Jul 28, 2007

my ... what a hairy baby you have, my dear

First off, thanks for all of your notes and comments following yesterday's little introduction. I can't wait to get to know all of you a little better! Also, thanks for your encouragement and enthusiasm regarding my new pattern collection. It's hard putting yourself out there, not knowing what kind of response one will receive.

Here's a sneak peek of one of the three patterns I will be starting to sell within the next month. I'm so happy with how it turned out, and I hope you mamas out there will love it! It's an Asian baby carrier, also known as a Mei Tai. But first things first, I really need to give a shout out to my cat, Timoun, who's a snuggly type and doesn't mind being carried around baby-style. FYI, he's about the size of a six-month-old infant. With a smaller head, of course ... and a hairy body.

Mei Tai Timoun side1

Mei Tai Timoun front view

Timoun me mei tai

Mei Tai back view cat foot 1

This is a really comfortable carrier. The shoulder straps are wide, and the weight is distributed comfortably across your back. There's no hardware or uncomfortable metal rings that pinch. Just pure, almost seamless, flannel-lined cotton. Yum. Also, the flip-up head support doubles as a nursing shield.

My pattern includes an internal x harness for safety and comfort. Most mei tais have straps that attach only to the edges of the main panel, which makes me a little nervous - this pattern is unique in its super safe construction. Here's a photo sketch (made at www.dumpr.net) of the x harness before sewing and inserting.

Mei Tai baby carrier photo sketch

For more photos of mei tai's, see the following links. I've also included a link on "how to wear a mei tai." It can be worn in the front, side, or back. But Timoun's not that complacent!

How to wear
Baby Hawk
Yummy Mummy

Check back tomorrow for a sneak peek at the second pattern, which is a design that the entire family will love. Here's a hint - it promotes literacy. Any guesses?



Laura said...

I LOVE your website. I am a trained Montessorian as well and love to sew, so I am LOVING your blog. I am very excited that you will be offering patterns for sale. I have really admired the felt applique items you have shown, especially the pillow you did on your recent trip. Do you plan to sell any patterns for felt applique? Your blog inspired me to search online for patterns or kits and I did not come up with much. I have pretty decent sewing skills, but was hoping for some guidance about where to start. If you have any suggestions for me or know of any good sites, let me know. In the meantime, keep up the blogging!

Meg McElwee said...

Hey Laura! We must be kindred spirits! To answer your questions, I hadn't considered selling appliqué patterns, but I might consider it in the future. It's not done with felt, but rather with cotton prints on corduroy. I picked up the skills needed through Kristin Nicholas's book, "Colorful Stitchery," and through searching for appliqué tutorials in the blogosphere. Two particularly useful appliqué tutorials can be found at www.annamariahorner.blogspot.com (called Super Circles) and at www.disdressed.blogspot.com (under Appliqué with freezer paper.)

jessica said...

ooh! I can't wait for this pattern! You better get it done soon before my baby grows too big :) If you need a tester I'd be happy to help fine tune things :)

I've been lurking on your blog for a week or so. I've been reading and researching about Montessori. You've created an inspirational resource! I'm a homeschooling mom of 4 (girl 7, boys 5, 3, 5 months). I've been having this tugging feeling that I need to be using my creativity and crafting to make more things for my kids to learn with. Your blog has really got my juices flowing. I'm going to start making some didactic materials for school time. I'm way excited about what you've done with your music cirriculum. I'm also going to make some art appreciation materials for my oldest to start exploring-- and the yoga cards! Those are on the top of my list!!

Thanks. You're my new favorite blog :) xoxo

The Wooden Spool said...

ok, this is tooooo cute! LOVE THIS! You are sooo clever!

Tracy said...


I love the mei tai carrier. I was just pricing one in our neighbourhood baby shop to help me carry my 4yo when she falls asleep on the train (and yes, she fits in it perfectly!) But at $95...yikes. I have only rudimentary sewing skills though (like straight seams). Would this pattern be a bit too hard for the likes o' me?

Marcy said...

Oh my gosh I LOVE IT!!! (and definitely kudos to the model kitty ; )

Unfortunately I do not know how to sew, but I have a friend who does... and I may have to make her make me one of these!

Meg McElwee said...


The pattern really is for beginners, however I suggest you accompany it with a sewing book aimed at beginners, such as "Bend the Rules Sewing" or "Sew U," which explain all the lingo.

So go for it! The only way to improve your skills is to jump into a project! Good luck!

peaknits said...

I love that the kitty is a willing baby - the carrier is a wonderful idea. I wish I would havd it 2 years ago when I think I "wore" my colicky daughter 24-7 - this one is much prettier than my own purchased version! :)