One of the items I sell on my Etsy shop is a wrap conversion mei tai (WCMT). It’s quite popular. I get lots of questions about it, though. I figured it would be easiest to just answer them here.
Why would someone want a WCMT?
Woven wraps are beautiful, and are made from very unusual fabric–both light weight and strong. However, the material–often several yards of fabric–can be a bit much to manage. For people who want the benefits of a woven wrap but the ease of a mei tai, the WCMT is a good option.
Do you provide the wrap fabric?
The answer here is, mostly no. Sorry. That would be a much more expensive WCMT! The idea here is that you, the customer, have a woven wrap (not knit!) that you would like to have turned into a mei tai. The fact that you provide the raw materials is one of the reasons this is less expensive than my standard mei tai. After you order, I send you my address and you mail me your wrap. Two or three weeks later, you get a package in the mail that has the wrap, magically transformed into a mei tai.
However, I have found a source for this fabric that I would like to try out, if I had a willing customer. That would run you about $160, which is way cheaper than buying a wrap and then having it converted. So, let me know if you’d like to be my test case!
How do I know you won’t totally mess this up?
Check out my shop reviews!
How do you attach the straps?
I actually have three layers on the body of the mei tai. The middle layer is what the straps are attached to, but it’s completely hidden when the whole thing is assembled. This is a cleaner look than attaching it to the back panel of the mei tai, as well as being stronger. I took a picture of a recent one after I sewed it to the middle layer.
After I attach the other two layers and turn the whole thing, there is also a row (or sometimes two) of topstitching further reinforcing it. I use four straps, rather than a long one that runs across the bottom, because I believe this is stronger. Seams are weaker than cloth, and you don’t want a seam right under the baby’s seat, which is what you get with that kind of construction.
Can I change it back to a wrap?
No. A wrap conversion mei tai is converted, not convertible. I cut it and sew it into a new form.
Can you use some other fabric to make a WCMT? I don’t have a wrap.
I prefer not to. The wrap fabric is quite unusual. If you have some fabric you would like me to use, I’m happy to do it, but I do not guarantee that it is safe, comfortable, or easy to use.
How big of a wrap do you need?
It should be at least 4.5 meters long. Probably more if you want a hood.
How big is the mei tai body? How long are the straps?
Tell me what you need. My standard is a body that is 18″ tall and 20″ wide, with 72″ shoulder straps and 26″ waist straps. If you are a bigger person or a smaller person or you want your baby to have slightly more or less support, just say so.
Can you do padded straps?
Well, yes. I can (see my standard mei tai). I don’t recommend it for a WCMT. One of the great benefits of using a wrap is that you have so much fabric that you can spread it out to distribute the weight. It is much more comfortable than padded straps, in my experience. If you really want this, I’ll do it and I won’t charge you any extra (it’s actually faster and easier for me). But I think it’s not a great idea.
Do you offer appliques, embroidery, or pockets?
One pocket, yes, I can do that. Other embellishments are not in my skill set.
Can you make a “real” hood, not a sleeping hood/flap? I want ears on it.
I can do a real hood, but I don’t recommend it. Have you ever seen one of those in action, for real, on a real baby? The thing doesn’t stay on. This is because of the shape of the carrier and how it’s designed to be worn. Unlike, say, a sweatshirt with a hood, the MT doesn’t come around the wearer’s front, so there’s no forward tension on the hood, and no way to create it. They are kind of cute but impractical. You would be better off dressing your baby in a hooded shirt before putting him/her in the carrier. Also, about those ears…If you want a real hood, not flap, I guess I can put ears on it. If you think about it, though, the WCMT is designed to be worn with the baby facing in, and those ears are mostly cute when they are framing a chubby little face. I don’t recommend it.
How about a ring waist?
I haven’t ever done one, but I could. I sell ring slings, so I have sourced good, strong rings.