Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tutorial and Free Pattern Pouch-Style Doll Carrier

When Lee and Daniel were babies, they practically lived in pouch carriers. I carried them snuggled inside when they were newborns, then transitioned them to a kangaroo carry and hip carry when they got older. With Eliza I preferred the Baby K'Tan (similar to the Moby) and Ergo, but the pouch is still the easiest for me to slip on and off.

Eliza loves to carry her baby, too. After watching her shove stuffed animals and dolls down her shirt for a month, I thought it was time to sew her a carrier.

I hunted around and found a couple of tutorials (here and here), but I wanted something like the pouch that had no buckles or buttons and would be easy for her to get on and off. When I couldn't find a tutorial or pattern for a doll-sized pouch carrier, I decided to make my own and share it.

Materials Needed
Approximately 1/2 yd woven fabric -- if you choose to line it, 1/2 yd of lining fabric
Pattern (available for free 
HERE)
(Note: This pattern should fit a child 18mo - 3yrs)

First decide if you want to line the carrier. If not, HERE is a tutorial that describes how to sew the pouch using French seams. If you want to line it, the instructions follow.
Seam allowances are 1/2".


1. Tape pattern pieces together. 




2. Cut out fabric on the fold. 45" wide fabric should allow you plenty of room. 



3. Sew the curved edges of the main fabric, right sides together. Sew from one edge to the other. The result will be a big fabric loop. 
4. Press seams to one side.


5. Repeat for lining.


6. Now is a good time to try on the carrier and adjust the fit by making the seam allowance bigger or smaller. If you change seam allowances for the main fabric, be sure to do it for the lining as well.

7. Open pieces so that you have two big circles. Tuck lining into main fabric, matching seams at the pouches, right sides together. Pin and sew ONE long side, right sides together.




8. Turn right side out and press, leaving other long side with raw edges.




At this point you can choose to turn the raw edges of the other long side 1/2" to the wrong sides, press, and edge stitch closed to finish.

Or, you can choose to close the pouch in a style I learned from Lindsay at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion. It's pretty nifty and, in my opinion, saves time once you get the hang of it.


Now, still with right sides out, grab main fabric with your left hand at the pouch seam.


Reach under and grab lining fabric with right hand. Your left thumb will be on the RIGHT side of the main fabric. Your right thumb will be on the WRONG side of the lining fabric.




Twist your left hand clockwise. Twist your right hand counter-clockwise. Continue in this direction until you can bring them together and have the RIGHT sides of the fabrics meet. 





Make sure you are matching the seams, right sides together. 


Pin right sides together, at the seam line.


Slowly work your way around, pinning all along the raw edges, right sides together. It will be awkward, but you will be able to reach the entire raw seam.




Sew main fabric to lining, right sides together. Again, take it slowly and you will be able to make it all the way around the seam. Leave an opening large enough to turn things right side out.



Pull the fabric through the opening, turning the sling right side out. 



Press well. Edgestich, catching the opening in your stitching. Or, if you prefer, simply stitch the opening closed.

To wear, fold the sling in half length-wise. Drape over one shoulder, allowing the curved pouch seam to hit around belly-button level. Open up the sling and allow the doll to ride in the "pouch" created by the curved seam.







There you have it! Eliza loves hers, and I hope it pleases other little ones who like to carry their babies. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

38 comments:

  1. This is so cute. I think this would be perfect for my little girl, she is always packing her baby outside and she can't quite keep it off the ground. pinning this for Christmas or her second birthday.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks!! She still prefers shoving them down her shirt most of the time, but at least she has options now. ;)

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  2. This is so lovely!
    My girl loves to wear my sling for her "babies" (of course, way to big) and this is just what I needed (too tired to think on drafting one myself).
    Adding to my sewing list :-)

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  3. How cute is this!! And is anything sweeter than watching your child care for her baby doll? I've posted a link to your pattern over at Craft Gossip:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/free-pattern-pouch-style-doll-carrier/2013/09/18/
    --Anne

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  4. I love seeing your handwriting on your blog! It makes me feel like we are next door neighbors again! :) xoxo

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  5. Cute! Cute! Cute! I would like to make this for a 3 1/2 year old (She'll probably wear it until she's at least 4) How much bigger do you suggest I go? Thanks!

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    1. Oh, fun! I wouldn't add any seam allowance to the straight edges of ye sling-- I'd add it to the curved edges to simply elongate things. My recommendation is to start with an inch, try it on before you sew it together with the lining, and adjust down as necessary. Good luck and I hope she loves it!

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    2. I want to make this for my 90% in height daughter. She'll be two this month but I was going to follow this recommendation to elongate it by an inch and shorten the seam allowance. Is the one inch recommendation for length only, or for width too? Thank you!!

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  6. I love this and want to make it in an adult size, any suggestions for how to modify the pattern. I'm going to make a child size first to get the hang of the pattern.

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    1. Hi, Marianne!

