Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ring Slings for Baby & Toddler Wearing

In my previous post I shared a tute for how to make kiddy sized ring sling toys. Once I'd mastered sewing those (in 2009) I moved on to sewing them in adult sizes, with better quality material and reinforcing the rings by going over the stitches securing the ring multiple times.

The pattern I used to get started was from Sling A Ma Bob, but over the years I've evolved; working with different measurements and folds (used to feed fabric through rings before sewing them in), I haven't looked at a pattern for ring slings in years.

The rings are proper ring sling rings manufactured for carrying baby and toddler weight and I order them online from I always order the large sized aluminum rings when making adult sized slings. 

These days when making slings I pleat the fabric that sits over the adult's shoulder, before sewing the rings in. Earlier I did the "hot dog fold" mentioned in the sling a ma bob instructions, but found sewing over that number of folds was really hard going on my machine and I ended up using a denim needle. Over time I moved on to just pulling the fabric through and not bothering with folds, until finally settling on pleats, in which I found a balance between looking neat and not having too many layers of fabric to sew through. Here are a few of the ring slings I've made since 2009:

As you can see ring slings are suitable for wearing newborns (like the bottom left shot of my sister wearing her brand new baby during a hands-free breastfeed lol) to toddlers (the top right photo shows me wearing my 3 and a half year old in a sling I made for a friend). They can do hip, cradle and heart to heart carries, as shown, but also kangaroo carries (where babies are sitting up facing out, with their legs crossed inside the sling) and also apparently back carries, though I've never attempted it myself.

I really adore ring slings for wearing newborns and babies who want to get up and down a lot - such as the newly walking. I love that ring slings are easy to adjust while you're wearing the bub, no need to take it off and start from scratch with a ring sling, just pull at rails as you go. And most of all, I just love the funky look of the one shoulder sling and rings, even before I had kids I thought ring slings looked really cool. Of course the one-shoulder style carriers are not for everyone, but they are the slings I can sew ;)

And, just while we're on the subject of ring slings, I'll share this: one of my all time favourite pics of my Huz on one of the only times he's used a ring sling (he's a soft structured carrier/mei tai man, and stretchy wraps in the newborn days). Wearing our very tired eldest when she was 13 months old:

I didn't make this one, we bought this online when pregnant the 1st time
What a spunk! Ring slings make you look gooood ;P

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