I made a car seat cover! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 11-21-2006, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to post some brag photos of some car seat covers that I just made!

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q...l/IMG_1089.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q...l/IMG_0860.jpg

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q...carseat022.jpg
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#2 of 30 Old 11-21-2006, 11:33 AM
 
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Those are sooo cute! and probably MUCH easier to remove for cleaning!!! were they hard to make?
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#3 of 30 Old 11-21-2006, 12:45 PM
 
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FYI it voids the carseat warrantees to put an aftermarket cover on the seat.

-Angela
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#4 of 30 Old 11-21-2006, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't remove the original car seat cover I just placed this one over it to protect the seat for easier cleaning etc... plus to make it a little bit cuter!
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#5 of 30 Old 11-21-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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Doesn't matter. You've added an aftermarket product.

-Angela
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#6 of 30 Old 11-21-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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well i think it's adorable!

Jill, mama to three fiery girlies and a sweet baby boy: Grace, 11.30.2005,  Ayla, 3.22.2008, Norah 9.5.09, Reed 8.19.11 & dfs Gage 2.29.12   angel1.gif x4
 

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#7 of 30 Old 11-22-2006, 02:05 PM
 
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Alegna, ??? not being snarky, I just want to understand. How would it make a difference? I mean (and not to be decietful...) how would the company even know, if you had to return for a warranty covered problem? It sounds like it is a removable cover that pops on and off. All the OP would do is remove it. ???

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#8 of 30 Old 11-22-2006, 03:37 PM
 
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It would depend on the situation. I'm just sharing the information that adding anything aftermarket like that to a car seat is a big no no.

-Angela
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#9 of 30 Old 11-22-2006, 04:45 PM
 
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hmm i see your point angela. I have plans on making one, but i think i'll call the carseat manufacturer first and see what they say. Does aftermarket include those seatbelt covers?

And i think that they would know if you were in an accident, and something failed. They couldn't be held accountable, etc.

Jill, mama to three fiery girlies and a sweet baby boy: Grace, 11.30.2005,  Ayla, 3.22.2008, Norah 9.5.09, Reed 8.19.11 & dfs Gage 2.29.12   angel1.gif x4
 

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#10 of 30 Old 11-29-2006, 03:36 PM
 
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Sorry for butting in--I'm not a normal part of the crafts forum, but was lurking and I know the answer to the question. The issue is that any aftermarket products alter the seating of the straps, how far away from the plastic frame of the seat the baby sits, etc. The testing that is done on any seat is done with that seat EXACTLY as shipped, with (or without) strap covers, etc. The big problem with aftermarket covers is that they are typically a different thickness or softness than the original cover. That means that in a crash, the new cover will compress and shift in a different way than would have happened with the original cover. This could theoretically place the child in danger. The worst-case scenario is an aftermarket cover that's very soft and puffy (which is often exactly what parents want). The parents put the baby in the seat, often in a nice soft puffy snowsuit or coat, and in order to fit everything in they have to loosen the straps. They tighten the straps enough to look and feel correct, but in a crash the soft cover and the soft coat compress, making the straps suddenly very loose. The child can experience much higher crash effects or even "squirt" right out of the straps in that (extreme, but possible) situation.

Knowing the physics of it, I think the least dangerous but still cute cover would be one with NO padding, just the thickness of a bedsheet or something. However, car seat experts have a blanket non-recommendation of ANY aftermarket products (including sheepskin or padded strap covers, those little head stabilizers, any Bundle-Me-type "coats" that are any thicker than microfleece, etc). For the same reason, they strongly recommend against puffy or padded coats or jackets.
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#11 of 30 Old 12-02-2006, 07:02 AM
 
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Those are just awesome rbriansgirl! I have the exact same carseat and a burning desire to make some of my own - any tips?
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#12 of 30 Old 12-02-2006, 10:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
FYI it voids the carseat warrantees to put an aftermarket cover on the seat.

-Angela
That stung! Being someone who sews and crafts as well (I don't know if you do Alegna), I think it would have been better if you could have at least acknowledged the OP's hard work and excitement over a job well done (and you have to admit she did a great job) before posting the FYI and then maybe post a little something to make her feel better about (maybe) a wasted effort (and I'm not saying it's a wasted effort either). It never hurts to be compassionate.

Stay-at-home mom to 2 beautiful.busy.boisterous boys b. 08.17.05 & 12.29.08
Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#13 of 30 Old 12-02-2006, 03:36 PM
 
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those are wonderful!! i was thinking of making some.. did you use a pattern?
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#14 of 30 Old 12-04-2006, 03:03 PM
 
