Car Seat Canopy Tutorial with Peek-a-Boo Window

So I adore all the trendy moms out there with all their matchy-matchy stuff but I cannot afford it. I decided to just make something myself. I first started with a diaper bag that wasnt wide enough so I sold it. I explained that I was going to make a matching car seat cover, and she ordered that too.

After posting it on BBC the Crafty Sewing Mama group, a few people asked for a tutorial. So hang on to your britches and enjoy the ride. IDK if I used too many pictures or not enough. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Fabric and Notions

1 1/3 yard of main fabric
1 1/3 yard of coordinating fabric
4 in of 1' velcro
coordinating thread
fabric pen

**1/2 in seam allowance unless otherwise stated**

First start with your fabric choices. 2 coordinating fabrics are great. I was going to use that fabric with the circles and butterflies but in the end went without.


Here I ripped my fabric into sections because I like to spice it up a little. So I have a large 22in x 36in and 2 smaller pieces at 11in x 36in. The remainder piece I will use for the window binding and straps to attach to the handle.

You want your outer and inner fabric pieces to be approximately 42in x 35in. I had to piece it together A LOT because Joann's cut my green fabric all wonky!! SO I used a white sheet to make it all the right size. Make sure to iron your seams flat before proceeding.

Place your fabrics right facing inward and using a large plate or bowl, cut out the corners. This will keep the canopy from dragging on the ground after you are finished. :D

I pinned my fabrics together because I am unable to sew large pieces of fabric together without it shifting all over the place. Sew with a 1/2 seam allowance all the way around leaving a 7in hole in one side to turn it right side out.

Press the body with a warm iron before topstitching. Turn in the hole and press it. The topstitching will close this hole up. I use a 1/4in seam here. Put the body aside.

Using the remaining fabric you want to make 3in x 9in wide straps. I used 2 of the fabrics for this. The accent color was only 2.5in wide and then the other fabric was 4.5in. Sew the accent to the main piece right sides facing, then repeat on the other side of the main piece.  You will get something that looks like this:

Turn it right side out. Iron the strap centering the accent piece and tucking under each end.
Topstitch to close up the ends (and for a more professional look)

Sew a 2in x1in strip of velcro to the strap. The hook on the outer side and the loop to the inner side.

Next get your body piece that you set aside earlier and fold it in half the long way pressing the crease, then fold in half the other way. Again press the crease. Now measure in 3.5 in from the center (where the two folds meet) on the short side. So you should be placing the strap on the side that is only 18in wide (not 21in long).
Make sure to crease the straps to match the folds. Place the edge of the strap 3 1/2in from the center mark and pin the center fold of the strap to the fold of the main body. Pin the strap to the body before moving to the sewing machine.

Sew a small rectangle to attach the straps to the canopy.

if you don't want to put in the window.

Part 1 Cutting out Window
1. Using the fold for the long side, cut out the window. I used a piece of paper and folded it until it was 3.5in x 7in. Place the 7in side on the fold and about 1in down from the bottom of the straps, then trace it onto the main body.

2. Only cut three sides of the window out to make a flap.

Part 2 of Window -- Making the Binding
Now because there is raw edges from cutting the window out, we need to cover this up with binding. Since we aren't making any curves you don't have to cut on the bias. I just use a strip from between 1-2in x 30in. This will cover the main body edges first.
1. Fold and iron the strip in half to make a crease. Open up the fold  and bring up in side to the center, ironing as you go.
2. Then fold in and iron down the other half.

3. Lastly fold in half and iron. Make sure to fold in one raw edge and iron flat.

REPEAT this for the flap binding too. Use at least a 4in x 30in strip. I used 5 1/5 inches this time.

Part 3 Pinning the Binding to the Window
This is a little tricky and calls for some patience and TONS of pins. I always miss the binding on the underside so I have learned to use a bunch of pins to keep my fabric in place. I do remove them as I sew because it can cause the fabric to pucker.
1.  With the folded edge of the smaller binding   first, place it right into the corner of the flap/window that you cut out of the main body. Pin along the way.
2. The corner is a little tricky. I pinch the corner and push the fabric into the corner.
3. Then I start to feed the binding back up the other side while holding the corner tucked under. PIN it in place and finish up the binding.
4. When you get to the other corner of the flap, remove all the excess while leaving a 1/2in to fold under the raw edge. PIN in place again.
5. Lastly, topstitch the binding into place and your finished window should look like this:

Part 4 Pinning the Binding to the Flap

1. Repeat steps 1 thru 4 of Binding the Window.
2. Top stitch only around the flap of the window as shown in the picture.

 3. Place the binding from the flap to the main body making sure to cover the binding from the window. Topstitch this in place. This will help keep the flap from falling into the canopy.
4. Lastly, I like to topstitch down the turns in the corners. I did this to keep them from flapping or collecting dirt or dust. This is what it should look like completed.
NOTE: You can add the applique if you want. Do this before binding the flap.

Now just add some sort of closure to the window because, otherwise, it will just swing when put over a car seat. I will add some plastic snaps when I can find the little baggy of them :( Here is the car seat canopy on my own car seat. I hope she loves it as much as I do.


Diana said...

Wow cat this tut is really awesome! i wish haylee was stil in an infant carrier. but im thinking i will make a boy one for my friend that is expecting. Can i link this on FB for a few friends?


Kat's Out o'the Bag said...

Sure thing.. Yeah Braden is still in the seat but its getting a little more difficult to lug around. Share it away!! Glad you liked it. :D

shantel said...

Very good tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

Kat's Out o'the Bag said...

Thanks Shantel. A few ladies wanted a tutorial so I tried. ;)

LinLos said...

Hi Kat! I followed your tutorial and it turned out great. Thanks!

Kat's Out o'the Bag said...

That's great! So glad it was useful.