I've seen a lot of these car seat tents lately, and a few friends and I decided to give them a try. They are so cute, and I like the idea of not having to carry a car seat with a blanket over it (like we did with Reece!) and instead having your handle open and easier to carry. Plus they are great for keeping sleeping babies sleeping when you are out and about!
What you need:
- 1-1 1/4 yard of two coordinating fabrics (you don't necessarily have to coordinate, but you do need two separate pieces of fabric, each measuring this big)
- sewing machine and accessories
I started off measuring my fabric to about 35" wide and 46-48" long, (I can't remember exactly, but you can measure yours to your infant carrier if you have it available; mine was in storage somewhere else!) and cut it.
This next step is optional, but I think it adds a more finished look. I used a mixing bowl to trace around the corners, and cut the corners so that they were rounded.
Pin your right sides of your fabric together, and sew a 1/4" hem along the edges, leaving a small opening to pull your fabric through.
***I ended up changing my mind before doing this part, and wanted to add a strip of my underside fabric to the front. So I measured that, and pinned it on to my top fabric before sewing.***
Before you pull your fabric through, you want to fringe the edges of your corners so that they pull through better. Be careful not to cut your seams!
Now, make sure to fold in the fabric where you left it open, and top stitch all the way around. I used a zig-zag stitch for this part.
I'm sure there was some smarter way to do this, but let's just all remind ourselves that I'm still learning how to sew! After I had done this, I had this unfinished edge on my strip of fabric! I should have probably sewn a nice seam on it before I pinned it on and sewed it to the larger pieces of fabric. But I didn't. So I just serger stitched along the edge to close it up good. I actually really like how it looks, but that also means there is a nice line on the underside of the fabric now, too. Doesn't bother me, but it might bother others! So learn from my mistake! :)
Next it is time for the handles. I measured two strips of each of my fabrics 4" x 9". I did one fabric for the top and one for the bottom, although you could just use one fabric for all of the strips.
Either way, pin your right sides together and sew along the edge, again with a 1/4" hem. Leave a small opening to pull your fabric through.
Pull it through, and then top stitch all along the edges.
Now it's the fun part: sewing the velcro on! I had serious anxiety about this, because it's such a small area! Luckily I used a black fabric on the part that would show more, so you can't see my messy sewing! It actually didn't turn out too badly.
I saw this trick online for finding where to place your handles. (Of course, if you have your carrier, you can just use that to measure!) You want to fold your tent in half, then in half again. You measure up three inches from the middle corner and put a pin on each side. Can you see that in the picture?
Unfold your tent, and pin your handles on where you just barely pinned.
Sew the handles on. (Don't look too closely at my sewing again!)
Now you are done!
Or not, if you're like me. I made up a couple of flowers using this tutorial for my handles. I was going to sew them on, but decided to put them on pins so that I could take them on and off of the handles when I needed to wash the tent.
Then my friend had the great idea to make another flower pin that you could use to pin back the tent if your baby was just hanging out in the car seat and wanted to see or if you wanted to keep an eye on him/her. For now, it's just pinned on the front for decoration.
Done! I have to say, I am quite satisfied with how it turned out! I should say, that there was ironing involved whenever I pulled anything through. It just helps makes the seams nicer!