Tuesday, June 1, 2010

CraftShare Begins With Laminated Cotton!

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I'm excited to announce today is the first day of CraftShare! Our very own information exchange powerhouse.  So be ready to check out new materials, learn some tips & tricks, get project ideas and share your own too.

This week we're covering a new favorite item of mine: laminated cotton. All week I'll be sharing projects I've done & tutorials using this versatile & unique fabric.


What is laminated cotton? The name says it all - cotton that's been coated on one side with a thin layer of laminate to render it water-resistant. Much like oilcloth & vinyl, but not as stiff or sticky and, unlike those, it does not contain phthalates (aka bad-for-you chemicals that leach out of some plastics), so it's safe for baby & kid's projects. It's also ideal for any item you want to be easy to clean. Just wipe with damp cloth and it's fresh again. What's more, you can get some really great prints in laminated cotton - I snagged some from the gorgeous Amy Butler Love collection over at Fabric.com (but since this first laminates post I get nearly all of mine over at Laminates which has the BEST selection & prices) so it's both stylish and useful!


For today's project I'm going to show you how to use laminated cotton to make a stylin' Padded Highchair Cover.

Tips on working with laminated cotton:
  • Do not prewash - this is a wipeable fabric, but not meant to be fully washed.
  • Keep fabric rolled when stored, folding it will leave creases that are tough to get out
  • Don't use pins - they'll leave little holes, so use bobby pins to join fabrics
  • It won't smoothly move under the sewing machine presser foot & feed dogs, so there are 3 techniques that will join the fabric together and allow you to keep your sanity as well as stitch in a straight line: bias tape, stitching wrong sides out and using tissue paper (more detail on this below)  
What you'll need:

1 yd of laminated cotton
1yd of the firmest batting you can find
1 package of double fold bias tape
Sewing notions (thread, rotary cutter/scissors, bobby pins, tissue paper)

Now to get started you'll need to either use a pre-existing cover to trace or measure your high chair sides and back to get the dimensions for your cover.  You'll make two pattern pieces, one for the back+sides and the other for the seat and add a .5inch seam allowance around all sides.

Cut out two of each piece from the laminated cotton and the batting.  Also cut six 16 inch pieces of bias tape to use for the ties that will hold the cover to your highchair.  Fold in the raw edges of each piece and stitch down the "open edge" to finish the straps.


Now, sandwich the cut fabric pieces so that the right sides of the laminated cotton pieces are facing each other and in between the two pieces of batting like this:


For the back+sides piece, also fold your two front side ties in half and place in the middle of the front side parts, between the laminated cotton pieces.  Hold in place with bobby pins.  Remember that you'll want the fold of the ties to line up with the raw edge of the fabric (so the strips to tie together will be on the inside.


Sew around the sides & bottom, leaving the curved upper back part open:


For the seat piece, sew around the sides & front, leaving the back side open to turn:


Trim raw edges, clipping curves and then turn both pieces right side out.  Carefully trim about .5 inch from the batting of the open side of the seat (this makes it a lot easier to stitch this side closed).


To finish the seat, fold the open edges of laminated cotton in and pin closed with your bobby pins.  Take two of your remaining bias tape straps, fold in half and insert the folded bit about .5 inch in at each corner.  To easily stitch this closed take a piece of tissue paper and wrap it around this side, so you have tissue on top & on bottom where you will be sewing.  Stitch this side closed close to the edge and simply tear off tissue when done.



To finish the back+sides piece, encase the open edge in bias tape, holding it closed with bobby pins all around.  To add the remaining two upper back ties, fold them in half and carefully tuck the folded parts under the bias tape you just added, one at each side before you sew it on (your exact placement will depend on your own highchair & where the best "tie-on" spots are, so feel free to move the ties as needed).  Stitch bias tape on.


Now your custom, wipeable highchair cover is done!


You can follow this same technique to make padded chair covers, play mats & changing pads.  What do you think would be a cool use for laminated cotton?  If you've made something already, add it to our CraftShare Flickr pool.  I've got more fun ways to use laminated cotton coming up, but I want to hear yours, so come on & share your ideas in the comments!

