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Topic: Tube-style baby sling *TUTORIAL* Like New Native or Maya Pouch  (Read 13385 times)
Tags for this thread: baby_sling , tutorial  Add new tag
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« on: June 18, 2005 01:38:44 AM »

Here's some pics of a tube style sling in the making. Look familiar, afianto?  Wink  This is my first try at using photobucket, so I really hope this works. I had problems posting photos from my Kodak gallery, some people said they could not see the pictures. Others said they could see them but only after they right-clicked and chose "show photo". Please let me know if these pictures don't load for you. I really hope this works OK. I hope it is not a crazy Mac thing or something. Undecided

Basically, this style sling is just a long piece of fabric with the long edges hemmed (the sides of the sling), and you fold it over and cut a curve along the open end that you then sew together (see the "frenching" technique for reinforcing this seam below). I prefer using medium-heavy weight cotton or cotton blend fabrics. Flannel works great, I've made many of these out of old top sheets. Regular sheets would work too.

I lost the notes I was jotting down when I made this, but I'm pretty sure I started with a strip of fabric that was 29 inches when folded over, and curved it in 2 inches, so the center of the curve is 29" and the shorter outside edges are 27". This is tall or very petite, then add or subtract 2 inches from this and it should work. It should be pretty snug on you when you wear it, because the baby's weight will make it sag a little, and you don't want it swing so low it's in front of your knees. It should be just above waist level.

Hem the long side edges first, then fold the piece in half like in the first picture and cut a curve across it. Sew the curve with a "frenched" seam to make it extra secure...to "french" the seam,  first you sew across the curve with the RIGHT sides facing OUT (not in, like you would normally think you'd do). Use about a .25 seam allowance. The reason you do this is so you can then turn it inside out and sew it with the right sides together encasing the edges of the first seam you sewed, this time sewing with maybe a .5 seam allowance, so the edges are completely inside this second seam. This produces a little flappy piece, that you then squash down to either side and sew down flat. This is what I mean by a flap:

To use it, you fold it skinny-wise, so both open side edges are together facing up when you wear it sash-style. The seam goes in front of you, it is a little wider there because of the curve, so that's where the baby goes.

By the way, basically wherever the butt goes, the baby follows. So aim the butt for the seam of the sling, and the baby will be cradled perfectly. The same thing goes for if you're wearing an older baby/toddler, you put the butt in and let the legs hang down. They say the first few times you try putting the baby in, you should stand over the bed just in case, not that you'll really drop your baby, but just to give you peace of mind. The first time you put them in, it's good to take a little walk right away. Walking helps them get used to it, and you'll feel more confident too. If you're right handed, wear the sling on your right shoulder so your left hand will be available to lightly hold the baby, and your right hand will be the one that's freer to do  other things. Vice-versa for lefties, of course.

If you use an infant carseat/carrier these slings make a great cozy to put over the baby when you're walking to/from the car, because you can wrap it around a baby and leave a little breathing hole. I live in WI where we'd use those fleecy carseat cozies with the flap--if you live where there's cold winters, you'll know what I'm talking about. But...an even better option is to wear the baby in the sling under a coat that is big enough for you both! Just leave the carseat in the car and put the baby in the sling! I figured this out fast because Sedra was born in September (a Labor Day labor) just before it started getting cold, and I had a nasty labor/c-section and didn't have the strength to carry the baby and the bucket both. One time I tried, and slipped on the ice and fell and could barely get up. That's the last time our carseat went anywhere with us. It was really a lot easier having her on my person. I was able to wear her in a sling until she was about 3 years old/around 35 lbs. Of course by then it was just for if we were out somewhere all day and her legs got tired or she needed to nap, to help save me from sack-of-potatoes syndrome.

Please let me know if you have any questions/comments/suggestions. I'm very glad to be able to share what I know about babywearing, breastfeeding, or other crunchy parenting notions!

Enjoy your baby!

« Last Edit: June 18, 2005 12:23:32 PM by sedrasmom » THIS ROCKS   Logged

"If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good!" - Dr. Seuss
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2005 07:56:32 PM »

thanks Monica, this is great.  I have more fabric again (after my encouter with the laundry thief) and am going to give this a go next week.  Thanks so much for posting the tutorial, it makes perfect sense.
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2005 09:56:08 AM »

Hey!  My lovely sling!  Thanks for the extra tutorial, now we're all set!
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2005 08:32:41 PM »

Thank you so much for posting this!  I had just threatened to do my first tutorial on get crafty this past week, and I thank you for beating me to it!  BTW, my little girl's name is Sidra, born 5/04! We live in WI too!  Nice description of the frenching!
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2005 11:26:28 AM »

anybody ever knit one of these?Huh

« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2005 11:57:58 AM »

I see that it's 29 inches long (folded over), but how wide is it?  I tried counting the squares in the first picture and got 21 or 22 inches.  Is this correct?  Also, is 29 inches the correct length for someone say 5'5" and about 150 lbs?  Or would it need to go up a few inches? 

By the way, THANKS for the tutorial, it's great!
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2005 05:37:23 PM »

I never bothered to measure the width. For the sling in this tutorial, I used fabric bought off the bolt, and the width of the sling is the standard width of the fabric, minus about an inch on either side due to hemming them up. I've also made slings like this out of half of a twin size sheet. Is the standard width of smaller fabric on the bolt around 30 inches? Anywhere from 28-32 inches ought to work I would think. Starting with 29" of fabric when folded over would be perfect for someone who's 5'5"/150lbs.


"If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good!" - Dr. Seuss
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2005 03:52:13 AM »

Thanks!! I can't wait to give this a try!

If I'm using a lighter weight fabric, do you think it would be OK to just double it up? 
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2005 07:03:57 AM »

Two friends of mine just had their second baby and got something like that. They call it the Baby Bjorn. I think there's ties somewhere though. Anyway, they love it. Their son, Thomas loves riding in it because he's a cuddler and won't sleep unless you're holding him and his dad loves it because the "baby back/chest pack" that they had for their first son murdered his back. He swears that he feels no pain in his already bad back after carrying Thomas around for hours. I''m intreauged. I hope I remember this when  I get around to having children.

Check out the Knitting Journal
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2005 08:16:29 PM »

The Baby Bjorn type carriers are somewhat different. With those, the baby is placed into the carrier with his/her legs inserted into leg holes, so all the baby's weight is on his/her crotch, exerting unnatural pressure on that region. For that reason, front/back carriers like the Baby Bjorn can only be used when the baby is very small. With slings, they are just sitting or lying down in them, in much more natural positions. There are many different positions in which the baby can be worn, and you can use this style carrier for as long as it is comforbable for you both. I used mine until my daughter was about 3 1/2 years old.


"If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good!" - Dr. Seuss
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