Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's a...

sling! I had one with Paige & loved it! But it's purple w/polka dots and little man can't be seen in it!

And yes, you guessed it, the fabric is none other than the fabulous Amy Butler's Lotus Wall Flower Sky. Hancock's of Paducah is a great source for all her fabrics {just keep in mind they sell them by 1/2 yard increments}.

I first saw the idea over at Everything In It's Place. And between her tutorial and these tutorials I came up with this! It took about 2 hours total to complete, next time it will probably take a lot less... the first time you do anything it seems to take a lot longer.

The other things I learned: make sure both fabrics are of a lighter weight or if you choose a heavier weight fabric don't make your sling as wide. I would chose 2 lighter weight fabrics and not make it any wider than 30" max! The Amy Butler fabric is lightweight and I should have lined it with another one of her fabrics that coordinates because you see so much of the lining. (The white cotton lining that I chose was too heavy.) Although using Amy Butler for both the lining and the outside could get pricey as it is recommended that you use 2 & 1/2 yards of each. However, I prefer a "shorter tail" so I got by with 2 yards of each. I cut both the wall flower fabric and the lining to exactly 32" x 2 yards. This proved to be too bulky for my machine when it came time to attach the rings. I'd like to also note that I'm just telling you what I did, this doesn't mean this is best for everyone or that you should necessarily do what I did. These slings are probably a high liability item and Jan notes on her website over and over these are to be made for personal use and not sold. With that said, I fully trust my work and I intend to put my child in it, but I'm certainly not going to be making these for anyone else or selling them! :)

Ok, disclaimer complete... my machine could handle the basting stitches over the pleats (w/a heavy duty denim needle) but couldn't handle two layers of pleated fabric (when you put the rings on). Thankfully, I've come to know Ed at the local upholstery shop that specializes in car upholstery and I knew he would have a machine that could... so I ran there this morning and he did the stitches that hold the rings on and he did a lot of them-- it looks like he went back and forth at least 3 times. He said "pay him what I thought his services were worth"... I gave him $6 and he did it while I waited. He also used super-duper strong nylon thread (like what seat belts are made of) which made me appreciate his willingness even more. He also offered me a job... but between the posters of 1/2 dressed women and the smoke, I told him he couldn't afford me! :)

Cost to make:
Amy Butler fabric (+ shipping): $23.91
Lining fabric (+ tax): $7.62
Ed's services at upholstery shop: $6
grand total: $42.72

A special thank you to my daughters who let me borrow their "scary looking" baby doll for the picture. I'm certain the sling will fit better with a baby in it rather than both in it and behind it... at 36+ weeks I couldn't quite suck my tummy in and let the sling lie flat against my stomach. I can't wait to put him in it... it will be great for nursing and for trips to the store with 3 little ones in tow! I'm sure any passerbys who saw my husband taking pictures of me with this "thing" in the sling had to wonder what on earth we were doing! :)

Once you put the sling on and adjust it... which takes a considerable amount of time and effort. I would NOT undo it. Simply slide the sling over your head until you're ready to wear it again. The last sling I had came with a DVD tutorial and they have wonderful directions HERE. There is a very important step they call "bubbling" which adjusts tightness of the sling around the baby {it pulls it tight across your chest (like you see in the picture of me and scary baby) rather than allowing it to droop down in a "u" shape}. You do the "bubbling" after you've got the sling in the right position on your body, the "bubbling" doesn't adjust the height of the sling on your body it simply pulls the sling closer to your baby and supports them better. It will take time to get the sling comfortable around not only you but the baby also and once you get to this position don't take the sling apart through the rings... or you'll have to start all over again! :)

For those of you who have asked questions about my sewing machine & embroidery software, etc. I'm working on a post just for you... maybe tomorrow if I can get my links in order!


Shireen said...

AND you model it oh so beautifully! ;)

Christi said...

i love the fabric! nice work, impress me (and inspire)! i finally pulled out my machine last and continued the quilt i started about one year ago! better late than never...seriously though, if i only had half your skills it would go so much faster!

Anonymous said...

I feel like I must be in a hole not knowing who Amy Butler is! All your blog readers are very impressive!! It is really cute. You look fabulous!! Love you D!! -Allyson

Wilson's Winners said...

One request for your next post - include what a good sewing maching with embriodery machine would be for a BEGINNER! Thanks!

Julie Wolfe said...

Oh good - thanks for the tutorial! I was thinking I'd want to use one of these for baby Macie, so now I'll just make one. Now, can you give me tips for how to get it on and off each time? Do you just leave it fastened and slip it over your head to put it on each time?

Unknown said...

that is SO cute! what a good idea... I had wanted to get a sling when my daughter was younger, but kept putting it off (didn't really see one I liked or else they were too expensive)... I wished I had one though - now I can make one for the next one (whenever that is). thanks for the tutorial and all the info! I promise not to sue you if something bad happens ;)

The Birds Nest said...

It looks great!! I actually thought it looked very cute with scary babydoll in it:) I admire your talent and I'm looking forward to your post on machines that you recommend.

Jennie-Marie said...

Love it, and I love the picture of scary baby in it. You are amazing D!!!

duchess said...

Looks great. You're a very talented seamstress.

I cracked up at the disclaimer - you can never be too careful.

mrchrishill said...

I know this post is not for me, but I had to comment.

1. Great job on the sling. I didn't understand what it was for until I saw the "scary baby" picture and then it made sense. From all of your details it also sounds not only complicated, but possibly dangerous?

2. Very strong on the number of comments. Nine already and it's still early. Are you sure you're not paying people to comment? I post that we're pregnant and get only a couple... what's your secret?

the williams said...

hey darby! i'm one of hannah's friends and she sent me to you. i actually make these slings and sell them for cheaper than you made yours for. mine aren't double lined, though. however, please pass along the name...i'd love the business. check it out at thanks!

Dena said...

you so funny! love the test baby!

i think you MIGHT need more weight than that!

bryn alexandra said...

I'm a blog stalker of yours (found your blog through your sister's blog), but I just wanted to say cute sling and wow! I can't believe how far along you are! You'll be due any day now... I can't wait to see your little new guy. My husband and I are years away from having children but I love to read about your own little family, they are so adorable! It makes me so excited to someday have a little clan of our own.

erika said...

I hope that "scary" baby is no indication of what boy Stick is gonna look like.
Rockin' sling.
Great fabric choice.
I am with Chilly, does look a little dangerous, but I think you probably know what you are doing.

andi said...

A note to Allyson-i have NO clue who Amy Butler is either. Feel better. I have no idea how to make a sling unless it's followed by the word shot! Great work D! Scary baby could star in some movie coming out in October!
You've got talent! Love your blog! Even though the sewing doesn't apply to me, I appreciate your gift. :)

LeslieW. said...

Very cool! I seriously wonder how you get all of this done!

Teale said...

I feel a project coming on.... thanks!

Linley Paske said...

Hey Darb! Long time no talk!! I check your blog frequently and it makes me feel like I am still seeing you every week like we did when ya'll lived here. I had to post on this one because I literally laughed out loud when I read about scary baby. You are such a hoot and I truly miss your friendship and your family. Best wishes on the new boy, I know he will be as adorable and as well dressed as your other two cherubs. Maybe David and I will have a third and have a girl... then we could work out some killer arranged marriages. :-) I would say that I hope you're doing great, but I read your blog so I know you are. Miss you girl! Email me sometime - Bye!!

Haydee said...

It looks beautiful. Thanks for linking to me. I LOVE the fabric and the shorter tail is so much better. If I lived anywhere near you, we'd so be friends and I'd clean your house or something so you could teach me to sew as beautifully as you do.