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those look great, i am curious as to what pattern you used, great job mama!
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#15 of 30 Old 12-05-2006, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Mamas! I didn't know about the warranty issue or I wouldn't have posted this. I no longer have a warranty on my car seat so not really an issue for me... I didn't use a pattern because I couldn't find any that were toddler sized, only infant. I did see tons of covers on sale on ebay made by WAHM that were ~$70-100. I did a lot of experimenting and made a lot of versions until I made one that I liked. I don't have an actual pattern yet, for those interested. I will definately share it with whoever is interested as long as they know the risks about warranties etc... I just used tissue paper to trace the size of the seat of the carseta and then a seperate piece for the back and then the inner arm as two pieces. I used a thin batting and had a muslim on the inside so it is three layers, top fabric, batting, muslim lining. for the outer edge I sewed strips of fabric together and gathered it, then used extra wide double bias tape around that to put elastic through. This makes it easy to slip on and off and still give it a good grip to the car seat. Then I made button holes where the straps will come through. I don't know if these directions help at all but I would gladly post a tutorial with pics if I can ever get my camera to work again....:
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#16 of 30 Old 12-05-2006, 08:58 PM
 
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id love to see a tutorial, let me know if you make one!
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#17 of 30 Old 12-06-2006, 04:54 PM
 
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i like them all but LOVE princess one, great job on that


one love

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#18 of 30 Old 12-07-2006, 10:50 PM
 
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I heart the first one!
Great job designing the cover!
Where's the tutorial? It looks like fun!
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#19 of 30 Old 12-08-2006, 07:03 PM
 
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simplicity makes a pattern. I haven't used it though
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#20 of 30 Old 12-11-2006, 02:52 AM
 
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Kwik Sew also makes a pattern.. I'm hoping my mom will sew me one... our car seat is past the warranty period as well.
There are some gorgeous but very pricey ones at http://www.lillyanneme.com.
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#21 of 30 Old 12-11-2006, 11:59 AM
 
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When you say that your carseat is past the warranty period, what exactly do you mean? Is it expired? If so, it's absolutely not safe to use and should be destroyed.

-Angela
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#22 of 30 Old 12-11-2006, 12:35 PM
 
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Actual warranties usually only last on carseats the first year or so, but after that the manufacturer is still responsible (as long as it's not expired) for anything that would happen to a child in that seat. If for some reason your carseat would fail during a crash and your child was injured b/c of it, by using an aftermarket product you are basically releasing the company from any responsibility they should take in that case (i.e. you can't sue them etc). That's what most people are referring to when they mention warranty, but if you did have a brand new seat, your warranty would most likely be void too. http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/AftMarketMan.aspx Those are statements from actual manufacturers. You'd have to call them to get actual confirmation on voiding liability etc.

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
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#23 of 30 Old 12-12-2006, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
When you say that your carseat is past the warranty period, what exactly do you mean? Is it expired? If so, it's absolutely not safe to use and should be destroyed.

-Angela
I have three children and when I bought our first toddler car seat, I bought a good quality car seat, intending on using it for subsequent children as well. The car seat is older than it's six-year warranty period and I know that you are supposed to destroy them after this period. However, after looking at all the car seats in the stores and online I don't see any that are superior to the one I have, it has the same five point straps, hasn't been in any accidents and nothing is wrong with this car seat. I feel it would be a waste to just throw it out because a company wants to sell me a shiny new one so they can make a buck. I have heard the info. on how they are not safe, but after six years?! So one day it is safe and the next day it's not? I don't buy it. and I think it is a waste to go buy a new car seat with every kid. Yes, I want my child to be safe, but I really don't think that one day, when the warranty expires it is all of a sudden an unsafe car seat.
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#24 of 30 Old 12-12-2006, 11:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rbriansgirl View Post
I have three children and when I bought our first toddler car seat, I bought a good quality car seat, intending on using it for subsequent children as well. The car seat is older than it's six-year warranty period and I know that you are supposed to destroy them after this period. However, after looking at all the car seats in the stores and online I don't see any that are superior to the one I have, it has the same five point straps, hasn't been in any accidents and nothing is wrong with this car seat. I feel it would be a waste to just throw it out because a company wants to sell me a shiny new one so they can make a buck. I have heard the info. on how they are not safe, but after six years?! So one day it is safe and the next day it's not? I don't buy it. and I think it is a waste to go buy a new car seat with every kid. Yes, I want my child to be safe, but I really don't think that one day, when the warranty expires it is all of a sudden an unsafe car seat.
The point is that the seat's frame, webbing of the straps, and plastic can weaken over time. If you live in a place of extreme temperatures, or with great temperature fluctuations, it can weaken the seat faster.

The carseat covers are beautiful. They are a whole lot of work, I know because I made one and it took forever! In the second picture though, are the straps twisted? It looks like they might be, just concerned

CPST & mom

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#25 of 30 Old 12-12-2006, 11:39 PM
 
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Nice covers ...and I hate to be a wet blanket but wanted to throw this out here so that an educated decision can be made:

Regarding a homemade seat cover; one concern is that the seat cover doesn't meet federal standards for flammability. Beyond that, there may be some leeway for thin material. I will quote what the curriculum states in the instructor's manual about padding or inserts:
"It is best only to use the padding and inserts that come with the CRS or
that the manufacturer sells for use with specific CRSs. Other acceptable
padding includes:

a. Thin material that does not interfere with proper harness contact
and fit.
b. No thick material behind the child or under the harness system.
c. No thick material under the child's bottom."

