Car Seat Ponchos Available Now

Now that you know that a car seat poncho could help to keep your child warm and safe this winter, I want to share some details about the fleece car seat ponchos hand-crafted by me, Elaine Searer. fleece car seat poncho

First of all, the name “car seat poncho” doesn’t tell the whole story.  These ponchos are great for traveling, but they are also warm, comfy, and easy to wear for other cold weather activities.  The ponchos are made from two layers of anti-pill fleece, making them a soft, warm alternative to a winter coat.  They can be layered over sweatshirts or sweaters or other jackets.  These ponchos are especially convenient for those kids who don’t like to wear coats.
car seat poncho A car seat poncho is perfect for children of all ages who travel in car seats.  You can see in the photo above that the snap-front poncho is just right for this eight-month-old.   car seat poncho with chest harness The poncho goes over the car seat buckles so nothing interferes with the child’s safety.  Hand slits make it possible for children to hold a book, snack, or toy in the car, too.  car seat poncho with hand slits My handcrafted car seat ponchos are not just for girls.  The style is gender neutral, and the fabric choices allow for customization to anyone’s preferences.  Here’s a snap front infant sized poncho in a print that would be suitable for boys or girls. The snap front ponchos close with color coordinated plastic snaps from KAMsnaps.   car seat poncho with snap front The fleece ponchos that I make are great for those moms who like to carry  or wear their babies close to them.  The poncho does not interfere with the carrier, but still provides warmth for the baby.  baby wearing poncho My ponchos are carefully handcrafted using only anti-pill fleece, and the generous size range can allow you to purchase one poncho that can be worn for two or more years by your favorite little one.

The zipper front ponchos are made with a sturdy nylon coil jacket zipper and include a zipper tab cover at the top to prevent the zipper from rubbing sensitive chins.  zipper with tab cover

The ponchos come in a wide range of sizes and are priced accordingly:
3-6 months     $35.99
12 months         35.99
2T                       39.99
4T                       42.99
6                          46.99
8                          46.99

To place a custom order. view my inventory, or get more information, please contact me by using the form on this site, by emailing me at mygrandmasews@gmail(dot)com, or by visiting my Facebook page at .

I also have a Facebook group, My Grandma Sews, where I post individual listings or take custom orders.  I’d love to have you join us there!

Keep your little one warm and safe this winter with a hand-crafted fleece poncho.  All of my children’s items meet CPSC safety requirements.  




Car Seat Ponchos for Safety and Warmth

Here in Pennsylvania, we’re still enjoying summer weather with temperatures in the high 80s, but these warm summer days will soon be a memory.  When the temperatures start to fall, how can you keep your little ones warm and safe for fall and winter traveling?

You may need to swap out that heavy winter coat for a cozy car seat poncho.
Car Seat Poncho

Until a few years ago, I had no idea that buckling an infant or child into a car seat while he is wearing a winter coat is not safe.  A puffy winter coat will prevent the car seat straps from fastening tightly enough to keep a little one safe.  Here’s an article from Consumer Reports that explains exactly what can happen when a child is buckled into his car seat while wearing his winter coat.  (Consumer Reports article) 

Car Seat poncho

A car seat poncho can be worn on a child over the car seat buckles rather than under them.  The poncho drapes over the back of the car seat, and the front of the poncho covers the child keeping him or her warm and cozy while in the car.
car seat poncho Last winter when I found this pattern designed by Stitch Upon a Time, I knew I needed to make one for my granddaughter Aaliyah.  Her parents were already putting safety first and buckling her into her car seat without her coat.  They used a common technique which was to remove her jacket when she got in the car and then cover her over with it.  The problem with that was that the coat would often slip off onto the floor.

I made her a car seat poncho, and she and her parents loved it!  I used two layers of anti-pill fleece for comfort and warmth.  The poncho zips up the front and includes a hood.  I added hand slits so that Aaliyah can hold a book or toy.  She liked it so much that I decided to offer these for sale on my Facebook page and in my Etsy shop this fall.

car seat poncho

I’ve got lots of beautiful fleece fabric, and I’ll be listing the ponchos on Facebook and Etsy in the next couple of weeks.  The ponchos that I’m making range in size from 3-6 months to size 8, and they aren’t just for traveling in the car.  They are perfect for other fall and winter activities.  If you’d like more information on prices and fabrics and how to place an order, please “like” my Facebook page so you won’t miss their debut.

The ponchos meet CPCS safety requirements for children.

I want to send a special thank you to my grandchildren, Aaliyah and Jayden who modeled the ponchos last Sunday when it was ninety degrees here in Pennsylvania.  Don’t worry, we didn’t keep them on them for more than a few minutes!

Enjoy the rest of summer because Old Man Winter’s on his way! 


Making Children’s Wear Safe

Being a small business owner can be rewarding and challenging.  My sewing business provides me both rewards and challenges.  One of my most recent challenges involved compliance with regulations concerning making children’s wear safe.

My sewing business consists of alterations (but NOT prom or bridal alterations!), some custom sewing, and some handmade products that I sell.  For a few years, the bulk of my sewing projects were bags and purses.  Over a year ago, I ventured into doll clothes and had a great time sewing clothing for 18″ dolls like the American Girl dolls. My Grandma Sews

It was around that time that I heard or saw something about safety regulations for children’s wear and toys.  My first response was to pretend I didn’t see it!  I care about children’s safety, but the whole idea of bringing my business into compliance with CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) regulations was overwhelming.

