Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sew an Infant Car Seat Cover



So Selena hated the car seat when she was a baby. She would scream and scream and scream. Sometimes if I turned the radio onto white noise and turned it up really loud it would help. Finally when she was 4 months old I bought her a new car seat (a Britax Roundabout Convertible Car Seat) which helped immensely.

So with this baby I was going to skip the infant seat. Some people love the ability to carry their baby around in them it was too unwieldy and heavy for me to carry even if Selena wasn't screaming in it. But even though most convertible car seats say they are okay for 5lb babies, most don't have straps that are low enough. So this baby will be in the infant car seat for at least a little while. While I was looking at the car seat I decided that maybe Selena didn't like it because the cover is kind of rough, so I decided to give it a makeover and make a new cover out of some soft cotton.

I wanted to get some of the Eric Carle Brown Bear fabric that I had seen advertised at Pacific Fabrics, but when I went there they didn't have the exact one I wanted. So instead I got some from Michael Miller's First Sight collection.


  • I took some tracing tissue paper and laid it over the car seat and stuck pins in the corner's of the pieces I would make.
  • Took off the tracing paper and connected the dots made from the pins.
  • Added 1 inch seam allowances to the tissue paper and cut out a cover from some scrap fabric.
  • Machine basted the scrap fabric together and put it over the car seat. Amazingly the seams were good. I trimmed a bit on some edges here and there, but it was a pretty good fit.
  • Sewed some elastic on the top and bottom corners of one side of the cover to see how that fit and to estimate where I would need to put the elastic.
  • Used my seam ripper to undo the pieces, and trimmed off 1/2" of the seam allowances (they were 1 inch) and used the scrap fabric as my pattern.
  • Used the pattern to cut out the cover fabric. I also cut out a layer of microfleece for some slight padding. Below is what the pieces ended up being shaped like.

  • Serged together the pieces for the top of the cover (microfleece and cotton fabric together)
  • Serged together the pieces for the bottom of the cover
  • Serged the top and bottom together
  • Used fold over elastic to bind around the edges. Stretching the elastic in the places I had chosen earlier.
  • Put the cover on the car seat and used chalk and a ruler to mark the openings for the belts.
  • Made gigantic button holes for the belt openings.

That's it! If you wanted, instead of serging or sewing the pieces in one step you could sew them separately and then bind them together with the seams facing in and then it would be reversible. You could have a cozy fleece side for winter, and a nice light cotton for summer. But I didn't think of this until after I was done.

If I have enough time before the baby comes I might try to make a pretty shade protector to match.

WARNING: Making your own car seat cover may be unsafe due to the fact that the covers that come with the car seat are made of flame retardant material and ones you make may not be. However maybe you don't want your child absorbing toxic flame retardants through the largest organ on their body, the skin. Wool is a natural flame retardant material may be a good compromise.


Katy said...

You are so crafty, Laura! I really love that cover--do you ever sell any of your creations? :)

Anonymous said...

Terribly UNSAFE!!!!! Didn't you even talk to a car seat specialist? Homemade and DIY seat covers can cause the seat not to work AT ALL!!! Please do not encourage others to do this as in an accident it can mean the child's life!!! Call the maker of the car seat, see if you can buy a new cover. Or pay $130 for a new seat and keep your baby SAFE. Also keep in mind car seats expire too, so always, always check the dates on the bottoms of the seat and base as you do no know how long that seat was at the maker's warehouse, the store's warehouse, or the store. It can be up to two to three years older than you realize!

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh people.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a really simple yet cute pattern. I've been searching for one & this looks to be perfect! I will be sewing it this weekend & I'm excited to see how it turns out. So Thank you!

Terri Baker said...

Thank you for the instructions! I'm re-making one now. I'm copying it exactly - It's a simple redo and I'm excited!

Terri Baker said...

Cute as pie!! Thank you for the instructions! I've just ripped apart the current one - and making a new, much prettier one!

Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

I love this but is there a video how to?? im bad at written instructions

Anonymous said...

She only added it to the seat aka sewed it to the actual padding calm yourself..