Car Seat Shoulder Pad Tutorial

One of our son’s car seats came with little pads that protect his neck from being rubbed by the shoulder straps. The other didn’t. So we have been moving the pads back and forth between the cars… when we remembered.

The other day I drove home from the park with Eli wailing in the back seat the whole way home. I thought he was just over tired and miffed about leaving the park. When we arrived home I saw the two angry long red marks across the side of his neck and Mother Guilt set in. I’d been telling myself I should make a second pair of shoulder strap pads for weeks but hadn’t gotten around to it. This day during nap time I did.

Here’s how:

Make sure your little one is fast asleep.

Trace another pad onto a scrap of soft cloth. If you don’t have a pad to trace mine measured   5 3/4″ X 4″  with curved corners. I used pen to mark my fabric as the edge will be covered with a bias tape binding when finished.

You could use thin cotton batting for the inner part of the cloth sandwich, but I used 2 additional pieces of the same cloth for each side. These are the exact same size as the top piece of fabric.

A final piece of identically sized and shaped fabric is needed for the bottom layer. I used some fabric from an old shirt so it would slide easily along the seat belt.

Cut strips of velcro to cover each end of the bottom fabric and pin in place.

Sew inner edge only. The other edges will be sewn in place later.

Pile your fabric pieces into sandwiches. Here you see the top side of one assembled pad and the bottom side of another.

Pin together.

I used a walking foot so that the many layers of fabric wouldn’t shift while I sewed.

Trim around the edges.

Quilt a circle around the inside of the pad. I should have premarked a sewing line, but I was racing to finish before Eli woke up. You will see my finished quilting is a little wonky.

Now pin some double fold bias tape to the underside around the perimeter of the pad. When sewing it down be careful to not catch the other side underneath as I did here.

I forgot to photograph sewing the other side of the binding on, but basically you fold it around, pinning it as you go. Fold end of the bias tape back on itself before pinning it down so no raw edges are exposed in the finished pad. Sew around and you are finished. Your end result will be much neater than mine if you don’t hurry like I did. But in the end I was happy with these because they are utilitarian and I just wanted them DONE before sticking my kid in the car seat again!

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