Short Answers to a Few of the Most Commonly Asked DIY Questions

DIY: FAQ or “Short Answers to a Few of the Most Commonly Asked DIY Questions”

Q: What fabric is suitable for a woven wrap?
A: Osnaburg cotton (a type of muslin), midweight 100% linen or linen blends, some lighterweight upholstery fabrics. Look for mid- to heavier weight fabrics that do not stretch, but have a bit of give. Synthetic materials (such as polyester) really should be avoided. Cotton gauze may be used as well, just keep in mind it is a thin fabric, and may not be *as* supportive for longer periods of time or heavier kiddos, and many users complain of it “digging” on the shoulders (especially in back carries). http://crafts.sleepingbaby.net/fabric.html

Q: How do I go about making a DIY wrap?
A: http://wrapyourbaby.com/blog/2013/05/do-it-yourself-woven-wrap/ has some great tips and recommendations for making a DIY wrap.

Q: Where can I buy sling rings (rings used for making ring slings)?
A: Rings from http://www.slingrings.com are specifically manufactured for use in baby carriers. Medium or large aluminums are what is most recommended for making ring slings.

Q: How much fabric should I buy if I am making a DIY wrap?
A: Buy extra to account for shrinkage!! Standard wrap lengths:

size 2 – 2.7 meters = 8.86 feet = 102.36 inches = 2.84 yards

size 3 – 3.1 meters = 10.17 feet = 122.05 inches = 3.39 yards

size 4 – 3.6 meters = 11.81 feet = 141.73 inches = 3.94 yards

size 5 – 4.2 meters = 13.78 feet = 165 inches = 4.58 yards

size 6 – 4.6 meters = 15.09 feet = 181.10 inches = 5.03 yards

size 7 – 5.2 meters = 17.06 feet = 204.72 inches = 5.69 yards

size 8 – 5.60 meters = 18.37 feet = 220.47 inches = 6.12 yards

Q: I’m looking for a pattern for a WCMT with wrap straps / SSC / MT / Half Buckle
A: TheBabyWearer.com is a great resource…check out their DIY Forums. Also, be sure to take a look at the following tutorials:

-Let’s Make a Mei Tai, Part I: http://www.becomingmamas.com/lets-make-a-mei-tai-or-onbu-part-i-assembling-your-materials/
-Let’s Make a Mei Tai, Part II: http://pinterest.com/offsite/?token=222-829&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.becomingmamas.com%2Flets-make-a-mei-tai-or-onbu-part-ii-putting-it-all-together%2F&pin=406238828858497065

-Making a Tablecloth Mei Tai: http://youre-sew-crafty.blogspot.ca/2012/12/table-cloth-mei-tai-tcmt.html?m=1

Q: How do I sew a ring sling?
A: Check out these links from Jan of Sleeping Baby Productions:
Sewing a Ring Sling: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/sling.html
Ring Sling Shoulders: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/shoulders.html

Other ring sling tutorials can be found at: http://www.hipababy.com/diy.html and http://www.mayawrap.com/n_sewsling.php

Q: I’m interested in making and selling baby carriers, where do I start?
A: You need to be CPSIA compliant, aware of your state and local regulations for owning and operating a business out of your home, and up to date with current ASTM safety testing requirements. This article by the BCIA (it’s a wise decision to become a member) covers more: http://www.babycarrierindustryalliance.org/content.php?r=174-Baby-Carrier-Manufacturing-101
…and Jan of Sleeping Baby Productions (the ring sling guru!) has some very good recommendations as well: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/selling.html

Q: Where can I go for more DIY advice, tutorials, troubleshooting, community, etc?
A: The Facebook group, “Babywearing DIY Advice and Support” is a great resource: https://www.facebook.com/groups/334070496681248/. They have a file called “DIY Links” that is a ton of great information for everything DIY in babywearing: https://www.facebook.com/groups/334070496681248/doc/343440382410926/
And, of course, the gold standard in Babywearing forums and information, TheBabywearer.com, has a long-standing DIY Forum: http://www.thebabywearer.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?76-Do-It-Yourself

Please also check out our Tucson Babywearers’ Pinterest page for links to many, many great tutorials! http://pinterest.com/babywearingtaz/diy-babywearing/

“Happy Being Crafty & Babywearing!!”

