But when I saw his grimy, old car seat cover laying in the laundry room, I knew it was time for a new, mama-made version.
Here's how I did it.
-fabric for the front and back of the car seat cover
1. Start with some Swedish tracing paper. If you walk away with only one thing from this tutorial, let it be the awesomeness of Swedish tracing paper. I learned about it here when I was new to sewing and now I couldn't imagine using anything else.
Fold your old car seat cover in half and trace its shape. Be sure to stretch the cover so that it lays completely flat as you trace it.
Label the 'fold' line.
Draw notches where your elastic bands connect to your car seat cover and label the pattern with 'top' and 'bottom' if you are using a directional print.
2. Using the pattern you just created, cut out the fabric for the front and back of the car seat cover, as well as two layers of batting. Your fabric will be folded in half, with your fold line placed on the fold. If your fabric is directional, be sure to double check that your fabric is facing in the right direction, or you might cut out your fabric upside down.
3. Make a sandwich with your materials. The back fabric will go right side down. Place the two layers of cotton batting on top of your fabric backing. On top of that, place your front fabric, right side up. Pin together.
Using a fabric pen, trace out a design for quilting the layers together. I was boring and followed the design his old car seat cover had.
4. Starting from the center and working your way out, sew the four layers together along the lines you just traced. You might need to increase your stitch length given the thickness of this project.
Baste around the other edges with a 1/4" seam. Trim your edges so they are flush with one another.
5. The car seat cover I was replicating had 6 elastic bands to connect the cover to the car seat. I cut all of my bands the same length as the ones on the original cover, testing first to see if they were similar in their degree of stretch. (They were.) Two of the bands were loops - one long elastic folded in half
the other four had smaller loops at the end.
When you sew these loops, be sure to leave about a 1/4" seam allowance. The elastic frayed more than I expected.
I trimmed off the frayed edge and added some fray check.
Sew the elastics onto the cover with a 1/4" seam, placing them at the notches.
Now it's time to sew on the bias binding. I love this tutorial for that. After I sewed on my binding to the front of the cover, I wrapped my binding around to the other side, using pins to be sure it covered my previous stitching.
I also pinned my elastic bands up and out of the way, so I wouldn't catch them in my stitching.
Oops, I didn't use enough pins and this is what happened.
It's okay. I just unpicked my stitches in this area and adjusted the binding so it covered my stitching line.
One car seat cover.