Saturday, January 5, 2008

DIY HOOD TO HEADREST MEI TAI TUTORIAL is back!


BROOKE'S DIY HOOD TO HEADREST MEI TAI TUTORIAL
(private use only)



The Finished Product...



A little background...
PS: If you don't really care and want to get right to it, just scroll on down to the tutorial!
I have been making carriers for almost four years. I discovered the world of “babywearing” when my foure year old was just a few months old. I was looking for an alternative to the baby bijorn I had at the time, that was starting to hurt my back. Through surfing the web, I stumbled onto numerous unconventional carriers and was amazed and excited. I wanted to purchase a mei tai right then and there! Money was tight at the time, and I didn’t feel I could justify the purchase, especially without being able to try on the carrier or even see if my daughter liked it. I wondered if I might be able to find some instructions on how to sew one, and sure enough, I stumbled onto a DIY pattern. Of course I did everything wrong, made every mistake, and used the worst materials! But in the end I had my first mei tai. I felt so proud of myself, especially when my daughter loved it.
I still have that carrier. I had a lot of great memories with it. I remember feeling a sense of freedom in discovering the concept of “hands free.” I remember feeling so much love for my daughter when she snuggled up close to me the minute I put her in the mei tai. And most importantly, I remember feeling like I had succeeded at something-which as moms-can mean the whole world sometimes when you feel like you are doing everything wrong.
I decided it was my turn to “pay it forward.” So this is my Do It Yourself Tutorial for a hood to headrest mei tai. I loved the concept of a hooded mei tai, and wondered if the hood could do more than just be a hood. So I added padding and some additional loops to allow the hood to fold down into a padded headrest. I am a very visual person and so I have tried to be very vivid with my description, especially for that mom who only has sewn straight lines up until now! I also tried to include pictures and a few video clips of some of the trickiest parts in the assembly process. I hope you find this tutorial helpful in your attempts to make this mei tai whether it is your first one or your fourteenth! Above all I hope you feel successful and proud of yourself. If you have questions about any of the steps or need clarification, you can email me at bfuller@meilawrap.com and I will try to answer your question.
If you are interested in finding out more about babywearing, styles of carriers, or DIY patterns, www.thebabywearer.com is a wonderful resource.
Happy Sewing!
Brooke

(Above) My first DIY mei tai with my 3 year old when she was 9months and 14months

3 Years later! Isla 1o months, Aislynn 3yrs
and is for PRIVATE USE ONLY.
_______________________________________
PART I: ASSEMBLE YOUR SUPPLIES
Supplies:

  • Rotary cutter or sharp pair of sissors (maybe this is silly, but I thought I’d offer it anyway…don’t use your sewing sissors to cut paper…they will be sewing sissors no more and incredibly dull!)
  • A fabric marking pen or chalk to mark on fabric (I use chalk, a chalk pencil, a invisible ink pen, and a white marking pen all interchangeably).
  • A tape measure and ruler or yard stick
  • High quality thread (I use guiterman)
  • Iron/ironing board (sometimes I use spray starch too)
  • Long straight pins
  • A piece of paper or something for cutting out your pattern (I use my daughters 11x17 construction paper and I just tape a few pieces together)
Fabric:
  • 2 ¼ yards long of a sturdy fabric such as canvas, denim, twill (for straps), at least 33 in wide (as you will cut three straps a little over 10 inches wide each)
  • Between 5/8-3/4 yard a decorator fabric, apparel fabric, or quilters cotton
  • Between 5/8-3/4 yard sturdy fabric for center stabilizing body piece (a canvas or dense denim)
  • Between 5/8-3/4 yard a fabric to go on the inside panel that your child will be against. This could be anything you want ( the material you used for straps, a décor fabric, something super soft like a microfleece or flannel, etc.
  • Padding material: I use nearly natural batting, I love it. I have also used regular fleece, foam, nu-foam, and regular batting. You will need ½ yard of warm and natural batting (if you are using something else for padding you will need to calculate how much padding you need based on the dimensions of the padded items). Warm and natural batting usually comes 60 in wide.
**5/8 yard is enough for a smaller baby. For an older baby or toddler you should use ¾ yard and make the body longer (I will explain how to do this later.)
PART II: CUTTING EVERYTHING OUT

  1. Once you have all your materials gathered, it is time to cut out your pattern.
  2. Referring to my pattern diagram cut out your own pattern. You can make half a pattern you are planning on folding the fabric in half (which would help it to be more symmetrical)
a. You can make a basic mei tai by eliminating the hood.
b. For a taller mei tai simply lengthen the body 1-3 inches. For a smaller mei tai you can shorten the length of the body pattern 1-2 inches.
c. Make sure you label the top of your pattern and the fold.
(Above) Pattern:Half the body
to clarify dimensions-starting at the top and going clockwise,
6 in, 21 in, 9 in, 5 in, center 1/2 width 8 in, strap angle 5.5 or 6in, 2.5 in

