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ScrapBusters: Seat Belt Cover

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Buckle up! But do it with more comfort and style with a super cute seat belt cover. Another great Scrapbusters! project, this easy wraparound cover is not only perfect for seat belts, it's also great for briefcase or suitcase straps. It even worked nicely to pad the handles of the recent heavy-duty Grocery Totes we made. Our design is reversible so you can make one side in cozy fleece for cold days and the other side in cool cotton for warm weather. Not only are seat belt covers an added comfort, they also help keep your shirt or jacket from becomming a wrinkly mess on long drives. These versatile straps would make a great gift for all the drivers your know –customize the fabric to match their moods.

We measured the seat belts from a variety of cars, and found they all were just a shade under 2" wide, so this is the size we used to come up with our cut sizes. Double check your seatbelt or strap to be sure it will fit. The Velcro® is pretty forgiving if the strap is just slightly larger or smaller.

And, because I know you're wondering, here's a link to those great Grocery Totes.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Amounts shown are for ONE seat belt cover.

  • Scraps or TWO coordinating ¼ yard cuts fabric: we dove into our scrap stash and picked out a beautiful cheetah print Minky and coordinating brown faux suede – both from Fabric.com, as well as a bright cotton from Central Park by Kate Spade for Moda with a sherpa fleece from Minky Delight. You need just 6½" x 10" cuts of each fabric.  
    NOTE: For both comfort and stability, we recommend that at least one of your fabrics is a soft fleece or Minky.
  • Scrap or ¼ yard of medium weight fusible interfacing
  • Scrap of ¼ yard of ¾" - 1" sew-in Velcro®
  • All purpose thread
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Seam guage
  • Straight pins

Getting Started

  1. From the exterior fabric, cut ONE 6½" x 10" rectangle.
  2. From the interior fabric, cut ONE 6½" x 10" rectangle.
    NOTE: If you are working with a directional print, the height is 10" and the width is 6½".
  3. From the fusible interfacing, cut ONE 6½" x 10" rectangle.
  4. Cut an 8" length of Velcro®.
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At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

NOTE: We made two of these covers so our photos jump back and forth a bit from one to the other in the instructions... just making sure you're paying attention.

  1. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing rectangle to the wrong side of the exterior piece.
  2. Pin the fused exterior piece and the interior piece right sides together along both long sides and one short end.
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  3. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch around the three pinned sides, leaving the one short side open for turning. Remember to pivot at the corners and to lock your seam at the beginning and the end.
    NOTE: When sewing on fleece or bulky fabrics, we like to use a Walking foot (sometimes called an Even Feed foot) to help keep the layers feeding evenly. Another tip when working with two fabrics that are different thicknesses and/or textures: sew with the thicker/slipperier fabric on the bottom and let your machine's feed dogs help handle the "problem" fabric. For example, we used our Walking foot and sewed with the Minky side down on the one pair and the sherpa fleece side down on the other pair.
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  4. Clip the corners and seam allowance as needed to ease the bulk and turn right side out. If you are new to this technique, check out our tutorial on Stitching and Clipping Corners Correctly.
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  5. Fold in the raw seam allowance along the open edge so it is flush with the sewn seam and pin closed. Press if need be, but remember that some fabrics, like Minky and fleece should not be directly pressed. Iron from the other side or use a pressing cloth.
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  6. Topstitch around all four sides approximately ⅜" to ½" from the edge.
  7. With the exterior right side up and flat on your work surface, place one side of the Velcro® strip along the RIGHT side, lining up the outside edge of the strip with the topstitching seam you just made. Pin the Velcro® in place or use my fave, seam tape to hold it steady while you stitch.
  8. Stitch the Velcro® in place along all four sides through all layers, pivoting at the corners to make a rectangle of stitching. Go slowly and carefully; your stitching will show so you want your seam to be nice and straight.
  9. Flip over the cover so the interior is now right side up. Place the opposite side of the Velcro® strip along the RIGHT side, lining up the outside edge of the strip with the topstitching seam. Pin the Velcro® in place or otherwise adhere.
    NOTE: Yep, you're working along the RIGHT side in both cases. But, because you flipped over the piece, that means in reality the Velcro® strips will be opposite one another. Ouch... brain tease!
  10. As above, stitch this opposite piece of Velcro® in place. We stuck with our Walking foot for the Velcro® steps.
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    NOTE: Make sure the Velcro® stays in place at least ⅜" to ½" from the edge. You don't want it to creep over the edge or it could snag on your clothes and rub on your neck.
  11. Measure 3" in from each end and use your fabric pen or pencil to draw a vertical line. With heavily napped fabrics it can be hard to use a marking pen or pencil, you can instead mark with pins, removing them as you stitch, or - since it's such a short seam - you could even lead with your seam gauge to keep the stitching in line.
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  12. Yes! You are stitching directly across through the Velcro®. This helps secure it in place.
  13. Here are both our samples from both sides:
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  14. Simply fold in thirds, one side over the other, to close.
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  15. We added our Sew4Home label on the sides that were our "main" exteriors.
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  16. The covers are easily reversible for a new look.
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Project Design: Alicia Thommas  
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever


