Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby Car Seat Fitted Blanket

by Jessica at Running With Scissors
Tutorial - Jessica has written and produced this awesome design has holes to allow the straps and buckle through. No more plopping a blanket on baby to just have it fall off and out of the car seat.  This is under the baby, and has the extra "arms" of blanket to wrap them up really well.
Also, it is reversible.

First off, how it works
1. Place in your car seat and pull straps and buckles through the holes.
2. Strap in your baby
Wrap up the bottom flap, then each side to make a warm, snugly blanket that can't fall out onto the floor.

1 1/4 yard flannel or other fabric-- 2 prints
bias tape or other finish for edges

If you're using flannel or any cotton fabric, make sure you pre-wash for shrinkage.
I also ironed with starch to help the pieces lay together better before cutting.

1. Cut fabric
You'll cut each fabric 41" long.

2. Fold in Quarters
With the fabric folded matching up selvage edges, fold one side on the other into quarters.  All raw edges will match up and all selvage edges will match up.

3. Cut Corner Curve
Measure your folded sides to 17" and mark.  I would suggest folding your quarter, along the 25" line in photo below--just place one fold on top of the other fold, then you can measure the longest peak of your curve at 25" then curve it down to the 17" mark on the folds.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but it's nice if it is all symmetrical.

4. Cut Second Fabric
You could repeat step three and fold in quarters and measure the curve, but I was worried about both sides being matched up, so I just laid out my backing (pink) with wrong side up.
Then I laid my top (blue) with wrong side down and fit them together and smoothed the layers evenly.
Then I just had to trim the curves of pink showing, and I knew the blanket would line up perfectly.

5. Baste Edges
Before my two layers could shift and get messed up, I ran up to serge around the edge.  If you don't have a serger, just baste (straight-stitch with longest stitch length) around the edge to secure the two layers together.

6. Measure and Mark Strap Cut Marks
First you'll fold your blanket on a diagonal and get a good center crease to use as a guide.

Next use the following photo to measure out the 2 vertical strap slits, and rectangular buckle hole below. I make my marks with a fabric pen that disappears.

7. Stay-stitch Cut Lines

Before I cut the holes for the straps, I sewed around the vertical lines 1/4" and the buckle rectangle 1/8".
This helped to reinforce the holes, and secure the layers when finishing all the edges.

8. Cut Holes
Cut along the vertical lines, and cut out the rectangle.

9. Finish Edges
My original gift had amazing crochet around all the raw edges.  I think they have a machine and punches holes for the crochet edge.  Maybe you could find a shop that will punch your fabric if you are talented that way.

I just used bias tape for all my edges.  I cut 2" bias strips from a yellow vintage sheet to make my own bias tape, because I was too lazy to go the store.  When I bind blankets with my own bias, I don't iron it before, just sew the right sides touching on the front, then fold it under and fold around edge to the back.
But you can just buy packaged bias tape, I'd estimate you'd need 2 packages (6 yards).

Or you could cut the fabrics right sides together way back in step 4 and sew a ruffle/ rick-rack/ pleated edge, etc into the seam, then leave a hole to flip it right side out.  Then you would measure and cut the strap holes.  You'd probably still need to bias tape the strap holes, but a narrow ruffle on the edge would be cute.
The easiest finish would be a nice rolled hem if you have a serger that does rolled hems.   If making these for gifts, you could whip them out just serging all the edges with a cute contrasting or matching thread!

When I sewed the bias tape around the straps, it kind of made it stand up at the corners.

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