I was so excited for the book Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe to be published. I patiently awaited it's release date and flipped through it as soon as I received it. The first project I chose from the book is the Car Play Mat. My kids love little cars and my son received a whole box of hot wheels for Christmas so this was perfect!
I followed the pattern for the road but made some of my own adjustments. I wanted a play mat that would be used for more than two minutes so it needed a bit more appeal.
To make your play mat like mine you'll want to cut your background fabric larger than the pattern (I used a heavy denim which I think is a great weight for this). Mine is about 36"x36" but you could certainly make it larger.
Then you can add a zip pouch to the background by cutting a piece of fabric about 18"x7". I used a 12 inch zipper.
Cut a slit in your garage fabric an inch shorter than the length of the zipper teeth.
Then cut a little "Y" at each end and iron it like this. You will now have an open rectangle in which to sew your zipper. I then laid the zipper down and used stitch witchery (double sided bonding) to attach it to the fabric before stitching. Then flip over your garage fabric to the right side and, using a zipper foot just sew a rectangle around the zipper. Most machines can't sew through a zipper so if your fabric covers a bit of the zipper end make sure to avoid the teeth.
Now fold the edges under ¼", iron, then fold ¼" again and iron. Pin it in place on your play mat. I pinned the two long edges down, leaving the side edges unpinned. I pinned the sides 5" apart. Then sew the long sides down ⅛" from the edge.The short sides will be loose like the above picture. Make a fold on each end so it lays flat then sew.
Now customize your mat using wool felt. Why wool felt? It looks best, holds up well and because it is felt you don't need to worry about fraying. Most chain fabric stores carry some wool felt blends and those work great.
And finally, because I made it from a heavy denim, I didn't back it. That way I can continue to customize it! I just finished the edges of the mat and it is ready to play with.
Do your kids need a car mat?