Car Travel Mat (Car Roll Up)

By Pickle Toes Team
on December 19, 2018

Car Travel Mat (Car Roll Up)

Hello Pickle Toes Fans!  Looking for a quick but still impressive sew?  We’ve got an awesome tutorial today for that special tiny toy car hoarder collector in your life. I have 2 little guys that are equally obsessed with tiny cars.  I find them everywhere--under the sofa, in the TV cabinet, in the tub after bath time, even in the freezer after they became second place to a bowl of ice cream.  Every time I do the laundry I always find a few that have gone on one wild ride through the washer and have wiggled out of my son’s pockets somewhere in the dryer. Cue banging sounds in dryer. Hahaha

 My boys always stuff their cars in their pockets.  Sometimes my 2 year old gets really grouchy when he can’t fit them all. My 4 year old already knows he likes to carry more than his pocket can hold, so he’s started carrying a backpack--Which always gets “too heavy”.  So basically I’m carrying around a puppy dog backpack full of cars, a diaper bag, and 2 toddlers with 2 big girls trailing behind.  What a sight, I’m sure. :P

Enter the Travel Car Mat.

Basically this came out of necessity. I NEEDED to stop carrying this backpack full of cars and teach my boys to be a little more independent.  I still needed these darn cars to come with us everywhere because they keep my boys busy and super calm when we’re out.  If something keeps my toddlers busy, even for 4.2 seconds, it’s a total win for me. Bonus--that means I get 4.2 seconds of uninterrupted thought and zero sweating, but, ya know, your mileage may vary.

Here’s what you need to create this Travel Car Mat:

-11”wx12”H woven fabric (2 pieces, 1 for front and 1 for back)

-3”hx11”W woven fabric (this will be your pockets)

-3”hx11”w black felt (2 pieces, these will be your roads)

-1”wx1/2”h yellow felt (8 pieces, these will be the yellow lines on the roads)

-closure of choice (either 8 snaps, hook and loop tape as desired or 9 inches of 1/4” elastic

-ribbon or webbing 9”long (2 pieces)

-thread to match

 

(I am using the vehicle fabric for front and back, as well as the pocket)

Cut all your fabric out and gather all your materials.



Begin by hemming the pocket piece about 3/8”.

Next, you will create the pockets for your cars to fit into. I decided on about 2” and all our average sized cars fit inside. First, lay your hemmed pocket piece on top of your 11”x12”front fabric piece. Be sure to line up the 2 sides and bottom edges as best as you can. Clip or pin the pocket to the fabric to where it was hemmed.  This will hold it still.

 Next, measure ½” from the left and right edges of your fabric-I used a clip for this. This will be the seam allowance when we sew the front and back together. From that clip on the left side, measure 2” and mark it with a pin. Continue marking the lines for your pockets every 2” until you have 5 pockets. Your last pin should be about 2 and ½” from the right edge of your fabric.  Alternately, you can just simple create 2 large pockets by measuring and marking right down the middle of your pocket piece. **If you are adding snaps or Velcro for closure, this would be a good time to add the one side. Add 4 snaps or 3pieces of Velcro as desired, staying away from where your pocket stitches will be.  Be sure to only attach your Velcro or snaps to your pocket piece and not the top 11”x12”piece.

Now we will sew our pockets. Starting from the top of your pocket, sew a straight line to your pin, being sure to remove your pin and sew to the end of your fabric. Repeat for your 4 other pockets. You should now have 3 closed pockets and 2 end pockets that are open on the sides. We will close these later.

Next we will sew the yellow lines onto your roads. Determine how you want to place them on your road and pin. Sew yellow felt to the black felt, sewing down the middle of your yellow rectangle. Full disclosure, I used white thread NOT yellow and you can’t tell the difference.


Repeat step 5 for your second road. **As another option, you can create a “figure 8” for your road. It will need to be about 7” tall and 10”wide. Sew the yellow lines onto your “figure 8” in the same way, doing your best to space them evenly.

