Monday, September 30, 2013

Reupholstered Child Bike Seat Tutorial

Vera of Biking Chandler has sent me a Bobike Mini cushion to reupholster.  That means I can now bring you the tutorial I talked about in my previous blog post.   You could really do this on any child bike seat cushion, but I have found working with Bobike cushions to be really easy.

Gather Child Bike Seat Redo Supplies:

Child Bike Seat Cushion
Upholstery Fabric
Fabric Spray Adhesive
Clips (paper clips would work also)
Mat & Rotary Cutter (optional)
Sewing Machine (could do by hand)
Elmer's Glue

Let's talk fabric.  I used a delightful multi-colored striped upholstery fabric that is sturdy.  It is cotton and will need to be weather proofed.  There are many options out there in sprays for fabric that aid in this.  Doing so approximately every 90 days will help repel water and stains.  You could also use an outside upholstery fabric made of polyester that can withstand a bit more. 

Now that you have your supplies gathered up, you are ready to cut out the pieces.  I cut TWO separate pieces.  I know there are pictures that illustrate one piece of fabric being used. Ignore that bit, that is a snafu.  Using one piece didn't work out so well.  Oops.  Anyhoo... use the cushion as a template and cut approx. 1.5 inches around each of the intended pieces; top and bottom.

Pieces cut, you are now able to break out the adhesive and get your sticky on. I used a multi-purpose craft glue that seemed to work fine.  I wanted this to be a fairly permanent thing, as it keeps the fabric from shifting on the cushion. Working with ONE piece at a time, I LIGHTLY sprayed the cushion and LIGHTLY sprayed the fabric.  Too much adhesive will bleed through fabric.  Be careful, this can happen easily. Carefully lay intended piece of fabric on the cushion with special care  and make sure the fabric is taught by smoothing your hand over the surface of fabric, rubbing the wrinkles away.

Starting with the top piece, begin to  clip the fabric back.  It helps if you really pull the fabric as tight as possible so it will lay nicely against the cushion.  Illustrated above, you can see how I pinned back the fabric when going around the corners.

When coming to more severe inverted corners, it can be helpful to snip the fabric like pictured above.  Go back with glue to reinforce and keep from fraying.

When reaching the bottom, I just folded fabric under.  You will be sewing around the whole piece. Once finished clipping piece 1, you are ready for the 2nd piece.

When you start the process again on the the second piece, you will be folding over the top of piece 2 to meet up with the bottom of piece 1.  I was careful to continue the correct color of stripe, to give it one continuous look.  Something to be noted if working with a patterned fabric.

I had to use some creative thinking skills to figure out how to manipulate the fabric in the above pictured opening in the cushion.  Carefully slice the fabric in the middle of the opening.  From the end of the sliced line snip outwardly to the corners, creating triangles essentially.  Think of this as an envelop cut of sorts. 

Pull the pieces you snipped back, and clip with clippie.  Reinforce this with Elmer's Glue once finished sewing fabric to cushion.

This is what it should look like fabric side up clipped.  Sew closely around the opening.

All clipped up and ready to sew. 

1/4 inch seam allowance worked swell for me.  Sew along the outside of piece 1 and then sew along the outside of piece 2.  At times, I found it helpful to use a bone folder to help push the fabric in under the foot of the machine when sewing the fabric snipped corners. Don't forget to also sew closely around that tricky lil opening.

As my lil guy says, TAA DAA!   I'm stoked for Vero of Biking Chandler and I hope she likes the outcome. 

After sewing, I went around with pinking shears cutting off excess fabric.  I wasn't too concerned with what the back looked like.

 Here you can see how I was gluing around the opening.  I waited for this to dry and then went back  a second time with glue.  I wanted it to be sure the fabric stayed in place and didn't fray. 

So there you have it folks!  A great way to give an old bike cushion some new personality.  I can't wait to see how it looks on the Bobike Mini. Also, nice to know that there are people out there reading my blog. Comments are also always appreciated!  Would love to hear about anything bicycle craftastik! 

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