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Handmade Costumes: DIY Ladybug Baby Carrier Slipcover Tutorial

And now for the most genius baby costume ever! Sarah Jane Sews makes a baby carrier into a ladybug! This tutorial is perfect for babies in arms! Check out all the other DIY costume tutorials in the Handmade Costume Series!


Hi! I'm Sarah of Sarah Jane Sews, where I blog about sewing (of course), knitting, and occasionally other craft projects.

I love making costumes — since I've been blogging we've had a Jedi and a bee, Abe Lincoln, and the whole family as Harry Potter characters — but we tend to decide what they'll be at the last minute. We're still finalizing plans for this year, so I thought I'd show you how I made my daughter's very first Halloween costume. Since this week is also International Babywearing Week, the ladybug baby carrier slipcover is especially appropriate!

Baby carrier, such as a mei tai or soft-structured carrier
Ladybug wings
Red fleece
Black fleece scraps
Heavyweight sew-in interfacing
Hook & loop
Matching thread
Tracing paper

Cut the elastic shoulder straps off of the wings. Cut a piece of hook the size of the area connecting the wings. If your hook is too narrow, you may want to use two rows so your wings don't sag. Sew the hook to the wrong side of the wings.

Wrong side

Use bobbin thread that matches your wings, since it will show.

Right side

Trace your carrier, marking openings for the straps.

I don't  have the original Honeybunch mei tai anymore, so I'm using a Kanga XT as an example.

Add a seam allowance (I prefer 1/4") to all of the non-strap areas and cut out your pattern.

Cut the front and back (inside) pieces from red fleece with the greater stretch going side to side. Cut one piece from the interfacing.

Decide how many spots you would like on your ladybug — mine has three 3" spots — and cut them from black fleece. Applique them to the front piece. I prefer a straight stitch when using fleece. If your carrier isn't perfectly symmetrical, make sure you're applying them to the correct piece!

Take the piece of interfacing and cut away a bit from the strap areas, so that it doesn't show if it gaps when it's being worn. It will look something like this:

Use a glue stick or pin the interfacing to the back of the front piece. The interfacing reinforces the fleece so that the weight of the wings doesn't cause them to sag.

Cut loop the same size as the hook on the wings. Decide where you'd like your wings to attach; the bottom of my hook is just above the center point of the body. Sew the loop onto the front piece and interfacing.

Place the front and back pieces right sides together and sew seams, leaving openings for straps. Make sure you catch the interfacing in the seam allowances, as shown two photos above.

Turn the slipcover right side out. It's done!

Slip it over your carrier, stick on the wings, and enjoy!

If you'd like to make your little one a simple costume to wear when out of the carrier, start with a basic a-line jumper pattern. I used the Ottobre 4/08 Nasta Pinafore, sewing shoulder seams instead of using buttons and finishing the neckline and armholes by turning them under 1/4" and using a zig-zag stitch. This was also the base of E's bee costume and her owl costume. Sew some dots to the front and back. If your little ladybug is walking, you could also sew some loop to the back of the dress and stick the wings on when she's out of the carrier.

Round out the look with a black onesie and tights. I also made some ladybug slippers from the free Darling Diaper Minimoc pattern (bottom left of the page).

Any questions? Feel free to stop by Sarah Jane Sews!

I've been loving the Handmade Costume Series. Andrea, thanks so much for having me! 


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