As far as highchairs go, the IKEA's Antilop rocks. Its compact, all plastic (yay for easy clean-up!), and slides perfectly right up to our table (without the tray) so baby feels like part of the action. We owned one for our first child and when I didn't think we'd have a second, we gave it away. I thought I'd try out a different highchair for boy #2, but it didn't compare. So.... I bought a second Antilop. Thankfully, in addition to all the other great features of this highchair, it's also remarkably cheap ($25 including optional tray!).
All plastic is great, but I'm guessing it has to be a bit uncomfortable--not that the little one is complaining, but as a mom, I can't help but to project my own feelings onto the matter. Even before we had #2, I looked for a cushion pattern and found the nice one that is floating around. I even bookmarked it! But when I went to make it, I didn't love the design and felt like a bib pocket in the back would be a nice addition. So I designed my own. I've made mine in laminated cotton, so it can be wiped off easily, but should you choose to make it in regular quilting cotton, the cushions are removable for laundering the cover.
Cushioned Cover with Pocket for Antilop Highchair
Pattern by Nicole at Home
3/4 yd. laminated or quilting-weight cotton
1/2 yd. foam, 1/2" thickness (Available at JoAnn's)
1/2 yd. ribbon 3/4" wide
1/2 yd. fold over elastic (FOE), 3/4" or 1" wide (I've used 3/4" here)
Standard sewing equipment: machine, coordinating thread, pins, etc.
Highchair cover pattern (downloadable pdf)
Print out and assemble the pattern pieces, matching up numbers. Once assembled, there should be four pieces: Cover Back, Cover Pocket, Seat Back and Seat Bottom. Cut out the fabric for Cover Back and Cover Pocket. At the top edge of the Cover Back, mark the midpoint. For the Seat Back and Seat Bottom, cut two out of fabric, but trim ONE of those up to the _ _ _ line. Label the shorter of each as the FRONT (the side that faces out when in the highchair). Label the untrimmed Seat Back and Seat Bottom pieces as BACK. Hem 1/4” along the untrimmed, straight edge of the Seat Back and Seat Bottom (BACK only). Mark the midpoint at the top edge for both FRONT and BACK Seat Back pieces. Then, after cutting the fabric, trim the paper pattern to the _._ line and cut out the foam pieces.
Sewing the cover:
Step 1: Mark and sew the darts on the Cover Pocket.
Step 2: Apply FOE using a wide zig-zag stitch to the top edge of Cover Pocket (opposite the darts), stretching as you sew to create even gathers.
|Stretch FOE as you sew to make gathers.|
Step 3: Lay the Cover Back right side down on your work surface and pin the Cover Pocket right side down on top of the Cover Back, matching large circles. Pin in place around bottom edge and sew.
Step 4: Turn pocket inside out. The right side of both the Cover Back and Cover Pocket should be facing you. If you are using laminated cotton, do NOT press the fabric with an iron! Just use your fingers to press the seam. Set aside.
Step 5: With the right sides together, stitch the Seat Back and Seat Bottom (FRONT) pieces together (where you cut the dashed (_ _ _) line). Finger press and topstitch to hold down the seam allowance in the back.
Step 6: Cut two 9” pieces of ribbon. Pin one on the right side at the seam between the Seat Back and Seat Bottom, matching short edge of elastic to the edge of fabric. Do the same for the other piece of ribbon on the other side.
|I used elastic, but ribbon would work better, so I've suggested that in the Materials.|
Step 7: With right sides together, pin the Seat Bottom (BACK) to Seat Bottom (FRONT) with right sides facing. Be sure to tuck the ribbons inside and out of the way. Sew along all edges except the hemmed edge. This will remain open to insert the cushions.
Step 8: Trim seam allowance close to the seam. You may want to box the square corners (see photo below), but it’s not absolutely necessary.
|Pin until you get to FOE, then tuck the remainder of pocket out of the way.|
Step 11: Sew along the edge as indicated by the thick, black line (but much straighter, and closer to the edge :))
Step 12: Turn right side out to ensure the layers have sewn properly together and the FOE on the pocket was caught within the seam. Turn wrong-side out again, and clip corners and curves close to seam, especially around the ribbon.