Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Car seat cover: phase one

When my son was just 5 months old we moved north to Maryland. I found myself as a stay at home mom and I hated it. I was lonely. I had no local friends and no real hobbies that I could do with an infant. I decided to pick up sewing to have something to accomplish each day. I remember my first week with the sewing machine. I wanted to consistantly throw it out of the window. I couldn't even get the thing threaded.

Hours and hours of youtube instruction later combined with a new needle (mine was bent) and some old swaddle blankets I started experimenting. I can tell you I did a LOT of seem ripping. Turns out I like sewing when it doesn't involve some type of pattern to have to follow and I don't need anything fancy like zippers or elastic. Well, today I tried something a little over my head: a new car seat cover.

You see, I found this really cute car seat on the internet with some directions on how to make it. I've been sewing squares for almost 2 years now so I decided to give it a go. Wow, so hard! I think there are many different ways I could have tried this project but here is what I did:

1. I chose my material and began pinning the fabric down to the original car seat cover starting with the middle panel. This was my first mistake I think. I think I should have done the sides first so that pinning the middle panel would have also pinned that pannel directly to the side fabric. When pinning I folded the edge of the fabric over  before pinning it down.
 Note my cute for a boy but not as cute for a girl car seat.

 These are the first pins I put in along the seem with the edges folded over

 One side pinned, ready for the other side. I cut the fabric on the other side before pinning it.

Finally adding the sides. This was really hard to do without deconstructing the whole thing. You can see how maybe doing the sides first, laying the edge of the fabric over the seem that would get the middle panel pinned to would be a little easier, maybe.

Thin I traced my holes through the back with a crayon and repinned everything as I peeled off my soon-to-be cover. Sewing the pieces together was a nightmare! Too many seems coming together in some places and not knowing what to sew first. Also the flannel ironed nicely to show me where to stitch, but the minky did not so I kind of had to guess where to stitch. Even with the pins it didn't help me much. I'm not sure how it's turned out yet because I got stuck on the next part...

It is very reminiscent of wanting to throw the machine out of the window like my first week sewing. I tried watching youtube videos with not much help. Apparently there are three ways to make button holes depending on your machine: 4 step process on the machine, 1 step process on the machine and hand stitched. I have a 1 step machine but it will not make the holes as big as I need them. The 1 step process uses a special buttonhole foot attachement that guides the machine to exactly how big you need your hole.  Not working!

What I am now trying to do is use an alternative foot and act as the guide myself. I am meeting with very mixed, sloppy results. At this point I can get a good hole on the scrap and then move to my cover and make some really crappy ones. Here are my current attempts:

You'll have to come back and see the final product tomorrow. I don't think I have the patience to finish today!

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