Further notes: A thin seat cover or pad may not hinder the operation of a
CRS but a thick pad, blanket or clothing may interfere with or reduce crash
protection. This concern was generated by inserts of one inch or more of foam that began to appear in stores. The inserts that have a thin back (just tohold the side padding in place) are acceptable. However, extreme care must
be taken to be sure that the insert has slots that do not interfere with the
proper positioning of the harness.

HTH.

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#26 of 30 Old 12-12-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rbriansgirl View Post
I have three children and when I bought our first toddler car seat, I bought a good quality car seat, intending on using it for subsequent children as well. The car seat is older than it's six-year warranty period and I know that you are supposed to destroy them after this period. However, after looking at all the car seats in the stores and online I don't see any that are superior to the one I have, it has the same five point straps, hasn't been in any accidents and nothing is wrong with this car seat. I feel it would be a waste to just throw it out because a company wants to sell me a shiny new one so they can make a buck. I have heard the info. on how they are not safe, but after six years?! So one day it is safe and the next day it's not? I don't buy it. and I think it is a waste to go buy a new car seat with every kid. Yes, I want my child to be safe, but I really don't think that one day, when the warranty expires it is all of a sudden an unsafe car seat.
There are two main reasons for considering seats "expired" after a certain number of years. 1. Crash standards and other improvements required by the government change. It is doubtful that a seat made 10 years ago, for instance, would pass today's crash standards. Another example: LATCH attachments were introduced in September 2002 and older seats would not be so equipped. 2. Some have said that changes in temperature (reference to climate and weather) over time will weaken the plastic shell of the seat. I do not know if this is true or not. But, picture an average summer day in the South....how many times is your car parked out in the elements with the HOT rays of the sun beating down on the seat?
Keep in mind that as with many things, this is debateable even among "experts" as to just what the life of a safety seat is. There is NO question however, that seats over 10 years old should be retired. The debate therein lies in the range of 5 to 10 years. The JPMA recommends a 6 year life. 6 years is also the time that Britax products use for an expiration date. So 6 - 7 years is what I recommend to all parents. It seems to be right in the debateable middle.

Just curious....you have 3 kids but only 1 car seat? Please explain.

Dallaschildren
CPS Instructor and momma to 2 sons in seats
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#27 of 30 Old 12-13-2006, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious....you have 3 kids but only 1 car seat? Please explain.

First of all, thanks for all the info and facts. I do have three car seats but one of them is the first toddler seat we ever purchased for ds#1, when ds#2 was in need of a toddler seat, ds#1 graduated to a larger toddler seat, and now that dd#1 is using it ds#2 has a new car seat as well. So all of the dc's have used it and we have opted to keep it instead of buying three new car seats. I understand the logic that you are giving me I just didn't know what was wrong with our old one. Also, For car seats that say they are convertible from newborn to ~60-80 pounds, won't the car seat be too old before you get your full use from it? Just wondering.
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#28 of 30 Old 12-13-2006, 03:48 AM
 
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. Some have said that changes in temperature (reference to climate and weather) over time will weaken the plastic shell of the seat. I do not know if this is true or not.
Oh, it's absolutely true. All plastic has a finite lifespan--if you put PVC pipe outside, for example, it will be its nice flexible and hardy self for a few years, but then will become brittle and crack. Old computers need to be kept in special environments (in museums, etc.) because the housing will just start breaking off.

The danger is that the seat frame must be able to withstand HUGE shear forces in a bad crash. The area of the seat where the belt goes through has to be able to hold together. If it is brittle or weakened, it could snap and the seat would not protect the child from the deceleration.

The six-year rule is, I believe, based on worst-case scenarios--very bad crash, long hot summers and cold winters, etc. It's probably true that even an older seat would hold together in a mild accident. However, I've never really wanted to find out. We just destroyed a 6-yr-old Britax RA, which I had loved and still worked perfectly, but it was worth it.
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#29 of 30 Old 12-13-2006, 11:28 AM
 
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Also, For car seats that say they are convertible from newborn to ~60-80 pounds, won't the car seat be too old before you get your full use from it? Just wondering.
The 3-in-1 seats, yes (another reason to not buy them). Normal higher weight convertibles like Britax, probably not as most kids outgrow them height wise before they do weight wise. I know a lot of moms who have used them a full 6yrs though w/ one child and IMO that's great. I wish I had started w/ one of those instead of going through all I have.

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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#30 of 30 Old 01-18-2007, 11:03 AM
 
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Is it expired? If so, it's absolutely not safe to use and should be destroyed.
A couple of people have mentioned to "destroy" the car seat after expiration.

I have an infant car seat that just expired (but no infant, no worries ) but I don't have the heart to destroy a perfectly good car seat that's been in storage most of it's life.

I want to give it away for in-home use only, but I know that overuse of car seats often lead to flat-heads! (I personally like the rule of thumb, "car seats are for cars"). There has got to be something worthwhile I can do with this!

:
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