Saturday, April 14, 2012

Getting Ready --- Sewing Up Some BabyWearing Fun

I've been sharing how its been really hard for me during this pregnancy to remember I'm having a baby, instead of super-focusing on getting ready for just the delivery.
So I thought, maybe I should shift my focus.
I've been highly focused on my end of things. So it stands to reason, if I change my view point I will change my outlook.

So I thought I should start thinking of baby-ness.
And for me, that equates to sewing baby things.

I have a bunch of projects in mind. But the first I completed was my baby wearing stuff.

I loved wearing J when she was little. And she loved being worn. (I technically could still wear her now, but she's not into it anymore.) I'm hoping this little one likes it too. I know it will come in handy, now with two.

With J, I used a Moby Wrap initially. And then we moved over to a ring sling when she was bigger. (I hadn't discovered a ring sling until that point.)
I loved them both.
The Moby was cozy and comfy. But on the down side, it was very hot (especially for a summer baby.) And not so easy to fit in my small diaper bag.
I found the ring sling to be very easy to use (really fast to get on and off), comfortable, and super easy to fit into the diaper bag. So it became my favorite.

I made myself a couple ring slings last time. So I was actually good-to-go on that front. But since I was in the mood, I made one more, as well as fancied-up the two I already had with a little tail embellishment. I just went to the fabric store and shopped for something pretty to sew onto the ends. So now I can have a bit more mommy-fashion fun.

The cranberry one is Dupioni Silk (If you buy a name brand silk sling you can spend close to $200! I got my fabric on clearance and spent about $15 for the whole thing.)

The black one is a cotton linen blend.  To which I added a bit of faux silk today. (I made that sling for even less)

The teal one is pure linen, with a bit of silk at the end. (This fabric was wide enough for two slings. I made one as a gift, and made the extra into mine.)

Making your own sling is really affordable.

If you wanted to sew your own, this is the site I used the instructions from. She is very thorough and has your baby's best safety in mind.
I bought my rings here.

I'm storing them on an extra belt hanger I have that I'll keep in the coat closet. Nice and simple and organized.

But I didn't stop there with my baby-wearing wear.

Between babies I began to hear good things about woven wraps.

These are basically the same thing as a Moby Wrap, but instead of being made from stretch jersey knit, they are made from woven (not stretch) material. The fact that they aren't stretchy makes them able to function in even more holds, including back carries ---- since they are more stable and structured. (The Moby isn't safe for back carries, since the stretch fabric could compromise the baby's position.)

No one scold me if this isn't tied just right, it was my first try, and the doll's legs don't really act like baby legs.

I can't attest to my enjoyment of the wrap yet, since I made it this week, and have no baby to put in it yet. But "Gerby" the doll feels pretty good in there! :)

To let you know a bit about it:
I think the fabric I got will be much more breathable and comfortable for this summer baby, than the Moby Wrap. Time will tell, though.
I found a lot of fabric preference opinions on the internet. Seemingly most people prefer cotton, linen, a combo of the two, or occasionally silk.

After hunting around my local stores, I settled on osnaburg cotton because that's what I could find in a price range I was willing to do. (I didn't want to spend a lot since I don't know how I will feel about the wrap. I spent about $16 on it. If you buy a name brand one, you are looking at spending over $100.) I found my fabric at Walmart for something like $2.97/yd.

Apparently German Style Wraps are made from similar fabric. (Don't quote me, I'm no expert, just someone who's been googling.) The fabric is pretty plain, but I like that it will go with anything, and hide spit up. And it will feel cooler in the sun, since its a light color.

From what I have read you want some sort of fabric that isn't too tightly woven --- you should be able to see some light come through it if you hold it up to the light, and it should have a bit of give in the diagonal direction. The rest seems to be personal preference.
(If you want to get really educated, just try what I did and google "making a woven wrap." Or talk to a expert baby wearer.)

 After that you just need to decide how long you want it. From what I can see, the average size for the average person is about 5 yards long. You might want a longer one if you are taller or bigger. And you might want a shorter one if you are very petite or only want to utilize the holds that need less fabric. (This would make it more portable.) (If in doubt, go long, you can always hem it down shorter later.)
I made mine 25.5" wide. (Seems that 25" - 28" is fairly standard.)

Its incredibly easy to make. All you do is:

  • Buy 5 yards of fabric (or however long you want it to be.) 
  • Zig-zag stitch the raw edges (to avoid fraying) and wash and dry it once, to preshrink. 
  • Cut it to the width you like. (Leaving about a half inch, or a bit more, for hem allowance.) 
  • Then just hem all the edges. I did the long sides first, and the short sides last. That's all -- it's just an enormously long rectangle.

I finished it during the last part of J's nap.

I even used some of the extra fabric, from the salvage width, to sew up a simple bag for it.

And after that, I've been looking at the very helpful how-to-wrap-your-baby pictures and videos from this website, to get ready to use it. (There are a whole bunch of holds listed on the left hand side.)

Fun. Very easy. Inexpensive.
And totally baby-focused. :) (As I hope to become)


  1. I LOVE wearing my babies!! I'm really partial to the woven wraps and my favorite is a pretty blue cotton gauze (print! yay!) that I got at Joann's on clearance (double yay!) I loved carrying Isaac in the "Tibetan rucksack" carry, especially good for gardening, berrypicking and other tasks that my feisty 9 month old wasn't into sitting in a stroller for. I hope you have lots of fun with your sewing for baby! That always makes those last few weeks go by super fast for me.

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