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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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  1. Oh those slings are really nice, would love to have had one of those back when my kids were growing up!

    Thanks for the tutorial...

    Have a nice weekend :)

  2. Ingenious idea! I wish these were around when my college age daughter was small!
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing! I had to pin it so when I get ready to make it I can find it easily. My best friend is pregnant and her baby is due September 15th also I just found out I'm pregnant and with already have 3 kids I will defiantly need one or more. =)

  4. Your blog is giving me lots of crafts I have to make! Now I want to try this too!

  5. That looks great! Thanks for sharing the guide for different wearing positions too :)

  6. I love that choice of fabric. I made some of these when my last child was born, they were great. I added pockets to them, which were very useful. I also made one for my other daughter for her dolls as you mentioned. Now my littlest one uses the doll sling herself! Now following you via google,fb and pinterest. Karima x www.karimascrafts.com

  7. Cute idea! I received a sling as a gift when I had my boy, but the size was off and I rarely used it. According to the Hotslings ladies I'm "between sized." I even drove to their corporate offices with baby in tow for a fitting! I'd love to be able to make one that really fits me for my next child! Pinned this for future use!

    Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  8. I found your link on Someday Crafts - Great tutorial. I always knew there had to be a simple and cheap way to make these! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. I'm so excited to try this...thanks for the great tutorial!

  10. Great job on this sling! I can't wait to make some for baby shower gifts! I'd love if you would join us over at Sew Woodsy and link this project up!

  11. I'm loving this!
    Visiting from Tidy Mom & following you now too!

  12. Thanks for all the kind comments! I really appreciate it! I hope that you found the tutorial helpful! Happy Sewing!


  13. Soo cute! I used this same material for my bike basket. It's so bright and cheery.

  14. Such a great way to save money! I have seen slings and thought it would be nice to have one when I have another baby. Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

  15. I love the fabric you used for this sling! Way more cuter then my Brown sling!


    I will be hosting Tootsie's Woot woot wednesday link party On wednesday.

  16. GREAT tutorial!!! You look awesome in it, and have such a cutie!!

    We host a linky party “Help a Momma Out” every Tuesday. This would be a perfect link up! Please feel free to add it :) We appreciate it! Thanks for sharing!


  17. I've got a question for you...I don't sew much and so I'm trying to figure this out.
    I would love to make one of these and I inherited a lot of fabric, so I was looking to use it. My problem is that all of the fabric I have is just a little too small for what this says. Basically, on step 4 my measurement from waist to hip is 25 inches, So I should have one 25.5 inch side and one 28 inch side, correct? However, my fabric is only long enough to do 27 inches at the most. Finally, we come to my question (sorry!) could I use these measurements (25.5 and 27) to make a sling and have it still work?

    Thank you so much!


  18. When I make these I notice that if the measurement is different on the inside and outside by more then an inch that the baby's thigh can take a lot of pressure from the edge of the sling. I'd have it differ no more then an inch . I use .5 inch SO, the measurement from mid top of shoulder to hip +1.5 then round it to +.5 at the longest point. Great pictures and tutorial!


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