Saturday, October 6, 2012

Baby doll carrier tutorial

While looking for a baby doll carrier tutorial, I came across a couple of rather interesting ones and deconstructed some actual baby carriers. What follows is my own simplified version, which did not have too many buckles, ties and fiddly things for my two year old to deal with. Though it is not rocket science, I thought I would make a more explicit tutorial.


Warning: this is not to be used for a real baby, but for toys only!


Here is the template as pdf. From the printout, cut on the outer edge of the pattern. Once you have cut out your template, add an extra 1/4 inch all around when you cut the fabric. Sew with a 1/4 inch seam.

Materials needed:
This of course depends on the size of the doll and the size of the child. Adapt accordingly when drawing your template, so that you can have a better idea as to how much fabric you will need.
In this instance the doll is 12" (30 cm) from top to toe and is 4" (10 cm) around the belly. The child is an average two year old.

  • 2 pieces of cotton fabric 10" (25 cm) x 13" (33 cm) for body 
  • 1 piece of cotton batting also 10"(25 cm) x 13" (33 cm) for body
  • 2 strips of cotton fabric 27" (69 cm) long and 4" (10 cm) wide for straps
  • 4 buttons

 

Here is the template I drew up inspired by a well known baby carrier and others out there. You can see the proportion compared with the dolly. In this instance, the template measures 8,5" (22 cm) across at its largest and 3,5" (9 cm) at the bottom of the tail. The length is 11" (28 cm).


There are three layers here starting from the top: the exterior decorative and the interior prints right sides facing each other and finally the cotton batting. Polyester batting would probably work just as well or even some denim - anything to stiffen it up a bit. Sew around, but leave openings for the straps that will be added in the next step. There are three openings. If you think of this template as a fish, then you would not sew the bottom part of the "eyes" and the end of the "tail".


If you will notice the pins on the bottom of the carrier and almost on the top - this is where I left openings to insert the straps.


You will need two straps, which in this case measure 27" (69 cm) long and around 1,5" (4 cm) - 2" (5 cm) wide finished. Simply cut a long strip with the appropriate length,  but 4" (10 cm) wide and fold it lengthwise with the print facing in. Sew down all the way, pull it right side out and top-stitch up and down to strengthen a bit. Since my daughter is still rather small, I inserted the straps so that there is still some length of strap to pull out when she grows bigger. 


Here you can see how there is a flap on the top that is to be the optional head support for the doll. Kindly note that this section is not to be attached to the straps in any way.


On the back, the straps are criss-crossing. Please make sure that the straps are not twisted before pinning and sewing.


After top-stitching all around, including the strap openings, I made two button holes in the head flap and sewed four buttons so that the flap can be kept down ...


... or up. The button holes should fall nicely on both the straps and the bodice, so that they will catch both pairs of buttons. Check this before making the button holes.


The carrier is put on over the head, which does require some assistance for the little one. But once on, it is all hands free carrying. 


Here is the carrier with the flap down


And here it is with the flap up to support the doll's head. 

Big brother got a bit jealous because he thought his sister got a pretty nifty toy. Perhaps another one needs to be made for my son and his trusty pal Paddington.

Next item in this project - bibs.

Have a nifty day!

Christine
PS: Feed-back on this tute are very welcome. Thanks in advance.

PPS: Pics of readers' projects using this tutorial can be found here.

88 comments:

  1. Very nice and simple tutorial...I was looking for a doll carrier to make for my daughter for Christmas...thank you for sharing

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    1. Thanks for taking time to comment. I would love to see a picture of your finished product. Best of luck!

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  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I just finished one for my 2 year old for Christmas, I know she's going to love it! It ended up being simpler than I thought, thanks for sharing your ideas.

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    1. Sorry for taking so long to reply. I missed your comment as I was moving to another continent when you posted it. I would love to see your take on my tute, if you would like to share a pic. Great that the instructions seemed clear to you. All the best!

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  3. This is cute! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  4. Beautiful! Would it be possible to provide a PDF of the carrier body template? thanks!

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    1. A pdf? I have just moved to another continent, but I will try to make a pdf pattern once I have settled in. Thanks for the suggestion. Cheers!

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  5. This is a great design. I made one last year, but now i want to make yours too. thanks for sharing!

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    1. It is so fun to get feed-back. I would love to see your own version once it is done.

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  6. Found you via Pinterest. Lucky me, because this exactly what I was looking for. Genius! I am due in two month and want to give a doll carrier to my boy when his sister arrives. Thank you so much!

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    1. Bitte schön! Alles gute beim zukunftigen Geburt. Ein Foto vom Projekt wäre auch toll.

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  7. Thanks for a great tutorial! Can't wait to try it. I have a 4 yr old and 2 yr old and a newborn and the older 2 are wanting babydoll carriers like I use for their baby sister. Now to find the time... :)

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    1. Congratulations on having a new baby! I would love to see your version of my tute... once you have the time. I have not forgotten what it is like to have a newborn. All the best!

