Tuesday, May 6, 2008

And now, the pouch...

I love slings (pouches). I have used them, do use them and will use them long in the future. They are great for when you have a little tiny newborn that likes to sleep, or a little baby that likes to snuggle but look out at the world while you do things, and now with a pre-toddler that you need to take with you places and know where they are at. It makes carrying them a breeze. Takes all the weight off and doesn't even hurt your shoulders. The one on the top is made just out of a cotton. Then as you can see I've also made them out of stretch denim, stretch cotton, home decorator's fabric(canvas), fleece, t-shirt, and lycra. I really like all of them. It just depends what fit you like best. For a newborn, it's better to use a stretchier softer fabric so they can snuggle closer. As they get older, it matters less and less what fabric you use, but something with a stretch width wise is what will work best.
So if you think a sling might be for you, here's how you make them.

Measure loosely from edge of shoulder to edge of inside hip bone. This is the number, example I am a 24.

Cut a piece of fabric 22" by 2 yards.

Fold fabric in half, lengthwise, then fold up so all four open corners are to the right.

Measure the top edge of the sling. This should be 1/2" longer than the shoulder to hip measurement.

Now measure the bottom edge. Add 3" to the previous measurement.

Now cut a half smile from the bottom mark to the top mark.

Unfold fabric widthwise and sew the 2 ends together along curve you just cut.

Now turn pouch inside out and encase the seam you just made. Be sure all excess fabric from the 1st seam is encased in the new seam.

Next sew, encased seam down (this is called a french seam).

Now that french seam is done, you will sew the raw top and bottom edges of the sling. Simply make a 1/4" hem on each side. Be careful when you get to the part where you french seam is, you may have to adjust your machine for the thickness of 3 layers of fabric.

**Sometimes I have to really stretch and make it fit when I sew the raw top and bottom edges. Depending on what fabric you use, it doesn't always match up that great.

*** Also if you want to add a pocket to the front so you can carry keys, binkies, money, whatever--so that you are really "hands-free" here's how. Just cut a square of whatever size, hem the sides and then sew it on . Put it towards either the top middle of the bottom middle, so that when you use your sling it will be facing in the right direction. I like to put mine over the french seam so the pocket is right in the middle of the sling.

****ALSO, you can add cording to the edges of the sling so that there is padding for the baby's legs and neck. If you do this, just measure a length of cording that you want. Instead of doing a 1/4" seam on the raw edges, do about an 1". Then cut a slit in the seam, and slide the cording in, encasing it, until the middle of the casing is in the middle of the french seam. Then just do the same on the top if you want. (I just do the bottoms of mine.)

Again, if any of you have any questions, feel free to ask!

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