Monday, 24 September 2012

Mini Mei Tai baby carrier for a doll

About a year ago I was introduced to the beauty of the Mei Tai, an oriental-style baby carrier that can carry comfortably newborns as well as toddlers.
I was always a fan of baby carriers (as you can learn from my post on the Mei Tai baby carrier I made myself a while ago). But I learn a lot more about them through a fellow Italian eco-mum, Tiz (she has four little monkeys though!). She makes lovely Mei Tai's, which she sells, and has also a blog worth following, My Mei Tai, which contains much information about ecoparenting, natural birth, baby-wearing, the lot.
Tiz is a generous type too, so from her blog you can download free instructions for making your own Mei Tai and even a mini version of it for carrying dolls (here; instructions are in Italian, I should add).
So, using her instructions I sewed my own mini Mei Tai for Little Miss' birthday (it only took a couple of hours...), and she has been sporting it quite a bit in town ever since: imagine people's faces when they saw my little girl trotting along with her dollie in her cute mini carrier.
Somebody the other day asked her:
"Aw, is that your baby you are carrying?"
to which she answered:
"It's not a baby, it's a DOLL".
She is quite an old lady into a little body, sometimes!
You can see I've added to Tiz' basic model a front pocket for all those little Lego bits, toy cars and animals, and minuscule pieces of paper Little Monkey LOVES carrying around. I've quickly cut and hand-sewn a felt strawberry on the pocket to match the fabric she chose for the front panel. The back panel, the pocket and the straps are in denim.


You can see how this can be a great way of involving a child when there is a new arrival in the family, and how children can learn to be caring through play and imitation of their parents.
You can find other  types of baby carrier for dolls on the Internet, including these you can find on:
Seven Thirty Three
A popular version by Oliver + S on Little Things to Sew
And patterns available on Etsy to buy, like this by 3Bean Studio.

Happy baby wearing!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Another quick project: upcycling an old vest

This old white vest of mine was crying for the really was, however it is made of a nice sturdy cotton and I use it all the time for doing yoga.
So, I couldn't really throw it about upcycling it?
Sometime ago I had bought a set of 10 fabric paint pens at the Pound Shop thinking they must have been of the dodgiest type, however for some crafty jobs they could be just right. In fact, to my surprise, the colours turned out pretty nice.
At the bank holiday weekend, while Little Monkey was covering herself with watercolours, I thought I'd give a go at upcycling my vest, carefully covering all its tough stains with a hand-painted blue and purple flower.
This is the result:

And this is me, all stiff, strangely leaning to one side and wearing a sporty vest with some office trousers: so classy! *irony*...sorry for the terrible picture, but I hope it gives the idea...not too bad for a half hour job, uh?!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

A quilted bed for dolly

Last weekend has been incredibly productive for me. Three projects in three days (thanks GB for the the August bank holiday!) and, obviously, none of them is something I had to do, but more like something I wanted to do...
Last week, my Little Miss was cuddling three toys (her favourites these days are a little baby doll, a rug doll we found in a car boot sale which somehow she named Luisa, and a little red plastic fish that has now lost an eye in battle). She was then trying to put them to bed covering them with a little towel.
Mmmm...I thought, dolly really needs a proper bed!
So off I went making this:
My first EVER attempt at quilting. I have been researching on quilting techniques for a while now, as I have in mind a new project which implies quilting. So, this has been a tiny practice before going much bigger. Not perfect, but hopefully dolly can see the love in it!

I have decided to make the quilt free style. The fabric has been chosen by my little one. I have sewn the quilt to the bottom of the padded bed just to make using it easier for her little hands, and also not to lose pieces only to find them under the sofa in a few months time. For the same reason, I have applied Velcro to the back of the pillow (made from an old pair of leggings).

The back of dolly's bed
So, what do you reckon?
Worth spending a few hours of your weekend making?  Would you buy it if you saw it in a shop???
I would love to hear what you think of it!
Have a lovely first week of September!