Friday, May 17, 2013

No Sew Carseat Poncho

One of the most stressful things that parents have to deal with is car seat safety. You have to make sure that your seat is installed correctly, that your child is strapped in correctly, and there are reminders all over about what happens if you don't follow the recommendations and you're in an accident. We all want our kids to be safe, but are you absolutely sure that you're as safe as possible?

When we lived in Michigan, we didn't have children yet, but had planned on it. Michigan has cold winters (and cold springs and cold falls). We were eager to move south and thought we'd be safe from worrying about cold weather. 

While we lived in North Carolina, four years to be precise, we had exactly five days with snow. That's it. However, just because there isn't snow doesn't mean that it's not cold. Quite the contrary, it can be nippy in North Carolina!!

We moved to Georgia and while it's a teeny bit warmer here, we still have cold weather and even some "snow" (I don't call it real snow because it's just flurries). All that cold weather can be tough on a toddler!!

Hugh was born in December of 2012 and while in NC with him, we were able to get a cold weather cover for his car seat. It was perfect because it kept him warm, dry, and protected him from wind. He's no longer in that seat, so now we strap him in and put a blanket around him.

I don't remember when I first saw a car seat poncho, but when I saw it for the first time I thought it was genius. And I immediately wanted one. So I went on Etsy and priced them. The cheapest I found was $35 plus $7 shipping, so $42. I would need two... so that's $80 give or take, for a blanket with a hole for the head.

My SIL told me about a friend of hers who sells them... and her's were $72 EACH!!! My mom said she'd help me make one for each of the boys, and so I was looking online for a pattern.

What I found was a website that gives a step-by-step description for a no-sew poncho. PERFECT!!! I can't sew!!!

I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and picked up some fabric to make Gus and Hugh a poncho to wear while we drive around. Even in the summer, with the air on, Gus likes to snuggle and I like to keep Hugh covered so he doesn't get too cold.

I picked a cute sock monkey print for Hugh and some red minky for the back. For Gus, I found a cute robot print and got some orange minky for the back.

First off, I got 1 yard of each. While the website I followed said to cut it into a 36x36 square, I wanted it as long as possible, so I didn't cut mine.
I then folded it in half:

Then I cut a small half circle for the head (you only need a 1/2 circle because the blanket is in 1/2 and when you open it, it'll be a full circle for the head to fit through).

Then you fold the opening over and cut slits (small ones) around the outside of the hole (this is for putting ribbon or fabric around the neck)

After this step, you open up the whole blanket again. I didn't do this on the first poncho and I was thoroughly confused. LOL. Open it up and then start cutting 2 inch slits:

You'll be tying each of the pieces together (it's a LONG process).

Here's the finished product on Gus:

He LOVES it!!

Here's Hugh's car seat poncho:

I got my fabric from Hobby Lobby and it was 40% off. The minky pieces were $10 each and the fleece were $8 each. So I spent $18 per car seat poncho, which isn't bad at all!! I got to pick what I wanted and I knew that each of my boys will appreciate that I made these for them. 

Trust me, I am NOT a sewer. If I can make this, so can you!!! It's better than putting your child into a car seat while wearing a jacket/coat, and it's cute.

I'm quite pleased with myself.


TTABaby said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

We put Baby Girls coat on (unzipped), strap her into the car seat, then zip up the coat (if needed). In New England it is below zero and it wasn't OK for me to bring her out to the car, take off her coat, strap her in, and then cover her up. I finally started to do the coat zipped up over the straps and then after found this article that said it was ok :) DH works at a police department so they are all very particular about carseat safety (which I am as well) BUT I also dont think its OK to take a kid out to the car without a coat! I like your solution as well :)

Mandie Mae said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you for this! Everyone will be getting one of these for Christmas this year!

Carseatsafety said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Anything that comes between your child and the straps other than typical clothing is not ok. This means either between the child's back and the seat or between the child's belly and the straps. Thus, putting on a puffy coat and zipping it over the straps is not ok as it comes between the child and the back of the seat seat and shoulder straps straps. This will only work IF: you test it by putting the coat in question on the child, buckling them into their car seat and adjusting the straps to pass the pinch test. Then remove the child from the seat WITHOUT loosening the straps. Take the coat off the child and put the child back into the seat WITHOUT re-tightening the straps. If the straps no longer pass the pinch test in normal clothing, the coat in question is NOT ok to use with the seat. If the straps do in fact still pass the pinch test you are golden. Up in Canada where I am, we deal with -45 Celsius by putting a nice warm thin fleece under our jackets, wearing our jackets out to the pre heated car, then shedding the jackets to ride in the car seats. Blankets are always on hand if needed! (Source : CPST)

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