DIY Mei Tai Pattern

Posted by on Jan 26, 2014 in Featured, mei tai pattern | 49 comments

DIY Mei Tai Pattern

This is a DIY Mei Tai Pattern with padded to wrap straps, an attached hood, neck padding, leg padding, and an internal adjustable system that makes this adjustable for a small baby up to about 4 years old. The entire series is 19 pages, including material lists and step-by-step instructions and images. You don’t have to use a woven wrap to make this. I made the “Minnie Mouse” inspired Mei Tai out of stretch denim and some cheap decorative cotton. It is just as comfortable as my woven wrap conversion, although not quite as breathable. The hood curve is similar to the hood of an Obimama in that it curves up instead of down, but if you would like a downward curve, or no curve, you can easily change it. The rest of the pattern is basic, freehand drawn by me and then straightened up on the computer by my husband, and looks to me like pretty much any mei tai with a separate waist. Note – If you have enough fabric you can tape the waist pattern onto the body and cut it out as one solid piece.

Here is the pattern: Waist Hood Body. These will print out on standard printer paper, and then you will need to trim some edges and assemble the pieces. Each pattern has a one inch square on it so you know if it printed out at the right size. You MUST SAVE the pattern, then open it in Adobe Reader and PRINT AS A POSTER. There is a little button on the print page that lets you do that when you print from Adobe. If you just click on the pattern and try to print it from your internet browser, it won’t print correctly. These are NOT all the pieces in the Mei Tai. There are rectangular pieces that you also have to make yourself – these are described in a list on the following pages as “Additional Patterns”. This is a toddler sized Mei Tai. Some people specifically made this for their young baby and printed it out at 85-90%.

I do not currently have a small baby to test this out on, so I have used a Cabbage Patch doll. I made this Mei Tai so that I could use it with my 1.5+ year old, my 3.5+ year old, and any future babies that I or a friend might have.

This pattern is free for personal use only. I do not give license to sell this pattern. I do not make any representations about the suitability or safety of this pattern. It is for your educational use as you design your own DIY Mei Tai. I do not make Mei Tais for sale. I have never owned or even seen a Mei Tai that someone else has made. I only have my own two DIY Mei Tais. I cobbled this pattern together from careful examination of other DIY Mei Tai blog posts, and photographs of Mei Tais from many makers. I have added an internal adjustable system, which is my own design and is based off of adjusting my kids’ pants all the time. Here are links to some of what I looked at to put this together (I looked at many more sites than this but it’s impossible to remember all of them): Blogs/DIY Sites: WrapMeiTaiHipababyThoseMartinsJan Andrea’s FrankenKozyHoboMamal, A Fuller DayFine and FairBecomingMamas.  Commercial Makers (You can contact these people, not me, if you want someone to sew you a carrier): TopatopObiMamaOcahZanyToesOpiTaiWearababyBamberooMadame GooGoo, Kanaluti, and Earthy Bliss

I would always use sturdy fabric – like wrap fabric or a sturdy bottomweight fabric.

I used ½ inch seams everywhere except the hood. The hood is 5/8 inch seams.

The wrap straps are sunk into the body panel to a depth of four inches. I reinforced these with crescents, but people use many shapes, such as an x-box, to reinforce.

The padding is marked on the body pattern. You will cut your own padding to match the size indicated on the body. I used three layers of polar fleece for the neck, and four layers for the legs.

Here are the finished pictures of the Wrap Conversion Mei Tai I made. It has padded to wrap straps and an adjustable internal system, but these are not necessary. Wrap straps and a plain internal panel (or no internal panel if converting a woven wrap) could be variations.

You are welcome to take a look at the finished pics, print the pattern, and go through the tutorial. If you finish a Mei Tai with this, I’d love to see how it works out for you. If you give permission, I’ll post your pics up here to help other moms make great carriers for their babies.

To see the full tutorial, keep clicking the next page links at the bottom, after these pics.

 

In action with my 1.5+ year old

In action with my 1.5+ year old

In action with my 3.5+ year old.

In action with my 3.5+ year old.

See the tiny buttonhole on the side?

See the tiny buttonhole on the side?

