Above is a rare glimpse of my handsome bigger dog Woodrow*, a chow mix whose fur sheds everywhere. It’s the kind of fur that seems to weave its way into everything, including car upholstery. The last thing I want to do in the middle of a long road trip with two pooches is to take a break to vacuum the back seat of my beloved Kia Optima. If you ever travel with pets, or even messy kids, I recommend making your own back seat protector. Even with the most basic of sewing skills, which is totally the camp I fall in, you can sew this back seat protector in an afternoon. With this washable car accessory, you can make your dogs feel at home – even in the car.
*He’s scared of the noises my camera makes! Aww, right?
4.25 yds nylon strapping material, 1 inch wide
1 inch wide slide release buckle
3 packages of 3 inch double fold bias tape/quilt binding
2 yds – polar fleece that’s at least 54 inches wide
2 yds – 54 inch upholstery fabric
Measure the back seat of your car for dimensions listed below. If you’re driving a 2006 Kia Optima like me, you can use my dimensions.
Iron your upholstery fabric before beginning to remove any wrinkles. Cut your fabric so it meets your back seat’s dimensions. To make purchasing and cutting fabric easier, I stuck to two yards (72 inches) of fabric length. 54 inches is a standard width for fabric, so I decided to make my finished back seat cover 54 by 72 inches for simplicity’s sake. Remember when I said I’m no expert seamstress?
Pin your fabric together, wrong sides facing each other. Sew a basting stitch all the way around to keep the large pieces of fabric in place when you sew. Remove the pins. Pin bias tape all the way around the edges of your fabric and sew it in place with a sewing machine, removing your pins as you go.
Iron all of the bias tape to smooth it out.
Cut your nylon strapping into the following lengths: 80 inches, 30 inches (2 pieces), 7 inches. Thread the 7 inch piece through the female end of the slide release buckle.
Sew a square with an X through it near the buckle, as shown.
Measure 25 inches (or the height of your back seat) from the shorter end of the rectangle of fabric, and mark it with a pin.
Hand sew the raw end of the nylon strapping to the rectangle where you marked it, folding under the raw edges.
Thread the 80 inch piece of nylon through the other end of the slide release buckle. Fold the end of the nylon nearest the buckle over twice and sew down. Fold over once the other end of the nylon and sew it to the fabric rectangle at the 25 inch mark using a box with an X through it.
Measure the location of your back seat’s head rests. Sew a 30 inch piece of nylon strapping to the rectangle in a horseshoe shape where it will be able to loop over the head rests to keep the back of the seat covered. You should sew each end of the horseshoe shape using the box with an X through it for maximum security.
That’s it! A DIY back seat protector to keep your ride clean and your pooches happy. Isn’t the bones and bandana fabric cute, by the way? :)
Storm, unlike Woodrow, does not fear the sound of a camera shutter.
Nor, apparently, does she fear the open road.
This post is sponsored by Kia.