Sharing this with my fave link parties too so check them out!

39 comments:

  1. I've never tried sewing with laminated cotton but you make it sound pretty easy. Thanks for the tips:)

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  2. Thanks for the tips and inspiration. I'm going to make seat covers for our dining chairs with laminated cotton now. Our chairs are stained, and with a toddler and bub on the way, I think something wipe-clean would be very useful!

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  3. Wow, laminated cotton... who knew?

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  4. Wow, that is jaw-dropping gorgeous.

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  5. I have this same laminated fabric and have been trying to figure out what to do ith it. Great job!

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  6. wipeable make-up bags are nice. Just add a zipper and you're good to go. I love how your cover turned out. It is very cute!

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  7. Super cute! I need to try laminated cotton!!

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  8. This is awesome... as is the beach bag you posted today. I think I need to find some laminated cotton so I can play too!

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  9. LOVE it!! One day if I ever get brave enough to have #3 I am going to have to make my highchair a new cover, my 2 boys have really beat up their highchair! love your blog! I am a new follower, I can't wait to click thru your old posts tonight!

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  10. I came by to tell you that I featured you today on Sugar Bee Craft Edition - but you beat me to the punch - thanks for linking to Take-a-Look Tuesday! Mandy, www.craftedition.blogspot.com

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  11. OMGosh, that is the cutest retro highchair! Love that fabric. Never heard of it, but glad I have now.

    I came here via Penny Pinching Party. Hope you will stop by Pittypat Paperie and visit me sometimes.

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  12. Where do you get laminated cotton? I haven't seen it before!
    Please add this to the LINKY PARTY, too!
    http://www.seaminglysmitten.blogspot.com
    It's awesome!!
    Jenny

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  13. This is great. Mr. Winnie the Pooh has to go from Ms. Hope's high chair. He just drives me nuts! Going over to fabric.com to grab some fabric now.

    Kimberlee @ www.TheSpunkyDiva.blogspot.com

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  14. LOVE the fabric and the chair looks great.

    Thanks for linking up with Sugar & Spice.

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  15. Love this! And great info too! Thanks so very much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday, I'm going to feature you, so do drop by and share something new1

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  16. I am loving this cute project! My mom has a wooden high chair like that and she keeps saying that she should throw it away! I am going to tell her that i have a solution! Thanks so much for linking up to Hoo's got talent!

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  17. That is SO pretty!! I love the laminated cottons by Amy Butler, and they look fab on your highchair cover!!

    I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-padded-highchair-seat-cover/2010/06/04/

    --Anne

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  18. I am loving your laminated cotton projects! This is great, I'll be linking.

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  19. Do you think this would work for a stroller liner? Or would it be too sticky on their little thighs?? Hmmmm... it looks great!!

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  20. I really liked this post. I have not heard of laminated cotton before, but I am glad that you mentioned that it is pthalate-free. I wondered right away what type of material you had used. Thanks for the great tutorial. I am following you now!

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  21. This is exactly what I needed to make 5 years ago... but my high chair still gets regular use, so it's not too late! I don't have laminated cotton, but I do have a table cloth that is vinyl-like on one side and cottony on the other... I assume that would work, too? I guess I'll find out! :)

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  22. Extraordinary Bree - I think this could work for a stroller pad, it doesn't get tacky like vinyl or oilcloth does when a bit warm. It would probably need to be removed on really hot days though since it might not feel to comfy on bare legs that are already sweating.

    StepThruCrazy - I'd avoid the vinyl tablecloth if you're using it for making something for small children - especially something they would potentially eat off of or put in their mouths, since vinyl contains phthalates (which have been deemed not safe for kids by the CPSIA). That's why most waterproofed baby items these days (like bibs, placemats, teethers, bath toys) say phthalate free on the package. You can find laminated cotton at some Joann's & at Fabric.com and both offer coupons, so it's still cheaper to make a cover than to buy one.

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  23. Wow!! What a beautiful high chair seat cover! Great tip...I've never seen that fabric before.

