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!

The giant shower cap, I mean, shopping cart cover

My friend Sarah appreciates handcrafted items.  She shops on etsy (I do, too!).  Recently she was looking for a particular handmade item and she asked me if she could give me the business rather than someone she didn’t know.

While I had never made a shopping cart cover before, it seemed like something that I could put together.  I purchased a pattern, but then didn’t like it, so I ended up reading about 4 different shopping cart cover tutorials online and then just going for it.

Here it is before I put the elastic in it.  It’s basically a giant square with rounded corners and leg holes.  With a shopping cart cover you can keep it simple with just two layers of fabric (or even one, I suppose) and it will pack up pretty small.  However, Sarah requested a little bit of cushioning for her little guy.  I used two layers of quilting cotton with a layer of fleece sandwiched in the middle.  You sacrifice a little “packability” in exchange for a softer ride for baby.

This Valori Wells Karavan print is just stunning.  The pictures don’t do it justice.  The elephants and the color scheme make it appropriate for a little boy, but the subtle flower pattern in the elephants mean you could also use it for a girl.

I added a little pocket with an elastic top that should be big enough for a sippy cup.  I measured a shopping cart, so I think the placement should be right, but you just never know until you put it in the cart, and I never did.  I hope it works!

I also added a little loop that can be used to clip on a toy or pacifier.  And you can also see the edge of the leg holes in this next pictures.  This is the part of this project that gave me the most trouble.  I originally tried to close them with bias trim, but the curves made that really difficult and it wasn’t up to my standards.  I ended up ripping all that off and then just tucking the edges under and topstitching them closed close to the edge.

I made a little cinch sac to match so Sarah can roll it up and stuff it in and it will be easy to grab next time.

Here it is after I put the elastic in: you see why I think it looks like a giant shower cap (does anyone other than mother actually use a shower cap?)?

All ready to pack up and go!

A little finish for Sarah

I’ve been trying to clean up my sewing “to do” list and check off some things that have been hanging out on there.

My friend Sarah had asked me to make her a changing pad that matched her diaper bag, and I finally go that finished up.  I decided to make an absorbent pad because I feel the waterproof sort just let accidents slide off and all over baby.  This one can just be thrown in the wash if it happens to get piddled upon.

It’s 3 layers of fabric: the pretty gray print that matches Sarah’s bag, a layer of terry cloth, and an inner layer of an absorbent material that’s used in some cloth diapers.  The three layers make it nice an cushy for baby to lie on.

It folds up for travel and closes with a cute little button and elastic loop.