Friday, 22 March 2013

Carry Along Car Track

There have been many moments when I have seen something amazing that some else has made and have thought to myself,  "I could definitely make that." But alas, never actually do get around to making it. Check out my Pinterest for a thousand examples of this.

But the Carry Along Car Track  was something I knew the moment I saw it, that I had to try to replicate.

I was at a retreat with my church. There were kids racing around everywhere, mostly bored and all chaotic, including mine. Except for one little boy sitting contently at a table next to his mom and dad driving his little cars around a magical black strip of material. From time to time, I glanced back over at him amazed that he was still sitting there playing with those cars, driving them around and parking them in the slots.

As soon as I got home from the retreat, I began to experiment and it was surprisingly a lot easier to make then I expected it to be. I have made five of these car tracks now and each one looks better and took less time to make then the first.

Avalanche just loves hers. I actually made it for Cyclone never expecting her to be interested in it, but of course she proved me wrong and the first time we took it out, spent the whole 15 minute wait at the doctor's office playing with it. I carry it with me in the bag I take with extra diapers, snacks and such and it is a must now when we go to the doctor's office, church or visitng relatives that don't have toys.

Since I know many of you would be interested in making one, and since I don't want you to have to trial and error it like I did. Here are the steps I use to make them.

1) Cut out two pieces of material into a rectangle 22 inches by 15 inches.

2) Cut out a long thin rectangle measuring about 22 inche  by 4.5 inches     . This will be the pocket for your cars. Sew a piece of bias tape over the top edge for a nice finished look. Or fold the top edge over and sew it down so it doesn't fray.
3) Fold a piece of black felt in four and cut a round track that will fit unto the large rectangle you made minus the size of the car pocket. The first car track I made I used black material and sewed in the edges. It was a lot harder to work than felt but completely do-able.
4) Pin your track unto the large rectangle that you cut out for the inside and sew it on. I used black thread so it wouldn't show.

5) Pin on your car pocket and sew 7 cm or 8 cm pockets down the length of the material. I used a fabric pen with disappearing ink to make the lines straign and even.
6) Cut out a piece of material the same colour as the outside piece for the velcro strap. About 5 inches  by 5inches. Fold it in half and on one of the outside sides, sew a piece of velcro unto it. Then fold it in half inside out and sew around all the side, except leave the bottom open. Turn it inside out and iron it down.
7) Place the two large pieces of material with the outsides facing each other. Place yoour velcro strap with velcro facing the race track on the inside leaving about 1/2 inch outside. Sew around the edge of the entire thing, leaving a few inches to turn it inside out.
8) Turn it all right side out. Take the blunt end of a pen and smooth angle out the corners. Iron it all out flat.
9) Fold it all up with cars inside to figure out where the other piece of velcro needs to go. Pin it on and sew it on.
10) Sew around the entire edge to finish the hole that was left for turning it right side out.
And that's it. You have a portable car track great for taking with you anywhere you go where you need a child distractor. They also make great gifts.

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