Fantastico New Cover & Canopy For An Old Stroller {tutorial}

I made a new cover and canopy for the almost-decade-old stroller I love.

Here is the “before” picture, a little sad and stained with more than a few years’ worth of ground in cheerios and goldfish, but still a great stroller.

Although this is not a full-on tutorial (since all strollers are different), I do have a few tips and gobs of photos from along the way…

1. Choose a fabric you love. I always check the sale bolts first, but this is a time when you shouldn’t settle for any old fabric. If you use your stroller all the time, pick a fabric you love. I was thrilled to find this upholstery weight fabric on super sale, so 1.5 yards of this usually $20/yd fabric cost me $12 total. [Score!] I also chose a bold graphic print. although you can choose any pattern, of course, the bold pattern gives more bang for your buck, I think!

2. Choose a fabric that works. the fabric needs to be a heavier weight (like upholstery fabric rather than a thin cotton quilting fabric) and –unless you are going to spray paint your stroller frame… which you actually could and that could be really fantastic!–also choose a fabric that coordinates with your frame. My stroller frame is a greenish blue, so I chose a fabric that looks great next to it.

3. Take photos before and as you take it apart. Trust me on this one–snap a couple of photos before you take the cover off to help you remember where & how it goes back on! Make a note of where different screws go.

4. Reuse what you can. I loved the inside of the canopy–a matte silver still in great shape, so I used that without covering it. and the seat had all sorts of buckles and hardware, so I just sewed my new cover straight on top of it rather than disassembling it and reattaching all the recline/sit-up mechanics.

Okay, here’s the pictorial rundown of how I did it:

CANOPY

I removed the metal bar and a metal curved rod from the canopy so it would lay flat.

I cut off the padded tube when the arched metal rod was. [Yikes! Commitment cut! No turning back!] Set this aside to use as a “pattern” for a new tube in a later step…

Cut a piece of the new fabric the same size plus seam allowance as the old canopy. Set aside.

I sewed a tube of my cover fabric (& liner fabric) to the same length as the piece I cut off. I made mine wider so it was easier to insert in my “sandwich” when I sewed the new canopy fabric and lining together.

Here’s a close-up of that. I sewed the cover fabric to the liner fabric right sides together at both ends to form the tube. Then I turned the tube right-side-out.

Next, tuck the long foam strip from the old canopy into the new tube.

Fold it in half long ways, and sew straight along the long edge.

Here is what it looks like (it is folded in half here just to fit in the picture). It is still open at the two short ends in order to slip the metal bar back through when the cover’s all finished.

With the fabric you cut (to the same shape & size of the original canopy plus seam allowance) placed right-side-together with your canopy liner fabric (in my case, this was the original canopy), tuck in the tube you just sewed from the previous steps, sandwiching it between the new cover fabric and liner fabric, pinning it in place along the front arch of the canopy.

So lay out your pretty canopy fabric, right side up. Then the next “layer” is the tube you made in the previous step–line up the raw edge with the edge of your pretty fabric. Then lay the old canopy (or new liner fabric) on top with the underside of the old canopy (or new liner fabric) facing down.

Sew all the way around, leaving an opening to turn it right-side-out.

Turn it right-side-out. Here is the top view.

Here is the inside/liner view.

Next I did a straight stitch to sew closed the opening (not shown, sewed on four velcro pieces in the same places as the original canopy (not shown), and sewed a tight zig-zag stitch around the window opening (like a button hole stitch).

It looks like this from the other side.

Then without cutting through the window, I cut the cover fabric just inside my zig-zag stitch to reveal the window. Canopy: complete! Reattach it and move on!

STRAP

Next I moved on to the seatbelt strap. Once it was removed from the stroller, I pulled the seam that held the two locking pieces in place (these pieces kept the seatbelt from pulling out of the stroller or from sliding too far in. I set them aside to reattach later.

Cut two pieces (or one cover fabric and one liner piece) the same size as the strap plus seam allowance.

Sew them almost all the way around, right-sides-together, leaving a small opening to turn the finished strap cover right-side-out.

Turn it right-side-out and tuck in the open end. Place the new strap cover on top of the original strap, and sew around the perimeter to attach the two together. Tuck the locking pieces you removed from the original strap back in their original position, fold the strap over,Β  and sew straight across to reclose the loop. Put the seatbelt strap back on the stroller and move on!

SEAT COVER

In every stroller cover I’ve seen, the seat and seat back are usually one flat piece just pinched and sewn at the seat fold. I am simply attaching the new cover to the old cover (so I don’t have to take off and then replace all the recline/sit-up hardware from the seatback), so I didn’t want to cut this fabric. I used a stitch ripper the release these seams without cutting my fabric.

Once my seat/back was flat, I cut a new cover piece & thin liner piece (I actually cut an old white sheet for the liner fabric)the same size as the old one plus seam allowance.

Here’s what mine looked like. Next, I sewed the cover piece and liner piece right-sides-together almost all the way around the perimeter, leaving an opening to turn the cover right-side-out.

Umm… apparently, it was getting late and I forgot to keep taking pictures–WUPS! But next turn the piece right-side-out, place it on top of the original cover, and sew all the way around the edge to secure the new to the old one.

All that’s left is to sew giant “button holes” with a zig-zag stitch so the seatbelt straps can fit through. You can see how to do that here at the umbrella stroller seat cover tutorial if you need.

Then put that seat cover back on the stroller the same way you took it off (lots of snaps on mine… this is where you might be happy you took a few pics?).

And voila! You have a brand new stroller! {sort of} πŸ˜‰Β  Here’s Sissy testing her new seatbelt straps–that girl loves buckles!

$12 worth of fabric and a couple of hours’ work is a whole lot cheaper than a brand new stroller!

So, is there something old you can make new again?

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16 responses to “Fantastico New Cover & Canopy For An Old Stroller {tutorial}

  1. I totally noticed this at the Chick-fil-a race and thought it was beautiful! Now I am even more impressed!

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  2. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo
    News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?

    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

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  3. Also, I’m kind of confused how to sew the canopy. So you cut the fabric and leave the seam allowance, but how do you sew them together?

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    • With the fabric you cut (to the same shape & size of the original canopy plus seam allowance) placed right-side-together with your canopy liner fabric (in my case, this was the original canopy), tuck in the tube you just sewed from the previous steps, sandwiching it between the new cover fabric and liner fabric, pinning it in place along the front arch of the canopy.
      So lay out your pretty canopy fabric, right side up. Then the next “layer” is the tube you made in the previous step–line up the raw edge with the edge of your pretty fabric. Then lay the old canopy (or new liner fabric) on top with the underside of the old canopy (or new liner fabric) facing down.
      Then sew almost all the way around the edge, leaving an opening to be able to turn the new canopy right side out.
      Hope that helps!! πŸ™‚

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      • Thats what I thought, it just didn’t make sense, I thought if you sewed right sides together then it would make it smaller.

        For the cover, do you sew that right sides together, or sew it on top?

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        • I sewed the new seat cover and backing/liner fabric a bit bigger all the way around, so when it is sewn and turned right side out, it is the right size. Hope that helps!!

          Like

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