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*