Tutorial: Down Car Seat Blanket with Foot Pocket (Down Jacket Upcycle)

Car Seat Blanket

As some of the days in the midwest have dropped into the single digits, I started brainstorming about how to keep Ruby warm on the way to the car, in the car, etc. Though in theory I can warm the car up before popping her in, sometimes it’s just not an option. Even when I paired a thick fleece blanket with her car seat cozy it never quite seemed warm enough. So I decided to take a stab at making my own down blanket for her. Now I’m taking a stab at my first tutorial, since I couldn’t find anything similar online!

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  •  Thrifted Down Jacket (I got mine at the Salvation Army for less than $3 because it was half off. You aren’t looking for style here, just real down!). You’ll want to wash this and dry it with a tennis ball or two.
  • about 1 yard of 2 different fabrics (I was using fabric leftover from other projects and used flannel and fleece, you could use flannel on both sides, fleece on both sides, really anything you want).
  • Thread

CarSeatBlanket01

CarSeatBlanket07  CarSeatBlanket02

Step 2: Cut out Fabric

Cut 2 large squares of your fabrics. I cut mine about 28 inches x 28 inches. The size of the fabric is not that important, but just make sure the 2 pieces are the same size in the end
CarSeatBlanket03CarSeatBlanket05 CarSeatBlanket04

If you are going to add a foot pocket, you can cut that out now, too. Mine was 15″x18″

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Step 3: Make blanket insert out of down

I cut the liner out of the jacket I was using

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Then I cut out the pockets, too.

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Next I laid my large flannel piece out over the jacket and traced around with a sharpie.

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Next I sewed an outline around this black line, both inside and outside the line. Basically I was trying to keep the down from spilling out of the jacket. It was a tad tricky at points, but keep in mind this doesn’t have to look good. 

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This is what it looked like with the stitching on both sides of the lines:CarSeatBlanket12

Now cut down the middle of those lines of stitching — right along your sharpie line. There will still be some down coming out, but not too bad: CarSeatBlanket13

Here is the blanket insert:CarSeatBlanket14

Step 4: Make the foot pocket

Find the piece you cut out for the foot pocket. Fold the right sides together. Your “pocket” now measures 9″x15″. Starting on one of the edges by the fold, stitch around 2 and a half sides (leave plenty of room to turn it, you’ll need to get your whole hand inside). Make sure you backstitch at the beginning and the end!

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Clip the corners at a diagonal and then turn it right side out, using something pointy to make sure you get a nice crisp corner. It should now look something like this:

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Cut out another piece of down the size of the foot pocket using the same method as in step 3 (Trace the size, stitch around, cut it out)
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Stuff the down insert into the pocket. Pin the opening closed. Center the pocket on the backside of your blanket, about 2 inches up from the bottom. Pin in place.
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Stitch the pocket onto the blanket back. I used the edge of my presser foot as a guide and used a straight stitch, You could also use a zig zag if you want. Make sure to leave the top open, this is where the feet go in!

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Step 5: Assemble the blanket

Put your two large fabric pieces right side togetherCarSeatBlanket21

Stitch them together all around, using about a half inch seam allowance.

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Again, leave about 6 inches open so you can turn it right side out.
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Clip those corners off.

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Turn right side out. Again, use a pointy object to get crisp corners. Stuff that insert into the opening. Use your hand to get it all the way to to the corners.
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I pinned all three layers together in the corners (front, back, insert). If you look closely you can see the yellow pin here.

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Now stitch all the way around the outside to close off the opening and bind all the layers together. I used a zigzag stitch. You could also use a straight stitch.

And…you’re done!

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A view of the foot pocket:CarSeatBlanket28
Car Seat Blanket

If you have any questions let me know!

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