Here is the long-promised tut for this kind of sling:
from this thread:http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=340068.msg3940960#msg3940960
- 1,8-2 meters (70-78 in) of sturdy cotton canvas or denim
- 1,8-2 meters (70-78 in) of soft natural fiber fabric (make sure it's natural fiber, no synthetics if you make it for a baby) - brushed flannel works very well, but other cotton or natural fibers would work as well
- matching or contrasting thread
- sewing machine
- paper template
- pins, needles for machine, tape measure, fabric scissors,...
First make a paper template for the pattern that looks something like this:
Consider your height and overall size (taller and curvaceous people need longer length and bigger babies might be more comfortable in a bit wider sling). It can also be helpful to measure yourself: you take a string and put it like it was sling - across one shoulder and all the way around the back and front to form a closed loop - than you measure it.
I made my sling (seen in the upper photos) a medium length - 185 cm/73 in - but bare in mind that you only need half for the pattern as you'll put the fabric on fold to make it symmetrical. I am 168 cm tall (66 in) and more on the skinny side - normal weight (54 kg/119 pounds) so you get the picture. For my "Male" I made the pattern 2 in longer (he is 185 cm and 80 kg) and for my friend I made a pattern 1 in shorter (that makes the sling 2 in shorter as you put the pattern on fold).
Here are the measurements that I have - I photoed the fabric because you can see it better as it's darker than the paper template - but they are both the same:
length - this one is for a friend who is shorter (less than 165 cm/65 in tall) so the pattern is 71-71 in long:
width - mine is 21,5 in and it fits newborn up to 1 year an more (I still can carry my 15 month old dd in it - but she's skinny - weights only 9 kg (20 pounds):
Notice that the upper part (where the fold is) isn't as wide as the bottom part. I'll check at home how wide I make it.
Once you decide on the length and the bottom width, make a gentile curve on the wide side - mine is 5,5 in deep:
Next you will need about 1,8-2 meters (70-78 in) of 2 different kinds of fabrics. If you're making a sling for a baby, specially if you're making it for a newborn I'd suggest you take brushed 100% cotton flannel for the inside - it's very cosy, doesn't irritate skin is soft and babies like it.
For the outside
you'll need a REALLY STURDY fabric
- I used tightly woven cotton canvas
for the one on the upper pics and jeans
(non stretch!) for the winter sling I posted in a different thread.Note: for baby I use the heavy weight fabric on the outside and the soft light weight fabric on the inside but for the tut I was making a sling for a dog so I used the canvas on the inside so his claws wouldn't tear the sling apart and than I put a pretty lightweight fabric on the outside so the sling wouldn't be too heavy. Normally I'd turn I'd do vice versa.
Fold the fabric and put the pattern on with its straight edge on fold. Now draw around it with chalk if using dark fabric or simply with pencil if you're using light colored fabric. If your fabric slips and your pattern tends to move around you can weight it to the position using different heavy object (like tape stand;)
Cut it out:
This is what you'll get:
Repeat for the other fabric:
So now you have cut the outside and the inside fabric so you have two identical pieces twice as big as the pattern.
Good. Let's sew them together, won't we?
Just put the rights sides together (facing one another) and sew all around your sling with a straight stitch. Here you can see it pined, prepared to be stitched together:
Leave an opening large enough so you can turn the sling right side out - about 7 in should do. Leave a gap at the center (yes, it's better to be in the center - safer and nicer as it will get covered)
You get this (it's still wrong side out):
Next you secure your seam with a wide zig-zag:
Turn right side out:
and iron it (don't skip the ironing it will make next 2 steps much easier!) - you get something like that:
Now fold the sling in half crosswise with its outside together (inwards) so that you match the two curved ends and pin them together:
Here I'm just showing you the end of the curve with the outside fabric on the inside:
Now pick the triple secure stitch and make sure you use a very strong thread (polyester is the best) as this seam will hold the baby so you really don't want it to be weak. Here is the stitch I use - it sews 3 times (forward, backward and another forward) for each stitch.
Make sure you use a wide seam allowance here - at least 1/2 in - but that's minimum and suitable for people with good sewing skills. If you are newbie in sewing you take 3/4 minimum but 1 in would be better;)
Now stitch another regular straight stitch next to it (about 1/8 in apart) for security.
Open the seam and iron it again - this is done the easiest by using one of those ironing pillows (mine is homemade, instructions on burda site):
Now that you have the open seam - pin both sides of seam allowances like this:
Stitch both seam allowances down so the seam lies as flat as possible. This can be a bit fiddly and that's why I suggested you take big enough seam allowance in the previous step - it's much easier with big s.all.
When you reach the end you just follow the edge and stitch it down as you go:
Basically your sling would be useful now but it still needs a bit work to make it really great to wear:
Ok, now topstitch both edges of the sling using normal straight stitch, starting and stopping at the top where the fold was. I use the width of my foot for the seam allowance guide:
When you reach the cross seam at the bottom go back and forth for reinforcement:
Now it's just one final step: take your sling ant lay it flat on a hard surface so you can mark your middle - I do that by running my fingernail across the fold.
Now open the sling and fold the top part so that you can mark that fold as well.
This is how your marks will look on the underside - just a cross of pleats:
Now just fold the two sides to the middle so they touch eachother and aline the midlle parts of left and right side.
Pin the sides together so that the edges touch:
Sew with a wide shord zig-zag stitch a seam about 7 in long. It can be longer or shorter depending on your liking. If you make it longer the sling will be a bit more closed and if you make it shorter the pleats will be looser so it would be easier for you to put the baby in and out but it will be a bit less closed - I prefer it more closed because I have more secure feeling that she can't fall anywhere;) I guess it's just feeling but make it so you'll be comfortable.
This keeps the upper part padded and narower and makes a pouch more closed so the baby doesn't fall out.
Voila, you're done! Here is the sling hanging on the hanger in a crowded wardrobe of ours
I'll put more pics for the last part as soon as I can get my pics uploaded (I have some problems with that and we're trying to figure it out so please bare with me). I still wanted to at least write it because this might take a while and I promised this tute and I like to keep my promises;)
Now I just have to find the pics of the final reslut in action;)
If any of you make it, please let me know, I'd love to see the results!