Saturday, June 12, 2010

58: ring sling tutorial

ringsling 12

Lately I’ve been going a little crazy with the sewing projects (I have 3 on the go right now and at least 2 more in the ‘planning stages’), but I finally finished one I’ve been waiting on for a while.

Today’s tutorial is for a ring sling made with aluminum sling rings and stretch cotton twill fabric and is the ‘adjustable baby pouch’ style found on the UpMama DIY page.

Motherhood Materials:

2 Aluminum Sling Rings (medium for for most fabrics, large for heavy or thick fabrics)
3 yards Stretch cotton fabric (Sateen is best, I chose twill because it was on sale)


1. Cut your fabric length wise so you have two 3 yard sections. Put one to the side (or make a second sling) as you only need one length of fabric.

ringsling 1

2. Trim the length of the fabric to your desired width. The sling should be between 22 and 30 inches wide when finished, so account for your seam allowances when trimming the fabric. I chose to do a 22 inch sling as I’m only planning on using it when she’s an infant, and as she gets older I’ll be using the baby wrap almost exclusively. If you’re wanting to carry older babies in the cradle position or hip carry toddlers, its better to make a wider sling.

3. Hem the long edges of your sling. I folded and ironed the edges over twice before sewing it down so that I would have a nice finished seam (and because I don’t have a hemming foot for my sewing machine).

ringsling 2

4. On one end of the sling, iron down about an inch of fabric. This will be the end with the rings. Fold the fabric in half like a hot dog. Gather the fabric to feed it through the rings. Below is how I pleated the fabric to do so, but you can pleat or gather the fabric however feels most comfortable on your shoulder.

ringsling 3

It should ‘cap’ your shoulder when in the proper position, so pin it down and try it out (holding the rings in the ‘corsage position’. Make sure you have the open edge of the sling facing towards your neck!

ringsling 4

6. Sew down the fold using an extra strong stitch and do a couple of rows of stitches to keep the shoulder nice and secure. This is one of the seams that will be under stress so be sure it won’t be coming undone.

ringsling 5

7. Thread the sling and try it on for size. If you’d like, you could hem the bottom edge of the sling and stop here. Alternatively, if you’d like to sew a pouch into the sling for the baby’s bottom to sit in, figure out where on your body you’d like the seam to sit. It should sit between your hip and your belly button. This can be a LITTLE difficult to do when pregnant as your belly button isn’t quite in it’s normal spot, but do your best to guess. Mark this spot with a pin.

8. Open up the sling and fold it in half like a hamburger at the point where you put in the pin. Fold it in half again so that all of your hemmed edges are together. Draw a half smile on the fabric. Now that my ring sling is finished, I think I made my smile a little big, although it does have a nice deep pocket for her little bum.

ringsling 7

9. Cut through ALL layers of fabric along the line you drew. This is the scariest part of the whole project!

10. Unfold your fabric keeping the cut edge together. You should have the right sides of your fabric facing OUT (as in opposite of the photo shown below!). It seems counter intuitive to start hemming with right sides out, but trust me on this. Seriously, I had to rip out a row of stitches I had gone over twice because I didn’t think the seam through before sewing it. Trim the extra fabric next to the seam to within a quarter of an inch or less.

ringsling 8

11. Flip inside out and iron down the seam. Sew another seam following the curve of the pouch.

ringsling 9

12. Lastly, sew down this finished seam – this is a french seam.

ringsling 10

13. Rethread your sling and try it out again. Again, I found my pouch to be a little excessive, but it will still work (I hope!).

ringsling 12

More information:

To check out more babywearing and sling making information, check out UpMama and

- The sling isn’t actually 100% finished. I’m planning on sewing in a pocket at the end of the tail so I can carry around money, cell phone, a diaper, etc., and leave my purse in the car on occasion. I’m still looking for a good (cheap) fabric for the front of the pocket and will update the tutorial when this part is completed.
-I picked a stretch cotton twill for the fabric thinking it would be very similar to the stretch cotton sateen only without the ‘shine’; I ordered it from and didn’t get a chance to feel the fabric before buying it, and it’s definitely a LOT thicker and heavier than the sateen. - With a thicker fabric, it would be better to have large sized rings. The rings on the sling I made definitely work, it would just be easier with larger rings.
- Make sure you account for your seam allowances when measuring the location of the pouch. It may be my belly throwing it off still, but it seems a little closer to my hip than belly button.

It only cost 7.50 for the fabric, so I’m thinking I might make a non-adjustable pouch sling with the remaining fabric (tutorial to come!) and then pick up some sateen fabric at the Fabricland sale to try this sling again. I ordered extra sling rings so that I would have them on hand.

Let me know if you try to make one!

Do you prefer the wrap type of baby carrier? Check out my baby wrap tutorial here.

Find other great tutorials at the Fine Craft Guild linky party!


Lucy Marie said...

I wish I could sew! I would love to have a ring sling!

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

I like the idea of adding a pocket to the tail part. Really good idea. I admit that as much as I'd love to make my own - I tend to loathe my own handiwork and will probably just end up buying a kangroo pouch type carrier. Plus - I'm a bad sewer. :)

Beverly @ said...

This is great! I'm going to forward this to my SIL - she has a little one. I love the pocket idea too - I think that's smart. :)

Brambleberry Cottage said...

Wow! That's quite a tutorial. I would love for you to link this to my Tips & Tricks linky party that just went up last night.

I actually have three linky parties:


You can get the details here:

Each party runs for six days, so come on by!

Hope to see ya there!
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

Santa's Gift Shoppe and Ideas said...

Great job!!Hi..I’m Barb….I am from Thurs. Trans... I am your newest follower. I hope you will get a chance to visit my blog @
& get inspired by something for your family/home. I hope you will follow me as well. Nice to meet ya new friend!!!

Claudia Almandoz Gerbolini said...

Thanks soooo much, you got me out of a real rut...I haven´t had a baby in 4 years and I wanted to make a sling for my best´ve been so helpful! I made the simple version and posted it on my blog and linked back to should stop by! Clau

Rose :: said...

looks like a good and safe pattern.

well, come on over and link it up into our weekly DIY / craft TUTORIAL linky party:
as our readers sure love to find projects and tutorials like this.


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