This is a typical scene you'll find around our house on any given morning -- Rosie riding on my back in the mei tai while I'm doing housework. She is not-so-content to play on her own while I'm busy, but she's very content to hang out back there while I do dishes. I also frequently use the mei tai when I'm out and about. I almost always wear Rosie in the front when I'm grocery shopping, which leaves one kid in the cart and one kid walking beside me (or both kids strapped into one of those ridiculous, un-maneuverable two-child carts at places like Walmart or Target -- why they like to ride in there, I have no idea).
[I do have to put my hair in a stylin' side pony because Rosie LOVES to pull it otherwise!]
So anyway, about the pattern. I made it a long time ago, when I was pregnant with Lavinia, but here's what I can recall: first off, I managed to make it out of 45" wide home décor fabric, and less than what the pattern calls for. I think I did this by rotating the layout of the straps 90 degrees. Unfortunately I can't remember exactly what I did, but just a head's up that you don't have to go with what's recommended in the pattern -- play around with the layout and see what you can come up with. Also, you could totally omit the patch pocket on the front of the mei tai. I never use it; it's just not handy.
All in all, I'm happy with my carrier and it's held up well after nearly three years of use (although the fabric has faded quite a bit).