After two children, our infant carrier car seat was (aesthetically) shot. It was still safe and worked fine, but man, was it ugly. And stained. And just not cute anymore compared to all the fabulous patterns they sell today.
I had seen pictures of recovered car seats and saw several (super expensive) custom car seats on etsy, so I knew it could be done. I found a great tutorial on Make-It-Love-It’s site that was really helpful in my endeavor. My favorite types of tutorials are kinds like these, where you aren’t told exactly what to do, but rather encouraged in how to figure OUT what to do with your particular project.
Basically, every car seat is different, so you can’t just buy a pattern at the store, or follow a tutorial to the letter unless you have the same exact car seat. You have to take apart the old cover to make your OWN pattern, documenting the deconstruction process in order to carefully reconstruct it correctly with your new fabric.
My seam ripper got a lot of use as I took the car seat apart, stitch by stitch. After it was deconstructed, I took the fabric apart from the batting and was able to use the old fabric as my pattern. I cut the new fabric with an extra quarter inch all around.
In addition to taking pictures while deconstructing the cover, I would recommend labeling your seams. I numbered mine and it saved some headaches.
That extra quarter inch was cut off as I sewed the fabric to the batting with my serger. Serging as opposed to sewing gave me the neatest edge I could get with no chance of fraying.
I made the slots where the shoulder straps and buckles thread through using the button hole setting on my sewing machine and then sewed all of the main pieces together. I tried the cover on the seat to ensure it still fit before continuing with the edging.
I made several yards of double fold bias tape to get a good color match (and save some money!). I used the bias tape to finish all the edges, just like the original seat.
The canopy proved to be the most challenging part of the project. I used Heat N Bond Lite to adhere the exterior fabric to the interior fabric. This double layer for the canopy make it more shady and also makes it stiffer than just regular cotton fabric.
Sewing through several layers (interior, exterior, heat n bond, and 4 thicknesses of bias tape) with the little plastic hoops inside was difficult. I have a Walmart Special Singer, not a Bernina! Hindsight I should have used a specialty foot on my machine, but I was lazy (and hot and desperate to finish) so I made do with what I had.
I love the way it turned out! I’m so glad our # 3 will have something that I crafted “new”.