I mentioned the other day (in my post about baby-wearing) that I was working on Mei Tai carrier for Baby B. I want to give credit where credit is due, and it is definitely due to Beth for making this great Mei Tai pattern for free! My carrier turned out great, but some of the pictures and directions were confusing so I took pictures as I went to try to fill in some of the gaps. And I did a couple little things differently. I marked them in red so you can compare if you want. :) I really like this pattern because it's pretty simple, makes a great carrier, and has bonus features like a pocket (that you can reach even if it's on your back) and a hood/head support flap for sleeping babies. This style carrier is not good for smaller babies, but is great for babies over 6 months like Baby B!
I ended up spending $15 on this carrier by using fabric from the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby. Used Mei Tai's can sell for around $30 on Ebay, so if you use an expensive fabric you may end up spending more to make one. But of course it would be way cooler and you could pick a super-great print! So let's see how it's done.
Step 1: Find a small boy with a yard stick to "help" you measure.
Step 2: Have small boy "help" with holding and marking fabric.
Step 3: Wait for nap time/daddy to get home so you can actually get something done. :) Okay, real tutorial time. :)
3 yards duck cloth
You can find recommendations on Beth's tutorial and I ended up choosing duck cloth (like canvas) because it is sturdy but still soft and pretty lightweight. For me 3 yards was just enough, but if you have a directional pattern you may need more to get things facing the right direction. This was enough fabric for both the straps and body of my carrier. The only other things you need for this carrier are strong thread, a sewing machine, and tools like scissors and pins.
Cutting Your Fabric
Beth's tutorial has a list of the pieces you'll need to cut. They are all rectangles so it is simple to measure and cut your pieces. I just use a yardstick to mark the size. She also has more options for different sizes. I would recommend cutting your knot pieces a few inches longer just to be safe. See step 6 for details.
Making your Carrier
I'll number the steps to match Beth's tutorial so you can follow along between the two. Sorry if this isn't super convenient, but I don't want to steal someone else's tutorial. I just want to fill in the gaps with pictures and tips!
1. Hemming the long edges of the straps - fold under 1/4" and press, fold again and press (shown below).
I still can't wait to try making a few more styles, but this one is definitely a keeper!
*******SAFETY NOTE: Use extra care if you make a baby carrier of your own. Remember, you are carrying precious cargo so read all instructions and suggestions carefully to make sure your carrier will be safe and comfortable for your baby. Always carefully read the instructions for proper fit and use of your carrier as well. Use a homemade carrier at your own risk, so if you have concerns about safety just don't use it!*******