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  8. This is great! My 3 yr old has been packing her dolls around in all kinds of random things. I showed her these pictures and she was ecstatic. I have it about half sewn and I can't wait to button it on her. Such a darling idea. Thanks.

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    1. With pleasure! I would love to see your take on my tute. Pics are welcome. Cheers!

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  9. Quel joli partage. Je vais essayer de le faire très vite.
    J'enverrai des photos si ce n'est pas trop moche ;-)
    Merci beaucoup.

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    1. J'attends vos photos avec impatience. Amusez-vous bien!

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    2. Merci pour les photos. Vraiment adorable!

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  10. Just found this when I was looking for a front facing carrier pattern for my daughter's dolls. She carries them everywhere. There are others, but this is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. merci beaucoup pour votre tuto, ma petite fille est ravie

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    1. Pardonnez-moi! J'ai juste maintenant remarqué votre commentaire. Je suis entreins de refaire la maison et la couture et le blog sont restés passifs. Quel plaisir de savoir que encore une petite fille est contente avec ce jouet. Merci de m'avoir écrit. Ciao!

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  12. So excited to see this. A friend posted it to my Facebook wall today because my daughter is always trying to put my carrier on to hold her babies like I hold her sister. I love it so much I'm actually heading to the store now to buy materials to make it TODAY!

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    1. That sounds great! I would love to see the result. Send me a pic, if you can.
      Cheers!
      Christine

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  13. Just made one for one of my daughters. I tried to make it bigger for an 18" doll. I guess I didn't quite get the angle of the pattern right, so it puckers when buttoned down. I'll have to adjust the patten before I make the next one for my older daughter, just before their little sister is born in a couple weeks!

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    1. Sorry to hear about the puckers. I hope you can adjust the dimensions for the next one. Good luck with the delivery! All the best!

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  14. Hi, thank you for such an easy tutorial. I made one for my daughter so she can carry her new baby boy doll around just before her brother arrives. She loves it!

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    1. Hello Jo! Thanks for your pics. The carrier looks great and your daughter is adorable! She looks very pleased with her mummy's work. All the best for a safe and relatively painless delivery. Cheers!

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  15. Hi do u have pattern that u can download

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  16. I'm making this today and it's gone together really quickly once I figured out the pattern. Had to do some measuring and guesswork for the strap openings through the top. It's going to be really cute when it's done. You did a wonderful job of explaining it. I need lots of explanation. lol lol The only thing that would have made it easier for me would have been if I could have printed off a pattern. Thank you so much for posting this. Anita

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    1. I have had some requests for a pdf, but unfortuantely I have been too busy. I hope to make one at some point. Happy that you managed to follow the instructions though. Kudos!
      Cheers!

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    2. When I tried to print your pdf it wouldn't come thru. I think because it's drawn with blue ink which won't reprint. Maybe you could put it in again in black ink...Loved how mine turned out and can't wait to see my granddaughters face!

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  17. Hi, I love the look of this carrier and would love to make it. Did you ever get around to making that PDF?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Hi Aryn, There have been numerous requests, so I really should get a pdf done. I will try to get one done by next week. Cheers!

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  18. I love making little girl things! And I also admire people who are willing to share their creative ideas for free ;) what a beautiful project !!!!

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  19. I love your tutorial. Did you ever get a pdf made of the pattern?

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  20. I made this for my friend's little girl for her second bday. The little girl loved it, and her mom was very impressed with the gift. I was able to make it with remnants and used interfacing for the inside. Thanks for the tutorial.

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    1. That is great! l love such comments. Cheers!

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  21. Thanks so much for posting this! I think your carrier is SO much better than others I have seen. I have drawn up a pattern based on your instructions, making the flap a little thinner. Hope mine looks as good as yours, as there is a little girl who is very excited to try it out.

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    1. Good feed-back! Thanks and I am happy that all turned out well. Cheers!

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  22. Just finished! Have no idea how to post the pics of the finished product. I had to tweak it some and it's all hand sewn. I used some straps off of a cheapo plastic backpack my daughter had. Thanks so much for posting. She was begging me for a carrier like my Beco for her new baby sister. We picked out the same color scheme. :)

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    1. What a great idea with the straps! I am pleased that your little girl is happy with mommy's creation.
      Cheers!

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  23. Love this! I agree with previous posters a PDF would be great for those of us that arent so talented :D

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    1. Sorry but the pdf just has to wait a bit longer. Apologies to all!

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  24. Thank you for your really helpful tutorial. I made a carrier for my daughter and she loves it. I blogged about it here (http://randomcraftingadventures.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/baby-doll-carrier.html).

