I've been meaning to cover my car seats since we bought the van nearly 2 years ago. And I wanted to make something to help organize the mess my kids and I are constantly toting along.
Here's what I plan to make:
4 universal fit carseat covers (eventually I hope to have instructions for these)2 custom fit backseat covers
1 trunk organizer
2 or 3 behind the seat organizers (2 DONE, See below)
All items will be made very frugally using barkcloth scraps sewn together. Most are from a friend's business (http://www.barkclothhawaii.com/) whom I do some custom work for. I also have batting, stretch velvet, and various cotton fabrics sitting in my stash. They've been collecting dust for so long and I'm finally putting them to use.
First, I made some carseat covers, of which you can find the instructions for in a later post(not finished yet). But I also bought a pattern to make some carseat organizers. I did a quick review of the pattern on PatternReview.com and here's the pics. I made 3 different sets, one for my van, and the other two for my sister's and brother's car. They have kids and I figured it would be a practical Christmas gift. The pattern used was SIMPLICITY 3731. My children make good use of it and it's filled with Legos, Magazines, Pens, and there's always a cold drink in the drink pocket. They love it. And unlike the ones you buy at the store, it's sturdy and fairly stiff. I used a layer of thick interfacing over the batting so it would be firm, not saggy. But basically, I followed the pattern, with some minor modifications, and think it's great... there are NO toys or books on the floor in my van anymore.
- Bias tape is made from self fabric or a matching fabric. I don't like the store bought stuff. I think it looks cheesy and cheap.
- I would add a couple extra inches to the webbing strip. It just barely fits over my carseat cover.
- Skip the elastic along the top edges for the pen pocket. It's not necessary and if you do the bias tape in a thick fabric, it's useless. Same goes for the pocket next to it.
- If you have a good sewing machine, DEFINITELY use upholstery fabric. It's so much sturdier than apparel weight cottons. The white organizers I made are done up in apparel weight fabric and though it's easier to sew, it's not as strong and solid looking. I hope it doesn't start drooping.
- I modified the sewing directions slightly so the job would go a bit easier and faster. Instead of sewing all the pieces with bias tape around the edges, I did only the top edges. Then I machine basted the bottom of the pockets onto the backing, and covered the raw edges with single fold bias tape. I also did this treatment between the pockets on the top row before sewing the bottom edge. It looks much neater... and is easier to sew. Here's a pic:
And someday, I'll have my car all organized and will post a picture of the beautiful new interior... Except the fabrics will be faded by then....