DIY Mei Tai
Fabric | Cotton drill (Spotlight), regular cotton fabric (IKEA), fleece (for padding)
Pattern | Mei Tai tutorial
I was supposed to blog about this earlier but got caught up with a lot of other things, namely housechores, groceries, picking Eva up from the babysitter, house-hunting and so forth. Still, I surprised myself by finishing this quite quickly once I sat down to it. I had been slowly working on it on an on-off basis and often blamed it on my lack of sewing mojo (sometimes I think my sewing mojo needs some form of insurance like an NC health insurance). Well, no more!
When I first started off this project, my sewing machine was already a little clunky. Then halfway through when I was putting the fleece together with the drill, it died on me. I went through a few breaks in the thread before it finally came to a halt. So off it went to the doc’s – well, he’s just a guy with a stall at the market near my place – and the prognosis was quite grim. The machine needs to be serviced, it’s been a while and well, it’ll take a couple of days and I’ll let you know the cost. For a moment there, I thought he was going to tell me that it would cost an arm and leg, but no, it turned out to be an affordable $60. Well-worth it consider that the machine hasn’t gone for servicing since the 80s!
After I got it back, I could tell that there was a lot of difference to how it ran – smoother and definitely quieter! But I didn’t really get to work on it often as Eva was going through some teething-related sticky bouts and my nights were more for relaxing instead of sewing (*shifty eyes*). So it sat in one corner and finally saw the light again when Eva started going to the babysitter. Before I knew it, I was very close to the end of it all.
Then it happened.
I broke THREE needles try to put the hood strap loops onto the straps! All that padding and folded killed three needles before finally submitting to a leather needle. Of course I had to go ultra slow as well. But yes, three needles! *shakes head* But when it was done, I realized another mistake I made. I sewed the hood straps on the wrong end of the hood!!!! ARGH! After more ripping, or rather snipping, I did some simple zigzag sewing and voila, it looked right and proper again!
Eva and I tested it out once she got back and I tried front as well as back carry. Found back carry to be a little strange and I suspect I still need time to adjust to the weight on my back instead of in the front like how I’ve been carrying Eva all this while. But hey, I wore her with this when my parents were around and found it surprisingly airy despite the hot and humid conditions here. It’d be perfect for European weather though as drill cotton is quite thick. I would sew it better the next time and am even tempted to make the Japanese version called the Onbuhimo which has two rings at the waist instead of a waist strap. One annoying thing about mei tais though – storing them with those long straps! Still, at least now, we’ve got a back-front carry carrier that works for Nil and myself! w00t!