Full body once unfolded (above)
Hood dimensions
Step 1: Cutting out the body pieces
  1. Lay your pattern on top of your fabric. Make sure the top of your pattern is at the top of your fabric. If you made half a pattern, make sure to fold your fabric in half (the fold will be the center of the body and the other side will be the edge of the carrier)
  2. Use your chalk to trace your pattern onto the fabric. Then cut out the body, or lay the other two body pieces underneath the piece you have traced and cut all three out together. This is ideal, but only if you have very sharp scissors or a rotary cutter.
Step 2: Cutting out the padding
  • You will need ½ yard of warm and natural batting (if you are using something else for padding you will need to calculate how much padding you need based on the dimensions of the padded items). Warm and natural batting usually comes 60 in wide.
  • Cut out the following pieces of batting with the following dimensions: 2 straps 16x22, 1 waist strap 15x28, 1 hood 15x13 (two layers for this one)
  1. Take the two strips of 16x 22 batting and fold the short ends (16in) into the center.
  2. Then fold the whole strip in half. You will fold the waist piece the same way, short ends into the middle and folded in half.
  3. You will end up with 2 pieces of padding for the straps approx 4 in wide, and a piece of padding for the waistbelt 3-3.5 in wide.
  4. Make a small stitch in the two bottom corners and the center edge, just to keep the layers together when you stuff them.
  5. The hood pieces you will set aside
Folding the padding into the center (below)

Folded in half again

The waist piece


Below are the spots to sew a small stitch

Step 3: Cutting out the Straps

  1. You need between 78-85 inches of fabric (lengthwise) for the straps. Approx. 2 ¼ yards. I would recommend making your straps 80-85 inches long because you can always shorten your straps. Longer straps also give you more options for tying. Remember that 5 inches of your strap will be inside the carrier.
  2. You will now cut three strips for the 2 straps, and 1 waist belt. Using a yard stick or ruler, draw a line as long as you are making your straps (approx 84 in), and 10 ½-11 inches wide. Your straps will end up being about 5 inches wide. If you like narrower straps, simply make your strips of fabric between 7.5-9 inches (that will produce straps 3 1/2 -4 ½ inches wide). Cut out the three straps.
  3. Fold your shoulder straps in half widthwise, with the wrong side out (right sides touching inside). Pin along the edge.
This video shows how you should fold the straps
video
Step 4: Sewing and Assembling the straps
  1. Using a straight stitch, sew all the way down all three straps using a ½ to 5/8 seam (meaning there is a ½ to 5/8 inch to the right side of the stitch you are sewing). Now you should have three long tubes.
OPTIONAL STEP: You can iron flat the seams which can make it easier to straight out the straps when you flip them if you like or you can just skip to step.
2. Flip all the tubes so they are right side out. Since I make my straps so wide, I usually just reach my hand all the way down the tube bunching as I go and flipping. The seam will now be one of the long edges of the strap.
3. Iron all three straps.
4. Lay the 2 shoulder straps flat . Using a ruler and a special marking pen or chalk, draw a
line 5-6 in from the left raw edge-horizontally.
5. Now draw a line 22in. from the line you just drew (essentially 29 to 30 in from the left raw edge of the strap).
6. Peel the left edge of the straps back all the way past the line 30 inches in. You should have wrong sides facing now pulled over part of the strap you turned previously. Slide a couple inches of the padding material into the opening.
7. With one hand firmly holding the portion of strap that is still right sides out, use the other hand to slowly “unpeel” the strap back over the padded material, trying to keep it as straight as straight as possible until the strap is completely unpeeled and covering the padding. You may need to reach your hand in and pull the padding down a bit or make some adjustments to straighten it out. Repeat this process with the second shoulder strap. The straps should fall in between the two lines you drew on the outside of the straps.
This video shows how to put the padding in the strap
video
8. For the waist belt, find the exact center of that strap and mark it. Then find the exact center of your piece of padding for the waist belt and lay it on top of the waist belt in the center. Draw a small line on either side of the padding. You will follow the same process used for the shoulder straps to get the padding inside, except you will have to peel the waist belt almost all the way back to get this piece of padding in the direct center.
9. Now you are ready to sew in the padding. Some people like to sew rows, some people sew rectangular boxes, I like to sew rows. I have included a short video clip explaining how I sew clean rows. You can follow these instructions or just sew your own straight rows across the padded portion. At least three of them.
10. Using a straight stitch, stitch straight down the center of the strap until you are one inch from edge of the padding (you may want to mark this spot before you start the stitch-you can also draw line straight down the middle for a guide if you are concerned about sewing straight!) You do not want to stitch over the edge of the padding as it will make it more difficult to keep your rows from bunching. Sew at least 1 row on either side of the center row you just sewed (see my video).
This video explains how to sew in your padding so you only have to break your stitch once!
video
***In order to create a nice clean edge for your straps (the ends where you are tying). Simply fold the edges into the tube about ½ to 1 inch. Then press them flat and stitch closely to the edge, to create a nice straight edge with sharp corners. You will do this while you follow my instructions to sew in the padding, or you can do it when you stitch around the perimeter of the strap after #19.
This video shows how to fold the ends down to get a nice clean edge
video
11. If you followed my instructions for rows, you should have already stitched around the edge of the strap all around the entire thing.
12. If you did not follow my directions, and just stitched over the padding, you will now need to stitch very closely with a straight stitch all around the entire strap (except the raw edge you will attach to the body.
13. For the waist strap, sew all around the entire perimeter of the strap, making two very nice sharp edges for strap ends (like you did with the shoulder straps).
14. Now you should have 3 straps ready to attach to the body. You will sew rows into the padding of the waist belt once you attach it to the body.
PART III: Making a Padded Hood
  • Front and back hood pieces
  • 2 layers of padding cut out
  • Bias tape or two strips of fabric for hood ties
Step 1: Making a decorated hood
(skip step 1 if you are just using two pieces of fabric for the hood)
  1. If you would like to make a fancier hood, you can take a strip of fabric that is the width of the hood (it can be fat or skinny). Press under the top and bottom edges so that there is a nice crisp edge on top rail going widthwise, and the bottom rail widthwise.
Strip of fabric with edges pressed under
2. You can pin this piece to the right side of the hood piece that will be facing out, and stitch very close along those pressed edges, so it is attached to the hood piece. I like to use a decorator stitch along the edge, but you can use a straight stitch very close to the edges or a zigzag
Fabric laid out (above) Pinned to hood flap (below)
Finished decorated top hood flap, ready for assembly


