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.
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!
ChristinePS: Feed-back on this tute are very welcome. Thanks in advance.
PPS: Pics of readers' projects using this tutorial can be found here.