Thursday, February 05, 2015

Taking Flight -- Car Seat Canopy, Diaper Clutch, & Accessories

With the baby's due date looming, I decided it was finally time to unpack our car seat. I purchased it several months ago because I found a fabulous deal, but left it in the box in case a better deal popped up between then and now. Apparently I can't beat that price, so I finally gratified my nesting instincts and pulled it out! I was excited to find that adding a set of straps with a buckle makes it work with the Graco adapter that came with our Bugaboo Bee. 

After that came the matter of making a car seat canopy with some of my Flight Knit in Mineral from Birch Organic Fabrics. I've never had a "real" canopy, having always used a blanket or my nursing poncho. But I really liked the idea of a canopy that would stay put, would be the right size (no corners dipping into puddles!), and wouldn't interfere with the car seat handle.

I looked up a few tutorials, but ended up pretty much winging it. I wanted a canopy with a placket that opens in the front (easier to check on baby without lifting up the whole canopy), and I was also working with a knit fabric instead of the traditional quilting cotton. 




Due to the shape of the car seat handle, I placed the canopy straps at a slight angle. It was quite helpful having the actual car seat present during the construction process! 




I didn't end up lining the canopy, because I wanted to keep it breathable -- the knit I was using is quite sturdy, so I'm not worried about it stretching out or being too thin. I think I'm going to really like having it open in the front. For the hem, I started with simply rounding the edges. But a test run proved that the corners were still too long, so I ended up marking the hem with pins. After smoothing out the shape I cut the excess from the corners and stitched a double-fold hem. 




Some silver gray KAM snaps secure the straps to the handle...




And I still had some knit left over for a few other accessories! I didn't have scratch mittens with my first two, and always regretted it. Hopefully my self-drafted design will work. An extra strip of knit turned into a toy tether, just because. The hat is made with  Zaaberry's knotted baby hat pattern, and the bib is made from Purl Soho's bib pattern (scroll down to find the link to the PDF). For the bib, I rounded the back edges and elongated the pattern slightly.




The reverse of the bib is the same grey linen I used to line my stroller canopy -- this is meant as a "drool bib," so I'm not super concerned about absorbency. Another KAM snap serves as the closure!




With a little Flight canvas to spare, I also made up a little diaper clutch. My diaper supplies usually end up spilling into my purse, making changes a pain! I looked at a few ideas and came up with a simple design. 




I was sure to include a wrist strap with a snap, to make changes on the go simpler. That, and I love using those little KAM snaps whenever and wherever I can! *wink*




My homemade Baby K'tan (or "X-back baby carrier") is complete and ready for a tiny occupant -- no pictures yet, as it's remarkably unimpressive when not actually being used. As our house begins moving towards a state of moving chaos, it's been quite soothing to prepare things for our little one (who is feeling not-so-little any more!). 

And for those of you who might be wondering, we found out that we'll be stationed in Virginia for most of the year, and then we'll be heading to the tiny island of Guam! It should be quite an adventure! Soon I hope to share a few pictures and tidbits from our recent doings; it's been an eventful few weeks, to say the least.

Here's hoping you're having a simply lovely day!

15 comments:

  1. I love seeing what you make! Your little one is going to have an adorable ensemble. And how exciting that you'll be going to Guam. What adventures await!

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    1. Thank you, Hannah! I've never had "coordinating" baby things before, so it's fun to have a matching set this time. :-) And we're thoroughly excited about Guam!

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  2. Wow, it looks great Shannon - and probably nicer than anything you could buy in the shops! Guam, wow - how long will you be there for? That will be a huge adventure!

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    1. Rachel,

      Thank you for your kind words! I do really enjoy getting *exactly* what I want (style, color, design, etc.), and usually for less than what it would cost to buy. Though in this case I did splurge a bit on my fabric!

      We'll be in Guam for several years, perhaps 3 or 4? No winter clothes for us in the foreseeable future! :-)

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  3. My cousin and family are on Guam! Navy :) And I love VA.

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    1. How funny that your cousin is stationed on Guam! I'm surprised by how many people I know that have been there at some point. I'm looking forward to our stint in VA, too -- especially after living in FL for 15 years!

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  4. Beautiful! I love that material - it looks like a chambray, almost! You're so crafty! I would be afraid to tackle something like this on my own! :) God bless!
    Elizabeth.

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    1. It was a bit nerve-wracking, I must admit -- not all of my experiments are successful, so I'm grateful it turned out! :-) Thank you for your kind words!

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  5. Shannon, everything looks great! I never really had any "matching set" baby things with my first three, either. If God gives us more children, I want to update and refresh my accessories, too -- and get a real, actual diaper bag! :)

    Congrats on the upcoming move! Haven't you lived in VA before? My dad's parents were stationed on Guam for a time in the 50s; his older "Irish twin" brother was born there, and my grandma flew home to the States, by herself, when she was six months pregnant with my dad and holding a nine-month-old! My grandpa's time on Guam was slated to be up soon after my dad was born, so rather than moving with a newborn, she decided to move home early and have him at home, near family, probably what I would have done, myself. :) Anyway, I've seen photos and heard stories of the island and I'm sure it will be a beautiful adventure for you!

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    1. Laura,

      Matching accessories are one of those totally unnecessary but quite enjoyable things! :-) And fortunately, as a seamstress it's easy to use up scraps for all of the extras. I splurged on a messenger style diaper bag with Rosa, and I love it -- I haven't used it in a while because all I need is a diaper clutch in my purse, but I'll be using it again when this little one comes.

      I did live in VA when I was a baby/toddler (my dad was stationed there!), and my parents and sister were actually stationed on Guam before I was born. It's one of the only duty stations I "missed," so it's quite ironic to me that I'll get to see it after all. :-) I can imagine that traveling home early was a much better alternative to traveling with a newborn and a 1-year-old, especially in the 50's! I'm actually really grateful we'll be moving to VA first, because our baby's due date is the same day as Pablo's "report no later than" date. I'll be more ready to undertake an island adventure with a six or seven month old than with a newborn! :-)

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  6. Love, love, love these!!! That fabric is gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you! :-)

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  7. You carseat canopy is absolutely gorgeous! Could you please tell me how to make that tidy placket on the front? I need some direction with that part for sure. It really makes your canopy look very professional. Thank you in advance on any help you can provide, and for sharing your project.

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    1. Priscilla,

      Sure! I'd be happy to help -- though I warn you, I'm not very good at explaining. :-)

      I was using a knit fabric, so I didn't have to worry about fraying edges. I made two placket pieces (each one was just a strip the right length, folded in half). Then I cut up the center of the canopy, making a small "Y" shape at the top. I stitched a placket piece right sides together to each of the long sides of the slit (about 1/2" seam allowance?), leaving just the "V" tab at the top. Then I folded those seams under, so that the placket pieces would overlap. Some top-stitching around the edge and a few snaps later... voila! Again, I didn't have to worry about a lining because of the knit. I trimmed up the inside to make it look tidy, and that was all.

      Hope that helps! If you any more questions, please let me know!

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  8. Thank you so much Shannon. Your additional explanation of the placket really helped me be successful. It looks great!

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