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Before and After: High Chair Seat Cushion & Cover

Hauck Alpha Chair with New Seat Cover

Ah, the plethora of kid stuff. I don’t know about you, but I thought we’d get by with a lot less gear than we actually have. I’d done my homework, read reviews and comparison shopped. I’d wanted to make the right choices the first time around. But the truth is, you don’t really know what will work until you try it in your own home with your own kid. Our first high chair, for example, had great reviews, two trays, folded for storage and could convert to a small chair for later. It sounded great in theory, but despite all those things we never liked it. The footprint was too wide, it was heavy, the trays were too big too clean in the sink, and we never folded and put it away between meals. What’s the point if it was going to be used 3+ times a day? We used it for both kids for the least amount of time possible.

As soon as Leo was old enough we switched him to a booster and tray set that sat on top of one of our dining chairs. It worked fine for a while, but I could see that Leo couldn’t rest his legs comfortably, plus it was too high to push under the table. We would all occasionally trip on the back legs. I began to look for other options.

Thanks to craigslist I found a like-new Hauck Alpha Chair for a bargain. It was and is the perfect chair for Leo. I could go on and on about it, but I’ll limit myself to saying that it is super sturdy, adjustable, comfortable, promotes good posture and he can climb into it easily by himself. It also matches the rest of our dining chairs (unlike Chloe’s Ikea Urban Junior Chair). Winner!

We’ve had the Alpha chair since January and just recently took the seat and the foot plate down a notch to accommodate Leo’s growth (my little boy is growing up!). Actually, the only thing I didn’t love about the chair was the seat pad. It was thin and lumpy. If food spilled on it, it would immediately stain. More like a bib than a seat cover. Yuck. Here is the “Before” photo:

Time for a new seat cushion! Here is what I sewed up to take its place:

Much improved wouldn’t you say?

My cushion cover skills were limited to the one I made for our storage bench years ago. This time I had to buy the foam padding and add a strap down system, too. Luckily it was easy to find a sheet of foam at Mill End and it easily cut down to size (the sheet was so large, that I also ended up making a cushion for under Barkley’s dog bed). I used the same strap/velcro system as on the original pad (see above photo), but I chose PUL (or polyurethane laminated fabric) for the covering. It is water resistant and popular for cloth diaper covers. It is easily also easily wiped clean or washed, and came in prints suitable for a young boy.

Leo sitting in his Hauck Alpha Chair

Much better!

So far the seat cushion has held up nicely during the past couple months. Makes me glad I took the time to do it right. Do you have a chair that could benefit from a new seat or cushion cover?


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Handmade camera accessories

I love to see the creative things people sew for cameras. At one time I was all proud of myself for sewing this camera strap cover, but that was peanuts compared to the beautiful patchwork versions from House on Hill Road. The blue one in colorway thirty-six is my favorite.

And check out these SLR camera covers by Pixbag. Talk about stylish.

Then there are Lens Pets by Mandee Franee – perfect for anyone taking photos of children. I’d smile if I saw these, too. What do you think? Over the top or just really fantastic?

(Thanks to greenclogs for the facebook shout out about the straps, and to my husband for sending the camera cover link).


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Run River Cover

A while back, my husband showed me this video he saw on youtube that he thought I’d like. Jon Swift’s original version is good, but I like how AmiKay22 has sweetly made it her own. While not perfect, I watch it every once in a while. On road trips, David will sing along with Jon Swift, and I’ll sing a little bit of Ami’s version.


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Sewing Machine Cover + Smallest Sewing Table Ever

My sewing machine has a new dress! The ugly plastic one it came with finally got the heave-ho. Looks nice, doesn’t it? I got all ambitious and added a back pocket and a hole on top for the carrying handle, except I couldn’t figure out how to properly fold inside corners with bias-tape. It ended up oval, except I had already cut a rectangle in the fabric and the bias-tape didn’t “catch” the corners. I fixed that with a little fabric glue. Just don’t look too close.

Before Chloe, the “spare” room (that is now her nursery) used to be where we kept the TV, the sewing table, and the futon. With Chloe’s arrival, we had no choice but to move the TV into the living room and the sewing table into our bedroom, wedged between the dresser and the hamper, because there was literally nowhere else in our little house to put it. Luckily, it folds down really small, as you can see. I also took a photo of the table fully opened.

I was this close to using Alexander Henry’s Mocca for the sewing machine cover, but after walking it and the Joel Dewberry Ginseng into the bedroom, I realized right away the Mocca wouldn’t jive with the serenity of the bedroom. Much the same way that I wouldn’t have been able to stand the TV in the bedroom. The walls are white, the curtains white, and my favorite duvet cover is white with only a few oversize, very abstract, pale blue, taupe and brick-colored butterflies. It was meant to be.

Good tutorials and inspiration for making sewing machine covers can be found at Chez Larsson, Spool, and Creative Reveries.

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