My daughter has been wanting a doll carrier for her baby. She has seen many pictures of me wearing her sister or herself and she knows that is a fun way to hold a baby. My Ellaroo Mei Tai was my favorite carrier and I wanted to do something similar. They are so easy to use. After much searching, I could not find a pattern or tutorial that had the shape I wanted. And, they all had difficult directions for sewing the straps in and turning right side out. So, I drew my own pattern, tested it out several times, and here we go. This baby carrier should work for any doll in the 14" to 18" range.
Baby mei tai carrier tutorial
1. One yard heavier fabric, such as home decorator fabric, corduroy, or bottom weight fabric. You can make this out of quilting cotton but you will need a heavier interfacing.
2. One 8 ½ by 11 piece of interfacing. For home deco fabric, I use a medium weight sew-in interfacing. If you are using quilting cotton, you will want to use something heavier, such as quilting batting.
3. Decoration for pocket.
For all seams, use a 3/8” seam allowance unless otherwise indicated.
If you prefer to download and print your directions, here is a pdf for you. Also, download pattern template here. Please make sure the pattern paper is 8 and 1/2 X 11 inches.
A. Cut out your fabric.
a. Use pattern template to cut out two pieces of main fabric and one piece of interfacing the same shape.
b. Cut out two pockets
c. Cut out three straps 42” by 6” (yes three)
d. Cut out one piece of bias tape 1/5” X 6”
B. Carefully pin your interfacing to the inside main fabric and baste the two together.
C. Cut one strap in half so you have two at 21” X 6” and two at 42” x 6.” Fold them in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, iron flat, and sew down the side seam.
D. Turn straps right side out. I use my Dritz Tube Turners for this so I leave both ends open until this point. Then, I iron flat, fold one end down neatly, and top-stitch each all the way around.
E. Finish your pocket, if you are going to have decoration. I like ric rac so I sew it to one side first. Sew pockets wrong sides together, around the curve. Turn right side out and iron flat.
F. Finish your bias tape so it will fully enclose the top of the pocket and sew on. I will leave this direction open so you can do it your own way.
G. Position pocket 3” down from top corner of front carrier piece and 1.5” from sides. Sew in place by topstitching next to ric rac or edge.
H. To sew the long straps on to the top, position them so the unfinished hems are even with angle cut at top of front piece. Pin in place on reverse side and fold straps up so they do not touch sides of front carrier piece.
I. Position shorter straps even with side seams (as shown in picture) and 1” up from bottom of carrier. Pin in place on reverse. Fold straps so they are tucked neatly inside (as shown in picture).
J. Position back piece of carrier evenly over top of front piece WITH STRAPS INSIDE and pin in place. Make sure not to pin folded part of strap. You will be sewing straps in place where they meet edges. I place my pins horizontally to help keep the carrier flat and remove them as I sew.
K. Sew all the way around leaving 5 inches (give or take an inch) unfinished at bottom of carrier. USE ½” seam allowance for this step.
L. Remove all pins and turn the carrier right sides out. Iron with hot steam iron to get it to lay nice and flat. Top stitch all the way around the main carrier, neatly finishing the bottom part.
Safety Note: This carrier is not designed for use with a real baby or animal.
Now, how do you use it? Here is my little model with step-by-step instructions.