Almost exactly four years ago, I made Miss Butterfly an Ergo inspired baby carrier. It has been loved to the point of the ribbons starting to fall out, and even then, it is currently in residence on my desk for repairs so she can once again carry the baby of the moment around. For the thirty minutes it took me to put together, it has most certainly been bang for buck.
This past week, I received a comment on that four year old post. Every now and then, one of my old posts seems to randomly gain traction on Pinterest and my stats on that post spike. My reusable shopping bag is by far the most popular, and my consistent top performer. This week though, it’s the carrier that has had a revival, as it often does in the lead up to Christmas, and people begin looking for gift ideas to spread the handmade love to the small people in their life. Normally, this spike is nothing more than an impersonal bump on my stats graph, but this week I was very excited to see a comment come through, asking if I could share the pattern I used.
Of course, as my regular readers would know, I’m less about the patterns and more about winging it when inspiration hits! The lovely commenter was very gracious when I said I made it up, but if she could give me a couple of days I would measure it up and sit down and write up my process, and I thought I would share it with you all as well!
I would say this project would be suitable for a confident beginner and up. For a more accomplished sewist, it would whip up in under an hour.
Using two fabrics:
15″ (37.5cm) of each (I would recommend aiming for 20″/50cm to allow for straightening up etc)
Using one fabric for both sides:
20″ (50cm) (with extra for straightening allowance as above)
If using stash, you will need at least 5″ of full width of fabric
More may be required if your fabric is directional.
*40″/1m approx of satin ribbon
*Batting offcuts to pad everthing
*BODY: cut 10×12.5″, one each from main fabric and lining fabric, plus the same of batting. If your fabric is directional, the 12.5″ is the height of the carrier
*STRAPS: cut 2.5″x width of fabric, two each of main fabric and lining fabric, plus the same of batting
*STRAPS, ALTERNATIVE: if not using a full width of fabric, you will need 2 2.5″x21.5″ of each fabric (for arms), and one of each fabric made up to 2.5″x42″ approx for the waist band, plus batting as above
*Prep the ribbons by cutting your length of ribbon in half, and then again to create four equal pieces. Set aside.
Constructing the arm straps
*place the batting on the wrong side of the outer strap, and quilt into place down the centre length ways.
*Place outer & lining right sides together. Pin together (or use wonder clips), and sew down each side with a 1/4″ seam. Turn inside out.
*Taking one arm strap and one ribbon piece, place the ribbon into one open end by approximately 1″, in the centre of the opening. Ensure that the right side of the ribbon is facing the same way as the outside of the strap, and pin in place. Carefully stitch through all layers to secure the ribbon, approximately 3/4″ from the raw edges. I only stitched across the width of the ribbon, not the entire strap.
*Turn the open edges into the strap by approximately 1/4″ to create a closed edge. You may also like to fiddle with the presentation of the corners – as my ribbon was a lot narrower than then strap, I tucked the corners inside as well to create an angle from the outside of the strap to the edge of the ribbon. When you are happy with the result, pin in place.
*Starting at the remaining open edge, topstitch down one side, across the ribboned end and back up the other side. Repeat for the second strap.
Constructing the waist band
* Layer one set of straps as follows: outer placed right side up, lining placed right side down, then batting on top. Pin into place.
*Find the centre of one long edge – if your fabric is directional, this will be the top edge.
*Measure out 4″ from the centre on both sides, and mark. These will be your start/stop marks.
*Starting at one of the above marks, sew all three layers together all the way around to the second of the marks made above.
*Snip the corners, and use the central opening to turn it right side out. Set aside.
Assembling the body
*Lay your outer body piece right side up on your work surface, oriented so the short edge is in front of you and the long edges form the sides.
*Take one arm strap, and align the remaining raw edge with the raw edge of the top of the body piece, approximately 1/2″ from the side. Ensure that outer fabric is face down (right sides of outer fabrics are together) and pin in place. Repeat with the second strap on the other side.
*Measure 4″ up from the bottom edge on one side. Take one of the remaining ribbons, and position it so that the end of the fabric overhangs the raw edge the side of the body, ensuring if your ribbon has sides, that the right side is oriented the same as on the arm straps. Pin into place. Repeat with the other side.
*To keep things nice and tidy, I like to baste the straps and ribbons into place at this step, to ensure they don’t move during final assembly and also add some extra security.
*Once basted in place, lay the lining on top, right side down, ensuring all the free ends of the straps and ribbons are tucked up in the centre and well away from the seams. Add the batting on top, and pin. Stitch around three sides of the body with 1/4″ seam, leaving the bottom open.
*Turn right side out, and top stitch around the three sides sewn in the step above.
*Topstitch two rows across the open side, at 1″ & 1.5″ from the raw edge.
*Find the centre of the open edge of the body piece, and the centre of the waistband.
* Place the body right side together with the open edge of the waistband, aligning raw edges and matching centres, and pin in place. The body WILL be larger than the hole, don’t panic!
*On one side, create a pleat approximately 1″ from the centre by folding enough towards the back, to allow that end to fit neatly in the gap. I tend to pleat it so there is still 1/4-1/2″ of gap remaining. Pin pleat and end in place. Repeat for the other side.
*Baste body in place – this is easiest if you have the body on the bottom of the sandwich, and are sewing into the open gap. The excess gap mentioned above makes this easier, but it can be a little fiddly.
*Flip the body up, and tuck the raw edges into the waistband. Fold down the raw edge of the waistband lining, pin in place, and then topstitch around all four sides of the waistband.
*To finish, also topstitch a straight line along the middle of the waistband length wise.
*Snip all loose threads and watch the little people in your life enjoy caring for their babies!