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Topic: *Recon* Fleece vest to... baby car seat cover! *TUT ADDED 01/17/07*  (Read 13204 times)
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« on: December 28, 2006 07:28:07 PM »

I'd been trying to find one of these car seat covers for awhile, but they're either expensive and nice-looking or cheap and not-so-nice looking... so I made one out of an old fleece vest I had in the closet.  Took me about a half and hour!   Grin  I love instant gratification.
For reference, here's one that I liked the style of (since it didn't go under the baby) but not the color: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2501237&cp=2255983.2256187.2256192&view=all&parentPage=family

And here's the one I made:

That's an infant head rest that you see inside the head opening (the cream-colored part).

I guess you could use the pockets for a pacifier or something, but I just liked how they looked.   Wink
What do you think?  Comments welcome!

HERE'S THE TUTORIAL!!   Grin  Took me long enough...
1. Start with your vest all zipped up; it will make things easier for you.  Cut each side seam from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom of the vest like so:

2. Open up your vest so it looks like this:

You'll probably have armhole ribbing on only part of the sides- if you're lazy like me and just want the cover to be functional NOW, fleece won't fray so you can leave the vest sides as is... or, if you'd like the edges to look better, you can sew on some hem tape or something right over the cut egde as well as the existing ribbing and no one will be the wiser.  Here's what it will look like if you leave it as is:

... a little unfinished, but you (I) can always go back and add the hem tape later.

3. Lay the vest out over the carseat (if you're lucky enough to have one handy, otherwise, scroll down for my ridiculously OCD list of measurements), and cut off the extra back portion like so- just make sure to leave a few extra inches, since you'll eventually make a casing for the elastic to go through:
As far as the bottom edge goes, you have two options: 1. as you can see from the above professional illustration, I expertly cut out the corners to fit around the front of the carrier (just eyeballed it) and then sewed the cut edges Right Sides Together to make a dart (somebody help me here- I think this is a dart, but I'm not exactly sure...).  Or 2. Don't cut anything; just pull the elastic drawcord tight (if you have one already in the vest, if not, make a casing and put in some elastic) and sew it in place or make a knot or something so it can't get lost inside the casing.  Here's what the "dart" looks like from the outside:

and what it looks like from the underside:

4. Make a casing for the elastic in the back by just folding under the back bottom edge and sewing a tube just wider than whatever elastic you have on hand (no need to double hem fleece since again it won't fray, but you can always fold it under again if you don't want the raw edge to show).  I just pulled out the draw cord that was in the discarded back of the vest and threaded it through my tube, then put the little plastic thingies back on that were originally on the sides of the vest... hard to explain, easy to show:

And the finished back edge (with the little drawcord tail tucked back in the casing):

Voila!  That's it!  You're done!! 
And for you spatial learners, to give you an idea of how the vest fits *now*, here's the front, side, and back view to help you see the difference vs. how a vest fits before you alter it:

 (sorry for the blurry pics... but you get the idea)

*NOTE: after having made this, I've decided to forego the darts in the future and just run an elastic casing in the front the same way it's done in the back.  It's much simpler and gets the job done just as well.*

Ridiculously OCD List Of Measurements:
-Length of front edge (same as back edge) stretched out: 20 inches.
-Length of back edge NOT stretched out: 12 inches (would be same for front if you did a casing vs. darts)
-Length from back of neckhole to center bottom edge of back: 9 inches.
-Length from front of neckhole to center bottom edge of front: 20 inches.
-Length of dart seam in each front corner: 5 inches.
-Width of fabric on either side of the neckhole: 6 1/2 inches.
-Open space of neckhole: 7 inches.
-Length of entire cover, back edge to front edge: 35 inches.

Happy Crafting!!!   ...hope this helps!!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2007 12:33:38 PM by jutybo » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2006 07:30:58 PM »

That is one of the greatest things I've seen all day.

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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2006 07:42:18 PM »

OMG! I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!!! And, I think I may have a vest that will work.

Did you put elastic around the edges?


« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2006 08:03:38 PM »

nice work!  i have (a purchased) one of these, but am thinking I may make a warmer one for winter!


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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2006 08:28:02 PM »

Wow that is one of the smartest recons I've seen. So practical and something you'll use quite often. I think it looks great!

« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2006 08:52:46 PM »

This is pure genius!  How did I not think of this! Next time I pop out a bambino I'm making one of these!  Great job!

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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2006 10:01:43 PM »

You are so cleaver!  I want to make one for my new niece now!
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2006 10:12:05 PM »

That is such a great idea, and I bet it is super warm Smiley


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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2006 11:54:02 PM »

haha i just like how she doesnt look happy with it zipped but then the next picture when its unzipped shes like ahhhh freedom. cute though. great idea for warmth.

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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2006 01:48:17 AM »

What a beautiful baby! She looks so snugly warm...yummy, love to hug those warm babies!!

This is absolute brilliance!!  And what a great idea for my XL pregnant sized vest that I bought last year that is languishing in the closet!  Nice work! Cheesy


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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2006 09:28:23 AM »


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Um, so how does this work?

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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2006 11:21:04 AM »

This is awesome!  I've got to make one for my little man.  simple, practical and yet so genius.  You rock.

« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2006 12:46:43 PM »

SOoooooo smart!  This is WAY better than the one we just bought because it doesn't add bulk to the baby at all.  Love it!  What a great idea.  I'm sure the pockets will come in handy too!
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2006 01:40:43 PM »

What a great idea and so very nice done! And a very cute little girl to!
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2006 01:47:44 PM »

great idea!!!  Cheesy  i know a few of my friends who are thinking of having babies would really appreciate it as a gift.
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2006 01:57:32 PM »

Thank you so very much!  You all have made my day!!   Cheesy
This was super easy to make- I just cut along the side seams so the vest could open up and look like a gigantic rectangle. Then I draped the "vest" over the carseat so that the neckhole was where I wanted it and pinched the bottom corners to fit, the sewed them shut (made a dart, maybe?? I'm not sure what it's called...). Then I layed it out on the carseat again and cut off the excess (former back of the vest) fabric, made a casing for the elastic, put it in, and voila!
Oh, and by the way, the "elastic" that I used for the back was just the excess elasticized draw-cord that had run through the bottom hem of the jacket for styling, which I also never liked. It made the garment fit so that I looked pregnant even when I wasn't... so it had to go.  I left the elastic in place in the bottom front of the vest and just pulled it out a little bit making it scrunch up when I sewed the corners shut.  Does that make sense?   Undecided
If anyone is interested, I'm more than happy to take some close-up pics of just the cover so you can see better how I did it.
Oh, and to answer a question, the sides of the cover are just the armholes of the vest- so I didn't have to do anything to them since they already had slightly stretchy ribbing on them.  This vest was originally a Mens size Large, and it was generously sized, if that helps. 
Please post a pic if you make one!   Smiley  And keep the comments/questions coming!
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Um, so how does this work?

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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2007 02:38:18 PM »

I'd love to see a close up.  I showed this to my mom and sis, and my sister wants one for her little lady, and my mom is amazed- and disappointed she didn't think of it first!

i'm going to try to make one, but i'm going to add another layer-- it gets cold here. I have a question: would this stlye work with a baby carrier or would I have to make a different one?  Thanks so much for your brilliant idea!

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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2007 10:15:55 PM »

That is such a great idea! very crafty!

« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2007 11:05:59 PM »

i love that for so many reasons!
i love it because it's a recon from my alma mater.
i love it because it's a million times cooler than the ones you can buy that are specifically for car seats.
i love it most of all because it's a recon from my alma mater.  did i mention that?

i would love to see a tutorial for that!
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2007 11:51:31 AM »

What a great idea!  I love it.

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I can do that!

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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2007 06:57:43 AM »

Really great idea! They should make the seats like this from the factory!
I love it!

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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2007 07:42:51 PM »

My apologies for taking so long to make the afore-promised tut!  It's been a busy week for me, but I think I can take some more pics and attempt to assemble something coherent this week.

And to PoppyBoutillier:  Hark the students' voices swelling...!!   Grin  Hello, fellow one-time 'burg-er!  (I got the vest when I used to work at the Alumni House, and I didn't see it listed online anymore, but if you want one just PM me and I'll give them a call and see if they have any left!) 

Many thanks for the wonderful comments- I'll make a real effort to get the directions put together ASAP.  You'll kick yourself it's so easy to make.   Wink 
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« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2007 07:21:59 PM »

That is so awesome. I have so many friends that are pregnant and that would be a great gift to give. I would love to have close up pics to see exactly how you did it. I think they would love it. I have seen those covers in stores as well and I find a lot of them ugly or so expensive this is a nice, warm cheap version.  Grin
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2007 11:15:12 AM »

That is awesome, see this is why I love this website. 
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2007 11:26:01 AM »

That's awesome!  Great job!

« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2007 07:34:16 PM »

i'm nowhere near my own baby-makin days and i live in so cal where we have no weather....but i had to click "this rocks"....cuz it does.  awesome work!!!

what WOULD willie do?
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2007 08:52:16 AM »

I LOVE this idea! Probably the best one I've seen so far. Looks so easy to apply to the car seat, add lil' baby, and zip. I'm now on a mission to find a colorful fleece vest!

The Orange!
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2007 09:25:08 AM »

 I really like the covers from Lands End, but they don't fit the Safety First seats.  Luckily I had one from  DS #1.  But I really like what you did here, as I was wanting a lighter weight cover for spring...

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« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2007 09:48:16 AM »

Don't forget to post a pic when you're done!  I'd love to see what YOU create!   Grin
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2008 10:07:15 AM »

My goodness, woman, you are a genious.  This is exactly what I needed and I was trying to figure out a quick, easy way to make a carseat cover.  Dang, you is smart!

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« Reply #30 on: October 08, 2008 01:26:10 PM »

WOW!!! You deserve some sort of award for the cleverness of this. I'm definitely making one of these for my great granddaughter. Thank you.   Cheesy
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2008 10:44:09 AM »

Thank you so much!  I'd love to see what you come up with- don't forget to take a pic and post!   Grin
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2008 09:50:45 PM »

This is one of the smartest things I've seen.  I'm going to the thrift store tomorrow, buying a zip-up and making one of these things for my niece!  You do deserve and award!
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2008 09:21:36 PM »

We don't need these in Texas, but I have to say, you are a genius! I love it!!
« Reply #34 on: November 07, 2008 10:20:27 PM »

Okay I know everyone loves this, and they have all said this but its so great I had to comment.  WONDERFUL. I never thought to do that, but it makes so much sense.  Thank you so much for the tutorial!
nana of chloe
« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2009 12:53:40 PM »

Hi there, This is a really great idea. Thanks for the 'tuto'.
It's an idea that I think I will try to make for my DD's expected baby in August - Winter-time in NZ. If I can find nuetral coloured vest I'll get cracking on it.
What size vest did you use?
I'll re-read your post and see if you mentioned it.
Keep on creating   Smiley
« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2010 11:19:26 AM »

Brilliant! Bookmarked this tutorial for future use! Thanks a bunch!  Grin
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2011 12:46:47 AM »

Very cool and what a cool way to re use a sweater you might not use or hate

private swaps are welcome! Cheesy
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