Not long after my oldest sister was born, in the days before Baby Bjorns and the like, my dad dreamed up the first (to his knowledge) front-facing baby carrier. He sketched out his design, complete with a little pocket on the strap, and my mom sewed a prototype out of denim.
Here’s the carrier in action:
She was happy facing out, and my dad was so sure the carrier would catch on that he even applied for a patent. Nothing ever came of it, much like the hundreds of other make-a-million-bucks ideas he had over the years. He was an amazing schemer, that guy.
And 38 years later, we’re still carrying our babies that way:
The Oliver + S bear carrier from Little Things to Sew appears to be a pretty similar design, right down to the pocket, and when Kristin from skirt as top posted her cute little carrier, I showed Lila the photos. She got all wide-eyed and said, “Mommy! Could you make me wunna doze for my baby RIGHT NOW?” I’d had it flagged as a Christmas gift, but so much for that plan.
It was a simple project, and now that it’s made, I really can’t believe I waited this long. Lila totes her babies around everywhere, and lately she’s been stuffing them inside her shirt so she can use her hands for other things – but there’s a lot of re-stuffing required. So this thing makes perfect sense.
Hands-free baby wearing with no slippage!
I made the carrier out of denim (it’s a lightweight chambray from Robert Kaufman) to match my dad’s 1970s original. The pocket is cut from a Japanese fairy tale print I bought locally at Cool Cottons and used to cover her duvet – there are so many cute little scenes on that fabric, including a little girl feeding her chickens.
There was a good amount of strap left over after I attached the velcro tabs – I cut off the straps a couple inches below the velcro, satin stitched the ends, and looped them back up in case I need to let out the strap and lower the velcro as she gets bigger.
And here’s a peek at the lining – it’s a scrap left over from Lila’s Oliver + S sailboat pants. She found a critter to fit in the tiny pocket, too:
She’s worn this thing non-stop since I finished it – to the park, to the pool, out to eat – and I guess it’s not everyday you see a two year old with her baby doll in a front carrier, because it’s been getting a lot of attention around town. For some reason I find it ridiculously cute on her (hence the gratuitous number of photos in this post), and I’m thrilled that she loves it as much as I do.
Now baby can participate in all sorts of activities, such as searching for the secret stash of M&Ms:
And collecting eggs (definitely a two-handed activity):
That’s two days worth of eggs – we forgot to check yesterday. And how about that fashion-forward footwear?
Okay, that’s it. Happy baby wearing!