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: WrapMeiTai, Hipababy, ThoseMartins, Jan Andrea’s FrankenKozy, HoboMamal, A Fuller Day, Fine and Fair, BecomingMamas. Commercial Makers (You can contact these people, not me, if you want someone to sew you a carrier): Topatop, ObiMama, Ocah, ZanyToes, OpiTai, Wearababy, Bamberoo, Madame 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.
To see the Minnie Mouse Mei Tai, go here.