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Carry of the Week: Short Back Cross Carry

COTW for the week of August 12th is: Short Back Cross Carry (SBCC)

Our featured carry this week is Short Back Cross Carry (SBCC). As with Christina’s Ruckless last week, we are starting to work with some carries that will fall into the “advanced babywearing” category, so if a particular carry looks intimidating or you try it and quite get it right, don’t give up! It takes practice, and those of us who have successfully mastered this carry probably looked and felt just like you the first time we tried it!

SBCC is a back carry that can be done with a short wrap: size 2-4, depending on the size of the wearer and child, and what “finish” you choose (tied at shoulder or “candy cane” chest belt).

Safety: Stretchy/Knit Wraps (like the Moby) should not, under any circumstances, be used for back carries as their stretchy quality makes them unsafe for anything other than front and hip carries. Keep in mind that if this is your first time doing a back carry, or even this particular carry, you should have a spotter and/or practice over a soft surface such as a bed or a couch. You may even want to practice with a doll or stuffed animal first until you feel comfortable.

Short Back Cross Carry, Tied at Shoulder (TAS)

Short Back Cross Carry with a Candy Cane Chest Belt (CCCB)

Carry Of The Week: Christina’s Ruckless Back Carry

COTW for the week of August 5th is: Christina’s Ruckless Back Carry

This week our carry of the week is Christina’s Ruckless Back Carry (CRBC). As we proceed with our Carry of the Week, we are starting to work with some carries that will fall into the “advanced babywearing” category, so if a particular carry looks intimidating or you try it and quite get it right, don’t give up! It takes practice, and those of us who have successfully mastered this carry probably looked and felt just like you the first time we tried it!

Christina’s Ruckless is a multi-layer back carry that can be an extremely comfortable carry for those who don’t like ruck straps. It is supportive and also a great solution for those leg-straightening babies and toddlers! It is fairly similar to Secure High Back Carry (SHBC), but doesn’t have a knot in the chest belt, so may be a little more comfortable for those bothered by that feature of SHBC.

Christina’s Ruckless can be completed using a size 4-6 wrap, depending on the size of the wearer and child. Please visit our Facebook Group Page for any questions or advice on this carry!

Safety: Stretchy/Knit Wraps (like the Moby) should not, under any circumstances, be used for back carries as their stretchy quality makes them unsafe for anything other than front and hip carries. Keep in mind that if this is your first time doing a back carry, or even this particular carry, you should have a spotter and/or practice over a soft surface such as a bed or a couch. You may even want to practice with a doll or stuffed animal first until you feel comfortable.

Christina’s Ruckless Back Carry

Christina’s Ruckless Back Carry

Part II of our WCRS Series: How does one get a Wrap Conversion Ring Sling?

Ok, so I am interested in a Wrap Conversion Ring Sling (WCRS), now where do I get one?!
There are essentially THREE ways to get a WCRS…

1. Buy a “Ready-Made” WCRS from an Online Retailer
Some “slingifiers” (seamstresses/small businesses that convert a woven wrap into a ring sling) sell ready-made wrap conversion ring slings directly on their websites in addition to their standard ring slings. There are also some online companies that carry ready-made WCRSs. A few to check out include Sleeping Baby Productions (SBP), Zanytoes, PAXbaby, and Sweetbottoms Baby.

Sleeping Baby Productions ready-made Easycare and Ellaroo WCRS (starting at $75 per WCRS): http://www.sleepingbaby.net/slingified.php

Zanytoes ready-made WCRS include Girasol and Storchenweige (from $95 per WCRS): http://zanytoes.net/category_19/Ready-Made-WCRS.htm

Sweetbottoms Baby carries ready-made Dolcino WCRS by Sleeping Baby Productions starting at $99 per WCRS): http://www.sweetbottomsbaby.com/Dolcino-Wrap-Conversion-Ring-Sling_p_2399.html

PAXBaby also carries a wide-variety of ready-made WCRS (starting at $98 per WCRS): http://shop.paxbaby.com/wrap-conversion-ring-sling/

