Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to get a Mei Tai and a Ring Sling out of One Tablecloth

It's no secret that I'm a babywearing enthusiast (that sounds better than "fanatic" or "obsessed," yes?). It's also no secret that I love making my own baby carriers from sturdy tablecloths. After making a couple of Table Cloth Mei Tais and Ring Slings, I discovered that with some strategic cutting, I could get both a Mei Tai AND a Ring Sling out of a 60" X 120" table cloth!

I'll get to the diagram before I continue with the blah-blah-blah:

Mahogany Tree of Life Tablecloth available HERE {affiliate link}

A few notes:

My math was off on the length measurements (OOPS), but I don't have the energy to re-do the whole diagram to fix it. :( The shoulder straps/RS piece should be at least 84" long, leaving 27" (or less if you cut the straps longer) at the top for the body panel pieces.

Be sure to measure your washed (and likely shrunk) table cloth before cutting. Adjust the dimensions as necessary. This table cloth kept its width at 60" but the length shrunk to 111" after washing and drying. If your table cloth loses width, just make your shoulder straps more narrow.

Also, take your body size and shape into consideration. Using this technique, the MT shoulder straps will end up about 75" inches long, and the Ring Sling will end up around 70" long, give or take a few inches, depending on shoulder style. I'm a size 12, size L/XL top, and this is JUST enough length for me, both for the straps and the RS. If you are plus-sized this may not work. If you are more petite, you'll have plenty of fabric and maybe some to spare!

This will work better with some table cloths than others, unless you aren't picky about the direction/placement of the pattern. For example, I probably won't actually do this with the table cloth pictured above, because the trees would be both sideways and off center on my Mei Tai panels.

I do this in a specific order that works best for me:

  • First, I cut the shoulder straps off of either side, leaving a big "T" shape.
  • Second, I cut the top off of the T and cut my body panels.
  • Third, I cut off the strip for the waist straps, then cut that in half to end up with 2 straps.
  • Finally, I'm left with my ring sling piece!

With everything cut out, you're ready to start sewing! My tutorial for a wrap-conversion-style Tablecloth Mei Tai (TCMT) is here: Table Cloth Mei Tai Tutorial with Wrap Style Straps

I have a Ring Sling tutorial coming soon, but it will basically be a bunch of links to Jan's tutorials at Sleeping Baby Productions:

Mahogany Orange Peacock Tablecloth available HERE {affiliate link}

Happy Sewing! :)


  1. Replies
    1. Please let me know how it turns out for you! :)

  2. I guess you wouldn't be able to do this version with TOL? Or would it just be a matter of changing the layout?

    1. It really depends on the cut of tablecloth you get! I was able to get a ring sling and MT out of TOL! :)

  3. Have you ever converted a ring sling to a mei tai? Do you have some guidance on how i might do it my sing is 72.8" x 30". I am willing to use coordination fabric altough would like most in my sling fabric

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