Sunday, December 24, 2006

No-Sew Mei Tai-Style Carrier

I like the comfort of the front cross wrap, as well as its versatility: Limelet can ride in front facing in or out, and theoretically on the hip or back as well. However, it isn't the simplest thing to put on, and if he falls asleep in it, it's nearly impossible to put him down without waking him up. Also, it's hard to nurse in it, especially if I want to nurse discreetly. This is all doubtless compounded by the fact that it's made of cotton broadcloth, so it's completely non-stretchy. However, I don't currently have 18 feet of a nice stretchy fabric lying around.

So I've been wanting to try making a Mei Tai, which would seem to have a lot of the advantages of the FCW but be simpler. I viewed various patterns for Mei Tais. I tried to improvise a simple sewed one out of a cotton shirt, but the needle of my little handheld "hobby" sewing machine broke. In the middle of the night, of course.

So I looked a little harder at the patterns for the no-sew kind, which basically consist of a big square of fleece with four long straps coming out. I don't have any big pieces of fleece lying around, and right now it's a pain to go to the fabric store (or anywhere for that matter). Besides, we're trying to save money right now.

So I looked through my clothing and found a pair of sweatpants that I bought accidentally last year. Accidentally, because I didn't go shopping for them--they were on sale for $2 when I was getting something else and I thought for $2 I could afford to not try them on. They turned out to be made for a giant frog with short legs. This was useless for a couple of months, and then I got pregnant. Then they were just short-legged maternity pants.

So anyway, I spent some time visualizing how the frog pants could be made into a Mei Tai, and then started cutting (with Limelet watching from the wrap, of course). I managed to use the entire pants, with minimal cuts, to create a stretchy front-carrier. It's actually working pretty great. Maybe I'll post the pattern if I ever can do something so graphic-y and time-consuming.


Here's the pattern I came up with.


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