How to Update a Carseat - The Easy Way

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lately life has been busy. Hugo's birthday is right around the corner (tomorrow!) so I've spent a lot of time planning his birthday, sewing, more sewing, being sick, and all around stressing over adult related things but at least I've been ridiculously productive!

Since Hugo had a crazy growth spurt and is currently in the 89th percentile for height, his carseat is officially too small. We kind of predicted that it would be around this time that he would outgrow his seat so the cost of a carseat has been in the back of our mind for awhile. There's no way that we could afford something new and we were so lucky that my parents held onto my little sister's carseat. I've had the carseat sitting in the closet downstairs for a couple of months but I kept putting it off because I wanted to purchase fancy fabric online and they were either out of stock when I had the money or our money went to unexpected costs. I knew that I couldn't put it off any longer and that I needed to get it done this week so I could scrub the old carseat and get him into his new one. I'm starting to notice that I tend to put things off until the last minute - ha! Anyways, let's talk about how this went down!

The total cost for 2.5 yards of fabric and a package of piping was roughly 14 dollars after two 50% off coupons from Joann's during their Moonlight Madness ad. I purchased 2.5 yards because I had no idea what I was doing at the time and wanted a buffer so if I really blew it, I could still save it without going to the store again. Luckily, this was the easiest thing ever and that never happened. If you're more precise with your fabric, this could easily be done for less than $10. It didn't take that much time to do, either. Once I really delved into the nitty-gritty of it all, it took about 3-4 nights to complete. I will say, however, despite being really easy to do, it was a huge pain and I'm not in any hurry to do this again. I went through a couple of needles and there were times that I thought I had ruined my machine, for sure.

Step One:

Start small. I started with the arm covers to test the waters a little bit and figure out my method of madness, which is when I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was going to be!

Step Two:

Taking small steps, each time, seam rip the stitching. In my case, the goal was to update anything pink so I kept the original brown fabric and just found something boyish that would coordinate which makes this project so much easier. Just make sure to follow the original stitching or your carseat will end up uneven or not even fit properly.

Step Three:
Use the pieces you want to replace/cover as a pattern and make sure that you are paying attention to the direction your fabric runs, if it's a one directional print. Because I am lazy, I just wanted to cover the fabric so I didn't leave a seam allowance and just cut my fabric to size. After cutting my fabric, I laid it right side facing on top of the piece I just used as a pattern and baste stitched all along the edges.

Step Four:

After baste stitching the pieces, I sewed everything back together, following the original seam.

Fancy Schmancy!

Step Five:

Repeat steps 1-4 adding piping wherever necessary. I also used the old piping as an example for length and followed exactly how the seat was originally put together. Now it's time to move onto the sections where the straps go. Ugh, the straps. This is where things started to get a little cringe worthy for my poor little sewing machine. I flipped the seat over and sewed 1 zigzag stitch along the original stitching. The stitching will be ugly because it's really hard to see with all of the foam but 1 zigzag stitch is not going to be enough reinforcement so I flipped it over and zigzag stitched over/around the zigzag stitch I just completed. It gave me a marker that I could follow. After I felt like it was secure and even, I treated it just like a button hole. After I seam ripped the opening, I went through one more time with the zigzag stitch around the opening to make sure that the fabric wouldn't fray in the future and had a nice, clean look.

The back in progress.

Step Six:

After completing the holes for the straps, I sewed it back together in small sections so I could feed it through my sewing machine with ease.

Testing it on the seat before replacing the upper left square. So close!

And that is it! Super easy and all of the work is really in reinforcing the holes for the straps. Now that I've finished his seat and I have a good deal of left over fabric, I am going to draft a couple of patterns for accessories to make the seat a little more comfy and sleep friendly. Hopefully I'll get a tutorial up about soon too!

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