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

     

     

    Easter Bunny Ears

    By Pickle Toes Team
    on March 27, 2018

    Easter Bunny Ears

    As Easter rapidly approaches images of cute little chickadees and bunnies come to mind. My daughter (and son for that matter) loves dressing up as animals so what better dress up play this year for Easter than to make a cute little set of bunny ears for my kiddos to wear when posing for photos! This is a super quick tutorial for wired bunny ears, so your little can be hopping along just in time for Easter. 

    Supply list: 

    Fabric

    Pattern

    Headband 

    Light or medium weight jewelry wire (I used the $0.98 kind from Walmart)

    Sewing Machine

    Thread, needles, and scissors 

    Image of headband, gold coil of jewelry wire and cut out bunny ear fabric pieces.

     

    For tutorial purposes I used a white woven fabric (it shows up better in contrast with my ironing board and the wire color I picked). You could use knit fabric however, I would use interfacing to give the material more body.

    1. We begin with sewing together the bunny ears. Place your fabrics right sides together and using 3/8 seam allowance you will sew around the ears. I left the opening where the knot will go for ease of turning. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end of your stitch line.

    2. Once you have sewn this part together you will turn your ear piece right side out and iron, this way your opening will lay nice and flat.

    3. Next cut a 20 inch piece of your wire and attach the ends together creating a loop. I twisted it together then put the twisted piece toward where the middle of my ears will be.

    4. Now slide the wire into the bunny ear piece. It may take a bit of wiggling to get the entire wire though the opening but just keep wiggling it in until it is completely inside the ear.

    5. Push the wire toward the center of the ear so you can topstitch around the entire ear piece making sure catch both pieces to close the turn hole (I topstitch at 1/4 inch).

    6. Once you have topstitched all that is left is to tie your ears into a knot onto the headband and pull the wires toward the seams of the ears so they may be in the positioning you would like them in.

     

     Once you get your ears all straightened out, you are all done and ready for your bunnies to get hopping!

    Free Kids Bath Mitt Pattern and Tutorial

    By Tara Anderson
    on December 18, 2017

    Free Kids Bath Mitt Pattern and Tutorial

    If you're like me,  you have a few old towles that have some holes in them.  This is the perfect project to upcycle those old towles or washcloths.  PLUS it's seriously a fast project.  I knocked out 3 of these in 30 minutes just today.  

    Tutorial

    You will need:
    Terry cloth fabric or old towels
    Knit Fabric Scraps
    Cording/Ribbon/Rope/String cut to 9 inches long
    Pins or clips
    Iron
    Sewing Machine 
    Serger (optional) 

    Pattern can be found here: Free Kids Bath Mitt Pattern

    We will start just like every other pattern by printing and cutting the pattern.  Then lay your pattern piece and cut 2 from terry cloth fabric and 1 from knit fabric.  You could use woven fabric if you like, but you run the risk of it fraying over time.  

     

    Next lay your knit fabric right side up over one piece of the terry cloth fabric also right side up as pictured below.  

    Take the cording/ribbon/rope (whatever you have decided to make the loop out of) fold it in half and place it as pictured in the photo below.  Pin the loop taking care not to pin too close to the top so that you don't sew over your pin.  You will have about 1/2 inch overhang on the loop.  

     

    Place the other cut piece of terry fabric over the knit/terry pieces you have pinned the loop to.  These should be right sides together.  Sew with a straight stitch or serge as indicated in the photo below using a 3/8 inch seam allowance.  

     

    If you have used your sewing machine to sew around the mitt you will need to clip the curves or use pinking shears to cut the seam allowance so that it will turn more smoothly.  Turn the mitt right side out.  Use a turning tool or chopstick to smooth out the edges from the inside so that you have nice curves.  At the point you may press the mitt , but it isn't a must.  

    Turn the bottom of the mitt under 1 inch, press the hem.  Sew around the hem.  You can use a straight stitch if you like or you can get fancy with another stitch.  I like to use my double needle to hem everything.  I just like the way it looks.  

     

    So easy! You have completed your bath mitt!!  I tried it on and it fits my hand, so you could use this for adults as well.  I hope you make a ton and use all your scraps!  

     

     

    As always take care and happy sewing, 
    The Pickle Toes Patterns Team 

     

     

     

    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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