Mar 21, 2011

My latest project

Bruce likes to try and eat things.  Anything he can get into his mouth. Like shopping carts.  It's gross, makes me gag.  So I decided he needed one of those cart covers.  You've seen them.  They go over the seat and you plunk your kid inside to keep them all germ free.  I had one for Stella.  I used it one time and decided it was too much work and that the people who used them must be germ-phobic.  But, then again, Stella wasn't trying to eat the metal on the side of the basket.  So anyway, Bruce was trying to eat the metal, so he needed something. Well, I did anyway.  

So like anyone with a sewing machine, I took my measuring tape to market with me and measured the cart. In the parking lot. While getting strange looks from people. I determined that I needed a 40" x 40" square. (Having now made it I would probably go with a 40" x 42" rectangle in the future.) Armed with my measurements I went to the fabric store and bought myself 4 feet of two very cute fabrics. Polka-dots and stars. Blue and brown.  Cute, but boy-ish enough for a baby.

Now begins the semi-tutorial.  I used no pattern.  I'm a rebel like that. Actually, I thought "how hard can it be? It's a square of fabric with some elastic and leg holes." Ha
It really wasn't too hard. I trimmed my fabric to 41" x 41", to leave room for seam allowances and the (very narrow) elastic I chose. 

Sew fabric right sides together, leave a hole for turning.
Turn right side out.  Iron seams.  Top stitch very close to the edge.
While you have that iron out... find the longer strip from where you trimmed your fabric.  Use it to make the binding you'll use for your leg holes.  There is a great tutorial here, if you need it. (One half of the 48 in. strip of fabric will bind one leg hole. Just. (Measure twice, cut once applies well here)).  

Now it's time to make the leg holes.  
Lay your fabric down and find the center point of an edge. Preferably not the side where your hole is.  Measure 2 inches (you could get away with 1.5" but I wouldn't go any less than that) toward the outside. Then measure 12 inches down.  This point will be your top inside corner of leg hole #1.  Make the leg hole 5 inches wide, 6 inches deep. Mark and cut out.  Repeat for leg hole two.  
Take the self-fabric binding you just made and sew the binding onto the leg holes. 

Now mark the hole where you turned your fabrics right side out, both sides of it.  Measure in enough to fit your elastic through. I used 1/4"  Sew a seam around the entire cover.  This will make a channel for the elastic to go through.  Thread elastic through.  (This was the single hardest part! Sid laughed at me.)  Sew elastic ends together.
Close up the hole, being careful not to get the elastic.
Finish binding the leg holes (if you haven't already).
I added some rings that I had on hand, so that I could attach toys (or my keys) to the cover.  I used some leftover scraps and some D-rings. Do a very tight zigzag around the edges, fold over the very edge, then just enough to make a loop for the ring, and still be able to sew it on.  Sew on to the front, wherever you want!

The last part is to measure down 5 or 6 inches (on the back) and put in some large buttonholes.  Mine are about a foot apart, and more or less centered.  These will enable you to strap your cart-eating baby in so he (or she) can't  climb out.  Not that they would try of course.  But there's something about wanting your kid to be safe, just in case.  Falling headfirst out of a cart just doesn't sound like a real fun idea to me I know, I'm a fun-sucker.
I got a 6 foot strap with a buckle at Walmart, because they didn't come in shorter lengths, and most of the carts at market don't have straps .  There I go again with the falling out thing.  

Put your cover on your cart on your next shopping trip and enjoy!

Isn't he cute?

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