I joined a Facebook group dedicated to helping artisans become compliant, and the amount of information there was mind-boggling.  My inclination was to stop producing any items for children.  I would continue to make bags and aprons and pillow covers and whatever else my customers wanted for themselves, but I was going to avoid this whole compliance issue by never sewing another item for a child.

No-Tie Apron

No-Tie Apron

That was fine until I saw some awesome patterns that I wanted to sew up for my granddaughter.  I had a feeling that others might ask to buy some of these designs, so I crept back into the Facebook Compliance group, took a deep breath, and started the process.  Step-by-step instructions helped tremendously, and I completed the process in a little over one month.

I am now pleased to say that all children’s products made and sold by me will meet the CPSC safety requirements. That means that all fabrics and notions used in my handmade treasures will have proper certifications stating that they meet safety standards for flammability, lead, BPA and phthalates.

All children’s items must be tagged to make tracking possible in the event of a product recall.  Ordering and receiving my own products tags was really exciting for me.  Having the tags in my hand-made my compliance journey complete, that and the ongoing paperwork that is necessary to keep track of all of this stuff.  Geesh!  I’d never have guessed sewing would involve so many numbers and codes and inventory lists and letters of certification and all of that jazz.
Seamstress doing paperwork

Here’s a stack of one of my tags that I bought to use on a new line of children’s wear for winter.  I’ll be posting more about that specific item very soon here on my sewing website and on my Facebook page.  Other children’s products that I make and sell include aprons and undies.   Compliance tags

If you buy handmade children’s wear, you might notice that not all sellers are compliant with the CPSC regulations.  Most who are will note that on their websites or Etsy store front.  We can’t assume that those who are not compliant are just ignoring the regulations.  Some may not even be aware of them which was the case for me for several years.

Now that I know about these pesky CPSC regulations, I would be careful to purchase children’s items from reputable business people who do make the effort to ensure that the products they sell are as safe as possible for the children who will use and wear them.

Does it make a difference to you if products you buy comply with federal safety standards?  Why or why not? 

My Pinterest-Inspired Pedal Mats

I have tons of ideas pinned at Pinterest.  Every once in a while, one of those pins actually results in a project.  My most recent Pinterest-inspired project was a set of four pedal mats to keep my sewing machine foot pedals from sliding on my new laminate floor.
non-skid pedal mat

 Even on my carpeted floor, the sewing machine pedals had a tendency to move when I’m sewing.  Once I began using them on my new laminate flooring, I was constantly chasing the foot pedals across the floor.  Sewing was quite uncomfortable, and I knew I had to do something.  I tried putting a non-skid fabric under the foot pedal.  That didn’t work.  The fabric stayed put, but the pedal slid off of the fabric.

I tuned to Pinterest to search for a solution, and I found one!   non-skid sewing machine foot pedal

I followed the instructions in this blog post to make myself one of these non-skid mats for each of my four sewing machine pedals.  For less than a dollar, I bought a roll of non-skid cabinet shelf liner stuff to use for the non-skid part of these pedal mats.

I chose a small cut of fabric from my stash, and cut the binding and the pedal stoppers.  I spent about two hours on a Saturday afternoon making these pedal mats, and it was time well spent.  The mat itself is great, but the small roll of fabric and batting at the top of each mat is positively genius!  I never would have thought to add that little roll of fabric and batting to prevent the foot pedal from sliding off of the top of the pedal mat.   non-skid sewing machine foot pedal mat

I wasn’t all that careful about the actual sewing on these.  I did an average job of binding the edges and securing that bumper on the top.  If anyone wants to crawl under my sewing table to inspect my work, he or she might find a few imperfections. non-skid pedal mat

Ain’t Pinterest grand?  I’m so thankful for the original poster of this idea for sharing her creativity and expertise with the rest of us on Pinterest.  This project sure made my sewing room more comfortable for me!

What great ideas have you found on Pinterest? 

Frog Novelty Fabric Purse

I love novelty fabrics, and I make no apologies for that!  Novelty fabrics are a sub-category of 100% cotton quilting fabrics that are printed with conversational themes that make them popular for a shorter period of time than most classic cotton quilting fabrics.  Here’s a few of the novelty fabrics that I have on my fabric shelf right now:  Novelty fabric collage

Fabrics that feature certain animals, hobby tools, foods, sports team logos, and the like are considered novelty prints.  Naturally, I’m drawn to novelty prints with sewing tools on them.  I also have some novelty prints with lemons, oranges, and apples.  Right now novelty prints with owls, cats, and birds are quite popular.  Almost anyone with a certain interest can find a novelty print to correspond.
For instance, I was recently approached by a customer who wanted me to make a bag for her daughter who loves frogs.  This customer was pretty specific:  green frogs on a dark background.  No problem!  I searched online until I found several prints that fit that description and purchased the one I liked best, which just happened to be this leaping frog print from Timeless Treasures.

I used a Veranda Tote pattern from Quilts Illustrated changing the outside pocket to a zippered one.  I like the way it turned out, and the recipient sent me a message saying she liked it, too.   Frog purse

There’s nothing like a novelty print to share your passion with the world!

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