Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Reversible High Chair Cover with storage pocket Tutorial for IKEA BLAMES High Chair

When we found out we were having our third baby it was a bit of a panic because we hadn't kept any of our baby stuff. We sold our second vehicle and went on a major shopping trip at IKEA. One of the things I bought was the BLAMES high chair. (It's in caps on their website so I'm going with that but I can't get the little o over the A.) It's an affordable and stylish looking high chair but it's not very comfortable for baby. We were using bath towels for padding for the past few months until I decided on the spur of the moment to sew a high chair cover. Here is a tutorial for you if you want to make one too.

Please read the whole tutorial before you begin. You will need: six fat quarters, poly batting and bamboo or cotton batting, two hair elastics, four buttons (optional) and good thread (Especially if using the buttons). If not using the buttons you will need strong ribbon (like grosgrain) or hook and loop tape.

Here is the high chair of which I speak. It is cool looking but a bit hard. Especially when a little baby throws her head back and bangs it on the back of the chair. The ensuing screaming is not conducive to feeding time.
 If you have one of these I doubt the measurements would be different from mine but you might want to measure yours anyway just to be sure. For the back I have a measurement of 10" wide by 14.5" tall. For the seat I have a measurement of 8" from the back rest to the front of the seat and 14" wide. The straps are about 3/4" to the right and left of the back rest and half an inch towards the front of the seat. You can check this and mark with a fabric marking pen when you get to the part in the tutorial where the straps come in.


To make this as comfortable as I could I layered two layers of polyester batting and one layer of bamboo batting with the fabric on top and backing fabric on the bottom. (You can see backing in next photo.)

That's a lot of layers so I spray basted with 505 spray (I find the best price on this at Walmart unless your local quilt shop or big box store has it on sale or a coupon.) Spray a little bit of adhesive between each layer including between the fabrics and batting.

Quilt through all layers. I just sewed simple straight lines. Getting too fancy here will cut down on the puffiness, which we don't want and, could also cause shifting issues with so many layers. Keeping it simple on the quilting is best here. Determine approximately where your safety straps need to come through, mark with a fabric marking pen and sew an oval there with small zig zag stitches. (Or use the button hole feature on your machine if you want to.)

Cut out a little half circle where the safety bar between baby's legs is if you want to. You can get by without doing this and it is tricky to bind it so it's not a problem to leave this step out.



Cut a small hole inside your zig zag stitched ovals for the safety straps to come through. Try your seat cover on the seat. Cut the holes bigger as needed, without cutting through your zig zag stitches, until you can get the plastic buckles through. If you made your ovals too small and you need to cut through them then just sew new zig zag stitches around the cut when you get back to your machine.

Attach binding to your seat and seat back covers as you would a quilt by sewing it to the front and bringing it around to the back. To speed things up and make both sides look about the same so that the cover is reversible I machine sewed the binding. I recommend Clover Wonder Clips if you have them. They are very handy for holding the binding in place while you sew.

The trick to machine binding is having your quilt top trimmed right to the edge of the raw edges of your binding. (1/4 inch from the seam that attaches your binding to the quilt front). Fold the binding over to the back and hold in place with Wonder Clips or pins. Top stitch on the back side close to the left hand edge of the binding. (The folded edge.)

When your binding is stitched down it looks like this on the back side.

Here is the front side.

The bobbin thread running around the edge right beside the binding just looks like part of the quilting.

Sew the seat to the seat back with a ladder stitch in the bindings. Use a double thread for strength.



Here is the seat and seat back sewn together.


Here is a closer look at my strap holes. I went around twice with the zig zag stitch.
 To make the optional storage pocket for behind the seat back:

I determined that I would cut my fabrics at 10" wide (the width of the seat back) by 17" high. This allows for a half inch seam allowance and boxing the bottom corners.

Cut two outer and two lining rectangles 10" x 17". Put them right sides together and sew around the two sides and the bottom with a half inch seam. Leave an opening in the bottom of the lining (as shown by the pens because you can't see my thread) for turning.

Remember the opening for turning! I have forgotten that so many times and had to get out the seam ripper.

Square off the bottom corners of both the outer and lining. Match your seams. (You may need to put your hand inside and feel around a bit to do this.) Put your seam allowances in opposite directions (pin if needed). Draw a line that is 2 1/2 inches long about 1 1/2 inches in from the corner. Do this on all four corners. Sew on the line. Trim away the excess corner fabric 1/4 inch from the seam as shown below.

Corner after sewing and trimming.

Turn your storage pocket outer right side out. Put it inside the lining so right sides are facing. (The lining is inside out still.) Match up your side seams and pin. Take two hair elastics and tuck them between the outer and lining fabrics. Pin them in place about half an inch from each seam on what will be the back edge of your storage pocket. Ensure there is enough hair elastic inside the fabrics to fit over your buttons that you are going to sew to your seat back. Sew around the top edge catching the hair elastics in the seam. Trim away excess hair elastic from this side (the wrong side) of the pocket. Then turn pocket right side out through the hole in the bottom of the lining. Pin and machine stitch the hole closed. Press your pocket and top stitch around the upper edge. This makes things tidy and also double secures the hair elastics.

Sew buttons on the front and back side of your seat pocket. Sew through both the front and back button at the same time using a double thread. Sew several stitches to secure (like 7-10 times). Knot your thread under a button and travel through the batting about two inches from the button. Bring your needle out and trim thread close to the fabric.

The pocket serves two purposes. You can store bibs or clean wash cloths in it and it hold the seat back up. It should go without saying but DO NOT LEAVE BABY UNATTENDED IN THE HIGH CHAIR. Especially when there are buttons that baby might decide to chew on.
 The pocket and buttons are your choice to use. Keep an eye on your baby and the security of the buttons. Mend as needed! (Or remove the buttons completely if you don't have time to mend.) If you do not wish to use them for safety reasons you can add some grosgrain ribbon ties stitched onto the binding and tie the seat back to the chair. Or, attach the pocket with with hook and loop tape. I find hook and loop tape (Velcro) very hard to stitch through and that is why I did not use it.


Here is the storage pocket from the back.

Here is the seat cover from the other side. Very handy when Grandma decides to drop in for a visit and you don't have time to wash the high chair cover.

My baby is very happy with her new seat cover and she noticed it right away when we put her in the high chair. "No Princess and the Pea" here!

The fabrics I used are from the "Far Far Away" line by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics. All thread is Aurifil 50 weight #2021.

2 comments:

  1. A very creative stylish solution Anita! Very discerning child you have. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great tutorial. Well done you on making something so awesome and sharing it with people! <3

    ReplyDelete

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