True to form, I almost completely forgot about a key item Sam needs to take with him when he starts Mother's Day Out next week. A nap mat. Luckily I already had the mat from when Izzy was in preschool. Bullet dodged there. But, it was still sporting the bright pink floral cover I had made for her. No bueno. With a little more experience under my belt (aka: don't make things harder on yourself, haul in as few separate items as possible) I decided to make Sam's with an attached pillow, attached blanket, better straps for holding it together, and a handle. Boom! No more worrying about leaving something behind or dropping it in the parking lot. You're welcome ;)
- PRE-WASH YOUR FABRIC FIRST!!!
- 3 yards of fabric for main portion of cover (no less than 44" wide)
- 1 yard of minky fabric for inside portion of blanket
- 3 yards of trim for straps
- sew on velcro strips
- sewing machine, thread, and pins
- nap mat insert (mine is approx. 18x42)
- small toddler pillow (mine is a lumbar pillow insert 12x20)
STEP ONE: Make sure you have pre-washed all of your fabric and adjust measurements according to your mat insert! We'll start by making the blanket portion of the cover. Cut a 1 yard by 33" wide piece of your outer fabric and a 1 yard by 33" piece of the minky fabric. Pin them face sides together leaving one of the 33" sides open. I used several pins here since the minky fabric is kind of shifty. Sew your three sides together.
STEP TWO: Snip your corners off so that they lay smooth when you flip it right side out. To give the blanket a finished look I did a double row of stitches on the outside. I pinned before hand to keep the minky fabric in place (good grief, auto correct keeps switching "minky" to "kinky"!!!).
STEP THREE: Now we're making the main mat cover. With your remaining 2 yards of outer fabric, cut it in half straight down the center. Leave one side the full 2 yards, and cut the other side down to 48". At the top edge of each piece, fold over the edge and stitch flat. This will become the envelope opening for the mat.
Pardon the feet. Whenever I lay something on the floor Sam feels the need to walk on it :)
STEP FOUR: Lay your outer cover pieces right sides together. In this photo below, the edges you just sewed down are staggered at the bottom and the raw edges are together at the top. Fold the bottom piece up 16" to create the envelop opening.
Now slide the blanket portion into the left side of the cover minky side up, raw side out. Pin around the three sides leaving the bottom open. Stitch in place. Turn right side out and make sure your blanket is properly attached.
STEP FIVE: Now we're making the straps that hold the mat together. Cut two strips of trim that are 4ft. long and one that is 1ft.
Stick the two 4ft. long strips inside the bottom unsewn portion of the cover about 5 inches from the side seams. Pin and stitch in place. TIP: Back stitch over the trim so that it holds up to repeated pulling from use.
STEP SIX: Flip the cover right side out. Finish the edges of the trim by rolling them over and stitching in place. Now attach the velcro pieces. I used two 12 inch long strips. With the cover laying blanket side up, lay the straps over top of the blanket. I placed the softer loop portion of the velcro about 4 inches from the bottom of the cover. Flip the top pieces of the strap up and place the rougher hook portion of the velcro right at the end. Stitch in place.
STEP SEVEN: Use the remaining 12 inch portion of trim to make a handle. Attach it toward the base of the straps, about 2 inches for the end of the mat cover. I rolled my edge under and stitched in place with a box and X to make sure it held up (I'm sure there's a technical term for that).
STEP EIGHT: Slide the nap mat insert inside your cover through the envelop opening and push it all the way to the base of the cover, toward the straps. Insert the pillow at the top.
YOU'RE DONE!!! Grab your little one and take that puppy for a test drive.
And when it's time to put it away just flip the pillow back, lay the blanket flat, fold it all up and strap it down.