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  24. Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

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  25. that's so pretty! we have a wood high chair with no pad, this is going on my to make list!

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  26. Love it, you make it look easy. Just started sewing, made a few draw string bags, pillows. but wanted to make a waterproof cushion for toy box and thought add matching tablecloth in laminate material! nightmare, until i found your page - tissue paper - wow so simple so effective. after ruining 2 sides (with pins!). now am using old fashioned hair grips and tissue paper (found in shoe box), all sorted.

    as i say just started but already have a long list of things. and looking at this blog as few more to add. love the bottle holder and...

    anita

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  27. Great tips, and I love the fabric you chose! Loving your blog too, I am a new follower. Please stop in and see my blog too.... http://questfortheperfectclothdiaper.blogspot.com/

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  28. Hey lady, beautiful!!! I've gotta try and make this! I've got a couple of questions for you...for the sizing, how much should I increase on the actual measurement, an inch over? Is the laminate on the cotton as thick as bonded vinyl to fabric, or thinner? ALSO- on fabric.com it doesn't say whether or not the batting products are thick, I was curious how one is able to know??? Thanks and keep the awesome tutorials coming!!!

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  29. Lael - I usually do a 1/2 inch seam allowance for most projects. On the thickness, laminated cotton is the same as regular cotton, just slightly stiffer, so it's wonderful to sew with because you don't need heavy duty needles or thread. I usually get my batting from Joann's - it's pretty inexpensive there. The high loft poly stuff is what you'd want and they usually have 1/2 - 1 inch thicknesses to choose from. Fabric.com has the thin cotton kind that is good for soft quilts, but won't really work well with something that needs to hold a shape, unless you put many, many layers in it.

    I hope this helps and stay tuned for more laminated cotton project ideas and info on some all new gorgeous laminate prints coming very soon!!

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  30. Love the cover...the print is so pretty! And I have to say, we have the EXACT same high chair! It was my husband's when he was little and has survived our two little ones...Would have done better with a cover like this though! =)

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  31. Love this! I'm just getting into laminated cotton and I was looking for a project. This is perfect!!!!

    Thanks!
    Susan

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  32. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Can you believe I have the EXACT same high chair!? What's more it was mine when I was little! I am so glad I came across you blog! I have been pondering a cushion for that thing for over 2 years now... I do believe I have found my inspiration!!!

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  33. I know this is a very old post, but I was wondering if you had a pattern for this highchair cover? I have a highchair that looks identical and am having a hard time coming up with a pattern for it. Thank you!

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    1. I may still have my original paper one somewhere, but it's not something I could really digitize as a downloadable item, so there would be a cost to redraft & ship a paper one (if I'm sure I can track it down that is!)

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    2. I would be super interested in a pattern in the case that you did find it!

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  34. Hi, I know this is an old post, but I'm about to attempt a cover for my (as in mine when I was a child) high chair. I love the idea of laminated cotton! And Fabric.com has some cute patterns.

    Question - is the seat pad attached/sewn to the back piece? Or are the separate?

    And did you add any safety straps? I am thinking of trying to find some sort of buckle & strap combo to keep little one in his place.

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Karen! The seat pad and back are separate pieces. After using this chair for 3 years I can say that makes it SO much easier to clean (no crevices for stuff to hide in!). I didn't add safety straps, as my chair still had some attached, but if you wanted to add some I'd recommend attaching them to the chair underside and then sliding them through the space between the seat and back pads.

      Also, if you're looking for great laminated cotton fabric, check out my sponsor, Laminates - the shop button is on the top left of my Sponsor sidebar. Deb has lots more choices of prints than anywhere else, better prices and provides exceptional service. Since this post (which was my very first laminate project), her shop is the only place I go for laminated fabric!

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  35. Do you have a pattern for the high chair cover? I have looked everywhere for one!

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    1. I'm sorry I don't - I made this a few years ago. I'd recommend finding a cheap vinyl one from a kid's consignment store or garage sale and use that for tracing (that's what I did) or measure your high chair sides and back to get the dimensions for your cover and include an extra 1/2 inch all the way around for the seam allowances.

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