Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tutorial: Cushioned cover with pocket for Antilop Highchair

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

Materials needed:
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.
The photo, below, shows the assembled Seat Back and Seat Bottom (FRONT), with ribbon attached (NOTE: ribbon (actually, elastic) is shown flipped out in the photo). 



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.



Step 9: Place the Seat Back (FRONT) with right side facing you on your work surface.  Then, place the Cover Back/ Pocket wrong side facing you on top of the Seat Back (FRONT), matching marks at the top edge.  Next, place the Seat Back (BACK) with wrong side facing you, matching marks at the top edge.
    Step 10: Starting at the top midpoint mark, pin the sandwich together, easing the Cover Back/ Pocket along the edge until you reach the large circle (or the end of the FOE).  When sewing, you will aim to sew over the FOE, but push the rest of the Cover Back/ Pocket out of the way toward the inside (see photo below) and continue to pin just the Seat Back pieces together (FRONT to BACK) until you reach the hemmed edge. 
    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.   
      Step 13: If the cover has been assembled properly, there will be an envelope closure between the Seat Back and Seat Bottom through which you can insert the cushions.  Inserting the cushions can take a little finagling, but just be patient :)
        Step 14: Put the cushion on your highchair!  Slip the ribbons into the slots for the straps and tie underneath (or, if you are feeling ambitious, apply hook and loop tape to make it more finished-looking).   Wahoo!  You are done!  








          20 comments:

          1. meandmybabe8:43 PM

            love this! thanks very much for posting your pattern and great tutorial!

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          2. Anonymous6:44 PM

            Hi Nicole. Will you make one to sell???
            Please email me at cherieslattery@hotmail.com
            Thanks :-)

            ReplyDelete
          3. I am confused as to where the _ _ _ _ line is for the second seat back and seat. I see a solid line and then the _._._. line, any help would be much appreciated as I dont want to mess up this project.

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          4. Anonymous12:20 PM

            Hi Nicole - I stumbled across your amazing tutorial and decided to give it a go. Just brilliant. The tutorial and pattern was so easy to follow and the cover always gets compliments as well! Thank you - you are in fact a genius!

            ReplyDelete
            Replies
            1. What a compliment! I'm so pleased to hear that the pattern worked for you.

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          5. Anonymous12:54 AM

            Hi Nicole, I too want to know if you would make one to sell. My email is mulan254@yahoo.com. Thank you!

            ReplyDelete
          6. Hi Nicole - I am planning on running up one of these on Saturday 6th February 2016 - but the link for the pdf pattern isn't working. Any way in which I can access it please? Many thanks Sarah

            ReplyDelete
          7. Anonymous1:45 AM

            I am having trouble opening it as well. Is there any way I could also have access to it?
            Sarah.y@live.ca

            ReplyDelete
            Replies
            1. So sorry for the issues with the pdf. I have updated the link and it should be working now. Let me know if you still have trouble!

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          8. Unable to open PDF. Please advise.

            ReplyDelete
            Replies
            1. So sorry for the issues with the pdf. I have updated the link and it should be working now. Let me know if you still have trouble!

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          9. Also cant access pdf - please could i have a copy adeandjoey@gmail.com. Thanks in advance, Jo x

            ReplyDelete
            Replies
            1. So sorry for the issues with the pdf. I have updated the link and it should be working now. Let me know if you still have trouble!

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          10. Anonymous2:26 PM

            There is no --- line on the pattern, only a solid line and a -.-. Please explain. Thank you

            ReplyDelete
            Replies
            1. The --- line is only on "Seat Back" and "Seat Bottom" pieces--it looks a bit like a rectangular protrusion, where you are supposed to trim. I hope this makes sense!

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          11. Alison R11:25 AM

            I, too, am wondering if you will make to sell, but I need two (twins); therefore no time to make even though this tutorial is AMAZING! If so, email reid.ali.j@gmail.com

            THANKS!!

            ReplyDelete
            Replies
            1. Hi Alison--I'm not able to make them to sell at this time, but I will let you know if I have more time in the future! Good luck with those twins! :)

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          12. Nicole could you make one of these for sale? Please send me an email if you can.

            ReplyDelete
            Replies
            1. Hi Paree--no, I'm not making those at the moment to sell since I have too many other sewing obligations, I'm sorry!

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          13. Do you still sell it?:)
            Lea

            ReplyDelete