I don't know if I'm creative enough to keep up with one tutorial a week, but I can sure try!
This week, I'm going to show you how to make easy reversible car seat strap covers. They took me about 45 minutes (including the time it took to figure out how to actually make them) so I'd consider it to be a relatively quick project. Obviously, these pink butterfly strap covers weren't made for Charlie's uber masculine Mickey Mouse car seat, but it was the only car seat I had on hand to show them off. Bear with me.
For this project you'll need:
Fabric (small scraps or swatches will do)
8 inches of Velcro
Fiber fill stuffing
And of course pins, scissors, iron, thread, and all the good stuff
First, cut out four 6" x 5" rectangles from your fabric - two of the front pattern and two of the back. Right sides facing, pair up your fabric. I backed this green and pink butterfly pattern with a pink minky. Using a ruler, mark off the center 2 inches on the long side. Do this for both sets of fabric. This will be the channel you sew to hold the stuffing. I have a special quilting marker that disappears with water - its inexpensive and I highly recommend it for any sewing, not just quilting.
Now that you have the center channel marked off, sew around the edges (with right sides facing) from the start of one mark around the sides to the other mark (left picture). The space between the marks should stay open. Next, snip the corners, taking care not to cut into the seam, so when you turn it inside right you will have nice pointy corners (right picture).
Next, turn the rectangles inside out using the opening. Iron flat.
(Yes, it is important to iron while you're sewing. If your sewing machine is on, your iron should be on!)
Remember that 2 inch wide channel you marked on the inside? Using a sewing marker/chalk/pencil draw those lines on the front of the fabric rectangle (left picture). This is going to guide you in sewing the 2 inch wide channel for the stuffing (right picture). You can use coordinating or contrasting thread - be creative.
Using a bit of fiber fill, stuff the channel as firm or soft as you like. Next, using a blind stitch, close up the channel opening. I found it helpful to shove all of the stuffing towards the bottom so the fabric would lie flat while I was sewing it. The blind stitch can be tricky - keep practicing! It really does make finished projects look so much cleaner.
Now you have two rectangle fabric pieces with puffy middles. Time for Velcro! Cut the 8 inch strip of Velcro into two 4 inch sections. Pull the Velcro apart and pin the strips to the unstuffed wings. In the picture below, it shows the stiffer Velcro side pinned to the front of one wing and the fluffy Velcro side pinned to the back of the opposite wing. When the wings are folded the Velcro should attach to its self. Before sewing, make sure you have them oriented properly! Pulling out incorrect stitches sucks. The Velcro should attach regardless of which side you show - hence their spiffy reversible nature.
A simple straight stitch around the edges should do, but go slowly. It may just be my machine, but the faster I try to sew, the more likely it is to get skipped stitches. If you find your machine skipping a lot, a zig zag stitch will also work.
Once the Velcro is on, you're done! This pattern can be altered very easily to make the straps longer or accommodate wider straps by adding to the original 5" x 6" fabric square or widening the fluff channel. I used Charlie's Graco car seat to measure and the straps are 1 1/2 inches wide. I'm assuming that's pretty standard.
Enjoy! May your little ones ride in style and car nap in comfort! If you have any questions, please let me know!