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Monday, January 2, 2012

Sewing For Boys Pump Up Series: The Train To Crazy

I'm so PUMPED today to bring your our first guest poster.  No, really, like get up before the kids do, early. Andrea is a blogger that I hugely admire.  Not only is she hilarious, she raises four kids, makes her own patterns and sews her kids' clothing, runs a business and still finds time to support new bloggers such as myself.  I think she is an incredibly talented lady and I'm so thrilled she's joining us here for the Sewing For Boys Pump Up Week.  Okay, I'll finish gushing and let you all get on to meeting her.

I'm so excited to participate in this Sewing For Boys series! Any time I can find something to sew for my little boy I get excited. You can find me blogging and sewing over at The Train To Crazy where I sew for my three girls and my little guy.

Handmade sanity banner

Sometimes I even have time to sew for myself or other people. I love hosting guests and sharing tutorials so hop over there if you haven't visited yet. I hope you find something helpful! I'll be participating in Project Run & Play begining this week so check back to see my first entry!

I was so excited for the book Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe to be published. I patiently awaited it's release date and flipped through it as soon as I received it. The first project I chose from the book is the Car Play Mat. My kids love little cars and my son received a whole box of hot wheels for Christmas so this was perfect! 

Car Play Mat

I followed the pattern for the road but made some of my own adjustments. I wanted a play mat that would be used for more than two minutes so it needed a bit more appeal.

To make your play mat like mine you'll want to cut your background fabric larger than the pattern (I used a heavy denim which I think is a great weight for this). Mine is about 36"x36" but you could certainly make it larger.

Then you can add a zip pouch to the background by cutting a piece of fabric about 18"x7". I used a 12 inch zipper.

Cut a slit in your garage fabric an inch shorter than the length of the zipper teeth.

Then cut a little "Y" at each end and iron it like this. You will now have an open rectangle in which to sew your zipper.

Car play mat-5847

I then laid the zipper down and used stitch witchery (double sided bonding) to attach it to the fabric before stitching. 

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Then flip over your garage fabric to the right side and, using a zipper foot just sew a rectangle around the zipper. Most machines can't sew through a zipper so if your fabric covers a bit of the zipper end make sure to avoid the teeth.

Car play mat-5849

Easy, right?

Now fold the edges under 1/4", iron, then fold 1/4" again and iron. Pin it in place on your play mat. I pinned the two long edges down, leaving the side edges unpinned. I pinned the sides 5" apart. Then sew the long sides down 1/8" from the edge.

Car play mat-5852

The short sides will be loose like the above picture. Make a fold on each end so it lays flat then sew.

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Now customize your mat using wool felt. Why wool felt? It looks best, holds up well and because it is felt you don't need to worry about fraying. Most chain fabric stores carry some wool felt blends and those work great.

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Those cars need some place to go so make your mat interesting! I added a tunnel but made it detatchable with Velcro.

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And finally, because I made it from a heavy denim, I didn't back it. That way I can continue to customize it! I just finished the edges of the mat and it is ready to play with.

Do your kids need a car mat?

Oh, I just love the garage and removable tunnel.  Thank you so much for helping us to jump start the series, Andrea!  

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  1. Now I want to add a tunnel to the playmat I made my son ages ago. He'd love it!

    I got Sewing for Boys for Christmas and I'm really excited to get sewing!

  2. I love it!!!
    Add these shots to flickr!! :)

  3. I LOVE this! Not only does my son always park his cars in the garage, but we live at Target! So fun. Thanks for Sharing!


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