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Topic: Buckle tai baby carrier!  (Read 4789 times)
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kaffrin
« on: February 12, 2011 03:21:41 AM »

This is my first post for ages! I had a baby, and got all busy and what have you, but am so proud of my latest project that I had to show it off.

I have a Manduca carrier for the little one, and though I really like it, there are a couple of things about it that I'd change if I could. And then one day I thought, hang about, I COULD! So I sat down one evening with the carrier and a pen and paper, measured and thought and sketched out my ideas, and after a few naps, some blood, sweat and tears, I came up with this. I like to think of it as the dirty love child of a mei tai and a soft structured carrier, but I think the technical term is a buckle tai:





The straps are the same length, they just look a little wonky cause there's no baby in!





The webbing runs right the way through the straps, and the whole way around the waist belt for added strength. The fabric is upholstery canvas from Ikea and is lined in more canvas. The straps are foam padded, and the body is padded with a little polar fleece, so it's comfy and warm.



The Manduca has a sleeping hood, but I found my little one hates having her head covered, and it wakes her up, so I made a little sleeping flap which folds and fastens down with poppers when not in use. It's double padded, so it's extra comfy for her when she's snoozing.



And an action shot! (Please excuse my filthy mirror)



I took it out for a test run yesterday, and there are a few things  I'll change next time (oh yes, already planning a next time) but on the whole I don't think it's too shabby for less than 10 of materials and about 4 hours sewing  Cheesy
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011 03:28:49 AM »

babywearing FTW!!!! I love it!

I miss carrying my baby.... she's 5 and too huge now lol.
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badgerbear
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2011 04:32:27 AM »

super super cute! really well made by the looks of it as well. niice job!
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2011 05:20:45 AM »

That's really wonderful! What a cutie! Was it hard to make?
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2011 05:52:30 AM »

Love this! I plan on making one this weekend or next, but just a tie one. Im thinking I might try a buckle one next! <3
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Cheesamaburger
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2011 06:24:24 AM »

It looks great! I've got a new Ergo but I've thought about doing a buckle tai so I can make it look super cute. My Ergo is comfy but plain. I love the fabric you used.

I've never seen one with padded straps that cross in the back. My Ergo has a buckle thing that kind of makes an "H" shape out of the two parallel straps. Is it comfy with the padded straps crossing? Have you tried back carrying with it? What did you use and where did you get the buckles?

For anyone else still wanting to make this, I saw a Mei Tai pattern at Hobby Lobby on sale for $2 yesterday. I think it was by McCall's. That may be old news, but it's the first I've seen in a store, and the price was sure right. I thought about using it to make a buckle tai instead but I'm a little intimidated by the thought of trusting it to hold my baby when I sewed it. Now I'm curious about how the x-straps worked out.
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scary_mary
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2011 07:56:03 AM »

OP - it looks great!  Grin


It looks great! I've got a new Ergo but I've thought about doing a buckle tai so I can make it look super cute. My Ergo is comfy but plain. I love the fabric you used.

I've never seen one with padded straps that cross in the back. My Ergo has a buckle thing that kind of makes an "H" shape out of the two parallel straps. Is it comfy with the padded straps crossing? Have you tried back carrying with it? What did you use and where did you get the buckles?

For anyone else still wanting to make this, I saw a Mei Tai pattern at Hobby Lobby on sale for $2 yesterday. I think it was by McCall's. That may be old news, but it's the first I've seen in a store, and the price was sure right. I thought about using it to make a buckle tai instead but I'm a little intimidated by the thought of trusting it to hold my baby when I sewed it. Now I'm curious about how the x-straps worked out.

There are a lot of free tutorials around the web for MT's and buckle carriers  Grin
http://latebloomercrafts.blogspot.com/2008/11/ssc-tutorial-1-cut-list.html
http://www.wabisabibaby.com/blog/2009/the-ultimate-mei-tai-carrier-durable-and-easy-to-sew/
http://stilllearninglife.blogspot.com/2008/01/diy-hood-to-headrest-mei-tai-tutorial.html
http://scanditute.blogspot.com/
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kaffrin
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2011 11:58:10 AM »

Thanks everyone  Cheesy I took it on its second outing to the farm shop today. I think the waist belt could do with being wider and having firmer padding, but the rest is as comfy as you like!

I've never seen one with padded straps that cross in the back. My Ergo has a buckle thing that kind of makes an "H" shape out of the two parallel straps. Is it comfy with the padded straps crossing? Have you tried back carrying with it? What did you use and where did you get the buckles?

My Manduca is the same with the 'H' shape, but you also can wear it the straps crossed. The 'H' thing isn't really comfy for me, cause the horizontal bar doesn't adjust short enough. I have quite narrow shoulders and the straps tend to sit towards the edges of my shoulders, which gives me backache when I wear her for a long time. I have worn it with the straps crossed a few times, and while it's better in terms of carrying the load, the way the straps lie isn't very comfortable, and it's a bit of a pain to put on. Because in my version there's no hardware on the middle of the straps, they lie pretty flat across my back, and it's much more comfortable.

I haven't tried her in a back carry at all yet - she's just growing out of her reflux and I had images of me with puke-splattered hair and shoulders and not knowing about it! She's still fairly light (7.5 months and 17.5lbs) so a front carry is fine for now. I'm going to give it a go soon. The only thing about my version is that because of the length of the straps, I'd need to cross them over at the front, which probably isn't the most comfortable in terms of boobage. Maybe I'll need to sew another version for back carries with shorter straps and a short 'H' bar?  Cheesy

The buckles and webbing came from ebay. They're not the most expensive, as this was kind of a trial run. Next time I'd buy good quality, heavy duty fastenings. They hold her fine as she is still quite small, but as she grows I'm not sure I'd trust them.

I was a bit anxious the first time I put her in it, but I used a double layer of strong canvas, and webbing through all the straps, secured with x boxes and double stitching. If it's going to go anywhere, it'd be the buckles, but if you bought heavy duty buckles you wouldn't have to worry about it. That's what I'll do for next time Smiley

scary_mary: thanks for posting that list! I read a few of those tutorials in my quest, as well as studying the 'Handmade Baby Carriers' flickr group (fab, if you haven't seen it!) and they were super helpful!
 
I think the best thing for people to do is work from a few patterns or tutorials, taking the bits of each one that best suit their body type and the size/shape of their LO, so that you get a perfect fit for you both! Smiley
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Padester
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2011 03:27:49 PM »

This totally rocks!  I love that Ikea fabric, and I love baby carriers - I made a bunch of Mei tai's for myself and friends when my kiddos were younger (now 8 and 5) but never made a buckle carrier.  I love being able to make things that are pretty and useful!  Great job!
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silk81
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011 01:22:13 AM »

Very cute!
I love the head flap idea!
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2011 12:51:16 PM »

This is adorable! I love the idea of the buckles and the backpack-like straps. When my son was a baby I made several mai tai carriers and actually sold a few too. It would've been nice to have ones that I didn't have to tie.
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sparrowarms
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2011 08:40:43 AM »

Holy moly, I made my SIL a Mai tei in those exact fabrics!
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012 11:18:03 AM »

Congrats!!

You're a Craftster Best of 2011 Winner!

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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2012 07:46:25 AM »

I have a mia tie in the same Ikea fabric. I've been wanting to improve on it for a bit now and am so tickled you posted this! I've been thinking of a buckle carrier for awhile but couldn't wrap my head around it! You have made me feel like I can do it!
What kind of sewing machine do you have? Did you sew through the foam or sew channels and add the foam into the channels?
Thanks so much for sharing!
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