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Topic: My Mei Tai thingummy (inc a very pic heavy tute)  (Read 9776 times)
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will work for yarn

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« on: February 21, 2008 10:44:26 AM »

I decided to make a back carrier to put my squidge in because she gets bored in the buggy, but she still has very little legs and gets tired easily. I figured, even if she hated it it'd keep me sane for a while AND I've just found out my uncle and aunt are expecting so there'd be someone for it go to!
I liked the tutes I'd seen on other sites, but thought  could improve on the design/ease of making a little. It's taking ideas from Scandis and Mei Tais mainly, with a little bit of me thrown in to boot lol!!!

Select your materials, a decorative outer, a heavy duty inner (it will eventually be folded double) and some medium heavy material for straps. I used home tye-dyed cotton, cotton based upholstry canvas and calico. Plus a little decoration in the form of a flower.

I made the straps according to another tute I found online, 12" x 90" for the shoulder straps and 10" x 90" for the waist ones.
For the body piece I used inner material (the red canvas) which was the same size as a standard UK/US pillow case.
the cotton was slightly larger for seam allowances. This body piece will be folded in half and end up double layered and about 18" x 12" approx.

I started off by covering a stain on the dyed fabric with a flower and did my first bit of machine appliqu.

it's a bit wonky but not all that bad.

Place the canvas on the cotton so it is centred. fold over and tack all edges. check it's all even with no rucks or creases, then sew. I sewed all sides first, leaving about 1/2 cm gap where corners were, then folded them in and sewed them separately.

you should have something like this:

I then set about hemming the shoulder straps. I originally tried to use my hem rolling foot on the machine but it's not keen on frayed fabric and raher than painstakingly trim it, I decided to make a feature out of it by using decorative but structural sewing, and a double needle on the machine.

Now take the end of the shoulder strap which will be attached to the body piece and fold it like this:

then sew to hold. I used a triple running stitch. which is incredibly strong.

Now do that again with the other shoulder strap. once done, put aside, have a break.

fold a waist strap in half lengthways. sew along long side.

do this with both. Now to get them the right way out, I was going to use my normal trick of concertina-ing it all down onto a surgical clamp... but there was just too much material so I had to resort to something else...

my kitchen roll holder.

if you knwo a better way to do this, or don't have a similar holder, don't panic- this is just what I did.
I inserted holder into waist strap thus:

concertina'd waist strap down onto holder, pinned the two sides together and pulled.....

then I pressed them flat and hemmed one end of each.

to attach the shoulder straps, position them against the top corners, put them against the side of the material which will be the INSIDE of the backpack... Sew an X box (not the console lol!!! if I could do that I'd be the best wife in the world to my hubby lol!!!) ok so mine turned out more of an X Trapeziod but you get the idea.

I did my X box in the really strong triple running stitch again. bugger to unpick if a mistake happens, but it rocks on safety.

surgical clamps have many uses

now you should have a rectangle with cut off corners and 2 long ties attached to one of the short ends.
fold up the other end until it matches the end with the ties sewn on. I do hope this makes sense, my camera batteries started to die!!!

place a pin  or mark with chalk where the fold is on both edges and unfold.

line up your waist straps with this mark so that what will be the bottom edge of the waist straps is in line with the marks. overlap the straps, and pin in place. tack, again making sure they will be sewn to the INSIDE of the carrier.

I overlapped my waist straps and sewed a couple of centimetres of just straight stitching to hold them in place a bit more.

Sew an x box on each side just before the edge of the body material.

you should now have an oblong with blunt corners which is this shape, including the straps:
(my camera gave up the fight for battery life and died...it takes 45 mins to recharge)

if it looks like this you went wrong somewhere:

fold up the bottom (strapless) half to meet the top, align and overstitch. This time I only used the double running stitch rather thn the triple. still strong.
this is what shape it should now be.

you're ready to try it on... I used these instructions: http://www.freehandbaby.com/wear-baby.php

this was just a quick tie and Fluff's feet were tucked under her 'cos she didn't want to be photographed.
please ignore mess and flabby arms lol!!!

I love this thing. already today we have been for a walk and Princess's really happy in it.
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008 11:40:14 AM »

looks great! thanks so much for the tute! i'm gonna add a link to the list right now. can't wait to try and make one of these. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2008 12:54:38 PM »

that came out cute, love the purple.

Check out my kids reupholstered recliner
Mama Sweettater
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2008 02:03:35 PM »

I've been wanting to make one of those for so long!  Your's looks great, and thanks for the tute.

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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2008 06:14:53 PM »

Hey! I think i know you from somewhere!

This is a fab idea. there were some people at Big Green Gathering last year carrying small people around in similar, but not exactly the same things.

'The Secret to living's Not Dying' - Kilnaboy
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2008 12:09:53 PM »

This is great! Can't wait to try to make one. Thanks for the tute.

« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2008 12:59:34 PM »

Great job.  I've wanted to make a Mei Tai forever, but haven't gotten around to it. Smiley

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Inspiration without application is moot.

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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2008 05:31:13 PM »

Thank you for the tut. It is very consice.

« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2008 03:18:50 PM »

Thanks for the tute, I'm almost done mine now, hopefully it turns out as nice.

how did you deal with the bulk of the fabric when you were sewing on the straps, there is just so much, I'm having a hard time getting it out of the way.

« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2008 05:51:39 PM »

That is pretty cute, I just love the fabric (and the flower!). And an extra *woohoo* for babywearing in general!
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