There’s just something so sweet about a toddler and her baby doll (or his, for that matter; my son loves his doll and animals, too).
When we were first preparing to bring home baby number two, I decided to make a baby carrier for my daughter who was just over two at the time. I had loved wearing her in my handmade mei-tai, a gift from my sister-in-law, and decided to draft a simpler version for her to use with her favorite doll, Molly the Dolly.
Now my third baby is almost two, and just approaching that perfect age for baby-doll-wearing. She loves going in the Ergo with mommy and thus was sweetly excited to put on this mini mei-tai and carry her own baby around.
This is a simple project– easily completed in two naptimes for me.
How to sew a mini mei-tai baby doll carrier
This mini mei-tai is the perfect size for a two- or three-year old but my almost-six-year old still likes to squeeze into hers as well. All you need is your basic sewing tools and some cute fabric that’s at least 31 1/2″ long and about 18″ wide.
First you’re going to cut out your fabric. I used a rotary cutter and rulers but scissors and a measuring tape will work fine, too. Be careful to note the direction of the print if your fabric is a directional one.
You need to cut:
- Long straps: 2 pieces that are 3″ x 31″
- Short straps: 2 pieces that are 3″ x 15″
- Main: 2 pieces that are 7 3/4″ (top/bottom) x 9 1/4″ (sides), or one piece that is 7 3/4″ x 18 1/2″ (folded in half)
To make the straps, fold each one in half lengthwise (“hot-dog style”) and press it. Pin along the long side and one short side, then sew a quarter-inch seam down the one long side and one short side.
Turn straps inside out. I use a fat, dull knitting needle that I stole from my mom’s stash. Stick the knob end in rather than the pointy in if you use one.
Press your straps and top stitch around three sides. A contrasting thread color looks cute here.
Yay! Four finished straps.
Now comes the part that appears tricky, but really isn’t. Just refer to the photos to see what it looks like.
1. Start here by laying the long straps at the top of the main piece– sticking the unsewn ends out one of the shorter sides just so about a quarter inch sticks out. Gently fold them back towards that same side.
2. Do the same with the short straps– their unsewn ends will stick out a bit at the bottom of each of the long sides of the main piece. Line them up just above the fold or if you used two pieces for the main part, position them about 5/8″ above the bottom. Gently position all the straps so they are going out the top edge of the main piece.
3. Carefully fold over the main piece or lay the second main piece over all the straps (right sides together).
4. Pin where the strap ends are and in-between. Sew along both long sides and along the top just far enough to stitch down the top long straps but leaving an opening where all the straps are sticking out.
Now you’ll be able to magically turn the whole thing rightside out and you should see two long straps sticking out the top and two short straps sticking out the sides. Press, turning under and pinning shut your opening.
Top stitch around the top and put an X through the middle for extra stability.
To wear, tie the short straps around the waist. Position a baby doll in front; long straps cross in the back and tie in front. You can also put a mei-tai on the back– just reverse it (with or without crossing the straps)!
Voilà! Enjoy your little mama as she wears her baby doll.
The mini mei-tai would make a great big sister or brother gift if there is a new baby coming, or toddlers who enjoy being worn by mom or dad might love being able to wear their babies around, too.