New cover for our cargo bike seat – With free pattern

When our little boy was born, we bought a cargo bike, for all kinds of practical reasons. Our bikes were the fastest means to get to and fro, and with that cargo bike, we could add baby seat and all. At that time, I still had a company car, but sometimes weeks went by that I didn’t use it.

One and a half year later, I changed jobs, and this time, no car was included. We used the cargo bike even more (and for those trips that are just too far, we either take the train, or we book a car through Cambio car sharing). Our little boy grew out of the baby seat, and into the toddler seat. It pretty soon became clear that toddlers are not that much in favour of sitting, so the seat suffered.

Peuterzitje

Worn. That’s the least you can say.

Peuterzitje

I decided to make a new cover for this seat. Turned out, it wasn’t even that hard to do.

I took the original seat apart, and I traced the filling.

Peuterzitje

I added 1.5 cm to the basics, to make sure the filling would fit, since it’s pretty thick.

I also added 1.5 cm seam allowance. Most likely, 1 cm would have done the trick, but better safe than sorry.

If you have a seat like this one, I’m sharing the pattern and instructions below.

What you need

  • 1 meter oil fabric
  • 2 pieces of rope or shoe lace that are approcimately 50 cm long
  • Zipper foot for your sewing machine
  • Pdf pattern

Assembling the pattern

  1. Print the pdf on A4 paper, without scaling.
  2. Make two rows with the pages you printed: first row from 1 to 4, second row below that from 5 to 8.
  3. Make sure the pattern lines fit each other nicely.

In this pattern, the seam allowance is included. The outer line is the cutting line, the middle line is the sewing line, and the inner line is the folding line.

Cutting your fabric

Use oil cloth, so you can easily wipe that seat down. Cut the parts as indicated in the pattern: 4 wing parts (part A), and 2 back and seat parts (B and C, cut as one piece).

Sewing

Start with the wing parts (parts A):

  1. Put two wing parts on top of each other, good sides facing each other.
  2. Sew the seams, leaving the short side open.
  3. Clip the corners, and clip all around. If necessary, clip the seams.
    Peuterzitje
  4. Turn the wings.
  5. Add the filling.
  6. Repeat for the second wing.

Next, sew the back and seat (parts B and C)

  1. Put the two parts on top of each other, right sides facing each other.
  2. Add the wings in between, so they are facing each other point to point.
  3. Add 1 of the strings on 1 side already, underneath 1 of the wings. Make sure the string is in between the big parts as well.
  4. Sew the side seams with the zipper foot (so you can easily get past the wings), leaving the short side at the bottom open.
  5. Turn. Prepare for a bit of a fight while you do so.
    Peuterzitje
  6. Add the filling for the back.
  7. Sew underneath the back part, using the zipper foot, on the bottom sew line for part B.
  8. Add the filling for the seat.
  9. Fold the bottom seams for part C inwards. Add the second piece of string on the opposite side of the first one. Sew closed, using the zipper foot.
  10. Fold the seat, so that the back is standing up straight, as are the wings. Sew the wings to the seat part. I did this for the front parts only, leaving a slit, and less room to collect crumbs and such.
    Peuterzitje

And yes, indeed, the text on the fabric is upside down. Just so I’d be able to read it when I’m riding the cargo bike 😉

Peuterzitje

How about you? How do you get around in this world?

Reversible cloud pillow

Since I had a whole collection of raindrop pillows that I made for my guest post over at fortunecookiez.be, I couldn’t but sew a cloud pillow as well.

Blije wolkA reversible one for that. Angry on one side, happy and sunny on the other side.

Boze wolkDo you want to make your own? You can find the free pattern below.

What do you need?

  • Fleece fabric in 2 colours: white and grey
  • Black and red embroidery thread, for the eyes and the mouth. For my first version I used flock film, but it doesn’t stick that well to fleece
  • Pink felt: for the blushy cheeks
  • Stuffing
  • Drawing chalk
  • A small bar of soap

 How to make it

  1. Print the pattern, cut it out, and glue the parts together.
    wolkpatroonpdf
  2. Place the pattern on the right side of the white fleece, with the printed side facing you, and use your chalk to draw it on the fabric.
  3. Add 1 centimeter seam allowance, and cut the fabric.
  4. Flip your paper pattern, with the printed side facing downwards. Place it on the right side of the grey fleece and use your chalk to draw it on the fabric.
  5. Add 1 centimeter seam allowance, and cut the fabric.
  6. Pin both parts together, right sides facing each other.
  7. Sew both parts together, but leave an opening at the bottom, so you can stuff your cloud.
  8. Clip the seams, and pay extra attention to the small corners.
  9. Turn, so the right side is now on the outside.
  10. Stuff your cloud.
  11. Fold the seams of the opening inwards, and sew closed using an invisible seam.
  12. Do the faces:
    • Use the soap (or use chalk) to draw the faces on the cloud, then embroider over it.
    • Take the pink felt and cut out 2 pink circles, and sew them on your cloud.