Side view with a doll, on smallest setting. Waist rolled up.

Side view with a doll, on smallest setting. Waist rolled up.

Front view with a doll, on smallest setting. Waist rolled up.

Front view with a doll, on smallest setting. Waist rolled up.

Side view with a doll, on mid setting. Waist rolled up.

Side view with a doll, on mid setting. Waist rolled up.

Front view with a doll, on a mid setting. Waist rolled up.

Front view with a doll, on a mid setting. Waist rolled up.

Side view with a doll, on largest setting. Waist rolled up.

Side view with a doll, on largest setting. Waist rolled up.

Front of carrier with doll, on largest seeting

Front of carrier with doll, on largest setting

To see the Minnie Mouse Mei Tai, go here.

 

The Solution
DIY Mei Tai Pattern - 2

49 Comments

  1. Would you be willing to make one of these for me??

    • I don’t make them to sell. 🙂

  2. I can not get the body pattern to open. Is there a trick?

    • Nope, I just checked it and it works. Maybe too many people were trying it at the same time. Try again. Remember you have to save it to your computer, open it with Adobe, then print it as a poster.

    • I am having the same issue. It just sticks on the loading page 🙁

      • I think that happens when there are too many people trying to download the pattern at the same time. The weekends are a really busy time for people to work on their Mei Tai’s, evidently.

        • im still having trouble with the body pattern. it says downloading then goes to a blank white screen and nothing. please help!

          • Maybe try a different internet browser?

  3. Hi, I have issues with printing on poster setting (I cannot find a poster setting on my printer). Would you tell me how many paper sheets you used per pdf?

    That would be tremendously helpful!Thanks!

    • When you click print, there should be some small buttons that you can click on the printing setup page. It’s definitely possible that not all printers do it. I THINK it prints off into 9 pages for the body, but I don’t remember for sure. It has a one inch square on it for scale.

      • Not seeing the square on the body pattern. Has it fallen off?

        • It was still there the last time I checked.

  4. I love this!! I made one without the elastic option last weekend and it fits my daughter beautifully! I’m starting on another today for a friend who is due next week but i’m going to shrink the pattern down by 15% to better fit a smaller baby. Thank you so much for your time!

  5. I just finished making your wonderful Mei-Tai! I didn’t get great photos of it but my daughter loves it!!! I also had to print the pattern smaller because I used thrifted shirts for the blanket and had to make the pattern fit. I didn’t make the elastic adjustable but I did sew it in along the marked areas on the pattern. I think that worked very well. I really like the elastic in your pattern, the mei-tai “hugs” my grandaughter! This seems to be the most complicate pattern out there but that shouldn’t stop anyone because your instructions are clear and the end-product will be exceptional!!! Thank you for giving us this fabulous pattern!!!

    • Thank you for the review, I’m glad it worked out well. 🙂

  6. Hello! Thanks for this pattern! Can you tell me what size wrap this took to make?

    • I used a size 7. You could use a shorter wrap if you make some adjustments.

  7. This is great! I have just had a mishap with one of my wraps and won’t be able to use it the way it is anymore, which I’m devastated about. However I think I can make a WCMT with it. Your detailed instructions look like just what I needed. I have made a MT already with fabric I purchased, but cutting up a wrap is a different story. I also wanted padded to wrap straps so this just ticks all the boxes for me. Thank you again for posting your tutorial and pattern!

  8. How did you keep the elastic from pulling thru the casing? did you tack it in the middle. I’m afraid my husband would forget to make sure it’s buttoned on one side before pulling it.

    • I haven’t had it pull through, but if I did I would just put a safety pin on the end and run it back through, the same way I do when the kids pull the buttonhole elastic out of their pants. I don’t think the buttonhole elastic is really necessary – it could just be a cord or something with external pulls on it. I’ve seen people tie a shoelace around the outside of a carrier to cinch it. It’s not pretty but people say it works.

  9. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. I followed it and am so happy with the results. I used 2.5m of denim and .75m of a decorative cotton because I didn’t have a wrap to convert. Thanks again for this site.

