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Friday, July 8, 2011

Baby Sling Tutorial

When I had Evan, I found it increasingly hard to carry him, tend to Ryan and do anything else.  A friend of mine (who also showed me the nursing cover) was carrying her son in a sling.  I loved the idea of the sling as it was much easier to get your child in and out of versus one of those fancier contraptions.

 The only thing I didn't like about the sling was the cost.  When I looked on the internet, most slings were at least $30-50.  That was way out of my price range.  After examining her sling, I knew I could figure out how to make one especially with a bit of google research.

Now that I've had another child, the sling is an essential and I have perfected how I make them.  This is a very simple tutorial and will get you a sling for the cost of 2 yards of fabric and some matching thread!

I made this one for my friend, Henri and her precious baby girl, McCall.  Here she is modeling it for me. Thanks for the picture, Henri!


Baby Sling Tutorial

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 yards of fabric of choice (width should be at least 44 inches)
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Measuring tape and/or measurement gauge
  • Fabric Marking pen (or light pen to mark small measurements)
  • Iron
  • Scissors
1.  Prior to making your sling, you will need to get some measurements from the person you are making it for.  Measure from the right shoulder to the left hip bone (where the baby will sit).  Here is an example of how to measure yourself or a friend from a sling company.

2.  Unfold your fabric and cut it lengthwise.  It will measure 2 yards by 22 inches.  Put one piece aside for future use or another sling.

3.  Fold your fabric lengthwise once.  Then fold it in half widthwise.  Make sure the open sides are facing up and to the right. See picture below.

4.  On the top, open side, measure from the fold to your hip to shoulder measurement.  Henri is a petite little lady so her measurement 22 inches.  You want to add a 1/2 inch to this measurement.  Therefore, this top measurement is 22.5 inches.  Mark this with a pen.

Now measure along the bottom from the fold to the next measurement (keep reading) and mark.  Take the original measurement and adding three inches to it.  In Henri's case that is 25 inches (22 plus 3).  See picture below.

5.  After marking both measurements, you will want to cut from the bottom to the top with a curve.  See picture below.

6.  Unfold your fabric and heat up your iron.  It time to use that dreaded iron and do some finishing details.  Measure a 1/4 of an inch fold using your measuring gauge on the length of your fabric.  Iron this fold down on both sides.

7.  Fold this over again and iron down an additional 1/4 of an inch on both sides.

8.  Sew down the fold on top and bottom.


9.  With the sides sewn and finished, fold the fabric in half widthwise with the right side of the fabric facing up.  Make sure your adjust your stitch width to a tight stitch.  This will increase the strength of the seam. Sew along the curve a 1/4 of inch in.

10.  Turn the sling inside out.  You are going to sew along the curve above the seam you just made.  This will encase the previous seam.  Make sure you sew above the previous raw fabric or it will stick out the bottom of the sling (learn from my oops).  This is double protection from the seams opening up.
11.  Open up the sling and sew down this encased seam to the front or back of the fabric.  This makes a nice finish and you don't have the encased seam sticking out.

That's it.  A simple sew for an awesome sling!  Here is my finished sling.

I hope this tutorial helped you.  If you are new to baby-wearing and need help utilizing a sling.  Here is an excellent guide to the different wearing positions.

This is also an excellent gift to make for a little girl.  It is equally as fun to carry your baby dolls around in a sling.  I am sure I will be making one for my sweet Anna one day.

I hope you or a friend enjoys a new sling!

Happy Crafting!


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