I love baby-wearing, especially in the early months.
Baby-wearing allows me to keep the newest family member close while keeping my hands free to help the older kids. Plus, my babies usually sleep peacefully when worn, which is really nice.
This doesn’t last forever. Once they can sit and crawl, and especially walk, my babies usually refuse to be worn! Silly kids. 🙂
My babies also don’t like to be worn when I’m sitting down or standing still, which tends to be the case more often at home than on the go. When we’re out, I prefer a wrap-style carrier (or a homemade version thereof — super easy to make, no sewing required). I had a similar wrap for home with the last two babies, but we rarely used it because they just didn’t want to be worn when I was at home very often.
This time, I wanted a home carrier that would be much quicker and easier to get on and off and get the baby in and out of for home. I decided that a pouch sling carrier would be the best option.
I spent several weeks, on and off, reading various tutorials, learning patterns, and watching videos, trying to figure out how to make one. I found most of them very confusing. Yet, when I finally made the carrier, I realized how easy they are!
It seems that a clear, easy-to-use tutorial is in order!
Simple Pouch Sling Carrier
This truly is really simple. I chose to use a piece of linen fabric because it is lightweight yet sturdy — good for the summer. It also looks the same on both sides, so there’s really no “wrong” side to deal with. It is possible to do this with any fabric, from quilting cotton (you may need two layers) to denim (very sturdy but rather warm for summer months). I like the linen I chose but feel free to choose whatever you want.
It’s also worth noting that the fabric I chose was 60″ wide. I only needed 1 yard because 60″ was just about the length I needed for the carrier. If my fabric had been only 44 – 45″ wide, I would have needed more than 2 yards to ensure I had enough length. You may need more length than I do, depending on your size. It’s better to go for 2 yards if you are unsure (72″ long) so that you know you have plenty. But measure yourself before you shop so you know what you need.
You will need:
- 1 – 2 yards of fabric
Step 1: Measure yourself from shoulder to hip, across your body (right shoulder to left hip). My measurement was 27″ (as best I could measure around my belly anyway). Add 3″ to this length to account for the pocket, then double it. This is the total length you need for your sling. Mine was 60″, as I mentioned above.
Step 2: Fold your fabric in half lengthwise and cut it so it is no more than 22″ wide. Since my fabric was 60 x 36, I cut it right down the middle, leaving me with two pieces, each 60 x 18.
This means you will get two slings if your fabric is wide enough! I did.
Step 3: Fold your fabric (the piece for one sling that you have cut) in half lengthwise.
Step 4: Fold this fabric in half again, in the other direction. You should have a rectangle that is 1/4 the size of the original but the same shape. (It’s 4 layers thick.)
Step 5: Starting at the folded long side, open the short side and place a pin in the fabric. Then, on the opposite side, place a second pin that is 3″ lower than the first. (See above so that’s clear.)
Step 6: You are now going to cut your curve. Start at one pin and curve to the other (see the picture again).
Step 7: Open your fabric up now. Fold it in half so that the curved edges are together. We’re going to sew along the curve three different times. If your fabric has a “right” and “wrong” side, you want the wrong sides together (right sides facing out).
Step 8: Sew along the curve, about 1/4″ from the edge.
Step 9: Flip the fabric inside out now. (It should effectively be a big tube, with the curve on one side.)
Step 10: Sew along the curve again, making sure it’s pressed together as much as possible. If you want to get the seam flat, you can iron it, but I didn’t bother. Sew carefully so that the fabric doesn’t pucker.
Step 11: You now have a “French seam,” meaning it’s been sewn from both sides, and the first seam is completely encased in the second. Now, we’re going to open the seam, like above. (The seam is right down the middle.)
Step 12: Press the seam flat and sew along it down the center. This makes the seam smooth so it doesn’t bother your baby, makes it look nice, and reinforces it so it’s sturdy. You can sew with a straight stitch (which I did this time) or a zig-zag for a more decorative stitch (which I did on the second carrier).
Step 13: At this point, your carrier is almost finished! All that needs to be done is for the edges to be hemmed. I turned mine in 1/4″ and sewed around. The hemmed edge should be on the same “side” of the fabric as the French seam.
Step 14: Once the edges are hemmed, turn your carrier right side out. It’s done!!
To use the carrier, you will fold it in half so that the carrier is only about 10″ wide (mine’s about 9″ wide). Put it on over your head, with the seam/pouch near your hip. You will open the carrier and lay your baby in it, with the baby’s head up near your breast and bottom in the pouch part. Or, an older baby can sit on your hip with their bottom in the pouch.
That’s it! Pretty simple, right? This should only take 20 – 30 minutes to sew. I was surprised at how quickly it went. But it truly is not hard.