I promised this tutorial was forth-coming soooo long ago! It’s amazing how much havoc having a baby can wreak upon your life! Without further ado, here’s how to make a “baby carrier” for your little one’s dolls and stuffed animals.
I made this for Eleanor for Christmas last year and both she and Zoey have enjoyed using it. I was inspired by our Ergobaby carrier and wanted to make something that a toddler could easily put on and take off on her own. I also wanted “Baby” to be able to be inward or outward facing.
(it’s been so long that I can’t remember how much I used. I think a yard each for the outside and the lining should be more than enough, and should give you plenty left over for the straps if you don’t want a different fabric for them).
I started by sketching out the pattern I wanted on the pattern paper. There was plenty of erasing and re-doing. I folded the paper in half and drew only half of the pattern, with what would become the middle of the carrier lining up on the folded edge. That way I could be sure it would be symmetrical. Here’s what I ended up with:
I then pinned the pattern to my fabric and cut out the fabric. I’m lazy and like to save time (precious time!) so I pinned both the front and the lining pieces of fabric together with the pattern and cut it all out at the same time.
Next I cut out the batting to go in between the front fabric and the lining. I wanted something that would give the carrier a bit of structure while still remaining lightweight and washable. I went with this and it was perfect:
Here are the two pieces of fabric and the batting, all cut out:
Next I used some Stitch Witchery to baste my batting to the inside of the lining.
I then cut out the carrier straps. Unfortunately, I got so wrapped up I forgot to keep taking pictures at this point. I believe I made mine about 1.5 inches wide and 22 inches long, which ended up being perhaps a bit too long. I cut the strips 3 inches wide, folded in half “inside out” and sewed together, leaving one end open. Then turn right-side out and sew the end closed. Using the buttonhole feature on the sewing machine, make three buttonholes on one end of each strap, in a line going up the strap. Start the first buttonhole about an inch from the end of the strap and space them about an inch apart. This will allow the carrier to be adjusted as your child grows.
If you wish to have a coordinating pocket on the outside of your carrier, do that now. Just cut out a pocket shape from the fabric of your choice and sew onto the outside of the “front” fabric.
Cut two small squares of Velcro and sew one side of each square onto the “right” side of the lining (the side that will be facing out when finished) in the middle of the body (see picture). I forgot to do this step and the pocket step until after I had already sewn together the body of the carrier.
Ok, this is the point I really wish I had remembered to take pictures. Take the lining fabric of the carrier and place it upside down in front of you. The batting that you basted down should be against the work surface. Then place one of the straps so that the end that does not have buttonholes is lined up with one of the middle “arms” of the body of the carrier. Gently lay the rest of the strap in the middle of the body of the carrier. The strap should not be touching any of the edges of the carrier except the very edge of the “arm” where you want it attached. Repeat with the remaining strap on the opposite “arm.”
Now take your “front” body piece and place it upside down on top of the lining and straps, making an “inside out” sandwich with it all. Pin securely. Sew around the edges, leaving the bottom open. Use the open bottom to turn the carrier right-side out. You should now have straps that are secured only at one end to the middle “arms” of the carrier. Sew the bottom of the carrier closed.
Next add the other sides of the Velcro squares to the bottom “arms” of the carrier body (see picture for placement).
When the Velcro is hooked together, this creates the seat for the baby.
Finally, sew your buttons onto the upper “arms” of the carrier body. You can hide them on the inside if you choose. I chose cute coordinating buttons and wanted to have them show on the outside. Your carrier is now finished!
Zoey proudly modeled the carrier for me with Eleanor’s “Baby”.