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!
Well done Bonnie! Despite the fits it gave you the cover turned out beautifully!
You said you’re happy to answer any questions, Want to make me one??? Just kidding~ I wouldn’t put you through all that! 🙂 Looks great my sister!
PS Simeon was in that same onesie yesterday! 🙂
Oh, I soooo wish I had read your review before I started this dumb project!!! I’m stuck on “turning right side out after sewing all the way around the fabric” …. The darn leg hole is all messed up!!
I’m just tempted to rip the whole thing apart and try and create one on my own but I’m going to fight through it and read your tips and tricks and hopefully finish it before my daughter can walk through the store on her own!!
I am in the middle of this project, stuck at that impossible part too! I read it over and over thinking, “I must be missing something.” But apparently not! I’m so glad to have found your review! I am VERY MUCH a beginner, so this is all a little overwhelming, but I’ll try to modify as much as I can. I don’t even know how to make a button hole, and I see that’s the next step! Ha! Time to break out the sewing machine handbook. This is what I get for jumping in headfirst. Oh well, glad to see it can be done! I’m not giving up!!
I wanted to share my own story with this pattern. Although it took some thinking about the “dreaded” step, I followed the directions and my leg holes turned out perfect. (all seams hidden) So to clarify, the step is not impossible.
I too am making one of these right now, it’s about the fifth one I’ve done from this pattern over the years, but I am still very much a beginner. The first three that I did, I also found the “impossible step” to be impossible, and ended up ripping it out and doing this weird thing where I folded the edges over and stitched it from the other side. However, starting with the last one, I finally figured out that it is not impossible. You have to put the whole thing through the leg hole, just stuff it through, and it will eventually come out right. I am posting more to thank you for the SPLENDID idea of doing the corners separately, as I have always hated that aspect of this pattern.
Thank You Jennifer,
I felt the knot easing out of my neck when I read your explanation on how to deal with the leg hole. I am hopeful I will be able to finish this before Ava starts middle school!
Janine Burton says
Can you explain how you got that part to work? I’m trying to visualize just how stitching around that leg hole rectangle allows the two pieces joined there to be turned right side out? Also, what did you do with raw edges on outside of box sides?
Am trying to make this for my granddaughter. Like others here I followed the directions and sewed along the stiching line for the leg hole after reading it 8 times and asking Mr Frodo (my non-sewing doggie) “how can this work?” I was afraid to cut the leg hole until I looked for help. Your directions are great. I did find a video on You Tube that demonstrates how to turn the darn thing inside out. It is for a differect pattern but has the same cut for the leg hole. Hope it helps
Janine Burton says
Thanks so much for the video clip! It helps a lot! What did you do with the raw edges of the outside box/seat edges?
I too am making one of these right now and its was great to find your post and pictures. While like Jennifer I didn’t have any trouble with the leg hole step I am struggling to see how I can sew the whole seat together, add the ruffle and not have lots of edges showing. I should put here that I am very very very much beginner sewer. Any more details/ideas as to how I could achieve a neat end product would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the review. I have been thinking of making one and was tossing up whether to use a store bought pattern or use one of the web. Do you think I will encounter similar difficulties if I used an online one? There are so many that are free? Cheers, Jasmine
Paula Pfau says
After reading Ciindi’s comment and watching the video, If you sew the leg hole, turn it right side out, then sew up the sides separately with the fabric right sides together and after sewing all seams for both front and back one complete side fits inside the other hiding the seams!!!! Then put on the ruffle. The only raw edge seam will be the one that attaches the ruffle and it only shows on the back. Additional info I have gotten on other websites, is the elastic is too long and needs to be much shorter like 54″. Plus one post said the length of the ruffle does not fit all shopping carts so she added additional inches to her ruffle. Now after all this is said and done, you can purchase one of these darn things for about $25! About $10 more than the pattern!!! LOL
Janine Burton says
I was wondering how to sew it right sides together after the leg hole is already done and I can’t wrap my head around it. I was thinking of doing the sides right sides together before doing the leg hole and either use seam binding on leg hole or turn in raw edges of leg hole to the inside, press, and top stitch around it. Can you clarify how you did it? Thanks!
What a horrid pattern. I ended up sewing the bottom to fleece (used the overlocker all sides, then sewed it up to make a “box) Did the same with the top then popped one inside the other and sewed around. THEN cut the leg hole. I even complained about the pattern to the company and the lady assured me it works the way it is written. Did everything else pretty much to the pattern but pinned the elasticated surround right sides together inside the main part, sewed, flipped it over and did a top stitch. Looks really good.
Kathy Patterson says
OMG…..I am sooo frustrated with this pattern. I feel just a little better knowing that I’m not insane lol. Could you email me a picture if your finished product. Also did you make your own binding. I wish I would have Googled this week’s ago. I kept thinking that I I must be doing something wrong.
I am working on this project for grandson that will arrive in December. For some reason the photos are not showing up. I am taking your suggestion.
Thank you for your input.
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