 

Now it’s time to sew your roads down. Measure 1” from the top of your front 11”x12” piece.  Pin one of your roads to the front piece, making sure the entire road is 1”from the top of your fabric and lines up with the sides of your front piece. Pin it in place. Top stitch 3/8” along the top and bottom of your road.  **If you chose a figure 8, pin and topstitch 3/8” along the outside and inside edges of your 8.

 

Measure 1” from the bottom of the road you just sewed. Pin your second road to the front piece, making sure the entire road is 1”from the bottom of your first road. Top stitch 3/8”along the top and bottom of your second road.

 

Next we will sew some “fold lines”. I like to add this detail because it makes it easier for little hands to fold the car mat. Looking at the mat, we have created a gap between the two roads and a gap between the bottom road and the pockets. This is where we will create our “fold lines”.  Increase your stitch length just a touch, it doesn’t need to be too long. Sew a straight line across the middle of the gap between the roads, the entire length of the mat. It should be about ½” from each road but you can easily eyeball this part.  Repeat for the gap between the bottom road and the pocket. **If you created a figure 8, you should still create these fold lines.  Measure about 4 ½” from the top edge. This will be your first fold line.  Next, measure 4 ½” from the top of your pockets. This will be your second fold line. Straight stitch the length of your Car Mat.

Now it’s time to pin your straps. Take your ribbon/webbing and pin one end on fold line you just created. Pin or clip the other end to your second fold line. Be sure your ribbon sits ON TOP of your Car Mat and NOT OFF the edges.  Repeat with the ribbon/webbing on the opposite side to create your second strap.

I chose to use an elastic strap that could be pulled around the Car Mat after it was folded. Measure about 2 ½” from the upper right corner of your Car Mat. Pin or clip and overlap the ends, making sure your elastic creates a loop and lines up with the edges. Again, be sure your elastic loop sits ON TOP of your Car Mat, NOT off the edges.

 

It’s time to close your Car Mat! Lay your back 11”x12” piece on top of your front piece, right sides together. Clip or pin all the way around, leaving a 4” opening in the middle of the top for turning. When you reach the spots where you pinned the straps, be sure to remove to pins/clips and re-clip or pin to include the bottom fabric. You should have 3 layers here-- top fabric, strap, and bottom fabric. When you reach your elastic strap, remove the pin and re-pin or clip to include the bottom fabric. Here, you will have 4 layers, top fabric, elastic and bottom fabric. Top stitch about 3/8”all around the edges. Be sure to catch all your layers including your roads pockets, elastic and straps. **If you made a figure 8, It is not necessary to catch the road when you sew it shut since it was already top stitched.

Turn your Car Mat right side out and double check that all layers are sewn.

Now it’s time to top stitch. Fold the fabric at the opening inside and iron it flat. Top stitch 3/8”, starting at the TOP left side of the pocket. DO NOT top stitch the pockets.  You will only topstitch the 2 sides and the top. When top stitching the top, be sure to sew your opening closed.

If you are adding snaps or Velcro, this is the time to add the second half. They should be place on the back piece, in the gap between the two roads.


You’re done! Now little hands can carry their own cars using the straps and they’ll have a little mat to play on. Fold it up and show it to your favorite car collector and anyone else that will think it’s amazing!

 

 

    My boys have already discovered that toy dinosaurs fit really well in the pockets, along with cheese sticks and teddy grahams.  :P

     

    Happy sewing Pickle Toes Fans!

    By Lindsay Stroup

     

     

    Free Triangle Zipper Pouch Tutorial

    By Kellie Davis
    on December 19, 2017

    Free Triangle Zipper Pouch Tutorial

    Good Day All!

