Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New life for an old chair

For about 6 months, we have had dueling highchairs in our kitchen.

One of them is a really nice Graco seat, but Jakson thrashed the cover and it had to be thrown away and the other is a garage sale purchase we bought to replace the Graco seat. Unfortunately, we got it home and used it a few times only to decide it wasn't as sturdy as we need since our child is rough (an understatement) on things.

BUT, I kept it around because I wanted to use the cover from the second one as a pattern to make a replacement cover for the first (you following me here?). One month passed, then two months-now six months later, I'm finally getting around to this project. I think I was putting it off because it's a little daunting and I was kind of afraid that the end result would suck, the whole thing would be a waste of time and money, etc. etc.

I completed the new fancy cover last night and I am pretty happy with the results. It's definitely going to make my kitchen a lot more "happy"!! And it's wipeable!!



So I didn't write a detailed tutorial for this one because it's hard to give accurate measurements since all highchairs are different, but here are the basic steps in case you want to make your own...

--Oil cloth (because it's wipeable)--you can find this all over the internet, but I bought mine here.
--quilt binding (bias tape)---I used the extra wide because I'd never done this before, but I think I'd use something a little skinnier if I were to do the project again
--denim needles---DO NOT try and use regular "all purpose" sewing needles-they will break!! Take it from me, I made that mistake.
--Tips and tricks from the experts--you may want to read a little bit about oilcloth if this is your first time sewing with it. I found some helpful advice on Sew Mama Sew!
--Foam--you can decide on the thickness you want, but I used the skinniest foam Joanns' had (I believe it was 1/2" thick?)

General instructions:

  1. Lay your original high chair cover on butcher paper and trace in two parts. Trace the seat as a separate piece and the back as a separate piece. You don't need to include a seam allowance when you trace.
  2. Lay the pattern pieces down on your oilcloth and cut two of each pattern piece (two backs and two seats)
  3. Cut one piece of foam for the back, making it about 1/2 inch smaller all the way around (this way you are not forcing your sewing machine to stitch through the binding, two layers of oilcloth AND the foam!) and one piece of foam for the seat (same thing, smaller all the way around). Use your original seat cover as a guide for the foam. For example, on mine the flaps where the child's legs stick out of the high chair didn't have any foam in them, so I cut that part off of the foam piece
  4. Lay out your stacked layers on the floor---oilcloth, foam, oilcloth. Cut off any excess you see (or where they don't match up quite right)
  5. Pin the bias tape to your layers. I did a section at a time, leaving the top of the seat and the bottom of the back piece raw. You will be sewing these two parts together later.
  6. Use a zig zag stitch (very forgiving in case straight lines are not your forte) to sew close to the inside edges of the bias tape.
  7. Sew the bias tape all around the back and seat pieces (leaving the aforementioned edges alone-hopefully this part makes sense as I don't have a picture of it).
  8. Once the bias tape is sewn on, you only have one seam left!! Put right sides together (the right sides are the sides that you want to show when the cover is in the high chair). Match up the seat and back piece along the raw edges and use a straight stitch to make a seam.
  9. Voila! Completely unique and custom high chair cover!!

Let me know if you have any questions!! I'll answer them as best as I can!


Mandi said...

Oh, Bethany, I love it!!!

Florence said...

great idea,,,,,and so cherry to,,,

lindsay said...

You are amazing.

Adam and Melissa said...

That is awesome! I do not have enough patience to try and create something like that with no pattern! Love the cherries :)

Sarah said...

Such a cute seat cover! I love how bright and cheery it is!

Anonymous said...
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sweetfunkyvintage said...

Such a great thing! Well done!

Elizabeth said...

Wow, fabulous! I'm bookmarkin' this one. Thanks very much.

Dana said...

I'm wondering how your high chair cover stays attached at the top, did you attach ties/velcro? Or is the foam stiff enough to help the top part stay upright when the chair isnt in use?

Great tutorial btw,thx :)

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