Step 2: Constructing the hood


  • Loops and ties:
  1. Press under the one edge on each of the two strips of bais tape or hood ties you cut out
  2. Stitch along this tiny edge then while leaving your needed down, turn the strip 90 degrees and sew along the edge of the strip lengthwise.
  3. Take your 4 inch strips of bias tape and fold the short ends under and press. Stitch around the edges. Now you should have 2 ties ready to attach to the hood and 4, 4 inch long strips to attach later.

the bias tape I use

Here are 4, 4x4 inch squares of fabric you can use for the loops in place of bias tape



Step 3: Sewing and flipping the hood
  1. Lay the 2 layers of batting (or other padding material) down.
  2. Lay the hood piece that will be showing to everyone, right side up, on top of the padding.
  3. Take your two hood ties and position them on either side of the hood sides about two inches from the bottom. Since the hood is rounded, there is not really a corner for you to place them in, and I prefer them coming out the sides.
  4. The ties should lay straight across the hood so that about ½ to 1 inch of the raw edge of the ties come out the sides.
  5. Carefully lay the inside hood piece (the piece that will show when your hood is use-the underside) wrong side up, on top of the ties, careful not to shift the ties.
  6. Pin all around the perimeter of the hood, especially where the ties are.
Layers ready for sewing:
padding, decorated piece (rightside up), ties, inside hood panel (wrong side up).

