Wednesday, September 3, 2008

At Last! Behold the T-shirt Baby Sling!

After I received a request for a baby sling pattern, I started thinking about all the baby slings I've ever made (only 3 really) and decided that I wanted to shake things up a little and offer my wonderful readers something new. To my knowledge, there has not been a t-shirt sling tutorial published before, but if so, I apologize.

I designed this tutorial to be the ultimate in simplicity, and frugality, with a little recycling thrown in. (you gotta love new uses for old t-shirts, right?!) So here we go!

You will need 2 t-shirts with little writing on them, unless you'd like the writing to be on the sling, which is up to you. I advise 2 XL t-shirts, unless you feel you need bigger. If you're a slim little thing a Large may do just fine. In this demo I use a larges, but that's because I couldn't put my hands on 2 XLs of the same color at the moment inspiration took hold of me. (sorry!) You will want to hold the t-shirt across your chest like this, from your shoulder to your hip bone. If it doesn't make it all the way across with a smidge of slack, go with bigger shirts.

Lay the two shirts down, and cut them across under the armpits. If the lettering on the shirts goes below the armpits you will probably want to just cut up as high as you can, without getting the lettering. You will have 2 tubes of t-shirt, hopefully about 15 inches from the cut to the hem. If it's going to be less than 12 inches, that's not enough, the pocket for your baby is not going to be deep enough! Pick a different shirt!

Now, we will re-shape them a little. You will want to line up the hems (bottoms of the t-shirts) because they will become the top opening of your sling. You will want to start cutting about 6-8 inches from the hems and make a nice curve down to the bottom making use of the full width down there. (the thin part will go over your shoulder and the fat part will be where your baby's bottom goes)

Once you are happy with the shape, turn ONE of the tubes inside out and stick it around the other tube, so that the right sides are together on the inside of the tubes. I prepared a loop for keys/pacifiers and stuck it in between the layers. Pin around the open tubes to keep the curves matching and help with any stretching.

(The loop is about to be slipped between the layers and pinned)

Once everything is pinned to your satisfaction, run a wide zigzag stitch all the way around the curved edge of the tubes to connect them together. (You are sewing through 2 layers, not 4! Sew around in a big circle, connecting the two tubes along the edges you cut.) Make sure it is nice and strong and sturdy, you don't want it ripping open and your baby falling out! You will now have one wide tube that is thinner on one side of the circle, and pretty nice and fat on the other side. Fold the tube along the seam you've just sewn and now you are ready to test it out!

One last thing, I like a nice pocket too, so I cut a little more material from one of the discarded t-shirts and added it close to the loop. I have it opening toward the shoulder, instead of the hem, because I think it holds things better at that angle. I also ran the zigzag around the hem edges to give it a little contrast stitching. That, and any other decoration options are limited only by your imagination, so go crazy if you want! Your little bundle of luvin' can only appreciate it more for the added personal touches!

Hope you enjoy! Please comment! Link your pics!


Dora Renee' Wilkerson said...

This is great! I wish I would have seen this 8 and 9 years ago.. Darn, it..

I am sure to know someone having a baby though and I will bookmark it and give it a try.

Thanks so much for sharing this.

Dora Renee' Wilkerson

Heather - said...

Nice! seems pretty simple. Nice tutorial!


Paula said...

Does the baby go between the 2 layers like in a pocket or just sits on top of the two layers betweem mom and the sling?

Me (Thrifty) said...

The baby goes inside, between the two layers. Separate the layers like a V, and put the baby in the middle. It takes a bit of practice to position the baby. If you are new to baby wearing, or the pouch sling, specifically, you can check out these pictoral instructions. The "hotsling" it refers to is a pouch sling, just like the one here. Sling Instructions

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Sagar said...

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Alisa said...

Does the baby go between the 2 layers like in a pocket or just sits on top of the two layers betweem mom and the sling?

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Smith said...

Haha Rachel that's an awesome creation. A t-shirt can be recycled into many things, options are limitless. In the past I have made bermudas out of them, made tote bags, many things can be done. Thanks for sharing those awesome ideas.

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Natalie said...

IT is a great idea. I tried it but it just didn't work for me. The XL made for it to be really long on me, I even measured before sewing. I tried shortening it twice, but T-Shirts material just stretches sooo much, it was no good :(

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