Thursday, November 04, 2010

May I Tie Your Mei Tai?

After reading through the many helpful comments on my Babyitis post, I was inspired by Serena's comment to try making a Mei Tai baby wrap. I had purchased a few yards of cotton gauze to make a long wrap carrier, but with the various other baby-related purchases we've been making, I didn't feel very comfortable about it -- especially since there's no guarantee that the baby would even like it!

So when I discovered that all I'd need to buy to make a Mei Tai was $3 worth of batting, I took back my gauze and started looking for tutorials! I found several that I liked, but I ended up using the DIY Hood to Headrest Mei Tai Tutorial. I really liked the professional construction methods and the overall look of this carrier.

Yvonne is modeling for me, since my rotund mid-section is not best suited for anything requiring a waist! I kept "trying on" the Mei Tai while I was making it, and becoming concerned that it seemed to have such an unusual fit -- until I remembered that my current "baby carrier" was obstructing a proper fit! Also, I made no effort to tie the carrier *just so* in the pictures, since I'm guessing this is something I'll have to experiment with -- so don't be alarmed by the absence of sturdy tying technique!

The fabrics I chose were a tan embroidered linen, salvaged from this no-longer-needed skirt, and a black twill that I recently obtained when my sister was getting rid of some of her fabric stash. I love that this tutorial has a hood that can also be rolled up to use as a headrest -- how practical that will be, I'm in no position to say. But it's cute either way, so I don't mind! *wink* A little bit of black ric-rac for the hood was a must, of course.

I did change a few things with the tutorial -- for one, I didn't sew the straps right-sides-together, turn them inside out, and then stuff the batting inside. Insead, I simply folded under the seam allowances on the straps, placed the batting in the appropriate position, and topstitched all around the edges of the straps before reinforcing stitching on the batting area. It was not too complicated, and turn out just fine. I also shortened the batting for both the shoulders and waist. I do love the batting feature, since I think this will make the carrier much more comfortable. I'm not thrilled about such wide straps, but most of the websites I looked at recommended keeping the straps wide to help with back strain.

For the "stitching boxes" where the shoulder connects to the strap, I drew out my box on tissue paper, pinned it to the carrier, and sewed along the lines twice. So simple!

With all of the batting, topstitching, and measuring, this felt more like a home decor project than a baby project! But I'm so happy with how it turned out, and it seems quite sturdy. Whether or not it will work... well, only time will tell. But if it doesn't, at least I didn't spend much money or effort on it. Still, here's hoping that a certain little someone finds it just right!

So what's with the title? After pronouncing this thing "My Tie" in my head for years (which I admit doesn't make any sense, considering that "ei" and "ai" are unlikely to make the same sound!), I'm trying to re-train myself to say "May Tie." So if you hear me walking around muttering, "May I Tie Your Mei Tai," don't think I've gone off my rocker. Not yet, anyway. *wink*


  1. That looks amazing! (I had no idea that Mei Tai was pronounced "May Tie." I thought it was "My Tie" too!)

    LOL, my "comment moderation word" is "nesting." Coincidence? Clearly not! :)

  2. Oh, Shannon! That's awesome! You're so creative!

    I was going to ask you a question. As a beginner sewwer, I was wondering, I'm sewing a simple nightgown, and I'm supposed to put lace around the neck and sleeves, and I wanted to know how to sew the lace on. Do you sew it on top, or onto the bottom, or with the right sides together? Please help!

  3. Luci, I'm so glad I'm not the only one! It *still* looks like "My Tie" to me, but I'm working on it :-) And I love your verification word, too funny! :-)

    Mary, thank you! :-) As for your question, it kind of depends on what type of nightgown. Typically, when I'm applying lace to an edge, I make sure the edge of the garment has a narrow hem. Then I take the lace, slide it right under the edge of the hem, and stitch it by hand or by machine. So the right side of the lace is touching the "wrong side" of the garment. But again, this depends on the garment. Hope that helps! Anyone else have other ideas?


  4. Yes, Thanks, Shannon! That helped very much!

  5. It's such a beautiful mei tai, and it looks like it will be comfortable! Padded shoulders are an essential.

  6. Very lovely. I love my Mei Tais, and I always thought it was my tai too, lol until I found out a while back. I made a couple different ones and then ended up creating my own pattern. It's a contoured body, with a padded top, and wrap style shoulders(no padding or turning,ect) oh and a padded waist band/tie. I have made them for gifts. You will find they are so much more comfy than the store bought carriers. I can still wear my toddler and it doesn't kill my back or shoulders. With my store bought one I was lucky to make it past 3 months wearing the kids.
    You can also wear them on your back and side! I love baby carriers and wearing my babies.

    Now you will have to make a baby wearing poncho. I have a tute for that(I did not create it) if you want.


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