7. Using a straight stitch, sew all around the edge of the hood, careful to turn the hood as needed to keep the rounded shape. Leave the top of the hood, the straight edge where you will be attaching it to the body, open. This opening will allow you to flip it rightside out!
8. Flip the hood right side out, and press it with an iron.
9. Now top stitch very close to the edge all around the hood still leaving the top open.
***Tip: If your hood is two different colors, for example the top is piece is black and the reverse is white, you can use different colors of thread. The thread in the bobbin will show as the stitch on backside of your sewing. The thread going through the needle will show on the top. Keep this tip in mind for top stitching the body and x boxes later. You may want to practice this on scrap fabric to make sure your tension is correct. If the bobbin thread shows on the top, you need to decrease your tension. If the top thread shows on the reverse, you need to increase your tension.
Now your hood is ready to attach!
PART IV: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Step 1: Attaching the body and shoulder straps
1. Lay the interior, structure piece flat (this is the piece that will be sandwiched between the other two pieces).
2. On top of that, lay the piece of fabric that will be facing out for everyone to show, right side up. This means, you should lay it exactly as you want it to be seen.
3. On top of that, lay the hood piece, exactly as you want it to show when it is not in use.
4. Take one strap and lay it so that the 5 inches you are going to sew over, that are going to be inside the carrier are angled up, directly centered in the upper right hand corner. DO the exact same thing with the other strap. Angling the five inches you have marked, up.
5. Careful not to shift the straps you just laid out, fold the long portions of the straps up so they lay nice and flat inside the body and don’t get in the way while you sew around the perimeter.
6. Now carefully lay the last body panel (the one that will be against the baby on the inside) wrong side up , on top of the straps and the rest of the pieces. Remember, this piece should have the wrong side up, the side you don’t want to see. Line it up directly on top of the stack and pin all around the perimeter of the carrier.
Notice I have traced around the edge of the hood, so I don't accidentally stitch over it
Pin around the entire body
7. Now take a marking pen or chalk, and draw a line ½ to 1 inch from the edge of where the straps are coming out. Then trace around the sides of the straps underneath the layer. This will help be a guide when you stitch around the straps so that when you flip them they are nice and even. Draw a guide line all the way down the sides of the carrier and across the top approx ½ from the edge. Make sure you will be sewing over all the layers with the line you are marking.
8. Now starting where the corner of the strap edge meets the edge of the top of the carrier where the hood will be, begin to sew all around the carrier careful to watch the guidelines you have drawn. DO NOT sew across the bottom. This is how you are going to flip the carrier rightside out.
9. Make sure you sew nice neat lines along the edges and where the straps are going to come out so that your carrier looks nice and symmetrical.
10. After you have sewn around the body, go back up to where the straps are attached, and close to the straight line you sewed (across the 5 inches of the width of the strap), sew a zigzag stitch straight across this space. Do this across the top of the other strap too.
11. Now remove all the pins and flip the carrier inside. It should now look the way you want it to for use. If it seems to be getting a little bulky around the strap edges, flip it back to the way you sewed it originally and trim your hem a bit, careful not to snip your stitch.
12. Smooth out the shape and body of the carrier, and iron all around the entire body.

Step 2: Sewing in the X boxes and top stitching

1. Now trace a nice rectangle around the inner edge of the straps that you attached inside the carrier. Draw a nice rectangle on top of the carrier surface with an erasable pen or chalk. Draw a nice X in the center of the rectangle, corners to corners. Now top stitch over the rectangle. Make sure you are using a matching thread, or two different colors-one for the top-one for the bobbin (underneath color) if you have different colors of fabric you are using. This is only important if you are trying to blend the X boxes in subtly.
2. Once your X boxes are sewn, top stitch, using a straight stitch, all around the entire bdy of the carrier, very close to the edge.
3. At this point, you can fold bottom edge of the body under to make a nice straight edge across the bottom, iron this edge flat, and pin. You can top stitch this edge closed when you are stitching around the body.
Step 3: Attach the waist belt
1. Now you will lay the waist belt directly across the bottom of the carrier on the outside, centered. Line up the bottom edge of the body with the bottom edge of the waist belt.
2. Pin all across the top and bottom edge.
3. Sew a straight stitch very close to the edge across the bottom edge of the strap and body, attaching the two. When you get to one end, leave your needle down, and turn the whole piece you are sewing 90 degrees, so that you can sew up the side, to the top edge of the strap. When you get to that point, leaving your needle down, turn the whole piece you are sewing 90 degrees again.
4. Now sew a straight stitch across the top edge of the waist strap, attaching it to the body. Leaving your needle down turn your whole piece you are sewing 90 degrees one last time to sew from the top edge of the waist strap to the bottom.
5. You have essentially sewn a long rectangle attaching the body to the waist belt. Now you can sew at least three rows, straight across the waist belt spaced out, or rectangles.
6. You can sew the rows from one end of the padding to the other end, careful not to go over the edge (this pattern uses a piece of padding extra long beyond the shape of the carrier body to add more comfort for your sides). Or you can just sew across the padding directly in line with the body.
Step 4: Attach hood and headrest loops! Last step!
1. Using a ruler mark a small line 8 inches from the edge of the straps on the outside of the straps. This is where you will tie the hood if it is in use. Use a little straight stitch or zig zag to attach the two edges of hood loops. One on the outside of each strap going lengthwise across the strap.
2. Now attach the head rest loops on the inside edge of the straps. Attach the same way up on the corners of the straps


Done!

