I recently received a request for a car seat canopy for a baby carrier. I had never made one, but I did some looking around and figured I could probably handle it. It’s like a lightweight baby blanket with straps, right? Pretty much!
They wanted shark fabric. That was the tricky part. Ultimately I ended up looking online for the cutest shark fabrics I could find, and I sent them all to the customer for her to choose from. The print at your left (I call it Sharknado) is what she decided on. I went with a solid blue flannel for the back of the canopy so that it could in fact double as a lightweight blanket or play mat.
I found this fantastically easy tutorial at A Little Time, A Little Miracle – truly a great tutorial, AND I received the best sewing tip EVER while I was reading and sewing along! I didn’t follow the tutorial to the letter, I did end up doing my own thing on the straps, but it turned out quite lovely and I was very happy with the results.
My modified version —
- 1 Yard top fabric
- 1 Yard bottom fabric (something soft)
- Coordinating Thread
Very simply – cut the fabric pieces to 33×42 (save the scrap strips – those will be your straps!). Place them right side facing and fold in half, and then in half again so the corners are all together. Use whatever you have on hand that is round to trace and cut the corners so they are rounded. The original post uses a plate, but as I was too lazy to go downstairs, I used the bottom of my trash can. 😀
Unfold and pin your heart out…
Now sew the two pieces together, all around the outside (I used about a 1/4″ allowance), and leave a gap about 4-5″ for turning.
Now here’s the super special sewing tip that I can’t thank A Little Time, A Little Miracle for — instead of clipping the corners as you normally would with your scissors, one annoying little cut at a time, USE YOUR PINKING SHEARS! I mean, DUH!
Turn your canopy right side out, flatten and press neatly, folding the gap edges under so that they seal nicely when you top stitch all the way around the outside. Do that next – top stitch alllll the way around.
Now for the straps, take your extra strip of top fabric and make two equal sized pieces – mine were 4×14″. Just like bias tape, fold the outsides (lengthwise) in toward the center (easier if you leave a gap in the very center) and press. Do the same to the two ends, folding them in about 1/2 and inch. Then fold in half lengthwise so there are no exposed edges – everything is folded in and you have a nice long strap that you can easily stitch lengthwise to close. Repeat for the second strap.
I followed the original tutorial to measure and place my straps 12″ from each side, 8″ apart from each other, and 17″ from the top of the canopy. To be clear, it took me a minute to figure out which was the top – it’s the shorter side of the canopy (the 33, not the 42).
I pinned the straps in place, and stitched a box at the center of each strap so that I really had two small straps on each side to tie together around the handle bar of the carrier.
And that’s it. Unfortunately my baby carrier is shrink wrapped in the garage so I wasn’t able to model it for you, but it really is cute. I failed to take many pictures while doing this too, so please DO go over to A Little Time, A Little Miracle and follow their awesome tutorial!