Monday, 19 December 2011

Pram liner tutorial

Edie's new pram liner
TOTAL COST: around $20
TOTAL TIME: around 2-3 hours

A couple of weeks ago I got my sewing machine serviced.  It had been playing up for a while catching underneath and even though I only use it for straight and zigzag stitching, getting it fixed has changed everything! 

This is my very first tutorial.  I'm a visual learner, so I've tried to add as many pictures as I could.   

Before making this liner, I looked around the internet and found a few blogs with pram liner tutorials and for sale, and got some great inspiration from  Floating World  and also Sew Pony.  Thanks ladies for your great tutorials!

Pram Liner Tutorial Instructions.

I took ages to decide what fabric I wanted and what colours.  I decided on a reversible liner, with a lovely red flowers on one side, and a red nylon ripstop fabric on the reverse for durability and to add a bit of water resistance in case of spills (if you know what I mean).  In the middle is quite a thick piece of wadding for added cushy-ness.

So here's what you'll need to make one like mine:
  • 1 piece of 40cm x 80cm piece of top fabric (I used the red flower 100% cotton fabric)
  • 1 piece of 40cm x 80cm piece of bottom fabric (I used red nylon rip stop, but you can use a different colourful cotton, or something that will not be seen such as a simple calico or plain drill fabric)
  • 1 piece of 37cm x 77cm piece of wadding (or 'batting' if you're American)
  • 2m of bias binding tape (I bought a packet of 25mm x 3m and there's just over a metre left over)
If you're buying everything from scratch, get half a metre of each of the two fabrics, and also the wadding.  In case you're wondering how much it would cost to make one yourself, here's an idea of how much mine cost:
Flowers cotton fabric: $10 ($20 per metre, you can get cotton fabrics much cheaper than this, but I HAD to have this one)
Nylon ripstop fabric: $4 ($8 per metre)
Wadding: $3 ($6 per metre)
Bias binding: $4 (pre-packed 3m length)
I'm going to assume you've already got matching thread, but if not add a couple of bucks for the thread. 

These are the things you'll need before you start

Cut the one piece of each of the two fabrics you've selected and also one piece of the wadding so you have three pieces in total. 

Notice that the wadding is 3cm smaller than the other two fabrics 

This picture is a little warped because of the
camera angle, the lines meant to be straight!
Measure your pram and work out where the strap holes above the shoulders and also the one between the legs are.  I actually drew my pram liner (not to scale) on a piece of paper and wrote the measurements on that to work out where the holes where to go.

Using tailors chalk (or pen if you're like me) draw a line through the middle from the top to the bottom on the top piece of fabric.  Also measure the crease line (where the back rest folds to make the seat of the pram). Then measure where the straps are located and draw them on your fabric as this is where the button holes will be sewn to push the straps through.

The reverse side (finished) to indicate
sewing lines and buttonhold placement
Place your bottom piece down first, wrong side up, then your wadding, then place your top fabric right side up to make a wadding sandwich.  Pin the edges ensuring the wadding is centred as you don't want to sew the wadding into the seams. Using matching thread, sew right down the middle of the top fabric.  Then sew the crease line from side to side. 

To add a quilted look to the liner (which also works to hold the fabric together better), add two more lines to the back rest section and one more to the bottom section.  Trim all the threads back, no need to tie off as they'll be secured when the bias binding goes on last.  Try hard to keep the lines parralel, mine are a bit crooked as I didn't draw them on thinking I could wing it (oops), they're not that noticeable I guess, but I know they're crooked and every time I look at it, I see it. 

Notice the buttonholes intersect the sewn lines
Now that you've got your three layers all carefully stitched together, you'll have raw edges but neatly sewn lines on the fabric.  Time to sew the buttonholes.  If your pram is like mine, you'll have the two top straps intersect with both the horizontal and vertical lines and you'll sew a buttonhole through them.  My top buttonholes were approximately 5 cm along, but my seat buttonhole needed to be much bigger (8cm) in order to push the buckle through, even though the webbing was only 5cm. Using a seam ripper/quick unpick, rip open the seams and tidy up the loose threads with embroidery scissors.

Open up the binding and pin the right side of the opened out binding loosely around the top fabric. Slide the binding down a bit to expose about 2mm of the fabric underneath, this will ensure you catch both fabrics when you sew, but not the wadding or it will too difficult to sew through.  TIP: fold the edge over about 5mm before you start sewing so you have a neat edge. 
Notice the start edge is folded over and also that the binding is slightly in from the edge.

When you get back to the start, leave the needle in place but lift the footer up.  Cut the binding approximately 5mm longer so it overlaps the bit you've folded over.  You can leave the edge raw because it will be covered up with the binding.

Now that you've sewn on the binding, it's time to fold it over to see the finished product, then top stitch it.  This is a really important step as you must catch both sides of the binding and keep the stitching straight and the same distance from the edges, a feat trickier than some people would have you believe.  Store bought bias binding is already pressed with folds in the right spots for you, so that really helps, and I find it easier to pin where I'll be stitching, then turn over to see that your pins match up properly.  Sew all the way round and tie off the threads.  Press the whole thing and you're done!  Attach to your pram and stand back to admire.

The finished product!  I love it!

If you can't be bothered making one of these yourself, I found some fantastic premade ones on Etsy

If you want to see what I make on Etsy, click here.

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