Here is the finished product (left)
Here is the inside where the headrest loops are attached (right)
Using the hood as a headrest...
Fold down once,
Fold again for a high headrest. Pull tight through the loops.


Fold down again for the thickest headrest. Pull tight through the loops.
This would be the ideal for a tiny baby or newborn






Hood in Use:


2weeks old








*If you make and love this tutorial, I'd love to see pictures! I'd like to start posting a gallery of completed carriers to inspire other moms! Email me a picture or two.


My personal Putting on baby mei tais

411: EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT A PUTTING ON BABY MEI TAI

Style: All POB mei tais are unique. While I may use the same fabrics to create another carrier, I never create the exact same carrier twice. Your Putting on Baby Mei tai will be one of a kind, just for you! All carriers are reversible. Some reverse to create another pattern combination, some reverse to a completely plain side to encourage those husbands to wear it!

The Fabric:
Most POB (putting on baby) mei tais use a sturdy, but soft twill for the strap fabric. Some have a soft canvas or denim strap. Patterned fabrics are a quality cotton apparel fabric or quilters fabric. Some have a decor fabric for the patterned piece. All fabric has been machine washed and preshrunk by me. All carriers have a piece of canvas inside to stabilize for safety.

Washing Instructions: I use all machine washable fabrics. These carriers can be washed in the washing machine, but you should keep machine washing to a minimum to keep colors bright. To wash, put the carrier in a pillow case and wash separately in a gentle cycle. It is best to lay your carrier out flat to air dry. But you can put it in your dryer if you wish. However, air drying, or just fluffing it for a few minutes in the drier will reduce fading. Ironing of the straps might be needed.

Hooded carriers: Fold the hood up to keep a sleeping baby comfortable. All the hoods are rounded and long, which is different than a lot of hooded mei tais. This allows the hood to fit the baby longer into "toddlerhood!" You can also fold your hood in if you don't want to use it or don't want it hanging down. Some hoods are padded and fold down to create a padded headrest. If a carrier has one of these hoods, it will say so in the description. The "hood to head rest" conversion hood tie onto loops on the inside of the straps to create this cushion. See the May post entitled "Just sold" to see this feature in action. The hood also can be tied up provide extra support for a small baby. See post titled "Ty" to see a newborn in this carrier.

Straps: Most straps are cushioned. I use warm and natural batting for the cushioning in the straps and some cushioned headrests. Warm and natural has a high standard for their product using no glue or resins. It is extremely soft too. Straps are nearly 80 in long unless otherwise specified. This allows the carrier to be "one size fits all".

Wearing instructions: Links to Youtube videos I have recorded are coming soon! All carriers purchased include my own instructional dvd for wearing positions.

Pricing: Determined by materials, time and features. All carriers use a variety of quality fabrics that are purchased, washed, sewn, and ironed by me. Features such as padded straps, a padded hood, no hood, specialty fabrics, and reversible features add to the price as well. Each carrier is custom made and takes hours to create.


PS As always, if you have any questions about the tutorial, my carriers, or my personal creation-the one and only Mei-la Wrap, don't hesitate to contact me via email.


Mei-la Wraps at www.puttingonbaby.blogspot.com:







69 comments:

AdronsCatherine said...

Thank you so much for your WONDERFUL tutorial! I've made plenty of baby carriers before, but I had never found a mei tai pattern that suited my needs. I *love* the videos, too - I'm not sure I would have gotten the padding in my straps without that one lol!

Anyway, I made my 1st one with your pattern last night, and I can't wait until my little guy wakes up so we can try it out! Thank you so very much!!!

Chappell3 said...

I am so glad sleepingbaby.net had a link to your blog on it! I've been trying to find a mei tai to suit my 10 month old's need to be a busy body while out and about, but also keep her snuggled close while snoozing. We're headed to Jo Ann Fabrics right now to get our supplies! Thanks!

bAnyacska said...

Thank you for your tutorial!I´ve been searching for the mei tai pattern for a while,when i found your site. You did an amazing job with your tutorial!It was so easy to follow every steps even the english isn't my native one.
Thank you!!
Krisztina and my little one

Karen said...

Thanks so much for this! I'm going to try it as soon as I find some time to shop and sew.

Candace said...

I met a friend of yours picking blueberries today. She had her baby in this. It was so cute, I had to ask her if she made it. She gave me your blog address.
I am so excited to try this!
Thanks for sharing how you do it.

Annie said...

I wanted to thank you so much for this tutorial!! There were so many things that I was doing them, I thought" Now see I would have done that earlier and royaly screwed up!!

My mai tie came out looking so great!! Thank you for being so detailed in your directions!!! Thank you thank you thank you!