Comments (39)

Piz16zolo said:
Piz16zolo's picture

I've been sewing several of these for Christmas. I have a walking foot, but the minky still shifts. It curls a lot, too!

However, they are turning out fine after I trim them. They look great!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@iz16zolo - the type of fleece you select can make a difference, but I'm glad to hear your gifts are turning out well! Stay tuned for this week's Seatbelt Pillow -- similar to this concept but larger and a pillow so your passengers can snooze on the road in comfort. 

Piz16zolo said:
Piz16zolo's picture

What stitch length would you suggest for sewing these fabrics that you used?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Piz16zolo - I don't remember exactly what we used since this project was quite awhile ago, but I'd say about a 3 would be a good estimate. As with everything, test first with scraps to make sure you have the look you want. And, as always, make sure you have a new needle for the best penetration power.

Piz16zolo said:
Piz16zolo's picture

Thanks for answering my question about the Velcro. I re-read the supplies and realized that you did state 3/4" inch, so my question was unnecessary! I can't wait to get started on these; will make several for Christmas gifts!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Piz16zolo - Excellent! Let us know how they turn out!!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@Piz16zolo - Either 3/4" or 1" Velcro would work. Have fun with the project!

Caroline S. said:
Caroline S.'s picture

I live on the beach in Costa Rica and will make this to help with out problem of sweating on the seatbelt and then staining future clothing. However fleece isn't available here, would felt work? What other material might you suggest? Thanks.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Caroline S - felt could be an option, but I'm unsure if it would be thick enough or absorbant enough. Maybe terry cloth?

Crafty lady said:
Crafty lady's picture

What An easy project, I've made these for my grandchildrens car seats, thank you xx

www.afterdarksewing.wordpress.com said:
www.afterdarksewing.wordpress.com's picture

my 6.5" has come out much smaller than your 6.5".... I haven't put the velcro on yet but I can see once it's folded round it's too narrow for a seatbelt! :(

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ afterdarksewing... Are you sure you cut your starting pieces at 6.5" x 10"? As we mentioned above, we measured a number of seatbelts and they were all just a bit under 2" wide. If your belt is different, you may need a wider cut. Once sewn and turned, the piece should be 5.5" x 9". When tri-folded, that should be a nice snug wrap around the standard under-2" belt. You could also try grading your seam to make sure there isn't bulk in the seam taking up extra width. And as you see the pictures above, it doesn't fold in even thirds; it's a smaller overlap at the back. 

Rhonda C said:
Rhonda C's picture

I know this is a really old thread, but I had to let you know that my 9 year old daughter with autism is making one today! She has always had a problem with the feel of the seatbelt against her neck and is excited to remedy this. I will sew the velcro on for her, but otherwise she is doing it ... this is her first sewing project. Thank you!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Rhonda C - thanks for letting us know - what a cool project for her!

C Dawson said:
C Dawson's picture

I added a pocket for parking metre coins which was a great hit...I find my own very handy as well.

Lunet said:
Lunet's picture

I just made a pair of these for my mom and the tutorial was perfect. The outcome was cute and functional.  Thank you!

