I used Simplicity 4225 to make a shopping cart cover for my friend, Tiffany, about three years ago and swore I’d never make another one. Three years have gone by, though, and we really needed a cart/highchair cover for Charlie, and, of course, I couldn’t quite remember why I found this pattern so difficult to sew.
Things started out well. Before I began, I decided that I would modify the pockets. Instead of the one layer, pleated pockets that the pattern includes, I did two-layer elasticized pockets. Two on the right side and one on the left.
I also modified the toy loops. I used fabric, rather than grosgrain ribbon, and made them complete loops, and planned to add plastic toy loops when the cover was finished. Things were still going well.
This was the point where my memory started to click in . . . was there something odd about the leg holes? Hmmm . . . the instructions say to pin the seat sections together, sew around the area where the leg opening will be, trim away the fabric in the opening and then turn the seat right-side out. Here’s where you get to laugh at me, because in spite of the fact that I knew this was impossible–I even had a conversation with my husband about how this was impossible–I tried it anyway. I can now say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is impossible–I tried it. Here’s where I got frustrated. A quick google search turned up a few terrible reviews of the pattern including one that said the sewist had given up on the project after multiple tries to get it to fit a cart properly. I was almost ready to shove the whole project into a box. It’s possible that I even browsed etsy for someone else to make one for me. I took a break for awhile. I think you just have to do that sometimes. I wasn’t really ready to give up altogether, though.
I had noticed that the cart covers on etsy all seemed to have binding on the legs, so I decided that’s what I would do. It was a bit of work because sewing binding onto a hole is the opposite of binding a finished project like a quilt, but after a bit of seam-ripping and a whole lot of pinning, I managed to get it done reasonably well.
Some of the reviews I’d read of this particular pattern pointed out that the way the instructions have you sew the sides of the seat together leaves the unfinished seams showing when you put the cover in a cart. This part was easy to solve. Instead of sewing the inside and outside pieces of the seat together to form the corners, I did the inside and outside separately. Then I slid the inside into the outside, hiding all the unfinished edges between the two layers.
I followed the instructions for sewing the ruffle onto the seat, except that I serged it on. (You can actually see my serging on the back of the seat in this picture. Without the serging, you’d see an unfinished edge here, too.)
One other suggestion that I read in another pattern review was to reduce the length of elastic. The elastic that I had on hand was in 54″ segments so I just used that amount, and it worked perfectly.
I’m really glad that I pushed through the difficulties and finished the seat cover because I really like it now that it’s done. The pictures above were all taken in a Joann’s shopping cart which is smaller than a cart that you might find at Walmart, but I think there’s plenty of room for the cover to stretch to fit a bigger cart. The pictures are all clickable, by the way, in case you want to see them bigger. This cover is definitely not very cushiony. There’s no padding on the ruffle part at all, but I’m happy with the fact that it’s less bulky this way. I haven’t yet tried it out in a restaurant highchair, but I’ll report back when I do. Like always, I’m happy to answer any questions. If you’re working on this pattern and need someone to hold your hand, just post a comment, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!