Lorissa said...

These are the absolute best instructions I have ever seen! Your videos are so great. I have made mei tais before, but never one so absolutely perfect!! Thank you ;)

Jen P said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For reinstating this!!!
-Jen

Peťula said...

Thank you! I just finished sewing my Mei Tai, tried it with my son and it seems to be wonderful. Thank you for the excellent job you did on this tutorial!!!

Kristin in the West said...

Thank you!! Finished one today and I love it so much!

nikki said...

You've got skills girl! Thanks for sharing, you are really making an impact in other people's lives.
I have a 9 month old so I can't wait to try this sling. I have used a wrap in the past, but just find it to difficult to back pack baby.I have made a tai before and I am now an official baby wearer! luv them!

Stacey said...

I just finished making one of these for my six month old who needs to be held all the time. Thank you so much for the tutorial. It came out wonderful.

sarah said...

THANK YOU!! I just found your pattern and loved following it! Especially loved the videos. I am also a very visual learner and thanks to you am cuddling my little girl now in our stripy mei tai.

missourimomma said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I love to sew and want to try to make my own mei tai, I have searched the web for a good pattern. Thank you so much for your time you spent doing this!!!-Amanda- Springfield, MO

Shaina said...

THANK YOU! I finished it today. I modifided it a little and used buckles instead of ties and I also put a type of 'window' on the body so I could use interchangable panels of fabric. Your tutorial is fantastic! Thank you SO much for sharing it with us. My one year old son loves it!

mamainstitches said...

Thank you for this pattern!! It's the first Mei Tai I've made (and used lol!) I loved the videos and pictures, since I have a hard time reading patterns. Here's a few pics of my finished Mei Tai:
http://gallery.me.com/afotherby/100024/IMG_1415.jpg?derivative=medium&source=web.jpg&type=medium&ver=12706553150001
http://gallery.me.com/afotherby/100024/IMG_1416/web.jpg?ver=12706553380001
http://gallery.me.com/afotherby/100024/IMG_1430/web.jpg?ver=12706701210001
and 10 minutes later...
http://gallery.me.com/afotherby/100024/IMG_1439/web.jpg?ver=12706701500001
thanks again!!

True Vine Herbs said...

Wonderful tutorial! Thank you. We made our first one this weekend.
Sarah:
http://s23.photobucket.com/albums/b375/BlsdMama/?action=view&current=MeiTai2.jpg

Daniella - showing the reverse:

http://s23.photobucket.com/albums/b375/BlsdMama/?action=view&current=Mei1.jpg

I am planning another for the future and narrowing my straps a little, plus making them longer. Needless to say I did *not* follow advice your advice and shortened my arm straps. Yup, too short. Oh well, you live & you learn!
Thanks again.

AmyB said...

Thanks so much! Just made this for my son and we love it! It was fun to make, from picking out the fabric to sewing the final loops. It would have taken a lot less time if I had invested in a decent sewing machine - but my cheap singer did the trick. I'll send the pics soon!

PS - I am NOT a very experienced seamstress, so it says something about this pattern that I was actually able to complete it.

veryveryfine said...

thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial! i cursed you for about 30 seconds for instructing us to peel back the straps to insert the padding. then i realized how much time i've wasted in the past doing it other ways. my son and i LOVE our new carrier. i have some photos on my flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lejeunesse/
thanks again!

Helena Torkzadsson said...

Thank you a lot for a GREAT tutorial! Here is my version, without the hood and with a belt like in an ergonomic carrier, with a buckle.

Was a pure pelasure to work with your instructions!

Helena Torkzadsson said...

Some problems with commenting, do not understand why...

Any way, try again.

Thanku a lot for the GREAT instructions! Made my version, without the hood and with a different belt. Here are the pictures.

http://picasaweb.google.com/lavande9/MyBabyCarrier#

It was a pleasure to work with your instructions!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial! My son had TERRIBLE colic when he was born and had to always be held and jiggled. I made one of your carriers and he practically lived in it until he was 4 months old. He is 6 months old now and we still use it quite a bit. people ask me all the time where I bought it, it is so much fun to say that I made it myself! Thanks again!!!

Lauren said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I've had it bookmarked on my computer for over a year, and finally finished my first one a few weeks ago. My youngest son (3 months) has pretty much lived in it since then, lol! :) I'm actually finally leaving a comment, because I had to come back and check the instructions and measurements again because I'm making one to gift to a friend who's moving into the mission field and won't have a car anymore, so they'll need ways to tote their youngest children. :) I'll be sure to take pictures and post them on my blog, and email them to you (if you're still doing something with them). Great instructions, pictures, video, everything. Thanks again! :)

Gia said...