2. Have a Woven Wrap “Converted” into a Custom-Made WCRS
Some babywearers will already have a woven wrap in their collection that they have selected for having made into a custom-made WCRS. Others will buy a short woven (size 2 or smaller) or “split” a wrap with another babywearer specifically for this purpose. Once you have the woven, you can then send it into the “slingifier” of your choice to have converted into a WCRS. Some of the more popular companies for having a wrap converted into a ring sling, including:

Sleeping Baby Productions (SBP): http://www.sleepingbaby.net
Zanytoes Ring Slings: http://www.zanytoes.net
Kalea Baby: http://www.kaleababy.com
Comfy Joey: http://www.comfyjoey.com
*each of the companies listed above meet the standards set forth by the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA) and have met the requirements necessary by the BCIA/ASTM to manufacture safe baby carriers.

What else do I need to know about having a custom WCRS made?
– It is important to know how long of a piece of woven wrap you need to have a WCRS made. SBP has a great calculator on their site for this purpose: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/wraps.php

– You will also want to consider what length of sling you are wanting…another great chart for sizing is available at SBP: http://www.sleepingbaby.net/size.php

– Another important consideration is what type of shoulder you will want your ring sling to have. Each conversion artist/slingifier has their own individual style or custom options. Some of the most popular shoulder styles are: pleated, gathered, and a hybrid pleated-gathered (which also includes SBP’s patented “Eesti” shoulder).

3. Buy a Used WCRS on an Online Buy/Sell/Trade Forum
A very popular way to obtain a WCRS is to buy a used one from another babywearer. Asking in your local babywearing group may turn up some options. Otherwise, there are a few online babywearing communities that have been created specifically for this purpose.

Facebook Groups
There are a few groups on Facebook for buying/selling and trading used baby carriers, including WCRSs (please be sure to closely review and abide by group rules upon joining!):
The Babywearing Swap: https://www.facebook.com/groups/177004382426666/#!/groups/thebabywearingswap/
Babywearing on a Budget: https://www.facebook.com/groups/177004382426666/#!/groups/156002947911287/

TheBabywearer.comA long-standing online babywearing community, TheBabywearer.com , also features a “For Sale or Trade” (FSOT) forum for individuals interested in buying and selling used baby carriers, including WCRSs. Upon registering/requesting membership at http://www.TheBabywearer.com, you will have access to these FSOT forums and can begin your search!

A WCRS is an excellent investment for your babywearing collection, however, please remember that if it does not fit into your budget (custom conversions average $30 to $75 (including shipping both ways) per sling), many of the “slingifiers” also offer affordable standard options that are a little more budget-friendly.

If a WCRS is simply outside your budget, please rest assured the standard fabrics available from most ring sling makers are more than adequate for babywearing; a slingified wrap is hardly a necessity for comfortable, safe babywearing!

Part I of our WCRS Series: What IS a WCRS / Wrap Conversion Ring Sling, anyhow??

RING SLING

A Wrap Conversion Ring Sling (WCRS) is a piece of woven wrap that has been cut and made into a ring sling. It combines the best of both worlds utilizing the amazing carrying qualities of a woven wrap with the ease and simplicity of a ring sling. They are appropriate for long-term wearing, from newborns through preschoolers, and many wearers find them more supportive than standard fabrics.

Woven wraps are popular for converting into ring slings because they are both beautiful and tend to be more supportive than cotton or linen typically would be. Because wraps are woven specifically for babywearing, with thick threads and a wide, open weave, they are very comfortable. Due to the way they’re woven, wraps also have a “give” to them that is harder to find in standard fabrics. Woven wraps vary greatly in thickness and support depending on the maker and colorway (the pattern or style of the wrap); there are a variety of fabric blends as well, including cotton, linen, hemp, silk, wool, and bamboo blends. These qualities make for a wonderfully comfortable (and beautiful!) ring sling.

Although a WCRS is an ideal staple for all babywearing collections, if woven wraps/WCRS are outside your budget, please rest assured the standard fabrics available from most ring sling makers are more than adequate for babywearing; a slingified wrap is hardly a necessity for comfortable, safe babywearing!

Please watch for our upcoming post in this series about how to buy a WCRS and/or have a wrap converted into a WCRS, including different shoulder options, conversion artists, etc!