Thursday, April 30, 2009

Make your own Stroller Sun Shade!

I take my son, Ari on walks almost every morning and afternoon. Some days, I'm exhausted by the time we get back because I've been fighting with the blanket we drape over the front to try to keep the sun off of his baby skin (now that he's bigger, he also pulls the blanket and thinks it's really funny!). I searched for sunshades on the web, but wasn't sure if any of them would work for our jogging stroller (no, I've never jogged with it). I also didn't want to spend a lot of money on one more plastic, vinyl, mystery material baby accessory. So, I came up with a plan to make one and I think you can adapt it to any stroller. I'm a very beginner sewer, so you can probably make a better one than I can ( don't look too close to my seams:)

Here's what you need:
*A sew machine, or patience to hand sew
*2 wooden dowels
*An old/used placemat or flexible cutting board (the polka dot rectangle on the right)
*An old/used rectangular baby blanket. You need a pretty big blanket so that you can fold it in half and have it still fit the top of your stroller with some overhang all around. The blanket I used was a gift we always liked but could never figure out how to use. It's too big for a baby blanker really, but it's too thin for a playmat. You can also take 2 or more blankets or burp clothes and sew them together.

Step 1:
Fold the blanket in half longways and sew one of the shorter ends closed.

Step 2:
Measure the width of your placemat or cutting board and then sew two seams down the longest sides of the blanket.

Steps 3 & 4:
Slide the placemat or cutting board into the pocket you've just created. Then, sew a seam just under the placemat to hold it in place.

Steps 5 & 6:
Now you need to sew pockets to slide the wooden dowels into. You've already sewn a seam down both of the longest sides, so you just need to measure the width of the dowels you've bought and sew another long seam to make the pocket. Slide the dowels in both sides.

Step 7:
Next, I decided to sew a seam across the bottom to keep the dowels in place, but I'm not sure you have to do this. It was tricky and I have no idea how to make it easier (I actually balanced the front of the shade on a window sill while I sewed the bottom seam.)

Step 8:
This step is optional. The sun shade should balance over the top of your stroller because of the structure from the dowels and placemat. Because our stroller has a grommet on either side that holds the shade onto the base, I decided to sew some ribbon into the shade I made so that I could really crimp it down tight. I simply cut two lengths of ribbon, pinned them into a pocket in the fabric, and then sewed over them until they seemed really secure. I think I went a little crazy, but oh well--they won't come out at least!

If you try this out and adapt it to make it better, please let us know!
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  1. This is so clever! How do you both come up with more than 1 creative idea a week?

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