Ring Slings

June10

It is obvious that I am making almost everything I can imaginably manage to make for this baby.  It is not that I feel that I need a lot of things, but anything that I think that I do need is easily made with a bit of research and some talent and persistence.

One of my favorite things with Daphne was putting her in a sling.  It helped me keep her close and out of trouble.  I could nurse her in the sling.  It was easy to carry her around a store without having to lug around a heavy and awkward car seat. I was also able to get things done when I put her in the sling.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of funds available to buy and try every different carrier, so I had one or two that I used all the time.  The thing about slings is that you can never really have too many.  Babies spit up on them and they can get left places.  They also are easily forgotten.  I was constantly forgetting to bring the sling with me necessitating that I do without.

I did a lot of reserach over the past few months and discovered that it is incredibly easy to make slings.  They cost very little to make when all you are buying is fabric.  I am becoming a more and more accomplished sewer all the time so I had little difficulty sitting down and figuring out how to put slings together.  I am thankful for that skill.

I decided to make two different ring slings out of linen fabric.  Linen is strong and soft and supportive, and makes a lovely sling.  It is, unfortunately, one of the more expensive fabrics, but it was totally worth it.  I have been buying a lot of brown fabrics for this baby (and for Daphne and myself for that matter) lately.  Because you only need half of the witdth of yardage to make a sling, a cut of fabric will give you two slings, which is a lovely bonus.  You can always sell the extra one, leave it in the car or give it away as a baby shower gift.  I opten to make two–one for home and one for the car.

These slings are ring slings, for obvious reasons.  They are great for running into the store quickly or for walking a baby around during a long walk.  They are easy to get a baby into and out of, and they adjust really easily.  They will hold anything from a newborn to a 35 pound toddler if necessary.  I have carried Daphne in them a few times, and she is 28 pounds now.

It must be noted if you are going to make ring slings that you get your rings from somewhere that sells rings specifically for slings.  Many of the rings you can get at fabric stores are for purses and are not meant to carry the weight of a baby.  They can bend or break making it very dangerous for your baby.  www.slingrings.com has rings that are very inexpensive.  There are lots of colors, and the shipping is very affordable.

This is the first sling I made.  I put a brocade tail on the end for decoration and to ensure that the sling was long enough.  I did not anticipate that it would be almost too long, but I find the extra tail length to be stylish and not bothersome at all.  You can also throw it over the other shoulder when the baby is sleeping.

I made this second sling with the other half of the fabric from the first sling.  It also has a nice brocade tail that I like.  It is also long, but I really don’t mind.  I now have a sling for the car and a sling for the home.

After making the above two slings, I got inspiried.  I decided that I was going to make a sling out of a special fabric called solarveil.  It is a fabric that has been discontinued, so it was hard to find.  Essentially, it blocks out 70% of the UV rays from the sun.  It can also get wet and dry very quickly.  It is a great sling for the beach or for times when it is very sunny.  Additionally, people use the fabric for slings for the pool or the shower.  It is possible to put a baby in the sling and go into the swimming pool or take a shower when no one else is around to handle the baby for you.  I am excited to use the sling.  I was happy to get a hold of some of the fabric.  I sold half of it to another mama that was wanting to make a sling for the same purposes.

You should be inspired to make your own sling if you are in need of one. I spent less on these three slings than I would have if I had bought one retail from a store.  They are just as lovely, and though some of the stitching might be sligthly crooked in some places, they will work wonderfuly.

There are lots of resources if you want to make your own slings.

Maya Slings are really popular ring slings, but they have a tutorial on their website to make your own sling if you desire.

I actually was interested in a different style sling. The slings I made are pleated on the shoulder. I like the look a lot more. I got the tutorial from a fellow blogger that I read. It is a lovely tutorial. I would recommend you try it. It is the one I decided on after a LOT of research.

There is tons of information and other research and patterns for free here.

I have also found the Sling Sewing Yahoo Group to be incredibly helpful in any questions that I had.

Hopefully those resources will help you if you wanted to make a sling of your own. Otherwise, you can just admire my own handwork (that I am very proud of).

I’ll leave you with an action shot of Daphne and I putting a sling on that I really like.

And a photo of my little girl wearing a sling just like mama.

posted under Baby Ideas, Daphne, Sewing

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