Stroller liners are great. They brighten up dull strollers, make it easier to clean out crumbs, and disguise smudges of banana. And around these parts every second stroller is a Maclaren the same as mine, so a colourful liner reduces the chance of me buckling Ali into the wrong one after play time at the park.
My original liner went walkabout with my original stroller, so I made another one for the replacement stroller and took a few photos while I was doing it. If you want to make one too you will need:
- 2 pieces of cotton fabric, approx 40cm by 80cm. It works well if the top fabric is pretty sturdy, like cotton drill, denim or canvas. The backing fabric can just be calico or whatever you have on hand. If you use 2 pretty fabrics, you end up with a reversible liner.
- Polyester wadding, again 40cm x 80cm - ish
- A couple of metres of bias tape. Get the wider tape, because if you end up with the very narrow kind it will result in much angst and you will curse me, your stroller and your sewing machine.
- Measure the stroller. [From now on, when I talk about "the crease", I mean the fold where the bottom of the back of your stroller meets the back of the seat.] First measure the width of your seat across the crease, and then subtract a couple of centimetres. This is the width of your rectangle. Then measure the depth of the seat, from crease to the front of the seat. Finally measure from the crease to the top of the back. You probably don't want to go right to the top, as if the liner goes too far about the shoulder straps it will flop around, tap your baby on the head and make them grumpy. About 10cm above the top shoulder strap eyelet is good. Add this measurement to the seat depth measurement - this is the height of your rectangle.
- Use a pencil or tailors chalk to mark a rectangle the right height and width onto one of the pieces of fabric. Round off the corners by tracing around a glass or saucer.
- Cut out your round cornered rectangle, and use it as a pattern piece to cut out the other fabric and wadding.
- Sandwich the wadding between the two pieces of fabric, with the right sides of the fabric facing out, and the wrong sides of the fabric touching the wadding.
- Pin liberally.
- Now is a good time to tidy up any wonkiness with scissors.
- Draw a line on the backing fabric with pencil / tailors chalk to mark where the crease will be (i.e. the distance of the seat depth from one of the short edges). Then draw another line down the centre of the seat, in the middle of the two long edges. Machine stitch all 3 layers together along these lines.
- Measure where the holes are for the shoulder and crotch straps (Isn't crotch an awful word?) on your stroller, and then mark them on the liner with pencil. The quilted lines will help you get them in the right place. Make the mark long enough that you will be able to get the buckles through the hole: on the Maclaren 5cm worked well. If your stroller has several positions for shoulder straps mark the one you use currently and any higher ones too.
- Make friends with the manual buttonhole feature on your sewing machine. Sew buttonholes around the pencil marks you just made.
- Quilt a few extra lines to hold all the layers together. Remove pins.
- Use a seamripper to open the buttonholes. You can leave the too-high ones closed until you need to use them if you want - it looks a bit tidier.
- Attach the bias tape. I highly recommend the Angry Chicken method, which is very quick and stress-free.
Ta da! You're finished. Strap hopefully-appreciative baby or small child into the stroller and go for a walk.
I hope this all makes sense, but if not, or if you have any other questions please comment or email me.
And if you do make a liner, please let me know - I'd love to see photos.