Mei tai finish: 2d zoo and lime

My cousin asked to make her a mei tai for a friend.  The baby shower is tomorrow, and by the time we decided on fabric and I had procured all the supplies (I need to go out and buy fabric for the straps), I was not left with much time to finish.  Mei tais take a pretty significant time investment as far as sewing time goes, and well, my sewing time is limited.

I’m happy to say, I finished this up late Wednesday night, and it was in the mail first thing yesterday morning, priority.  It’s supposed to arrive tomorrow.

Kathleen liked this 2d Zoo fabric from Alexander Henry, which I paired with navy twill for the straps.

With the sleeping hood up, you can see that the solid lime on the reverse pairs nicely with some of the animals in the print.

With a reversible mei tai like this, it’s sometimes nice to have a “fun” print on one side and a simpler choice for the reverse, like a coordinating solid or stripe.

With this one, I used navy thread to match the straps and added a little bit of interest with the contrast stitching.

Happy babywearing!

This one definitely fits into the “Thank Goodness It’s Finished!” category.  I’m happy I got in the mail just in time; now if the post office will just hold up their end of the deal!

Little bugs mei tai

My friend Jessica is going to be an auntie this month and she (thoughtful sister that she is) decided to get her sister the best baby gift in the universe: a mei tai!  Lucky for Jessica, she just happens to have a friend who can make an excellent mei and is happy to do it for a good price (who could that be?).  Lucky for Jessica’s sister, she’s getting the best baby gift in the universe.

Jessica and I met in graduate school, where we both studied plants (she, mosses; me, invasive shrubs), so she thought it was appropriate that her gift have plants on it.  This fabric is called Recycle Vines by Michael Miller.

Not only does it have some super fun and colorful leaves, it also features those totally adorable little bugs.  Nevermind that they are biologically inaccurate (insects have 6 legs, not 4), they’re still darling!

The straps are a yummy brown twill, and in the next picture, you can catch a peek of the print on the reverse, a nice Daddy-friendly stripe that picks up on some of the colors in the main print.

A sleeping hood prevents floppy-sleeping-baby-head.

Want to see more mei tais?  Check out my Mei Tai Album on Picasa!

(P.S. to Jessica: I emailed you a few days ago.  I need to know where to send this!)

I’m going to show this off at Sew and Tell, so head over there to see some other fun projects.

Sunday Stash: Making mei tais

After a somewhat long time without any mei tais on my list, there are now three in queue.  This makes me happy because 1) I love that I can make something the will foster the art of babywearing and encourage parents to keep their babies close and 2) I get to buy new fabric for the mei tais.

The fabric for all three mei tais came in this week.  Here they are: front fabric on top, reverse of the baby carrier behind.  They are all washed and ready to be turned into beautiful baby carriers.

Mei tai on a Monday: argyle awhile

When I entered my Earth Science class my freshman year in high school, I sat next to a great girl named Amanda.  While we weren’t super close in high school, we did have honors classes together and we were both in the Concert Choir.  We were friendly in those teen years, but lost touch after graduation, reconnecting several years ago on Facebook.  Ah, the digital age.

A few months ago, Amanda emailed me to let me know that she was expecting her first child, and she was interested in one of the mei tais that I make.  I was happy to add her to the “mei tai list” (which was 5 or 6 mei tais long at the time!).  When she told me she wanted something that “orange, green, blue and/or brown,” I sent her links to several different fabrics, but I was secretly hoping she would pick this argyle print, part of the Remix line by Ann Kelle.

I was thrilled when this is what Amanda decided on because I just think the print is fabulous.  It’s bright and fun without being completely in-your-face about it!

The straps are brown twill, nice and smooth.

And the reverse is a stripe with many of the same colors that appear in the argyle print.  I’m kind of amazed that I was able to so closely match the hood print to the body print on both sides of the carrier.

This carrier is already at its new home, waiting for a new baby to snuggle.

Mei tai on a Monday: a walk in the woods

Kim and I went to graduate school together.  We were in the same stats class and were both part of a class group on Facebook.  When I saw that her profile picture featured her rock climbing, I sent her note.  We found each other in class the next time it met and bonded over our mutual love of rock climbing and things outdoors-y and our mutual disdain for the necessary evil that is statistical analysis.

Kim studied coral reef fishes in graduate school and I have already purchased fabric with an awesome fish print to make her a mei tai when/if she and her husband decide to venture down the terrifying and rocky path that is parenthood.  This is not that mei tai.

Kim asked me to make this one as a gift for her sister, who recently had a baby.  The fabric is called “Fresh Meadows” and has a great variety of acorns and flowers and leaves and what not.

I used canvas for the straps, the same type I used for Emily’s carrier I showed you last week, but in brown this time.  It’s a nice sturdy fabric for the straps and will continue to be nice and supportive as baby gets bigger.

We kept it simple for the back with a solid green in a shade that coordinates with the print on the front.

I added the stop stitching in a contrasting brown for a little bit of extra interest.

I hope baby and new parents get a whole lot of love and use out of this carrier!

Mei tai on a Monday: Forest life and flowers

My friend Emily was the leader of the babywearing group in Culpeper when it was active.  She taught me a whole a lot about babywearing when we first moved to Virginia, and I had a tiny Sierra and had no idea what I was doing.

Sadly, life got in the way, Emily started working full time again, and she could no longer make the time commitment to run the babywearing group.  It was 3 years ago, Emily reminded me when she came to pick up this carrier, that I first made a mei tai for her.

