How I found this pattern
This is the story of a special birthday request going just about perfectly. After searching pinterest for baby carrier ideas, I found one that I particularly liked the look of. Lo and behold, I already had the book with the pattern in it!
I have probably had the book, Oliver + S Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children, since it was published in 2011. I have even made a couple of other things from it. However, the carrier was called a bear carrier so it just hadn’t stuck in my head for dolls.
Below is a series of videos to help with sewing this carrier because the instructions in the book might be challenging for the less experienced. Also, there are only a few diagrams in the book to help you along. I felt a bit in the dark for the first one I made and I have been sewing for many years. With the videos, I think it should be a piece of cake for just about anyone, as long as you are patient sewing around curves.
This first video shows why this shape works and how to wear it.
Finding the best fabric and cutting out the pattern
I want to clarify that at no point in this do I provide the pattern. I recommend the pattern in the book. This carrier took more than your average effort to design and is quite unique. Besides, the whole book is a good resource.
In this next video, I talk about the fabric and cutting out the pieces. One thing I don’t mention in the video is that I wouldn’t recommend using a fabric any heavier than the denim I show. It would just be too thick and awkward for the curves.
Here is a disappearing ink pen similar to what I used to mark the pattern: Dritz Marking Pen. Keep in mind that the marks may disappear over time, so you may want to wait to mark them if you are not going to be sewing right away.
One thing I forgot to do until later (you will notice in the video about sewing it all together) is stitch along the section at the curved end of the main body. This needs to be done before sewing the layers together.
Making the straps and pockets
The straps might seem way too long at first, but if you watched the first video, you can see how the length is useful.
The pocket is optional, as you might expect, and does not affect the design if left off. However, it is a simple addition that adds a lot to the look. In the video, I show how I got even more creative with it.
Sewing the main body of the baby doll carrier
The main key to sewing the main body of the baby doll carrier is:
sew slowly around the curves
Other things will help, too, like avoiding extra heavy fabrics, using the suggested seam allowance, and trimming the seam allowance. But it all begins with being patient around the curves. It will be worth it.
It will be easier to be patient if you have a clear marking on your sewing machine for the seam allowance. You don’t want to look so much at right where you are sewing, but rather at the edge of the curve compared to your mark.
In the next video I show how I did it. You will also be able to see just how to form the layers and have the straps end up attached the correct way! It may be helpful to particularly note that when sewing these layers together we do NOT sew into the seam allowance like we did with the pocket.
The buttons and the velcro
I think buttons are a good choice for holding the baby in the carrier. As I say in the video, if you want to use your machine button hole function, you will need to look at your sewing machine manual. Also, here is an article that gives some instructions: How to Make a Buttonhole on Your Sewing Machine.
I think velcro would come undone regularly at that upper connection, and snaps would really be a tearing risk.
If buttons are the thing that might keep you from making this, you might consider just sewing the straps at the point needed for a certain special baby doll.
There are also other ways to make a button hole other than a special stitch on a machine. You cut and sewing facing to make a simple slot that would be very sturdy.
On the other hand, I think velcro is perfect for the lower connection. It is easily adjustable and easy for a child to do and undo.
This last video shows details about the buttonholes and velcro. I also show how I finished the ends of the straps.
Someone will want one of these for Christmas!
It is very likely that I will be making about 4 more of these for other granddaughters for Christmas. Considering the low cost for supplies, being able to make one of them in a couple of days (not sewing full time, but I didn’t keep track of exact time), and how excited the granddaughters are who got them as birthday presents, it seems like the gift of the year.
And, yes, I think you can make a baby doll carrier for a child in your life, too! If you need any of the instructions clarified after reading and watching, just ask in the comments or shoot me an email.