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car seat organizer hanging on back of seat
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Fun and Funky Car Seat Organizers Sewing Tutorial

Create the perfect space for a water bottle, books and snacks on long road trips by adding seat organizers in your car! Customize them with fun and funky fabric and give each child a little space of their own. 
Prep Time15 mins
Active Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Keyword: car organizer, seat back
Yield: 1
Cost: Under $10

Equipment

  • sewing machine

Materials

  • 1 yard fabric for front
  • 1 yard fabric for back
  • 1/4" elastic
  • measuring tape
  • scissors
  • pins
  • thread

Instructions

Measurements:

  • Measure the seat, starting at the top, in front of the head rest, and continue down to the bottom of the backside of the seat. This will be the length. (see photo to get an idea where to start your measurement).
    car seat cover tucked under head rest
  • Measure the width of the back of the seat. This will be the width.

Cutting:

  • Cut out two pieces of fabric the length and width of the measurements that you took of the seat.
  • Cut out two pieces the width of the seat x 8" tall. This will be the smaller row of pockets.
  • Cut out two pieces of fabric the width of the seat x 10" tall. This will be the larger row of pockets.
  • Cut one piece of elastic the width of the seat plus 2". Set elastic aside.

Sewing:

  • With right sides together, pin the front and the back pieces together, lining up edges. Leave a 4" space open along the bottom for turning right side out later. Stitch around the entire edge, using a 3/8" seam allowance (lined up with the edge of the pressure foot). Clip corners and turn right side out. Fold opening raw edges over, and pin.
  • With right sides together, pin the small pocket pieces together. Leave a 4" space open along the bottom for turning right side out later. Stitch around the entire edge, using a 3/8" seam allowance. Clip corners and turn right side out. Fold opening raw edges over, and pin the opening closed.
  • Repeat for the large pocket sections.

Let's Make Sure We Have Everything In Order Before We Proceed:

  • You should now have 3 finished rectangles of fabric with the openings along the bottom seam pinned closed.

Top Stitching:

  • Top stitch across the top edge of both pocket pieces using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Elastic:

  • Place the piece of elastic on to your work surface. The elastic should be in a horizontal position.
  • Place the large piece (seat organizer) on your work surface with the front facing you. The elastic will be lined up along the bottom, behind of the large piece of fabric, sticking out about an inch or so on each side.

Pocket Placement:

  • Line up the large pocket section with the bottom edge of the seat organizer. Pin into place.
  • Fold the elastic ends over and sandwich the ends between the pocket piece and the main piece. Pin in place.
  • Place the small pocket section 2" above the large pocket section. Pin into place.
  • Stitch across the bottom seams of each pocket. The sides will still be pinned into place.

Top Stitching:

  • Top stitch around the ENTIRE perimeter of the seat organizer, making sure to only stitch the elastic in the corners. This will close the opening at the bottom, and attach the pockets to the organizer along the side seams.
    car seat organizer laying on sewing table

Creating Pocket Sections:

  • Stitch vertically starting at the top and going down each pocket section to create small pockets. As a reference, I stitched 3 rows on my small pocket row (to create 4 pockets) and 1 row on my larger pocket row (to create 2 large pockets). You can use whatever sizes you'd like to accomodate your sippy cups, toys, etc.

Button Holes:

  • Now all that's left to do is to sew two button holes for the head rest prongs to slide through. Hold the seat organizer against the back of your car seat and decide where the button holes for the head rest prongs will be (mine were about 2 1/2" from the top). Sew two button holes. See the notes section for a link to a tutorial for sewing easy button holes.

Installing Seat Organizer:

  • Remove headrest and slide elastic over the seat. The elastic will go across the bottom front of the car seat. Line up the button holes with the head rest prong holes. Slide head rest prongs through button holes and push head rest back into place.

Notes

Button Hole Tutorial Video
Note: you will not need an entire yard of fabric for the front or back. It's always better to have a little extra if you need it.