Car Travel Mat (Car Roll Up)

By Pickle Toes Team
on December 19, 2018

Car Travel Mat (Car Roll Up)

Hello Pickle Toes Fans!  Looking for a quick but still impressive sew?  We’ve got an awesome tutorial today for that special tiny toy car hoarder collector in your life. I have 2 little guys that are equally obsessed with tiny cars.  I find them everywhere--under the sofa, in the TV cabinet, in the tub after bath time, even in the freezer after they became second place to a bowl of ice cream.  Every time I do the laundry I always find a few that have gone on one wild ride through the washer and have wiggled out of my son’s pockets somewhere in the dryer. Cue banging sounds in dryer. Hahaha

 My boys always stuff their cars in their pockets.  Sometimes my 2 year old gets really grouchy when he can’t fit them all. My 4 year old already knows he likes to carry more than his pocket can hold, so he’s started carrying a backpack--Which always gets “too heavy”.  So basically I’m carrying around a puppy dog backpack full of cars, a diaper bag, and 2 toddlers with 2 big girls trailing behind.  What a sight, I’m sure. :P

Enter the Travel Car Mat.

Basically this came out of necessity. I NEEDED to stop carrying this backpack full of cars and teach my boys to be a little more independent.  I still needed these darn cars to come with us everywhere because they keep my boys busy and super calm when we’re out.  If something keeps my toddlers busy, even for 4.2 seconds, it’s a total win for me. Bonus--that means I get 4.2 seconds of uninterrupted thought and zero sweating, but, ya know, your mileage may vary.

Here’s what you need to create this Travel Car Mat:

-11”wx12”H woven fabric (2 pieces, 1 for front and 1 for back)

-3”hx11”W woven fabric (this will be your pockets)

-3”hx11”w black felt (2 pieces, these will be your roads)

-1”wx1/2”h yellow felt (8 pieces, these will be the yellow lines on the roads)

-closure of choice (either 8 snaps, hook and loop tape as desired or 9 inches of 1/4” elastic

-ribbon or webbing 9”long (2 pieces)

-thread to match

 

(I am using the vehicle fabric for front and back, as well as the pocket)

Cut all your fabric out and gather all your materials.



Begin by hemming the pocket piece about 3/8”.

Next, you will create the pockets for your cars to fit into. I decided on about 2” and all our average sized cars fit inside. First, lay your hemmed pocket piece on top of your 11”x12”front fabric piece. Be sure to line up the 2 sides and bottom edges as best as you can. Clip or pin the pocket to the fabric to where it was hemmed.  This will hold it still.

 Next, measure ½” from the left and right edges of your fabric-I used a clip for this. This will be the seam allowance when we sew the front and back together. From that clip on the left side, measure 2” and mark it with a pin. Continue marking the lines for your pockets every 2” until you have 5 pockets. Your last pin should be about 2 and ½” from the right edge of your fabric.  Alternately, you can just simple create 2 large pockets by measuring and marking right down the middle of your pocket piece. **If you are adding snaps or Velcro for closure, this would be a good time to add the one side. Add 4 snaps or 3pieces of Velcro as desired, staying away from where your pocket stitches will be.  Be sure to only attach your Velcro or snaps to your pocket piece and not the top 11”x12”piece.

Now we will sew our pockets. Starting from the top of your pocket, sew a straight line to your pin, being sure to remove your pin and sew to the end of your fabric. Repeat for your 4 other pockets. You should now have 3 closed pockets and 2 end pockets that are open on the sides. We will close these later.

Next we will sew the yellow lines onto your roads. Determine how you want to place them on your road and pin. Sew yellow felt to the black felt, sewing down the middle of your yellow rectangle. Full disclosure, I used white thread NOT yellow and you can’t tell the difference.


Repeat step 5 for your second road. **As another option, you can create a “figure 8” for your road. It will need to be about 7” tall and 10”wide. Sew the yellow lines onto your “figure 8” in the same way, doing your best to space them evenly.

 

Now it’s time to sew your roads down. Measure 1” from the top of your front 11”x12” piece.  Pin one of your roads to the front piece, making sure the entire road is 1”from the top of your fabric and lines up with the sides of your front piece. Pin it in place. Top stitch 3/8” along the top and bottom of your road.  **If you chose a figure 8, pin and topstitch 3/8” along the outside and inside edges of your 8.

 

Measure 1” from the bottom of the road you just sewed. Pin your second road to the front piece, making sure the entire road is 1”from the bottom of your first road. Top stitch 3/8”along the top and bottom of your second road.

 

Next we will sew some “fold lines”. I like to add this detail because it makes it easier for little hands to fold the car mat. Looking at the mat, we have created a gap between the two roads and a gap between the bottom road and the pockets. This is where we will create our “fold lines”.  Increase your stitch length just a touch, it doesn’t need to be too long. Sew a straight line across the middle of the gap between the roads, the entire length of the mat. It should be about ½” from each road but you can easily eyeball this part.  Repeat for the gap between the bottom road and the pocket. **If you created a figure 8, you should still create these fold lines.  Measure about 4 ½” from the top edge. This will be your first fold line.  Next, measure 4 ½” from the top of your pockets. This will be your second fold line. Straight stitch the length of your Car Mat.