    • I used stretch denim for my Minnie Mouse mei tai and I think it’s just as comfy as the wrap conversion. It’s a great budget solution! 🙂 I love woven wraps but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to be comfy and take care of your baby.

  10. i cant find the instructions for the wcmt. you say press the next button after the photos, but thhere isnt a next button after the photos. please help asap as i would like to make this before baby is born in a months time.

    thank you in advance.

    krys x

    • It’s like a blog post, so scroll all the way down to the bottom of the blog post and you’ll find the button.

      • I don’t see the buttons either. I’ve looked at the bottom of the photos and the bottom of the comments. I tried in Chrome and IE. I do see them on my phone though. Weird.

        • I think I fixed the buttons.

          • I see them now 🙂 Thanks for your time and dedication!

  11. Thank you so much for your time…and of course, your pattern! Loved making this for my daughter to wear the grandkids! She loves it. The 7 month old finds herself being carried a lot since she has twin siblings that are just 2 years old. I did make the elastic insert and it hugs the little one and even the twins as they are smaller. I made it out of the wrap that my daughter had. I worried a little about cutting it up, but once I laid the patten on the fabric, I knew it was a good fit. Now, my daughter wants me to make her one with straps & buckles!!! On to the next project!

    • I’m so happy it worked out well! Especially with the smaller baby. I made a very comfortable buckle carrier a while ago but my husband hasn’t had time to draw the patterns out on the computer yet. Hopefully soon. 🙂

  12. Hi! I was just wondering if you had any photos of this carrier in use with the elastic tightened?

    • The elastic is tightened a bit in the photos with my younger child, and it is tightened a lot with the doll.

  13. How many yard of fabric would it take to make this? I don’t have a wrap to convert 🙁

    • It’s going to vary based on whether you are using a fabric with a pattern direction, whether you are doing an internal layer, and how wide the fabric is. I suggest printing out the pattern and taking it with you to buy the fabric. Keep in mind the measurements you need for the rectangular pieces that there is no pattern for, too, and that some of the pattern pieces need to be cut multiple times. Then you can measure it out when you find the fabric you want to use.

  14. What is the finished size of the body panel? I know a standard MT is usually about 16×16 and a toddler is usually a bit bigger?

    • I’ve never measured it. It’s pretty big. Some day I’ll get around to measuring it and putting the measurements up in the tutorial.

  15. I keep trying to save this in order to print as a poster, but it asks for a password. Help!!
    Could you perhaps email the hood, body and waist pages to me so that I can print them correctly?

    Thank you very much!!

    • Almost everyone is able to download the free pattern without any problems. I suggest switching internet browsers and seeing if that helps.

  16. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. I’m trying to access the body of and my internet crashes. Please how do I get it? Thank you.

    • A couple of people have had this problem, but I don’t know how to fix it. Most people can access the pattern just fine.

  17. Could you tell me exactly where the printable pattern is on your page and is it accessible on mobile?TIA

    • It’s on the first page.

  18. What was the finished width of the straps?

    • The shoulder straps? I never measured after it was done – it would be half the width of the wrap, minus about an inch for finishing the edges. So, 10-11 inches. Different wraps are different widths, so you could definitely have a wrap with finished straps that end up around 9 inches, and another with finished straps at 15 inches.

  19. Is it possible with a size 4 wrap? What adjustments do I need to make?

  20. So, I’m short, just over 5′, and having straps that are 7 feet long seems really excessive. Could I get away with having straps that are only 70ish inches? I also don’t want a lot of excess on my waist straps, so I’d like to short them to 20″. Is that feasible?

    • Sure, alter it any way you see fit. The best part about DIY is that you can make it to suit you. You might want to do a test run in a fabric that is sturdy and usable, but not pricey. The straps on the tutorial are generously long. When wrapping a preschooler, and especially when tying Tibetan, the long straps really come in handy. For a petite mama, I can see where they might be too long even when taking different tie-offs in to account.

      • So, I made mine. What’s your e-mail so I can send you photos, if you want.

        • I’m not sure if the photos were posted but I’d LOVE to see them. I want to do a wrap conversion but was also thinking about doing shorter straps. I actually am thinking about doing shorter straps and putting small rings on the side instead of tying the straps.

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