Today I want to show you how to make a lined wrap sling! It's a great beginner sewing project for those of you just starting out sewing! But first some backstory about me and ma' slings!
I sometimes get crazy looks when I tell people I never use a stroller for our munchkins. Honestly, since Azy was born I think I can count on my hands how many times I actually have used one! Once, when Azy was about three years old, my husband and I took one on the bus and the driver told me that I had to close it up for safety reasons. We didn't know how to!!! We struggled with it most of the distance we had to go before we finally figured it out! Ha! Parents with a three year old who don't know how to use a stroller; that driver and all the passengers looked at us as though we were on that bus naked! Well, that served us right for taking it on the bus in the first place I suppose. I feel that baby wearing is just my style. I'm the first one to know if my baby's in distress, sleepy, hungry, hurt, lost a toy, or whatever! Living in Philadelphia was also a really dirty place with tons of exhaust fumes puffing and clogging up the city's air (it's not like that in Portland. yeay!) and I didn't like the idea of having my babies in a stroller where they would be closer to all that grit and grime.
I have what seems liked a zillion carriers.
They all have they're uses, their perks, their pitfalls, and longevity of use.
I love pouch slings for toddlers, my husband loves the Bjorn (so I made it pretty), the Moby for babies and preschool ages (distributes weight well), and my
carrier for newborns and toddler (so far! I just made it for Sephy's arrival). And it's lasted about five years since then!
I also made a gauzy wrap style carrier in anticipation of Sephy, but the material itself was a little scratchy because it has these awesome sliver threads in the material as well. Mr. Kat said it wasn't soft enough for a tiny baby, so I had to storm the ol' brain castle to come up with a solution. I decided to line the bad boy with a super-thin jersey knit I had yardage of. I wanted it to be sturdy but also breezy enough for smoldering summer days.
To make a wrap sling you'll need TONS of supplies and pattern pieces...
HA HA! It's only one looong piece of fabric. Seriously, If you are just using a good quality, sturdy knit you don't even have to hem it!!! BUT, since we're adding a layer to part of ours, we will be finishing those edges.
You will need about 5 yards of fabric. A little less would be okay (no less than 4 and a half total), but 5 seems to fit most sizes and still still be sufficient to tie off properly. For the main fabric use something lightweight with a tiny bit of stretch in it. Joann's has these great sparkly gauze fabrics (some even in the red tag section!) that are pretty affordable. That's where I got mine! As for the lining, you'll need about 3 yards. I got this lightweight knit fabric at a local fabric store in Philly for $1 a yard. Yes, I know, it's not necessarily quality, but for what I'm using it for, it works perfectly! The perk of making these: you have enough fabric (if you use that sparkly gauze or something similar) to make two slings! The selvedge is 55"-60" and you will only need a width of 25"-30" for the sling. So I made two beautiful slings for about $23! Shh! don't tell- I gave the other one as a baby shower gift!
So cut your gauze in half along the looong w i d t h. Measure out your jersey fabric to be 25-30" x 3 yards (with the stretch going width-wise). To recap:
: ~30"L x 5 yards W.
: ~30"L x 3 yards W.
Find and mark the center of both fabrics along top and bottom edges on the long width. I recommend putting a tag or a little ribbon or some little stitched reminder of the center so you find the center quickly when you are putting it on. Attach this only to the gauze layer so the stitching doesn't show through on the knit. It's no biggie if you forget and do it later, but it'll show through on the knit a little. If you have a walking foot, it is a blessing for stitching down the jersey to the gauze.
Match centers of both (*if you choose to use fabrics that have an obvious wrong side the keep the wrong sides together). Pin the entire jersey piece to the gauze.
Stitch the short lengths down of the jersey to the gauze using a stretch stitch. I like to fold under the edges a little as I go for a more finished look.
If you choose to use a zigzag stretch stitch, I like to increase the width on the stitch a bit. Otherwise, I recommend a triple straight stitch on a length of about 4. Make sure you bobbin thread matches your gauze and your top thread matches your knit.
Last, you want to finish the edges which will also bind the jersey to the gauze. I used a serged rolled hem for mine with wooly nylon (ask me if you have questions on how to do this) , but you could also do a narrow hem with your sewing machine by folding in the raw edges twice then stitching with a zigzag or long triple straight stitch.
That's it! You're done! Super adorable, super kawaii wrap sling! Yeay! For tips on how to wear this sling check out the Moby website here. What my friend said and I concur is that (because the gauze is not technically a knit fabric) this wrap sling actually feels more secure. Perfect for summer if you want a comfortable all-day wearing sling! Do a little dance with your little chibi now!
Whoo-hoo! Thanks for stopping by! If you make one, I'd love you to share your finished slings with me!