April 11, 2010

Gettin' my Craft on...

Ok so after THIS post on our sons' blog, my friend April Eve (aka- the Carseat Natzi ...I do know how Nazi is spelled I don't really want to equate my friend to that, but still want to make a Seinfeld joke, so there) who has also lived in a part of the world where car seats are not in any way mandatory for children, told me I should probably check Florida Laws to see when I could turn Isaiah around.

And I learned something new!

In Florida children must stay facing the rear until 1 year of age and 20 lbs in weight. When Isaac grew out of his infant carseat in our former country of residence, we just turned him around because that's all that was available. So we did the same for Isaiah, ignorant of the law. So, to correct our mistake we went to a consignment shop in town and found a rear-facing seat for $20. It was faded and had cat hair on it. So to remedy that for a good bargain, my first craft project of the week was born...
A carseat cover. (cost $13. Total cost of seat, $33...cheapest we could find at Wal-mart was $50!)
(Here it is pinned in kinda the shape I wanted. I got my fabric from JoAnn Fabric)Really I just kinda went piece by piece and figured it out. I won't type out all the steps here, but if you'd like to make one for your child and don't wanna pay money for a pattern, just leave a comment and I'll reply with my "instructions." So here are some pictures that make it look straightforward.
(Here it is all sewn together but without the elastic)
(Here's the detail stitching I picked to go on the arms where I folded the material to shape around the edges)
(Here's me sewing elastic on. Definitely a job for the determined!)
(Here's how I kinda sewed up the holes for the straps. NOT as easy as it was in my mind! And yes, I'm showing you one of the "better" holes I stitched up...good thing Zay will be sitting on the other ones!)
(The plastic hole-keeper things on that come on the seat. Pop them in and it really makes the seat look detailed and nice!)

(See? Other than maybe it's not as smooth on the side as I had hoped, I think it looks alright!)
And here's us piled in my dad's truck for the maiden voyage. And how fun too that I picked a Houndstooth (sp?) print and Isaac's chair is houndstooth too! I'd forgotten about it and chose the colors I did because the middle section is quilted material so there's more padding and black as the base color so his little shoulder bears we have for his straps would match.
And here's Zay and his new seat and his new trick of sticking out his tongue (I can do it to prompt him and he'll copy! TOOO cute!)
But my craft-week wasn't over yet.
I saw this blog and thought my young cousin Kate would love this bag for her birthday. It's a bag for library books.The tutorial is HERE. I did a couple things differently (added a bow, and got her name professionally stitched instead of putting the word "books.")

What specifically makes it a library bag you ask?
The handy dandy card and library receipt holder that's on the bag.And no! It's not just a pocket:) It's clear! :)

So, I improved some of my sewing machine skills and learned a lot about my machine this week, and I think the products of my labor - and frustration, especially ALL those times the fabric folded on the carseat cover underneath what I was sewing and I had to go back and take out the stitching- turned out pretty well. Crafting is soooo cathartic for me!!


roger and courtney said...

I think this is a sign you need to head back this way.

We actually have a car seat but it confuses people and they think we are torturing poor Asher when we make him set in it.

Brandon and April said...

well, you can always count on me to keep you in line. :) hehe
dude, your carseat cover is way awesome! kudos to you! i'd have been like, "gross! cat hair!" and not even taken a second look at it. crafting is so engrained in your mind that you took initiative with your catty car seat and went with it! It's time for salem to move into a convertible (still rear facing of course :) car seat and maybe i'll try to find a nasty one just so I can make a cover for it! ;)

Elizabeth said...

Your car seat fabric is so cute...I'm impressed that you covered it yourself. And Zay's tongue trick... precious. :)

Emily said...

Wow that's impressive!! I am so not a sewer - seamstress - whatever :) but am always so impressed by people who know their way around a sewing machine.
Also, just to add to confusion, the AAP has now changed recommendations to be rear-facing until 2. (not a law, though) I know, I know...I miss those days of hopping in a car/rickshaw with just Hazel in a Snugli. Although I love the protection of the carseat. It's a love/hate relationship.

Lori said...

I must say, I am totally impressed! Now I know who to ask whenever I have a sewing project I need help with! :) And Zay sticking his tongue out...TOO CUTE!!! (I know we go to the same church and all, but I usually don't have time to catch up with everything going on with you and your family...so I really love your blog!)

Craig and Angie said...

You got all the talents! Bring 'em on over girl.

Heather Diaz said...

So impressed! I loved this blog! I think that the bag for Kate is a great idea for a present! I am definitely borrowing that idea;) Of course, I don't have a sewing machine, so you'll probably have to do it for me(heehee). Crafting is not as cathartic for me, but I do love a new coloring book and a box of new crayons to divulge in with the kids:)

The Everett Family said...

That is some super impressive crafting there! The carseat...wow! Cutie kids, too.

I am going to be stalking...er, I mean stopping...by your blog from time to time too now. :)

Martha said...

Thank you Aunt Sharon! Kate used her bag today and was OH so proud to have her library card tucked in the pocket. She also figured out we could check out even more books if we have our bag to carry them. You couldn't have done a better job for our book loving girl!