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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Take Along Race Track & Toy Car Holder

Wow! That's a lengthy name for this little toy, but I couldn't figure out what else to call it. This fold-up race track is perfect for traveling, waiting rooms, and church services. The outside has three pockets to carry toy cars in (Matchbox or Hot Wheel size) and when opened, it's just the right size to sit on a toddler or preschooler's lap. Here are the instructions, so you can make one, too.
(This tutorial is for personal and gifting use, please don't sell your finished products)

What you will need:
2 pieces of coordinating fabric: each 12 1/4" x 10 1/4" (One for the outside, one for the inside)
2 pieces of same outer fabric: each 8" x 4" (For car pockets)
2 pieces of another coordinating fabric: each 10" x 2 1/2" (For handles)
Small piece of black fabric for racetrack
Medium weight fusible interfacing: about 1/3 yard
Heat and Bond: Small amount: just enough to attach race track and details
A thin plastic three ring binder (or any thin plastic, you'll need two pieces, each 5.5"x4.5") Here's a picture of the one I cut up:
And thin, yellow grosgrain ribbon

The Steps:
Iron interfacing onto outer pieces of fabric: one 12 1/4" x 10 1/4" piece, one 8 1/4" x 4 1/4" pieces, and the 10"x2 1/2" handle pieces. Sew the 8 1/4" x 4 1/4" rectangles together with right sides facing. Leave a small opening to turn right side out. Press seams, remembering to fold in raw edges. Add this small rectangle to the large outer fabric rectangle, 1 1/2" from the top, bottom, and one side, using a top stitch on three sides. You should have one big pocket. Now, top stitch two lines 2 1/2" from edges and from each other to create 3 pockets. Next, you're going to create the handles. Take one handle piece (10"x2 1/2"), fold in half with right sides together and sew along the raw edge. Turn right side out and press. Repeat with other handle piece. Pin one handle to the large rectangle, 3" from the top and bottom. You can use a basting stitch to attach it, but I just sew right through the pins.

To make the race track: Cut either an "S" shape or a figure-8 from the black fabric for the race track. Apply Heat and Bond to back of race track and iron onto the right side of the 12 1/4" x 10 1/4" rectangle that will be on the inside when it's folded. This is the time to apply any details you might want, I cut little strips out of the scraps from the outer fabric and added them to the ends of the track to create start and finish lines. Top stitch along all edges of race track with a blanket stitch. Next, apply Heat & Bond to back of thin yellow grosgrain ribbon. Cut the ribbon into 1" pieces. Iron the ribbon pieces along center of track. Top stitch one line through all yellow ribbon dashes from one end of the race track to the other end.

Putting it all together:
Sew both long sides and one short side (the side that the handle piece is pinned to) of the two large rectangles (12 1/4" x 10 1/4) together, right sides facing. Turn right side out and press. Cut one side of 3 ring binder into two pieces, each 5 1/2" x 4 1/2". Put one plastic piece in the sewn rectangle, pushing it all the way to the sewn side. Top stitch a line right down the center of the rectangle, using the edge of the plastic piece as a guide. This keeps the two plastic pieces from sliding around. Insert the other plastic piece. Press the open end of rectangle, so that the raw edges are turned in. Pin other handle inside this end, 3" from the top and bottom. Top stitch this side closed, being sure to catch raw edges and the ends of the handle.

That's it! Your ready for a road trip with your little one and their new "Take along race track and toy car holder". :) If you can think of a catchier name for it, please leave a comment and be sure to leave a comment with a link to pictures of your finished projects! I love to see other people's creations and variations.
I'm linking to the Brassy Apple Crafty Summer Series, head over there to check out other great ideas for the car.


Megan/Brassy Apple said...

so darling and REALLY fun too! thanks for jumping into the challenge!

this is so perfect for one of my nephews! He LOVES cars!

~Kimberly said...

How cute! I love how it folds up!!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

Great idea!

Mique (as in Mickey) said...

Oh my! That is adorable. What a fun idea. Love it!

Naomi said...

That is super cute. I think I might attempt that for my little boy, even though I'm not real big on sewing. What about "Road Trip Track" for the name?

Christian said...

This is great! And it would keep my littlest boy quiet in church! Thanks for stopping by my blog, and leaving a comment. I have been to yours before, and always enjoy it, I don't remember how I found it though...

MaryAnne said...

This is adorable, my son would love it!

Stacie said...

Very Cute Idea. I know my son would love this! It would make a great Christmas gift! Do you mind if I show this on my blog if I link back to yours? It is too cute! Thanks again!

***Sharon*** said...

I've had this project bookmarked for some time now....and I'm finally ready to try to make it! I'll let you know how it goes! :)

Kaija said...

Fab idea! I may change it to a train track instead. . . wanted to tell everyone that plastic folders are usually cheaper than plastic binders and about the same thickness.

Deanna said...

I went to Joanns today to get fabric- how hard could it be to find fabric with cars on it? Uh, come to find out- pretty dang difficult!! I got some checkered fabric for the handles and I found one fabric with monster trucks for one nephew and another with Corvettes for the other nephew. Certainly not my first choices, but I didnt have time to search other store. We'll see how mine turn out!

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Jaxweb said...

This is a great tutorial and easy to follow, even for a novice like me I'm so please how mine has turned out and can't wait to give it to my car obsessed 3 year old nephew at Christmas. You can see some pictures of my version on my Flikr account

CarrieM said...

I was looking for a tutorial like this, thanks for posting yours!

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