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Photo Tutorial: How to make a mei tai doll carrier

Children love to pretend, and do just like their parents. Seeing mommy and daddy with a baby on the back is something usual for my children, and soon enough my daughter requested for a ring sling so she can carry around Victoria, her waldorf companion doll. This spring, I’ve checked on my longtime to-do list one item I really wanted, a mei tai. Both children wanted one, their size. I made two of those while they were naping at the same time…It doesn’t happen often, but today they did so I’ve jumped on the occasion and thought you might like to see how I did them.

First find 2, 3, 4 fabric you like, your child like and that goes well together.

Cut two rectangle that would be around the size of your child’s front. The bigger the easier to carry a big 18″ doll, the smaller the easier to wear for a child. This one is smaller 9×12″, I suggest to go bigger. I have an easy trick for the top strap angles later.

Cut the straps. The longer the better. I first went with 20″. This is okay for the bottom ones, but I’ve added 16″ after trying it on my boy. They are about 4″ large, so I cut them 8″ and folded them. Right side facing, sew/serge on top and the side, and flip them right side up.

Take your rectangle and place one strap in a corner. Cut. Fold vertically (on the longer) and cut the excess corner.

Take one rectangle, facing right side up. Roll your straps, it’s so much easier. Pin your longer ones at the angles.

And pin the short ones at the bottom. Leave an inch or so at the bottom.

Place the other rectangle (right side must face!) and pin around. Sew/serge the sides and top, but leave the bottom open.

Flip everything right and unpin straps. Enter the excess fabric at the bottom in and over stitch it.

If you realize, like me, that the top straps are too short, here’s how I manage to add on without unsewing anything; make straps like you first did, and tuck in a half inch inside the strap.

Inside end of strap in and overstich.

There you go! A beautiful, playful doll carrier for your little person to take his/her doll everywhere!

My son’s been carrying Albus ever since I tried it on him. He only took it out to get in the car twice and promptly asked it back both times. He also took it out to sleep, but I’m pretty sure he’ll ask for it tomorrow.

Hoping I made some of you try to make some! It’s very easy and takes no time. It’s a really good way for your child to carry around his/her doll everywhere while optimizing the chance for it to stay clean!

Please come back and share if you make one, we’d love to see it!


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Festive Fabric Coasters – a sew-along Tutorial

This week’s How-To is: Festive Fabric Coasters by Laura. It was originally published on her site Meadowsweet Organic .
I thought I’d show you a set of coasters that I sewed up for a Christmas gift using two organic cotton fabrics from the Westfalenstoffe collection.

To make a set of four, cut four 4 1/2″ square blocks from your main fabric, and another four 4 1/2″ square blocks from your contrasting fabric. Cut four 4 1/2″ square piece of batting to sandwich in between.
Each coaster is made from three pieces: two fabrics and one piece of batting.
Turn your top piece of fabric so that the two fabrics are right sides together. Put your batting piece on the bottom.
Align your three pieces one atop of the other and get ready to sew.
Sew a 1/4″ seam almost all of the way around (pivoting on the corners), leaving a 1 3/4″ gap to allow for turning your coaster right side out. Press.
Trim off your corners so that they will not be bulky when you turn your coaster right side out. Next, trim your batting to reduce bulk in your seams when you turn your coaster right side out.
Now, for the magic – turn your coaster right side out, being mindful not to stress the seams too much!

Use a thin wooden dowel or turning tool to push out your corners to make them crisp.

Press your fabric, and slip stitch the opening closed.

Press your coasters one last time, and voilà! A lovely set of reversible coasters festive enough for the upcoming holiday season, but not so festive that you would have to put them away in a drawer for the rest of the year. Perfect for a drink or mug-up!

Visit the Meadowsweet Organic Blog or Laurie’s etsy shop at:

This tutorial reposted with permission & brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla.

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How To: Make a Felt Starfish

This week’s How To was originally posted by one of our newest Natural Kids Team Members, Natalie. Welcome to the team and keep the crafty coming!

Autumn Starfish: Felt Inspiration

Inspired after posting my starfish photo I just had to make some Autumn Starfish out of orangey Wool Felt. And here they are!

And here’s a Pattern Starfish Template so YOU can make some too!

To make some wool felt starfish cut out 2 of the above pattern without a seam allowance (here is the full size pattern – just print it as is). Blanket stitch around and fill with a small handful of wool stuffing.

I have made my starfish with matching felt in orangey autumn tones, but of course starfish come in many other colours. They could be embellished too… fancy stitches, sequins, whatever you can dream up. I have left my starfish simple.

Here is another view of them:

Natalie has been making dolls from natural materials for ten years. Her shop, Woolhalla is stocked with Waldorf dolls, dollhouse dolls (so cute) and felt animals. Everything is “Designed & made by me, inspired by my children, friends and mother nature.”

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Friday Feature with PurePixie

Today’s feature is with Armelle, of PurePixie. Enjoy!

Tell us little about yourself!

I’m an eco-conscious Mom of two little boys and the aunt of… 8 little girls. I could be busy just sewing for them 😀
I been living in the San Francisco bay area in California for the last ten years. Before that I used to live in Brittany, in the western part of France.

What do you make, & how long have you been creating?

I make organic kids’ clothing: bathrobes, sleep sacks, caps, pants, tops… for little girls and little boys. I’m also starting to design organic fabrics.
I have been sewing since I was a child with my Mom and my Grand’ma both professional seamstresses. An old friend of mine reminded me a few weeks ago that I made my first hooded towel twenty five years ago for her daughter. She saved it all these years and just pull it out her closet for her grand-daughter to be. I couldn’t believe it!

What inspires you?

I love hiking in regional and national parks and always come back with new ideas. I also love vintage drawing and traditional kid’s clothing. They are such a great source of inspiration… in particular for little boys. It is so difficult to find cute outfits for them that don’t look too serious and grown up. I’m developing a new line of clothing for them in the coming months. Don’t forget to come back and check what’s new in my store! 🙂

What got you started sewing Kid’s clothing?
I really got into sewing when I got my first child. The first item I made for him was a pair of linen pants. Because I couldn’t find what I was looking for in stores, I decided to make them myself. Later I started to make sleep sacks and this is when my friends started to push me to make some for sale. And as you can see, they succeeded! 

How long have you been on Etsy, & how has it been for you so far?
I’ve been on Etsy for a little bit more than a year now. Promotion is way more labor intensive than I thought it would be, but it’s a lot of fun!
What advice would you have for other Etsians?
Renew, renew, renew. You will appear at the top of the lists and it will help you get into a lot more treasuries and even sometimes make it to the Etsy Finds!
What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?
This is a great team with a lot of active members. They are always ready to help and have so many great promotion ideas! I love also all the inspiring blogs they publish. I’m doing a giveaway in November and hope to contribute more and more in the months to come.
What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
This is very important to me. My kids have a few electronic toys but they are by far not their favorites simply because those toys don’t allow them much inventiveness. However they spend hours playing with their wooden toys (trains, blocks, cars, etc.) They make up all kinds of stories and build really interesting buildings. This is what childhood should be about, shouldn’t it? What I also love it that most of the time these toys can be repaired with a piece of a dowel and/or some glue and start a new life after an “accident”. I’ll be happy to pass them onto other kids when mine will be done with them.
Today’s interview by Kat, of kats in the belfry.