Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tied with a Bow Carseat Canopy

(This post was originally shared on The Ribbon Retreat Blog)

When I saw this Fly a Kite fabric by Riley Blake, I fell in love and totally envisioned a darling carseat canopy...

 So I got to working and here is what I came up with. 

I know carseat canopies have gone around the block or two in blogland, but I decided to throw in a little of my own flair and added the bows up top for a little girly vibe. 

But- never fear... if you are making this darling little carseat accessory for the little boys in your life, leave the bows off and add a cute button... How darling would a jumbo fabric covered button be?? You could even leave it plain... either way would be so cute! 

1 yard main fabric (I used pink ice cream)
1 yard coordinating fabric (I used the cream main)
2 fat quarters- one for the straps and one for the bows (I used pink ice cream for the straps and brown damask for the bows)- if you aren't making the bows to go on top, you will only need one fat quarter.
4 1/2 yard jumbo ric rac (I used brown)
two 3 inch strips of velcro

To start, iron both yards of your fabric.

1: Put your fabric right sides together and make sure they are exactly the same size. Once they are all lined up, use a plate and rotary cutter and round off all 4 edges of the fabric. (be sure that your fabrics are totally smooth so that when you are cutting everything turns out the same size)

2.Sandwich your jumbo ric rac in between the two layers of fabric and pin it around the edges. 

3. Once your ric rac is all pinned in place, take it over to your sewing machine and sew using 1/4 inch inseam. 

4. Be sure to leave a 4-6 inch opening to turn the fabric right side out.

Turn it right side out and press so that your edges are nice and crisp. Be sure to push out the corners all the way so they are nice and round. Put the edges of the un-stitched place inside and press the seam nice and straight. Now you are going to top stitch all the way around as close as you can to the edge. (I moved my needle all the way to the right for this part.) 

Ok... you are done sewing the main part. Set this aside so we can make the straps.

To make the straps you will need one of the fat quarters. Cut two strips that are 8.5x10 inches.

1. Pin both pieces so they are folded in half right sides together. You will have two pieces that are approx 4x10 inches.

2. Sew around the edges of both pieces but be sure to leave an opening to turn them right side out. 

3. Turn each strap right side out and press the corners out really well. Press with your iron to make things nice and crisp looking. Top stitch around each strap.

4. Sew your velcro on. I did this by folding the straps in thirds (actually not quite thirds- refer to picture above to see how mine were folded) and figure out where the straps are going to overlap and pin velcro in the appropriate places.

Ok... now you are ready to sew your straps to the main piece. If you have the carseat you plan on using the canopy with, customize exactly where you want the straps to be placed on the main part and also how far apart you want them to be placed. Or you can follow my measurements below.

I placed my straps approx. 20 inches up from the bottom of the canopy and then 11 inches in from the sides. So they were just slightly off centered as far as the length goes. (longer part in the front)

I pinned my straps in place and sewed a 3x3 inch box in the middle of the strap. When you are pinning your strap in place, fold it up and figure out where the 3x3 inch area is that lays on the canopy- place your pins there to mark where you need to sew. 

Ok... you are done with the main canopy part! If you aren't going to add the bows then you are all done. If you are adding the bows, follow the steps below.

To make the bows for the straps, take your other fat quarter and cut two pieces that are 9x11 inches. Next cut two pieces that are 2x3 inches.

1. Fold and press your 9x12 inch strips in thirds. You should have two strips that are 3x11 inches.

2. Fold the end in to the middle. 

3. Fold the other end to the middle so it overlaps the first end by 1/4 inch. 

4. Stitch one line down the middle to hold the folded ends in place.

(do step 2-4 on the other strap and then set these pieces aside)

1. Take both pieces of fabric that are 2x3 inches. Fold and press the edges towards the middle so that you have 2 strips that are 1x3 inches. Top stitch on each edge to hold the folded edge in place. 

2. Fold the strap so that it is right sides together and sew along the end to create a tube. Turn tube right side out.

3. Take one of the pieces that you made in the previous steps and fold it like an accordion to feed it through the tube. The picture above is what you will want the bow to look like when you have fed it through- so fold accordingly.

4. Feed through the tube. This will be extremely tight! Don't get discouraged... just wiggle that fabric through. It will look pretty rough once it is fed through, but it is easily remedied.

(do step 2-4 for the other bow)

Once your have fed both through the tubes, fluff and wiggle your bows to make them look nice. 

Now you are ready to put them onto your straps. You can hand sew them in place... or if you are in a huge hurry like I was, you can just hot glue them in place. Just put a dot under the bottom of the tube and then place it on the top of the strap to hold it in place. Take care to not have your glue gushing out from under the bow or it will look sloppy.

That's it- all done!! Yahoo! Ready for your little baby or a cute shower gift!

I gave mine to a close friend for her baby shower. I just folded it up and tied it with some cute ribbon I had laying around the house! It was a hit- she loved it!


  1. This turned out so cute. I LOVE that fabric. I've got a whole bolt of it part of which I think will be a new comforter for me


  2. This is so adorable a small part of me wants to have another one just for cute crafts like this again.

  3. I´ve just discovered your blog, and I love it!. I´m a quilter/crafter at night, too.
    This is my blog: Regards from Spain.

  4. I must have missed it. What size did you cut the larger pieces?

    1. Hey Alice... The large pieces are one yard each. You don't need to cut them at all unless you need to square them up to be the exact same size. Does that make sense? You just iron them and put them right sides together and trim off any excess before pining the rick rack to it.

  5. Seriously one of the cutest things I've ever seen! I am a new follower and found you through Cherished Bliss!

  6. Great work Ashley, I loved how the the hair bow complemented the design of the car seat. It's sooo cute!

  7. Wow, it's absolutely beautiful. You have some mad sewing skills!


  8. SO cute, Ashley!! Love Love it!! :) All of my friends will start having babies soon, I'm sure and I can't wait to use your tutorial!

  9. I LOVE your blog- I have stumbled upon it through Pinterest and particularly love this project. I've written about it on my bllog and hope to have a go at it soon. I too have 2 girls and am expecting a boy in May so your site is wonderful inspiration and motivation for me.
    Thankyou for sharing you excellent projects.

  10. So you get a piece that's about 35" x 43". Which side did you measure 20"up from?

    1. If you look at the picture for this step you can get an idea of where to measure. I doesn't matter which side as long as you measure from the same side for each strap so they are aligned correctly... Des that make sense?

    2. If you can't tell in the picture, it is measured up from one of the 35" sides or the narrower side.

  11. This will be my first sewing project for our baby! What carseat did you use? I will be using a Graco 35 and that may be a little bigger?

  12. What size did your canopy end up being?


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I honestly love reading every single one! If you have a question you would like answered- be sure to include your email so that I can get back to you!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!
xoxo, Ashley