Early this spring, another friend, Erin, stopped me to tell me that a woman had stopped her in Target to ask about her mei tai.  When Erin replied that a friend had made it, this woman asked, “Was it Em?” and expressed that she had mei tai that I made, and would like another one, but didn’t want to bother me about it.  It really could have been only one of two people who would have been in Target in Culpeper that Erin didn’t already know.

I emailed Emily and asked if it had been her who talked to my friend, and it was.  She did want a mei tai, with bright straps.  We decided on this turquoise canvas and Emily chose this Michael Miller Forest Life print to go along with it.  I just LOVE those owls (big surprise, right?).

As much as I adore the owls, I think I might like the reverse of this carrier even better.  The turquoise in the middle of the flowers is almost a perfect match for the strap color.  This print is from Botanical Pop by Windham Fabrics and I found it in the sale section at a local quilt shop.  It was a great find, especially since the selection in the sale area at that shop can be questionable at times.

I stuck with white for the top stitching because I didn’t want to take anything away from either of the prints by using turquoise thread.  Good thing, too, as I ran out of turquoise thread and had to use a slightly different color for the last two lines of support stitching through the waist band.  But, shhhh!  No one will ever know!

Giraffeliqué mei tai

What, you may ask, is a giraffeliqué??  And my answer is this:

Giraffe.  Appliqué.  Get it?

This cute little guy resides on the sleeping hood of a mei tai, requested by my friend Hilary.  The main print is Michael Miller giraffe garden gray and the sleeping hood and reverse of the carrier are a white with little silver pinstripes.  The silver pinstripes look great with the gray canvas I used for the straps of this carrier.

I’m a little bit in love with this little giraffe, peeking up over the waist band.

Here is a better view of the Michael Miller Giraffe Garden print.

The body of the carrier has a double layer of top stitching and coordinates nicely with both the strap fabric and the pinstripes.  If you look closely, you can see the silver pinstripes are metallic and result in just a tiny bit of sparkle.

Hilary and her husband thought that all the bright colors in the giraffe print would be balanced nicely by solid white and I suggested they take a look at this pinstripe fabric, which they eventually selected.  It works well on the sleeping hood and gives a slightly more formal option for carrying a little one than those darling giraffes if the situation requires.


Tina Givens Opal Owl mei tai

Making a mei tai is such an involved project that I get a high every time I finish one.  It’s so great to see this wonderful creation that is not only beautiful, but functional as well.  I smile just thinking about these pieces of fabric that I put together being used to snuggle babies close to their parents, right where they belong.

I delivered this one today.  The fabric is by Tina Givens for Free Spirit, and I used the exact same print in a different color once before, when it was requested by friend, Liz.

The blues in the fabric look lovely paired with the gray canvas for the straps (in my opinion).

And here’s a close-up of the print, called magical forest.  It’s just so much fun.

There are some places where I really try to pay attention to details, and I often try to match up the print of the sleeping hood with the body of the baby carrier, especially when using a large scale print like this one.  You can see the two lines of top stitching along the edge of the sleeping hood where it falls against the body of the carrier.

That double row of top stitching is repeated all the way around the carrier.

The reverse is a solid blue, and the mei tai can be worn with either side facing outward.  This blue picks up on the blue in the print and I think it looks awesome against the gray straps.

I hope the new baby and the parents get lots of use out of this!

Connections: One more mei tai

My friends received one of my mei tais from a mutual friend as a baby gift.  They loved it so much, they asked me to make one for his sister.  And she liked hers so much, I have now made one for her sister.  I’m thrilled to hear that babies are being loved in these carriers that I’ve made and that mamas and daddies enjoy them so much they want to share the love.

This one has a pretty green floral print from Moda Basic Grey and brown twill straps.

The reverse side is a Hoffman batik.  I am loving these hand-dyed look batiks from Hoffman Fabrics.  They have such an interesting quality to them, and they come in so many colors.  I own a yard of one that looks like a sunset.  I can’t wait to create something with that!

Whooo’s mei tai is this?

It’s Alisha!  And Shimon!  And baby Touma!  This one is going all the way to Japan.

(Read on to learn all about how I am crazy.)

Alisha picked this owl print from the company Kokka, which is based in Japan.  This is hilarious to me because for me to buy this fabric, it’s a Japanese import and costs import prices, but Alisha could probably just walk in to a shop and find it locally (I don’t know if they sell the same lines in Japan as they do in the U.S., though).  Alisha is so entrenched in the Japanese culture, even Japanese fabrics call to her!

Once I had the fabric in hand, I went wandering through the fabric store with a piece in hand and found this stripe that seemed to be made to go with the owls.  So, it’s blue and green stripes on the reverse side.

I used the same chocolate brown organic canvas on this one that I used for Liz and Jeff’s mei tai.  It’s pretty stiff right now, but will get floppier with use.

Here are those cute little owls on the print.  Remember how I said this fabric is more expensive than what I typically spend?  Yeah, so I only bought a half yard instead of my usual yard, thinking if I lined it up just right I could make it work.  Well.  The fabric was not cut exactly straight and the print has a fairly large repeat (the space before the pattern repeat itself) and I ended up being literally 1/2-inch short of what I needed.  I had plenty of fabric, but not if I wanted the pattern on the hood to line up with the pattern on the body.  And I did.  In some areas, I’m a bit of a perfectionist.  This is one of them.  I wouldn’t be satisfied unless those owl bodies intersected just in exactly the right place.  And now, I’ve revealed that I’m crazy.  But I ended up buying a second 1/2 yard (which I guess I just should have done in the first place) and look how nicely they line up!

Coming your way, soon, ‘lish!