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    1. Your version looks adorable. Well done! Cheers! Christine

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    3. Thanks Christine. By the way, I've scanned a copy of the template I drafted using your tutorial. It's a two page PDF document. Would you like me to email it to you?
      Katie

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  25. Replies
    1. Thanks! I hope you will find time to make one. Cheers!

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  26. I love this! I can't wait to make one for my granddaughter. Thanks.

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    1. Have fun making it! Kindly send me a picture of the finished product, if possible. Cheers!

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  27. It is the cutest doll carrier i ever seen on the internet. Could you please send me the pdf file? My sketch looks so terrible :(

    Thank you

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    1. Hello, The pdf has been uploaded. Kindly go back to the original posting and you will see it there.
      http://www.sewbossi.com/2012/10/baby-doll-carrier-tutorial.html
      Cheers!
      Christine

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    2. Thank you for your kindness :)

      Cheers!

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    3. If you are using the pattern, be sure to add an extra 1/4 inch all around when cutting the fabric. I have updated the tutorial.
      All the best!

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  28. How WONDERFUL! My 4 year old has fallen back in love with her baby dolls (YAY!), and would love a way to carry them. Thank you :-)

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    1. Sounds great! Send me a pic, if you feel up to it.
      Cheers!

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    2. If you are using the pattern, be sure to add an extra 1/4 inch all around when cutting the fabric. I have updated the tutorial.
      All the best!

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  29. Thank you! I'm going to make this for my daughter for Christmas and for some nieces too!!

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    1. I am sure they will love their homemade presents. I would love to see pics of your final creations.
      Cheers!

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    2. If you are using the pattern, be sure to add an extra 1/4 inch all around when cutting the fabric. I have updated the tutorial.
      All the best!

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  30. Having 5 great granddaughters is reason enough to be thrilled with the baby doll carrier tutorial. Just the thing to make for Christmas. Thanks

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    1. I would love to see pictures of your five carriers. How fun!
      Christine

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    2. If you are using the pattern, be sure to add an extra 1/4 inch all around when cutting the fabric. I have updated the tutorial.
      All the best!

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  31. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just finished one for my two year old daughter and will be making another for her two year old cousin for Christmas!

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  32. Does anyone know if this fits the bitty baby from American girl? I see that this fits a 12" doll well, what about a 15"? Should I scale it up just a bit??

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  33. Hi Christine I am unable to print the PDF any chance you could e-mail it to me? sarah_g18@hotmail.com :) Many many thanks am making for friends girls for christmas :)

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  34. I love this design! Can't wait to make it for my neice. How all IS need is someone to show me how to work my 1957 Brother sewing machine.: S

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  35. Hi Christine,
    Thanks for this fabulous project! My made one for my 5 year old daughter and 4 year old son and they LOVE them! I've put some pics up here: http://iquittv.com/2014/02/16/diy-baby-doll-carrier/
    Thank you!

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  36. Thank you for posting this - can't wait to make one!

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  37. Thank for posting this.
    I will go and sew one now for my girl who has been using blankets to 'attach' her baby to herself. Lol.
    Blessings.

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  38. As a complete sewing newbie, I'm finding this project a great challenge and am happy with the results! One thing I was struggling with was the opportunity for my little one to put it on more independently without the over-the-head tangle- I solved the problem by sewing velcro on the bottom 'fishtail' and the bottom of the straps. this way, she can drape it over her own shoulders, grab the straps and go!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Kim. My toddler had a hard time with velcro, that is why I came up with this system. Great that you had use for the tutorial!

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  39. Amazing pieces, I really want to make this but I still have a couple of questions.
    If you sew the straps on top of the carrier, wont you see the stitches on the front of the doll carrier?
    And what do you mean by: I inserted the straps so that there is still some length of strap to pull out when she grows bigge.
    I am still a beginner but I really want to make this doll carrier
    Noemi_discry@yahoo.com

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  40. You don't seem at all bossy!! Very generous and also very talented. I have been searching the net for patterns for my little girl's doll. It is about 11" long. This is gorgeous and the finishing would pride a real baby. I have to say sewing is my chocolate, although I do also like chocolate!! Your blog has inspired me. I want to try to blog myself but I am very worried about troll incidents. I have read some unnecessary nasties. I do feel I have alot to share, but can only hope my stuff is half os good and interesting as yours. THank you again,
    Katie

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    1. You are really sweet. I have not had any trolling on my blog posts. In fact I have only had encouragement. I highly recommend it.
      All the best, Christine

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  41. I would love to make this for my daughters 2nd birthday in a few moinths time! Please excuse my stupidity but where can a I find a pdf copy of the template?

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    1. Hello Maxine,
      The template is a link in the third paragraph before "materials needed". Good luck!
      Cheers Christine

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  42. Christine -- I LOVE THIS! I made two yesterday and they are so so cute. Absolutely perfect for my niece's 2nd birthday. Thank you!!

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  43. Great tuto!!Thanks a lot. Greetings from Spain!

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