Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cars Messenger Activity Mat Pattern and Tutorial

I've seen different activity mats for boys to carry and play with their cars.  My little boy loves to take his cars with him wherever he goes.  I'm a beginner when it comes to sewing but I can sew straight lines and that is all you'll need to know to get started on my version of the car messenger activity mat.
Materials: 8x11 papers (recycled from my son's homework)
--Two coordinated medium weight fabric less than a yard each.
--One yard slightly stretchy fabric (mine is sage in the photo) the reason for it being slightly stretchy is         so that you can store the little cars in the pockets.
--1/3 yard of Route 66 fabric
1/4 or 1/3 of black fabric.  I used broadcloth because it was on sale
--set of D rings and nylon strap
--magnetic snap closure
--light fusible interface 2x2 (two piece) this will be use for the magnetic snap
--stiff batting to help it keep it's shape
--fabric paint in white (to make the street)
--scraps of construction print fabric for street lights
--No Sew Heat and Bond
--scrap of elastic
--scraps of felt for the gas station/car wash

With the 8x11 paper create your pattern template.

I made it so that the sides will fold in and the bottom fold up.  The top will fold down.  Lay your main fabric wrong side together with the pattern on top and cut leaving 1/4'' for seam allowances.
The top fold I cut in a contrasting print.
Now pin where you want the street to go and sew that into place.  Next you want to cut out the different city and sew that into the blocks.
Next I cut a 11.5 X 2.5 strip of stretchy fabric to make the pockets for the cars to be store in.  I saw the idea on pinterest
Now is the time to also add anything else you like.  I added a gas station with car wash made out of scraps of felt.  I cut a tiny strip of ribbon for the pump.  I didn't sew the gas pump down.  I use Heat and Bond to make them stick to the fabric.  I use Heat and Bond to apply the numbers to the pockets.  I had these numbers left over from when I made the Monthly Onesies.  I sew on the elastic creating loops with them.  You space them according to what else your son may want to take along with him.  I made mine to fit the larger construction vehicles.
now you can follow the rest of the tutorial from gingercake messenger bag.  However watch where you will position your top piece.  It should be modified to be center up top not to the side.  
Once you have all your pieces sew together and turned inside out.  Before topstitching close the opening where you turned your project out.  You want to insert the stiff batting into each piece including the center.  I thought of using boning but I couldn't find any at my local Hobby Lobby.
Last step is to add details if you like.  I use Heat and Bond to adhere the street lights and traffic signs.  
With white fabric paint I added the lines for the street and let dry overnight.  
You're welcome to make it and sell it please link back to my blog though.

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