I absolutely LOVED your tutorial. I added my own flair to your great design and I've been using my mai-tai for over a year and still love it. Can't wait to put the new baby in it in December! I've posted pictures of mine on flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32224705@N00/sets/72157624640639715/with/4909803994/

Edmee from The Netherlands said...

Hello, this is edmee from Utrecht in The Netherlands! It's late in the evening and my little baby is asleep with its father and here I sit sewing in the livingroom...listening to my favorite music.. It did take some courage to start your pattern, it seemed so hard! Also because I am used to cm and meters, and not inches and yards! But I have managed the maths and started the making of my first Mei Tai tonight...wonderful! Thank you so far, I'll let you know if it truly worked for me! Greetings, edmee

Rachel, Max, Lily Sanford said...

Thank you for doing this! I made one for my sister for her new baby, and it is beautiful. The instructions were perfect.

Agathe said...

The best tutorial I've ever found for a mei taï!!! I'll try to make my Mei taï from your tutorial. As I'm french I've translated it. If you want I could send it to you so you can post it for other french carrier moms! That could help them... Tell me If you want to. And again great job!!!!!! so many descriptions and pictures.

ckandi007 said...

Hi! I've been meaning to sew a mei tai ever since I found out I was pregnant and now that I kind of get the hang of a sewing machine, I made one last night with your tutorial. Thank you so much! I still have 19 weeks to go, but I'm so thrilled with the way it came out. Thank you for your instructions--very clean and concise! Below is the one I made:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ckandi007/5110348819/

mommyscircus said...

I just made this yesterday. The instructions were so easy to follow. I plan on making another one today. I will post pics on my blog and link to this :)

Amy (naptimecrafters) said...

Great work! I need to make one of these before I have #2- it will be awhile:) Thanks for auditioning for American Crafter!

delectablespoonart said...

Do you have a PDF tutorail to make the Mei Tai? I can't find it on your blog and would like to print up the instructions. Can't wait to make one of these for my new grandchild.

Zuzana said...

Thank you for this tutorial. It is perfect. I finished my carrier today, and me and my son (8mths) just love it. I made fully padded hood-less version. For more security on the walks I added reflex stripe on outside. Posting pics too: https://picasaweb.google.com/zuzana.ursinyova/MeiTaiCarrier#

luckystar0515 said...

thank you so much for this awesome tutorial. i love love love my mai tei, and gasp.....even more than i loved my Ergo or Moby. i have told a lot of people about your site.

Ana said...

This was a really helpful tutorial, thanks. You can see my version at http://stashavalanche.typepad.com/blog/2011/05/i-made-me-a-mei-tai.html

joy said...

Thanks a lot! :-) I've been looking for a good mei tai pattern and this was definitely the best I could find. I love the paddings, shape of the body piece and the hood. Picture of my little bit modified attempt can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilahdus/5858788691

Crafty Witch said...

This tutorial is brilliant, I am really looking forward to making my first Mei Tai (I;ve been using a stretchy wrap til now) and am feeling confident as this makes things so clear. I just have one question. I can't figure out the hood/head rest ties. To they tie together at the back of the head or are you supposed to tie them round the loops? Many thanks Sal

mamàmaga said...

I would like to do it..can you tell me all the misures in inches? thanks a lot

kamagra jelly online said...

Thanks a lot for this great tutorial. I pleased to find it... Good job! Keep posting...

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is, hands down, the best tutorial I've ever seen online for making your own mei tai!

Karolinka said...

I have been searching and searching for good instructions to a Mei Tai. Yours are incredible!! Thank you, this project I am truly looking forward to.

Patti Wang Cross said...

Thanks for the amazing tute! I did a mash-up of your tutorial and the FrankenKozy at www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/FrankenKozy.htm to make a mei tai with wrap-style straps. After a trip to a local discount fabric store, I got all my materials for about $15. My husband and toddler road-tested it for the baby we're expecting this summer:

https://picasaweb.google.com/115353755570479848343/WrapStyleMeiTai?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCI_yk_T3pZeg6AE&feat=directlink

Lori said...

This tutorial is great! I teach baby yoga and often see moms struggling with their carriers or discussing alternatives. I want to share this with them, I think they'll love it too! Thank you.

denise said...

do you sell them? if so can u make me one and i'll pay for it, plus extra for shipping? i dont have the time to make one myself, i live in havre, mt and there's not any in this town to buy, and i work full time, so thhe extra time i do get is to care for my baby, and eat and sleep :) my email is mielkedenise@yahoo.com

Dana said...

