchilada's last night. the family LOVED them. the kids ate two each plus rice and beans which is awesome for them especially Max. I made a vegetarian version with rice instead of chicken for my daughter and I. It was really yummy too. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Maynards said...

Where did you get the fabric?? I LOVE the colors.

Queen of Chaos said...

Very cute. :)

Ariane said...

Such a great tutorial. Love it!!!

Alisha said...

You don't know me but I found this tutorial from google. It was really easy to follow. I did ties instead of using velcro (me & velcro have issues) but I LOVE the button idea. If I ever get super good at sewing I'll do cute buttons instead of ties. Anyway, THANK YOU for doing this tutorial!

clorissa bascom said...

Another stranger who totally appreciates your help.

Holly said...

Thank You so much. Your tutorial was easy to follow. I am not a great seamstress and my canopy was easy and actually turned out well. It is going to be the perfect gift!!

Ferberjen said...

Thanks so much for this Tutorial! I like to sew, and adapted mine just a little bit, I added a channel around the bottom to put elastic in, as it's rather windy where we live. Thanks!

Lyndee said...

Love the tutorial... Thanks! One more stranger stalking your blog.
(PS Your family is adorable!)

Angie said...

So cool, love it, thanks for the tut!

Crystelle Boutique said...

Thank you!
I'm gonna give it a try for a baby shower gift!

Jeff & Nicole said...

Thank you for such an awesome tutorial!! Out of all the ones I found, yours was the best and easiest to understand not to mention so cute and functional. Thank you!! I loved making it and can't wait to try more. Here is mine: http://jndrysdale.blogspot.com/2010/06/carseat-canopy.html

You have an adorable family!
Nicole

Aaron and Brooke said...

Hi! Thanks so much for this VERY easy editorial for the carseat canopy! we are going to be making some tomorrow! I was wondering if you have ever done boppy cases? I am expecting our 2nd and am in a crafty mood and would love to make some if by chance you've made any and have a pattern! feel free to email me! brooke.norman07@yahoo.com
Thanks!

Valerie said...

Thank you for your tutorial! With your assistance I completed my own carseat canopy. I love it! Here's the link to see mine: http://ryanandval.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-carseat-canopy.html

Mags said...

You know that I made one
http://hsusoapbox.blogspot.com/2010/04/while-daddy-was-sleeping.html
and my sister in law just made one for her up coming baby
http://baileymonthly.blogspot.com/2010/08/copy-cat.html

Melanna said...

Here is my Car seat canopy using your tutorial. Thanks for the pattern!

http://rhapsodyofcacophony.blogspot.com/2010/08/sewing-projects.html

mommy to the princesses said...

i bought random fabrics at joann's just the other day - i think i'm going to make myself one and if i like it i have many pregnant friends who could use one as well!

thanks for posting the tutorial - i hope to have pics soon if it turns out!

M said...

I'm expecting my first baby and have seen these very popular canopy's and most definitely plan to make one I want to do it today lol Thanks so much for sharing. Will get you pics when I do it! Thanks again.

Stacey said...

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful tutorial. Your great directions made this a quick and easy project. I made one in just an hour the other day to keep my newest bundle warm and toasty. I linked up to your blog when I posted my pics.

http://boyohboyohboycrafts.blogspot.com

The Dowd Family said...

I decided to make one of these for my upcoming girlie! Great idea, especially for the cold weather coming...I opted not to make it reversible since I am not a very good seamstress - at all! Thank you so much for sharing!

Kayla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Staci and Jason said...

I came across your tutorial and found it very helpful in making a canopy. http://jsblomstedt.blogspot.com/2010/10/car-seat-canopy.html
Thanks for your post.
Staci

Ryan and Heather Moss said...

You're so clever! These look fabulous. We'll see if I'm ambitious enough to attempt one!

Diane Miller said...

I made one for my grandson this weekend! I made it reversible also. However, I was distracted and cut the rounded corners in the middle also. Instead of running back to the store (which was my first response), I altered the curves somewhat and left them. It created a bit of an indent right where the handle connected. My doayughter-in-law loved it!

Lisa said...

Wow! What a great tutorial! I have a couple of friends/relatives expecting, so this would be a great gift for me to make them! Thank you!

Caitlin said...

Thank you for the tutorial! I of course made my life difficult and jazzed it up a bit. You can find it here:

http://rcsweeney.blogspot.com/2011/03/car-seat-cover.html

roamingjones said...

Thank you for the tutorial! I just posted the one I made on my blog & couldn't be happier with it!
http://roamingjones.blogspot.com/2011/04/baby-projects.html

Jocelyn said...

I just posted pictures of my car seat cover and linked to your tutorial. Check it out: http://sparetimecontinuum.blogspot.com/2011/04/gifts-for-my-sister.html

Rachel D said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I stole (borrowed?) your idea for the ric rac. Such a nice touch.

http://what-rachel-made-today.blogspot.com/2011/04/car-seat-cover-canopy.html

sewsnazzystitches said...

I can't wait to try this! My cousin is having a little girl & I have some super cute fabric I need to use. I also put up a link to your blog:) Thanks so much!

http://www.sewsnazzystitches.com/

Kayla A. said...

I also found your tutorial on google, and it is AMAZING! I have 5 friends who are all expecting, and I look forward to making a different version for each one! Thank you so much! =]

Jessica said...

Thank you so much for your tute. It came together so nicely and the mom-to-be loved it (it was part of her shower gift). I blogged about it here:
http://jbeedelightful.blogspot.com/2011/08/infant-carriercar-seat-canopy.html

Mrs. Chappy said...

Thanks for the tutorial. Mine turned out really cute, and I think I'm going to make this for gifts a lot. Thanks! I posted a picture on my blog. http://chappiage.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-first-sewing-project.html

Lisa said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I made one with my minimal sewing skills and it turned out great. I only had to check back here 100,000 times before I could finally finish the project. I haven't been able to get a good picture yet but I'll eventually post it on my blog here: http://thingsontheplate.wordpress.com/

The Heki Family said...

I am having a baby boy here in a few weeks. I saw this on Pinterest and had to make one. I'm trying to post a pic of it on my blog but I'm having troubles. Here is the link: hekifamily.blogspot.com

The Heki Family said...

Check out my blog if you can. I made one for my upcoming arrival. Hekifamily.blogspot.com

knightriders said...

After our new grandchild ended up back in the hospital (about 10 days old) with RSV, I made one of these so people will not think its okay to touch her! Now, our new babies don't leave the hospital without one! Thank you for the tutorial!