      My slings that I used for real babies were a little more complicated than this: the seams were reinforced and there was padding built into one side so when I carried toddlers on my hip in it, the fabric's edge didn't cut into their legs. (I used the Peanut Shell brand here http://www.thepeanutshell.com/Products/Baby-Carriers/Classic-Baby-Sling)

      There's a tutorial online that I thought about using when mine were babies: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/pouch.html

      I think this pattern would need heavy modification -- not just in size, but in the curvature of the seam. It may be better to start with Jan Andrea's version or another one engineered for adults. Good luck!!

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  7. how much fabric would I need to make one for a 7 year old? Do I need to make the pattern bigger? Any help would be appreciated please. email is robinrae63@hotmail.com Thank you

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    Replies
    1. This one slipped through the cracks, so sorry for the delayed reply! I measured my 5.5-year-old boy to get an idea. I'd probably grade it out 3" all around -- adding that amount to the curved edge and the width. You can always baste the curved seam and try it on and trim things down if necessary. The length of the sling would be approximately 42" in that case, so it should still fit on the fold of most fabric. The width would be close to half a yard if you upsize it. Hope that helps!

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  8. The directions call for 1/3 yard fabric - 12". The pattern is 14" across. Am I missing something?

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    1. Hi, Jeanne! I estimated the yardage needed when this tutorial was written because I used an amount from my stash, which is why I approximated it in the instructions. You are correct -- a little over 1/3 yard is needed and I will make the appropriate change in verbiage in the tutorial's instructions. Thanks!

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  9. Thank you, just made one for my daughter's 6th birthday, hoping it fits as it's just too cute!

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    1. Oh, that's great Laura! I hope it fits, too!

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  10. Hi there! Thank you so much for this adorable tutorial! I am a beginner and am having a bit of trouble understanding the new closing style you learned from Lindsay. Is there possibly another tutorial or link you could refer to? I am a very visual learner and I think another visual might help. Is there a name of this type of close I can google possibly? Thank you so much again!

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    1. Hi, Val! Here's a video Lindsay made describing how to hem an A-line dress, which is the technique I'm referring to in this tutorial. Hope this helps, and Merry Christmas!!

      http://thecottagemama.com/2015/10/lessons-with-lindsay-sewing-video-hemming-a-lined-a-line-dress/

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  11. For some reason I don't think mine looks right mine looks like a sleeve and can't figure out how it goes on the child. Is there anyway you can send a picture of how you would put it on the child? I am sorry for sounding so stupid. Just can't figure it out. I wish I could send a picture to show you how mine looks.

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    1. Hi, Judy! Do you have an email address you can send me? I've taken a series of photos of my daughter putting it on, but I can't post them here and need to email them to you. Thanks!

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  12. Judy, yesterday I tried this tutorial from Melly Sews to make an infinity scarf. It is a much easier way of assembling this type of thing! When I get a chance in the new year, I'll update this tutorial, but until then, maybe looking at this will work better for you?
    http://mellysews.com/2015/02/make-infinity-scarf-just-3-steps.html

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  13. Thank you for getting back to me I really appreciate it. Hope you and your family have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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  14. Thank you for getting back to me I really appreciate it. Hope you and your family have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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  15. I`ve been looking for a pattern to make one of these for so long, thank you for sharing.

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  16. Have just finished this for my granddaughter. I will give it to her tomorrow and I so hope she likes it. Thankyou for the pattern.

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  17. Have just finished this for my granddaughter. I will give it to her tomorrow and I so hope she likes it. Thankyou for the pattern.

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  18. I must be doing something wrong, I have tried three times and have yet to get it right... I'm good right up until the whole twisting thing. I end up with a big mess. Any suggestions?

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    1. I´ve made it and thougt I did wrong, but found out that I didnt. But I´m still a bit unnarennet about the whole twist. There is no twist in the end result, so my suggestion is to organise it so that the to rights are together again and saw it together om the other side like the first, except you leve a smal opening to close.

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  19. Thank you SO much for providing this pattern free. It's a great way for our little girls to learn about how to begin to look after babies

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  20. I used a knit fabric to allow it to stretch with my growing child and/or when she wants to snuggle a larger sized baby doll.

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  21. Am I missing something? how does it go round the neck? Any tape attached?

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  22. Thank you so very much for this wonderful idea! Being a grandmother, I only see the children transported by car or in their home so I don't necessarily think of these accessories.
    My grandson is approaching two years and so absolutely in love with his 12-inch baby boy doll that he carries it with him everywhere. This carrier will allow him to have both hands free, thus maximizing his snooping and stashing capabilities :-)

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  23. Tank you for chearing. I have a niese who loves her doll, and I didn´t know what to give her for her 2 year birthday inntil I found this. Hers is pink and green, and I hope she´ll love it :)

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  24. Hi, For some reason, when I click on the link to get the pattern, the only piece that comes up is the lower-left one. Of course, I can use that to make the lower-right, but I still need the top. Can you help, please?

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    1. Hi, Nancy! I'm not sure what the problem is. . . I attempted to download it again, and it worked for me, so I don't know what the problem is. . . :(

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    2. Hi! my pattern isint ptinting out big enough i cant see the words on the paper what am i doing wrong?

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