WolkI prefer to sew the faces on when the pillows are already stuffed, since it gives me a better view of what the end result will look like. Downside is that some stuffing may come out again when you pull your needle through. But you can pick those off afterwards.
Boze wolk

Rattle plane – small version

Ah Pinterest. Yet another procrastination tool available at your finger tips. Don’t get me wrong, I really like it. But, just as with Ravelry and Craftsy, I tend to wander off and get all this inspiration, yet end up doing nothing at all. Instead of getting my sewing machine or knitting needles out, I just go on surfing. Sure, the inspiration board gets fuller and fuller, but the list with finished projects? That one remains pretty much the same.

Anyone else suffering the same problem? If so, feel free to follow me on any of these platforms 🙂

But still, I got one done recently. Inspired by the airplane rattles from Global Affairs, I got going.

All you need is some leftover yarn and a cat toy.
rattleplane01

Of course, you will have to explain to the cat that the toy is no longer a cat toy, but has been promoted / demoted (depending from whose point of view you see it) to a baby toy.

rattleplane04
See the jealous look in Pino’s eyes?
rattleplane05
And then the baby doesn’t even play with it, what a waste!
rattleplane06

The attentive readers among you may have noticed that the colours in the picture with the leftover yarn don’t match with the colours I actually used for this plane. That’s because I’m working on a bigger version as well.

rattleplane03
This smaller version is 12 cm (4.7 in) long and 12 cm (4.7 in) wide. You can download the pattern for free.
rattleplane02

Breastfeeding in public – How to make a breastfeeding bib

Breastfeeding. The most natural way to feed your baby. Milk that’s ready to be served at the right temperature at any time, whenever your baby’s hungry. It’s healthy fast food!

Breastfeeding made my life as a new mom easier. You learn soon enough that every time you leave the house with your baby, there are so many things you can forget. Even though you stuff that baby bag with (reusable) nappies, an extra change of clothes or mouth wipes, you can be sure you’ll be out at the exact moment when you need them the most. Or they’ll be at the bottom of your bag, while you are trying to find them with one hand because your other hand is balancing all the rest. At least with breastfeeding, you can be sure of one thing: your baby will not go hungry. You brought as much milk as he could need, no matter when he needs it.
And there you have it. “No matter when”. Especially in the beginning, a baby’s food schedule is pretty hard to predict, for the simple reason that they don’t have one. So you may find yourself in the middle of a crowded shopping street with one very hungry baby. And you will have to feed him.
When this happens, I try to find a silent, hidden-away corner in a tea room or something like that. A nice quiet place where I can feed my boy without being disturbed all too much, where both of us can be at ease without having to rush. If the weather permits it, even a quiet little bench in a park off main street might just do the trick.

Now, what some people don’t seem to understand, is that I just want to feed my kid. I really don’t do it to provoke or to show my breasts to as many strangers as I can. I became a mom, not an exhibitionist. So I wear the discrete breastfeeding bras and dresses that allow me to feed my son quietly. You really would have to make a really big effort to try and actually see my breast. Still, research has shown that quite a number of people think it’s not done to feed your child in public. And I have noticed it as well: they pull up their noses and/or throw me a look as if I am pure evil. What on earth is that about?
Anyway, to feel a bit less exposed (for the times when I am out and about and the breastfeeding dresses are in the laundry basket) I stitched together a breastfeeding bib, or a beebib as I like to call it. You wear it like a bib and pull one arm through, to easily hold your baby. It covers your breasts and belly from the rest of the world, but it still allows you to see your baby. I think this is really important. I don’t want to cover my baby’s face up while I’m feeding him, as if eating is something he should be ashamed of. That’s one eating disorder less in the world.
_beebib01
I used cotton on the outside and towel cotton on the inside. I also added two double-welted pockets, where you can hide your breastpad or your baby’s dummy.
Breastfeeding bib
I finished the seams with bias tape and made the tape slightly longer, so I could easily tie the bib in my neck and alter the lenght if need be.
Breastfeeding bib
Because the bib is pretty big, I can also use it as a blanket or to swaddle my baby.

So, using this, I feel less exposed and more at ease. Will some people still throw you the evil look because they think it’s not done? Well, yes. But I did not make this to make them happy, I made it for myself. And no, I will not lock myself in the house and not go out just to avoid the chance of my baby going hungry while we’re out and about. It’s not my problem if people find breastfeeding disturbing, it’s their’s. And if they can ignore the homeless people in the street that are begging for some change, they can sure look away while I’m taking care of my baby’s most basic needs.
If you are interested in this beebib, feel free to download the pdf. Keep in mind that this pattern has not been tested (yet), so if you have any comments/suggestions, let me know.