Sunday, November 15, 2009

airport car seat bag

Are you traveling out of town for the upcoming holidays? If so and you have young kids, you may be dreading the crazy circus act of juggling all the luggage, kids and car seats. You know what we are talking about...the car seats strategically balanced on your wheeled luggage so you can still carry your sweetie. We've been there and have held our breathes as we maneuver through the crowds praying that someone doesn't bump our car seat/luggage creation and send it all tumbling down.

Well, here's a short tutorial for a car seat bag you can use to help carry that seat around the airport.

Car Seat Bag Tutorial

*Fabric-you are going to need quite a bit so dig through your stash or hit up the clearance rack at the local fabric store
*Belting-about 20 to 25 inches
*Ribbon or rope
*Chalk or pencil
*Sewing machine or serger

I apologize I don't have any pictures of this first step. I really thought I did, but when I went back to look it was gone. So, try to imagine a beautiful picture here.

Step One:
Place your carseat on the base fabric. Using pencil or chalk trace a rectangle outline of the base. Give yourself one to one and half inches extra. If you don't have chalk or pencil, you can just eyeball it. This will be the base of your bag.

Step Two:
Round off your base rectangles corners.

Step Three:
Using a tape measure, measure around your base. If you have a serger and plan on serging all raw edges, then add one inch to this measurement. If you do not have a serger and you are going to sew hems instead then add two inches. This will be how long you need your side fabric to be. Measure your carseat's height and add 5 inches. This is how tall you need the fabric to be. If you want to do contrasting fabric like I did then just figure out how much of each you want. Sewn all together it should still be the height of your car seat plus five inches.

Step Four:
If you have contrasting fabric, sew them together. (Please ignore my casing here in this picture. I determined, after having made this that it is easier to do the casing later.) If you don't have contrasting fabric you can skip to Step Five.

Step Five:
Add embellishments if you like. I just added a simple ribbon.

Step Six:
Once you have your embellishments and your fabric all sewn together, you can serge the sides or fold in twice 1/4 of an inche for a total of 1/2 an inch on both sides and sew to make a nice hem.

Step Seven:
You should have one very large piece of fabric with either serged edges or nice hems. Now it is time to make the top casing. This casing will be for the ribbon or rope so you can easily draw the bag close. Fold the top down and sew.

(Again, please ignore that this piece was done seperately. When you do this you should have one big piece all sewn together)

Step Eight:
Sew the short sides of side fabric together to make a tube. Be careful not to sew your casing shut. I would start sewing about 5 inches down from the top of the casing.

Step Nine:
Now take this tube and pin it to the base fabric with the right sides together.

If for any reason you have too much side fabric, then fix this problem by pleating the corners. These little pleats or gathers should help. Sew the side of the bag to the base.

Step Ten:
Turn your bag right side out. Prepare your belting by either putting fray check on the ends or burning the edges slightly with a match to prevent fraying. Next sew it to the bag. I chose to sew it on the seam.

Step Eleven:
Using a safety pin attached to your rope or ribbon, thread the rope or ribbon through the casing.

That's it! Put your car seat inside and cinch the top. You're now ready for an almost stress-free trip to the airport!

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15 Responses to “airport car seat bag”

Paxton said...

What a great idea! Thanks! I definitely could have used this a couple months ago at the airport!

Anonymous said...

Great idea! We bought a few of the commercially made versions for traveling.
My only suggestion would be a detachable strap as straps sometimes get caught on the luggage carousel.

Sunny said...

This is so clever! Not being a mom, I haven't seen this before.

The Peterson Family said...

How have I not seem something like this before. I considered keeping the plastic case when we bought the carseat - but I didn't. And I'm glad - I like the idea of making one myself SO much better. Totally making one for Christmas traveling. Oh and one for the booster seat that ALWAYS comes apart and those stingy airlines won't give you plastic bags anymore.


Beth- the mama bee said...

too clever. We flew 9 times in the past 2 years and our poor car seats show it. sometimes airports have plastic bags, but other times they don't.

Amy Eileen said...

This is a FANTASTIC idea!

Leonie said...

Great Idea. I will definately make one. I am travelling with my three children alone in less than 3 weeks and although I am glad we are finally down to only one carseat - it needs a cover!!! said...

Whoa... This is SUCH a great idea! I've never seen one before, genius. Thanks so much for this, I'll be linking.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this tutorial! We are flying across the country next week and this will be fantastic! I was beginning to stress about what I was going to cover our brand new Britax with! Thank you, thank you!

April JoAnne said...

What an awesome idea! I 'm so glad I found this blog!

Just wondering, what type of fabric did you use? The fabrics I've seen in stores seems pretty thin and I don't know if it would be durable enough. Do I need to use a stabilizer? Tips are appreciated, thanks!

April said...

this is fantastic. We flew to Europe when my son was 10 mos. We needed the seat for the rental car but not for the plane. We bought an Eddie Bauer car seat bag at Target. It was great in that it was durable AND we could stuff things like our bulkier clothes inside of it. But now I am planning a trip to Florida just my son and I and I need him to stay in the seat on the plane. This bag will be essential to me. I will be able to put the seat in it, lug it around the airport HANDS FREE and then when we get on the plane I can stuff the bag under my seat or up in the overhead. You can't do that with the retail bags, they just don't crunch down.

somethingtolearn said...

OK I just made one. I had the same idea but did a search to find one someone already made. I added a loop on the top and bottom and then used a clip on handle like the kind from laptop bags so I could remove it and toss inside. Also I used elastic cording for the top with one of those plastic friction stoppers! Awesome.. Now let's see how it goes through the airports!

Unknown said...

Thats very nice! :D

Clover Rover said...

Thank you! Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for! I need to make two of these for my 20 month old twins for a big trip to Grandma's in a couple weeks. Can you give me a rough estimate on how much fabric you used? I am a fairly new sewist and estimating fabric requirements is a skill I am still developing. Thanks again!

Brian & Bonnie said...

Very nice, but "quite a bit" of fabric isn't so helpful if going to buy the fabric. I have specific fabric in mind so a rough measurement (2 - 4 yds, more?), would have been helpful. It's cool and helpful, anyway. Thanks for positing this.

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