     

    I am back again with a quick tutorial for making a triangle zippered pouch. These are great little sews that use up tons of scrap and are fairly practical. You can change the sizing of these to be as large or as small as you would like, plus they make a stellar hostess gifts; or in my case dice bags for my sons. If you have any dice game players in your family, this has been on one of my son’s lists for about 6 months, and since they take a few minutes to sew each of his Dungeons and Dragons buddies will be getting one with a new set of dice 😊. I apologize now that I do not have my son’s D&D dice (he refuses to let anyone else touch his) so I used his Cube Quest game for photo purposes and was promptly told I needed to now make sets for those games- lol.

     

     

    So lets get started!

     

    Supplies: For this tutorial I will be making approximately a 4 inch tall triangle pouch

    2 pieces of 5x10 fabric, one will be your lining and one your outer.

    2 Pieces of fusible interfacing (I had to piece mine together because I was running low. I used a midweight one but you can use the fleece or something heavier if you prefer the pouch to be stiffer)

    1-7 inch zipper for the size that I am making, if you choose to resize this then you will want to make sure that your zipper length is longer than what is recommended here. I recommend using a vinyl over metal zipper

    2-3 inch piece of ribbon (optional)

    Sewing machine

    Pins or clips

    Zipper foot (optional)

     

    ******3/8 inch seam allowance is what is used throughout the tutorial********

     

    Step 1 we are going to make sure we have the 2 pieces of fabric cut down to the 5x10 inch size then go ahead and interface both your lining and your outer. I opted for the mid weight for both pieces, if I were sizing this up, I would probably recommend at least one side fused with either heavier weight interfacing or fusible fleece to give it a shape that actually stands up well.

    Next you are going to sandwich your zipper in between your outer fabric and your lining, with the fabrics right side together. You want to make sure if you are using directional fabrics as I did, that your zipper pull is at the top and face down on your outer fabric. This is where a zipper foot will come in handy, you want to sew as close to that zipper as you can get without actually sewing over the teeth of the zipper.

    You will now flip the outer and lining over right side and topstitch along the edge you have just sewn (where my finger is pointing).

    Now we are going to sew the other side. Place the outer fabric right side down on the zipper edge, you are going to be forming a loop with the outer fabric at this point since it will now be sewn on one side and pinned to the other side of the zipper.

    You are going to do the same thing with the lining. After you pin it down, it should look like the photos below. Now you will sew this the same way that you did the other side, with your zipper foot getting as close as you can to the zipper.

    Reach in between the 2 fabrics and unzip the zipper and turn your fabrics so your lining is on the inside and your outer fabric is right side out. We are now going to topstitch the other side of the zipper like we did earlier. Again using that zipper foot we are going to pull the fabric as tight as we can and sew down along the straightened edge making sure to stay clear of the actual zipper teeth.

    This point you should have a tube shape with your zipper on top, you are going to turn your fabric so the lining is facing the outside and rezip the pouch. We are now going to sew the parts that will make the pouch a triangle. You will start with the zipper in the middle of the pouch and flattening the pouch so we can sew the bottom shut. Pin along the edge without the zipper pull.

    You will now sew along this edge. Just a brief note, if you sew this edge and leave it like this it will have an unfinished edge. I recommend using pinking shears, a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine or serger to finish the seams.

    We are going to unzip the zipper again and this time fold the pouch so that the zipper is folded in half and flatten the pouch again and pin. If you are adding a ribbon for a small loop you will add it now about ¼ of an inch from the zipper edge.

    You will now sew this edge, finishing it with your preferred method you used earlier. Turn your little pouch right side out and you are all finished and ready to put what you would like in your little pouch!

     

     

    Come show us in the group if you made any of these for stocking stuffers, teachers gifts or just because you thought they were cute!          

     

    Trick or Treat Bag Tutorial

    By Pickle Toes Team Jennifer-Laurie
    on October 26, 2017

    Trick or Treat Bag Tutorial

    Want a fun bag for trick or treating?  Or maybe just a fun bag for shopping, toys or the library?  This tutorial is just what you need.

    Read more »

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