Babywearing is all the rage in the world of parenting today, and we here at Babybalu know that you want to get in on the action. With that in mind, we’re here to show you how to make mei tai carrier all by yourself! If you don’t want to make a mei tai carrier, then you can read our article about the best ring slings.
Oh, but before we begin, remember that safety always comes first, so don’t just dive into it without care. After all, baby’s well-being is our priority here.
Onbuhimos and Mei Tais… What?
For this little tutorial, we’re going ahead to start you off by making an Onbuhimo, which is a variation of a mei tai carrier.
Now, this is basically a mei tai except for one minor detail, so it shouldn’t be a problem. The only difference between this and a standard mei tai carrier is that we’re going to put rings on its sides to serve as waist straps!
What you’ll need
If you’re wondering how to make mei tai carriers, we’ll first have to start with a few things that are pretty easy to find at your local store (chances are, you could even have these at your home already).
Woven tablecloths: For this, you’re going to need about a 60-inch x 80-inch piece. As an alternative, you can use fabric made of linen instead of cotton. Your choice, really! As long as it’s stretchable, soft, and sturdy enough to hold your baby, you’re good to go.
Inner layer: Inner layers are exactly what they sound like: they’re the piece of fabric you place over another to make sure that your child is as comfy as possible. You can use cotton duck or quilter’s cotton for this.
And, of course, your sewing kit!
Creating Your Mei Tai Pattern
Making a mei tai carrier involves working with a few lengths of fabric, so the if you’re just a starter, it’s best that you go with something simple like squares or rectangles.
Let’s break it down one by one:
First, you’ll have to shape your carrier’s body. To do this, simply cut a piece of your fabric that’s just about a couple of inches longer than your baby’s overall length and width.
As a rule of thumb, preparing your straps means that you just need to have the desired width for it. Once you do, double that number and add another inch to it.
Now, here you can feel free to experiment a bit. Depending on how big you are and how wide you want the straps of your mei tai carrier to be, you can go from anywhere between 4-6 inches when it comes to its width.
So, if you’re making a 4-inch wide strap, you start with about 9-10 inches of fabric that you’ll have to sew.
There are a number of ways you can create a pattern for your mei tai’s waist, but the simplest way to do it is by cutting your fabric the same size as your straps. Now, you have two options when creating your waist pattern.
One, there’s the option of having it made of a single length of fabric. On the other hand, there’s no problem if you decide to connect to shorter lengths to each other. Just remember that it should be the same size as your shoulder straps.
The only difference between the two is you’ll end up with a more padded feel if you chose to use a single length of fabric for it. Next, just cut a couple of rectangles that you’re going to use later to attach your rings to your mei tai/onbu’s base.
If you’re done with all the necessary parts for your mei tai/onbu carrier, it’s a great idea to add a little hood on it as well. For this, you’ll need about 13 inches x 26 inches of leftover fabric. With that, you can even add hood strings for it!
On to Cutting
Cutting could be a whole lot of work, but it’s a basic part of the sewing process!
Ideally, you can use a rotary cutter on a cutting mat to get the job done, but a good, trusty pair of scissors will do nicely too.
Whatever cutting tool you’re using, just keep in mind that you should be careful with it (and keep it away from baby’s curious hands, most of all!).
You can also learn about how to put on a moby wrap if you are interested.
In any case, here are a few tips you could use:
- Before starting the whole process of making your own mei tai, it is best if you’re able to wash and dry the fabric you’re using. Not only will this ensure that it’ll be readily wearable once you’re done, but it will also shrink the fabric, which means you’re getting its true size. Iron it as well to get a flat surface for easier cutting!
- Cutting the pattern for your mei tai/onbu’s body is pretty simple. Once you’re done with the first layer you’re using, simply place that over the next layer you’re doing to easily get the right size you’re going for. Now, the hard part is cutting the straps because of its length.
Here Is A Way You Can Do It Without Getting Too Stressed About It.
First, you can try folding your fabric over in half.
After that, grab yourself a long, straight stick (a measuring stick would be great, but any other flat, straight stick you have lying around would work) that you’re going to use to hold your cutter or scissors next to in order to ensure a straight cut.
If you chose to go with a fabric that has a checkered or striped pattern, remember to line up scissors or rotary cutter along it so you won’t have a crooked design.
With these quick and easy steps, you’ll find it easy to make mei tai carrier! Enjoy!