Friday, 9 April 2010

Driving in my car...

Well well well

...I did say I’ll promise to update my blog, had a few days off for Easter and did I update anything? No...

For my own defense I have been a bit busy. I always say that I know, but this time it is more true than before (not that I lied before!!! Anyway......).

I bought a new car and had to say goodbye to my valiant little French car who followed me all these years. I was a tad upset but registering it in the UK proved to be more than difficult, and these last few months she* also got vandalised a few times. Only minor things mind: snapping the aerial, breaking my wing mirror or nailing one of my tyre, but still it is very unpleasant (not to mention costly when all parts have to be imported from France) and I really felt that my car was a target as she was standing out from the others (minor paranoia going on here). But anyway now, I’ve got a right-hand drive, like everyone else.

(*of course it is a she! Une voiture)

I never used to take care of my car, much to my boyfriend’s dismay who would regularly complain that my car needed a wash. But with my new car, things have taken a different turn, and this is probably due to my new found passion for all things crafty!!

I wanted to customise my car’s interior without it looking like it went on “Pimp my ride”. I started to look for car seat covers in shops and online. The choice was appalling, as we say in French “entre la peste et le choléra”. Picture this: Boy-racer designs (flames, vaguely Chinese looking dragons) or tacky pink seats with “I’m a princess” proudly emblazoned in big pink fluffy and glittery letters across the seats. This was definitely not what I had in mind. (It seems to me that if you are a girl with a car there is some sort of law that states that you MUST like pink and claim that you are princess. WHY????)

There was only one thing left to do: get out the good old Singer and start making my own! How exciting!!

So I proudly present: the Dogtooth car seat cover!!!

As I said before, I am still beginning at sewing so could not face starting from scratch, that would have been a bit too ambitious. I managed to get a set of hideous covers from Amazon for about £20 and got some fabric from a shop near my work. I didn’t have a clue as to how much fabric I will need so ended up buying much more than what I needed (I am now left with about 3 metres of dogtooth fabric. Ahhh well. I like dogtooth anyway.)

The original seats looked revolting but were great to work with. I started with the seat belts protectors as they were small and seemed easy enough to make before the daunting task of sewing the car seats covers. It went fantastically well and I managed to do both in the same evening. I’m not sure I’ll use them though to be honest.

Then, well... I decided to make a start on one of the front car seat covers. This was, quite honestly, a nightmare. At one point my boyfriend thought I was going to eat the whole thing in frustration. I made a couple of mistakes though. For example, my measurements were a bit approximate (...) and I ended up with one side not covering the whole of the surface I wanted to cover. Silly me eh! My main problem was sewing the fabric without stitching the back of the cover as well. I tried putting some cardboard and some plastic so that the needle wouldn’t go through but it did. Ooooh the rage.... In the end, the easiest and wisest thing was to unstitch one side of the cover so that you could pull the whole back away from the surface to sew. (I’m not sure my explanations are making sense...). I also used some contrasting red thread which I thought would stand out nicely on the fabric, the only downside being that any mistake is also standing out!

The second front cover went much better. I sat first and decided to change a couple of things in the process (like pinning down the fabric first to the cover to check that my measurements were ok). It did make things easier in the long run and only took me a couple of hours to make, when I spent several evenings cursing on the first one. You live and learn!!

Now I still need to make the back and the head rest. I will post some more pics once the whole thing is finished and fitted in my car as it will give a better idea of what it looks like. But I am pleased that this turned out ok so far and that my car will have its own look without having “I’m a princess” all over it...

...And before I go, just for fun...

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