Now it’s time to pin your straps. Take your ribbon/webbing and pin one end on fold line you just created. Pin or clip the other end to your second fold line. Be sure your ribbon sits ON TOP of your Car Mat and NOT OFF the edges.  Repeat with the ribbon/webbing on the opposite side to create your second strap.

I chose to use an elastic strap that could be pulled around the Car Mat after it was folded. Measure about 2 ½” from the upper right corner of your Car Mat. Pin or clip and overlap the ends, making sure your elastic creates a loop and lines up with the edges. Again, be sure your elastic loop sits ON TOP of your Car Mat, NOT off the edges.

 

It’s time to close your Car Mat! Lay your back 11”x12” piece on top of your front piece, right sides together. Clip or pin all the way around, leaving a 4” opening in the middle of the top for turning. When you reach the spots where you pinned the straps, be sure to remove to pins/clips and re-clip or pin to include the bottom fabric. You should have 3 layers here-- top fabric, strap, and bottom fabric. When you reach your elastic strap, remove the pin and re-pin or clip to include the bottom fabric. Here, you will have 4 layers, top fabric, elastic and bottom fabric. Top stitch about 3/8”all around the edges. Be sure to catch all your layers including your roads pockets, elastic and straps. **If you made a figure 8, It is not necessary to catch the road when you sew it shut since it was already top stitched.

Turn your Car Mat right side out and double check that all layers are sewn.

Now it’s time to top stitch. Fold the fabric at the opening inside and iron it flat. Top stitch 3/8”, starting at the TOP left side of the pocket. DO NOT top stitch the pockets.  You will only topstitch the 2 sides and the top. When top stitching the top, be sure to sew your opening closed.

If you are adding snaps or Velcro, this is the time to add the second half. They should be place on the back piece, in the gap between the two roads.


You’re done! Now little hands can carry their own cars using the straps and they’ll have a little mat to play on. Fold it up and show it to your favorite car collector and anyone else that will think it’s amazing!

 

 

    My boys have already discovered that toy dinosaurs fit really well in the pockets, along with cheese sticks and teddy grahams.  :P

     

    Happy sewing Pickle Toes Fans!

    By Lindsay Stroup

     

     

    Snail Hunters Hack

    By Pickle Toes Team
    on June 02, 2018

    Snail Hunters Hack- Color Blocking

    Hi everyone! This is Brandi from the PTP team and I have a cool new hack for you today!

    The Snail Hunters pattern is one of my favorite PTP patterns! It is so versatile and I love that I can use the same pattern for both my son and daughter. As great as this pattern is, today I will show you an easy hack to make them even better! I will be showing you how to do some cool color blocked, wide stripes that you can add to one, or both, legs.



    This was my first experience with hacking a pattern. I must admit, at first, I was a little intimidated by the thought of it! I really shouldn't have been because it turned out to be so quick and easy!! The best part?? My son loves them!

    Items needed:

    -Snail Hunters pattern. If you don't already own the pattern, you can purchase it here.
    -Fabric. The number of different fabrics needed will depend on how many different stripes wanted. I used two.
    -paper scissors
    -fabric scissors
    -tape
    -ruler
    -pencil
    -and, of course, a sewing machine/serger and matching thread

    Start by printing and taping together the pattern. I printed two copies of the front, back and side panel pieces. One for the regular leg and one for the new color blocked leg. One copy will work, but make sure to cut fabric for the regular leg first, because the pieces will need to be cut and taped together for the other leg.)
    Note: If doing the faux fly, be sure to do this on the non color blocked side.

    Take one set of pattern pieces and lay them out with the front piece and the side panel piece right sides UP. The back piece will be placed right
    side DOWN. This is done so that it will make a complete leg piece that will be cut out as one piece. Now, cut the seam allowance (3/8") from the
    straight edge of each of the 3 pattern pieces.

    Once this is done, tape the 3 pieces together, making sure that the front
    and side panel pieces are right side up and the back piece is right side down.

    Next, the fabric for the color blocked leg will be cut out and sewn together. I measured my new pattern piece to figure out the size of my finished piece of fabric. The length of your strips will be determined by how many stripes are wanted. I chose to do four stripes. Two of each color. Make sure to add seam allowance (3/8") to the top and bottom of each strip. Also, the finished piece of fabric should be larger than the pattern piece. After the strips are cut, sew them together and top stitch each seam. This is how the fabric will look.

    Once sewn together, cut out the pattern piece for the color blocked leg. This leg is done!!



    For the second leg, the pattern pieces will be laid out opposite of how they were for the first leg. This means that if the piece was right side up, it will now be placed right side DOWN and vice versa.

    The second leg and the rest of the Snail Hunters can now be finished according to the original instructions!

    Here are my son's new Snail Hunters in action...

    Trick or Treat Bag Tutorial

    By Pickle Toes Team Jennifer-Laurie
    on October 26, 2017

    Trick or Treat Bag Tutorial

    Want a fun bag for trick or treating?  Or maybe just a fun bag for shopping, toys or the library?  This tutorial is just what you need.

    Read more »

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