Has anyone tried this with a toddler? I have two one year olds and the older one (almost 2) wants to be carried like the younger one (just turned one and barely walks) has to be. I need a way to carry both boys at the same time and this would be perfect if it works with toddlers. I am just looking for some advice. We can't afford to get an Ergo or one of the expensive carriers so looking for something I can make myself. Thanks!

Laura said...

I just finished making a hooded mei tai using your instructions... I love it! I'll send you a picture with my little princess in it. Thanks sooo much!

Shannon said...

Thank you for the tut. I am expecting my first in September and wanted to sew a mei tai. I couldn't understand a lot of the other tutorials--yours made the most sense to me. The pictures were so helpful. I ended up using your body and strap pattern and made the straps adjustable with hardware from a backpack that I had lying around. I'll post a pic on my blog when I am finished putting it all together. I will also link to you.
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

thankyou so much for this tutorial! ive carried my son all his life (20 months) and now expecting number 3 so wanted a carrier that was individual and met my needs. this is the first mei tai pattern i found that fit perfectly!! made it last night and very happy...the tutorial is easy to follow which was a godsend. just need a baby to test drive it now haha

angela said...

could somebody give me the link for the pattern? I can not find it.. I love this tut but I just can not find the pattern.

angela said...

Hello, I love this tut. Could somebody give me the link for the pattern? I did not see it on the page.
thank you

Melissa K said...

I just finished mine yesterday. I made it for my sister in law. I am sure she will love it. I plan to make another for me but my baby is too big I think. It would be for a future baby. Everything went pretty well except I couldn't tell how long the tie strings were. Mine came up a bit short so I added snaps. It was fun to make. Thanks.

Alanna said...

I made a carrier from this tutorial and love it. I am writing a blog post about it and directing my readers to your site for the tutorial. Hope that is okay. Thanks for this awesome tutorial!

Katikreate said...

I am struggling with the hood. Can anyone tell me how to make the ties and loops? What are their dimensions?

Katikreate said...

How long are the tie straps?

QueenMommy said...

Thank you so much! I'm almost done with mine, but I ran out of thread so I have to wait to get more to finish it up. I pinned it together a little bit and tested it with a baby doll and I think I'm in love! I have a sling type carrier but the babe is getting a little big for it and with 2 other kids to chase after I needed something more suitable.

derya said...


ı don't english.
ı use google translate :))
mai tai made ​​in my country do not :((
but ı found you.ı very happy.mai tai is very expensive here.thank you so much

laura said...

Wonderful Tutorial,very easy to fallow. I should have made one of these long time ago. My 14 month old son absolutely loves it and its so easy to use.

MaryL. said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial...so helpful, detailed and easy to follow. It's a gorgeous pattern and makes for a sturdy, comfortable carrier! THANKS AGAIN!

elrieta said...

I've finally also made my own Mei Tai from your tutorial - thank you for sharing! I feel so proud of myself for making it.. :-) And you've made it very easy to do! Thank you!

elrieta said...

I've finally also made my own Mei Tai from your tutorial - thank you for sharing! I feel so proud of myself for making it.. :-) And you've made it very easy to do! Thank you!

erin said...

Agree! Thank you so much. We love our new carrier. First attempt and your instructions and video were super helpful.

Ana said...

Hi! Thank you for your help! Now we have our new mei tai. I tried it this evening, but it gave me backaches.. do you think that could be something wrong with my carrier? I had a wrap until now (8 months), so I am used to carry the baby (9 kg).

Elizabeth Blindauer said...

Will these measurements work for a plus sized mom? i want to make one of these so bad, but affraid ill do it and not fit. im a size about a size 20 in jeans.

Elizabeth Blindauer said...

Can these measurements be used for a plus sized mama? like jean size 20 max?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I liked your tutorial very much! I have a question. Do you think that adding the padding for the hood would be a no-no for hot weather?

Anonymous said...

I'm making one and should be finished tomorrow. I am about your size so I'll try it on and let you know.

Anonymous said...

To answer Elizabeth Blindaur's question: yes, this can be used for plus sized women. There's plenty of room in the ties.

Elizabeth Blindauer said...

ok great! :)

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial! I just have one question, the 1/2 yard of padding doesn't seem like it would be enough to cover all the pieces needed. Just wondering if that may have been a typo, or if I'm calculating wrong. Thanks for the help! - B

Anonymous said...

Just finished mine. Thinking I'm going to add a hood later that can be tucked in so it doesn't hide the Star Wars print. Love it! and it's sooo comfy! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=783545245008121&set=pcb.783545345008111&type=1&theater