This is what the car seat cover looked like before the re-do.
While at a baby shower in April a friend asked me if I could help her fix the cover on her car seat. I was thinking little rip or tear. She was thinking either sew an entire new car seat cover or replace part of an existing cover. ;) Always one for a challenge and also having a strong desire to help my friend out and save her some money I said yes. It was a litte bit of a challenge and I would not recommend attempting something of this nature if you are a beginning sewer. If you have been sewing for a little while then the following is a make-shift tutorial of what I did to fix the seat. It took a little time but saved the family lots of money. I was so thankful that my family was able to bless her family in this way!
The car seat needed to be fixed due to a small amount of mildew/mold in the bottom right corner. My friend had already killed the mold before giving me the car seat cover so I did not mess with any of that. If you do have mold or mildew on your cover you need to kill the mold/mildew first. It probably would have been okay if it had just been patched over since it was dead but since a newborn baby would be in close contact with the car seat I decided to rip out any portion of the old cover that contained mold and make another part to replace that area.
(This is a finished image.) Using a seam ripper I patiently ripped out the seams along the bottom and along the sides of about 1/3 of the car seat along the bottom. Then I took a BIG breath and cut across the middle. (I did not cut any of the brown outer edge.) I also removed the tab that covers the buckle (I think) and kept it for later. (I re-attached it at the end.)
After removing the bottom portion of the car seat I also ripped out the stitching in the middle so that I had two pieces: the top and the bottom. Keep both pieces. The top portion will be used to make a pattern for the new piece.
- Make a pattern by tracing the top piece. Then add your seam allowance. (I used 1/2″.) Be sure to unfold the center pieces and add 1/2″ for seam allowances there also. I also added a 1/2″ to the top of the pattern in order to compensate for having to sew the bottom portion to the top of the cover. You don’t want your cover to be too tight when it is finished. Make sure to include markings for where there needs to a hole for the buckle or a buttonhole for the car seat straps. In the picture I have my pattern piece laying on top of the blue fabric that was used as the repair piece. Make sure that you use the same material that the rest of your cover is made out of. I used a suede fabric and made sure to find one that was WASHABLE. Do not use a dry clean only fabric.
Cut out the square in the center (where the buckle will go). Then cut a small 1/2 inch slit in each of the corners. This will make it easier to sew this part.
I had originally planned on replacing the batting but changed my mind and used the original batting and the back piece. Place the batting and the top piece right sides together. Pin around the hole in the center. Stitch around the hole in the center.
Sew completely around the inside square. Turn inside out.
After turning inside out press lightly with an iron. (Be careful to use your irons recommended settings for your fabric.) Top stitch around the edge of the opening.
Make a large button-hole using the markings you made on your patterns. Add fray check or fray block to keep seams from fraying. (I don’t remember what exact settings I used on the buttonhole-something heavy-duty though.)
I also removed the buckle flap from the original piece and sewed it onto the new bottom. I followed the sewing lines on the flap that were sewn on originally and used a 3/8″ seam allowance. I think the flap here added a nice touch to help incorporate the bottom portion with the rest of the cover.
Sew the bottom portion back onto the cover sewing right sides together and attaching bias tape when necessary.
The final step is by far the hardest one. Don’t give up you are almost finished! This was a big fight to shove all of the fabric in between the bias tape. For parts of it I sewed the top piece to the bottom piece and THEN attached the bias tape. (Sorry I don’t have a picture of this tricky step.)
Here is an upclose view of the car seat fix. The blue fabric is the fix fabric while everything else is the original fabric.
Ta-da! One fixed car seat cover.
Overall this was a great project and one that I can definitely say was a blessing to others. (I hope at least.) :) What a great reminder that God can use any of our skills or gifts to be a blessing to someone else. If you have any questions about how to fix/repair your car seat cover please leave a message in the comments and I will get back with you!