Easy Peasy DIY Car Seat Canopy Tutorial
So, the hubster and I finally nailed down our travel system choice. (We went with the Evenflo FlexLite System in Santa Fe Sunset by the way and we're stoked with it so far!)
I personally think the fabric design is kinda awesome on this stroller and car seat—brown and yellow faded chevron stripes—very light, neutral and contemporary! So when I came across the cotton material that I used to make our car seat canopy in Joann's Fabric, I just splurged and went for it!
I had a little bit of light turquoise minky left over from our nursery quilt, so I figured why not combine the bright colors and add a little texture while I'm at it? I'm so glad I did, because I think this project turned out fab (although truthfully minky is a pain in the baby-butt to work with, just a heads up y'all!).
What You'll Need: Accent fabric 34in x 30in plus a little extra for the handles, minky (or any other backing fabric you'd like to use) 34in x 30in, cardboard to make your corner stencil, velcro, pins, scissors, coordinating thread, sewing machine.
Step 1: Measure out equal pieces of your accent fabric and your backing fabric (minky in my case) at 34in x 30in each (this measurement already includes a one inch seam allowance on each side). Pin together right sides facing in at one another.
Step 2: Using your cardboard, create your stencil for nice, neat rounded corners. To do this I placed a cardboard square on one pinned corner and measured an equal distance along the two fabric/cardboard edges. Then I hand drew an even looking curve between the two measured points, cut the cardboard to that shape, pinned it to the fabric and trimmed off the excess material outside of my new curve. (I personally found that I didn't have to be crazy exact here.) I used the same stencil for each corner and pinned my new curves together!
Step 3: Machine straight stitch around the entire canopy, leaving a small five inches or so opening along one edge.
NOTE: If you're using minky for your backing material then heed my warnings... pin, pin, and PIN! Pinning is your best friend here, as this stretchy fabric tends to get away from you really easily and can end up giving up an uneven look overall if you're not diligent from the get go.
Step 4: Turn the whole canopy right side out. Tuck the five inches opening inside of itself and then pin around the entire thing once again to make sure your edges stay even. Sew a straight stitch all the way around (about .5- .75in in from the edge) to help the canopy keep it's shape and sit correctly when placed over the car seat.
Step 5: For the "handles" I sewed two sleeves from that same accent fabric I chose, at 13in x 6in each (there's a .5 inch seam allowance at each edge built-in to that measurement). Fold in half so the right side of the fabric is touching itself, pin, and sew along the length leaving the ends open by about .5 inch. Then turn the whole thing right side out, fold those .5 inch outer edges in on themselves, pin and sew closed so you end up with neat closed folds at each end of the handles. Job's a goodun'!
Step 6: Sew a square of velcro onto each end of the handles so they'll fit together correctly, neatest side of the handle facing outwards obviously. I then pinned my handles into the outward side of the canopy about 6.5 inches apart and around 8 inches from the canopy edges. (Be careful not to make your handles too long, or else the canopy isn't going to hold up high off of the baby like it should. I had to wait for my car seat to arrive before finalizing the length!) Also, I placed my handles about 11 inches from the top edge of my canopy, this gave me and my specific car seat enough fabric up top to hang just right over baby.
When you're happy with your placement, simply sew a neat line of straight stitches (back and forth a few times to secure it well) to attach your handles onto the canopy.
And... Done! How easy was that!?
Any questions, then by all means please do shoot me a question either through the comments below or via my email on the About Me page. Enjoy folks!
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