Jackie Buck said:
Jackie Buck's picture

This is a great baby tutorial. Easy, cute, practical and perfectly understandable.The idea of adapting the "strap" to various projects is so versatile. Keep the ideas coming...Sew4Home rocks!

Patricia Turman said:
Patricia Turman's picture

Wouldn't this be great for purse straps that won't stay on your shoulder?

Bentleyang66 said:
Bentleyang66's picture

I wear reading glasses and they always getting scratched In my purse. I could use this idea, sew one end closed, and wa-la a glasses holder. Or,changes the size for an iPod case. The ideas are endless! Thanks.

gracielynns said:
gracielynns's picture

As always an excellent tute :-)
I was just thinking.. how will I keep all the tutorials marked ? Then it occurred to me .. your web people should come up with a " My Favorites " area, like so many sites have.. I have several on different web pages.. a couple knitting.. two for recipes.. & it's so nice to go there. sign in & ck my favorites :-)
Just a thought..

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ gracielynns - we have discussed a favorites area. I'll add it to our official "You Asked 4 It" list. Thanks.

TimelessKreations said:

JUST WANTED TO SHARE A GREAT TIP FOR USAGE OF THESE. I just got done doing the patio table from the tutorial on here and came across this and came up with the idea to use these as arm chair covers. Looks amazing on my chairs and comfortable. We have a beautiful patio now thanx to Sew4Home. I had to measure the chair arms and change the dimensions. I use 20 x 7 inches for the chair arms. Fits great and it nice and cozy.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ TimelessKreations -- what a clever idea - thanks for sharing it with everyone!

Sarahbelle said:
Sarahbelle's picture
Hey! this is awesome! I've made something similar to this for myself and also for car seat straps for a friends baby, but never thought to use it for a strap cover for luggage or anything! Now my mind is going crazy and i might make a thicker one for like a car seat handle (cause that can really dig into you!) Thanks!!!
breast cancer patient said:
breast cancer patient's picture
what a GREAT project for breast cancer patients! Just needs to be wider and longer.
Andrea said:
Andrea's picture

Hi, I was wondering about the comment  "great for breast cancer patients...needs to be wider and longer".  Please enlighten me as I'm not sure why. We have a local YWCA that has a Pink Boutique where they help fit  Bra, Prosthesis, supplies etc.

I could make something for the shop if I better understood what the need is. Thank you kindly.

remrahn@aol.com said:
remrahn@aol.com's picture

I was not me who made the orriginal comment about breast cancer patients but know how much sewing I did for my sister-in-law.  After her partial Mestectomy I made her small rice bags that she could either microwave for wamth or keep in the freezer for ice packs for comfort.  I know she always had to have a small pillow or towel between her chest and the seatbelt for comfort when travelling in the car, Maybe if we increased length to ensure it covered the chest area and maybe ad some quilt batting for a softer "pillow like" feel it may make all those trips to chemo a little more comfortable.... I'll be working on one for her as soon as I finish my boys' seatpets....

Kayt said:
Kayt's picture

I just made these for my clavicle surgery and they are awesome I had to make them slightly longer and wider though and added a thick batting for extra comfort!

tdjohnson67 said:
tdjohnson67's picture
This is great. I use an old strap cover from my last baby's car seat but it still scratches and my DH HATES it. I have been meaning to make a nicer one, thanks for this tute so I don't have to figure it out on my own. Much nicer than my tacky green one.

I don't know about other women but I find most seat belts slide between the ladies and the strap covers keep it from rubbing a raw spot on my neck.
Kim S said:
Kim S's picture
These would be wonderful for Cancer patients that have port-a-caths. The seat belt hurts their incision. It might need to be thinner fabric so it doesn't put a lot of pressure on the area.
JM Milton said:
JM Milton's picture
Thank you so much for this; I have been looking for a great way to make these and now you have!!!
elsah said:
elsah's picture
What a great idea! I'm getting a new car soon and I'm making them for all the seat belts!!
CJRogers said:
CJRogers's picture
A shorter version would work great for the kids car seat straps!
Rosemary De Leeuw Bolton said:
Rosemary De Leeuw Bolton's picture
this is a great idea. I am going to make my elderly parents some of these!!