Baby-Related Crafts

Tie-on baby seat

By request -- a portable cloth seat that ties on to an adult-sized chair. The lady who requested the pattern called it a "chair sling" so you may know it by that name. This will fit chairs with backs up to 16" wide. If you think you will be using the seat with chairs wider than that, plan on buying more fabric -- up to 3/4 yard, rather than 1/2 yard. This pattern is copyright to me (Jan Andrea) and is NOT for resale under ANY circumstances!

Materials Needed:

Sewing directions:

Layout shown at right. For wider chairs, make the width correspondingly wider. I have not seen standard dining chairs with a width of greater than 24" -- that is rather out of the ordinary -- so I think you will be safe with a cut width of no more than 26". 18" is shown for standard 14" wide chair backs.

Similarly, a standard chair back height is about 16". If your intended chair height is greater than this, make the back section (shown at the top of the layout diagram) longer.

If you are using 1/2 yard of fabric, just make sure the edges are relatively straight, then cut the seat part out. Do this by folding the seat section in half both length- and width-wise, then tracing the edge of a plate around from one corner, as shown at left.

Use bias tape to finish the cut edges. When I'm in a hurry, I usually just fold the tape around the edge and topstitch through all the layers. If I want something a little nicer, I follow their directions and stitch twice, once with the tape unfolded, and then topstitch.

Sew the remaining bias tape closed -- you can just topstitch the folds together. This will make the ties a bit more finished.

Hem the top edge. Then fold the top section down along the dotted line, right sides together. Insert two pieces of bias tape, each about 18" long, into the seam at the bottom of the chair pocket. The tape will be on the inside (between the right sides of the fabric), so that it ends up on the outside when sewn. Stitch the left and right edges. This will create the pocket for the chair back. Turn right-side out.

For the bottom edge, which will become the portion that ties around the baby's chest, you can do the same thing as above -- fold the bottom edge with right sides together, sandwiching the bias tape between at the left and right edges. The two ties should be about 24" long each in this case, so that there's enough length to go around the baby, the chair, and tie in the back.

Last, stitch the shoulder ties into place, about 6" from each of the left and right sides. These should be about 24" long as well, so that you can bring them over the baby's shoulders, over the top of the chair, and tie them around the ties you made for the chair pocket. Note: when sewing all of the ties into place, be sure to sew them quite securely, as your baby may strain against them, and it would be a Bad Thing if they broke when s/he was doing so!

Using the seat:

First, put the pocket ( the top folded part) over the chair back. Tighten the ties so that it is secure. Next, put the baby in the middle of the seat part, and bring the waist ties around to the back of the chair, tying securely, but of course, not too tightly. Then bring the shoulder ties over the baby's shoulders, over the back of the chair, and tie them to the chair back ties, or the waist ties, or both.

For a better explanation and pictures, see -- I have done my best not to make a direct copy of their seat, and if you prefer not to sew this project, I would recommend theirs, as it is quite inexpensive.

Reader suggestions:

Hilary S wrote this: Since it seems like the built-in seatbelts are almost always broken or missing, I added one by sewing a piece of 1" nylon webbing with a plastic buckle to the center back of the cover right along where the back section meets the seat section. Then I left about 2" open on the seams joining those two sections so I could wrap the belt around the back rails of the hi-chair and put them through to the inside of the cover. A clean, functioning seatbelt every time!


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