View Full Version : Sling sewers...

09-17-2003, 08:31 AM
I've successfully made myself a pouch sling, thanks to Jan's pattern. Now I'd like to make a ring sling but have a few questions. (I have a 16lb 13 week-old, if that makes a difference)

Is there any reason that linen wouldn't be a good fabric to use? If so, what other fabric would be just as lightweight but strong enough?

What size rings should I use with such a light-weight fabric?

How wide should I make it & still be able to do all the carries easily?


09-17-2003, 12:25 PM
I think linen would be fine. Expensive, but fine. :)

Even though the fabric is lightweight, there is still a lot of it that needs to go through the rings. I would try the 2" rings and if that doesn't work, go up to 2 1/2" or 3".


09-17-2003, 12:29 PM
Doesn't linen need to be ironed? Can it be put in the dryer? I would pick a fabric that comes out of the dryer looking as good as new.

09-17-2003, 12:47 PM
I would go for the crinkled linen, not the stuff that needs to be ironed. I haven't ironed in years & don't intend to start now ;).

Jan Andrea
09-17-2003, 01:17 PM
Glad the pouch worked out -- does it fit okay with the directions as-is? I wasn't sure if I should scale down the "add 6-8 inches" for smaller people or not.

Linen sounds like it would be really nice, as long as it's heavy enough. If you can't see through it, it's probably all right. Consider how it will launder, as well; I stay away from single layers of calico and light cotton because when they're washed repeatedly, they get pretty delicate -- I've had things rip right in the middle from multiple washings, not something you want to happen with a sling. But if the linen seems sturdy and feels like it would stand up to washings, go for it.

I would try for a minimum of 25" wide, preferably 30", to be able to use all the carries easily. If it's too wide, you can always fold a section over when you're wearing it, but it's hard to make a narrow piece wider if it's not working out. I have had the best luck with 30" myself.

Rings between 2.25" and 2.5" are good for most fabrics. I wouldn't go much smaller, though. (Those are inner diameters -- outer diameter will depend on the rings' thickness, of course.)

09-18-2003, 12:31 PM
I made mine with an unbleached cotton (woven, lightweight) from Walmart - $2 per yard!!! It looks kind of linen-y or hemp-y and I love it. Obviously not sure whether they'd still have it since mine is 6 months old, but just wanted to put the thought out there that you might want to check.
Mommy to Caleb 3/3/03

09-19-2003, 09:24 PM
I actually didn't add the extra inches... my reasoning was that I am short & like to carry DS pretty high. So I took a chance & made it smaller. I really like the pouch but I think I need more practice using it. I'm large-busted & find it hard to get DS into the pouch as he is large as well (16.5 lbs at 3 months). Could be the fabric I used? pretty thick almost upholstery-type. But once he's in, I actually wish he were higher. Maybe I'll get used to it... it doesn't hurt to carry him that low. It's nice not to worry about adjusting anything.

I decided to make a practice ring sling with some polyester fabric I had & some macrame rings. It works pretty well (its quite comfortable) but again, I can't seem to carry DS as high as I would like. I can tighten the sling to where I would like it but it slips a little... could DS be too heavy? I just don't know.

Anyway, I love your directions & I'll just have to keep experimenting. Maybe I'll have this sling-thing figured out by DS/DD #2. ;)

- Mamicka

09-19-2003, 09:25 PM
Glad to hear that it worked - I actually think I saw that fabric at Walmart 2 days ago. Did you use macrame rings or more heavy-duty ones?

Jan Andrea
09-19-2003, 11:47 PM
Upholstery-style fabrics don't tend to have a lot of "give" to them -- that may be part of the problem with the pouch. Not sure. Large-busted doesn't help much, either -- I had the same problem. I was most comfortable with Stephen riding at just below bust level -- higher, and he stuck out too far; lower, and I started to feel it in my back.

WRT the ring sling, it might be the fabric itself rather than your son's weight. A lot of polyesters are inherently pretty slippery, just because of the shape of the threads. I would try to find a good tightness for you, note where the fabric sits in the ring, and make a little folded seam there (that is, pleat the fabric back and forward so there's about 1/2" overlap and sew that in). It would still be adjustable, but the seam would add enough resistance that the tail couldn't slip. Alternatively, sew on a piece of ribbon or bias tape -- that'd be decorative and functional :)

Hope this helps!

09-20-2003, 11:53 AM
I used the macrame rings and they are still fine but he is small (15lb at 6 mos) I'm planning to make another and will probably order the heavier ones for peace of mind though.

I just reread your first post - I didn't know Jan had a pouch pattern. Where is that on the site??
Mommy to Caleb 3/3/03

Jan Andrea
09-20-2003, 03:59 PM
I just added it a few weeks ago -- it's at http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/tubesling.html

09-20-2003, 05:32 PM
Great idea about using a seam to keep it from slipping - I'll give it a try. I'll also make another pouch & ring sling with other fabric, now that I know what I'm doing. Your comments about both fabric types seem reasonable.

Thanks! All your input definitely helps!

09-20-2003, 11:21 PM
Thanks :)
Mommy to Caleb 3/3/03

10-22-2003, 12:39 AM
Where do you get macrame rings?

Jan Andrea
10-23-2003, 01:51 PM
I got the ones I used originally at a Ben Franklin craft store. Michael's would also have them, as might JoAnn Fabrics. Pretty much any chain craft store should have them. I have also seen them at WalMart, but not on a regular basis.

10-23-2003, 04:11 PM
I got a pair of 2.5" rings (mismatched... one gold and one silver) at Joanne's but they were the last set. The clerk almost wouldn't sell them to me when she found out what I was going to use them for as she insisted they wouldn't hold a child... seem pretty sturdy to me though I used them on my "practice sling" and have since used plastic rings from slingrings.com

10-23-2003, 04:15 PM
Thanks for the replies. So, you wouldn't recommend using them for a sling? What is macrame anyways? Is there a place online where I can see a pic and description for it?

Thanks again!

10-23-2003, 06:04 PM

I would not trust macrame rings with my baby.

Jacob Nathaniel Feb 91
Logan Elizabeth Mar 03

10-23-2003, 07:21 PM
Ditto. The rings at slingrings are very inexpensive. And you can also get them here:


10-23-2003, 07:52 PM
My favorite metal rings are from here:

I have bought nylon rings at the other two places mentioned above. They look like the white plastic rings most companies use.

I would NEVER use macrame craft rings to carry my baby. Tehy could very easily pop open, or break in half. For a dollar more you can buy nylon rings that are tested to carry over 300 pounds without breaking! The metal ones (looks exactly like what Zolo uses) are about the same price as well, and are even sturdier. I got two pairs of 3" metal rings, and paid $3.00 including shipping!

10-24-2003, 05:04 AM
Thanks so much for the replies. I will not trust the macrame rings!

Jan Andrea
10-24-2003, 11:58 AM
OTOH, I've been using a pair for 3 years now with no problems. They are welded shut. DH and I have tested them (informally) by pulling on them in the sling -- we are both more than 200 lbs, and they stood up to both of us pulling with all our might. This is just a data point, of course, but I have never heard of a welded ring breaking open. They're made to hold up hanging plants, which can be upwards of 50 lbs. with all the soil and everything. Granted, my preschooler is only now reaching 30 lbs, so your child's weight will certainly vary, but I have never had problems with mine.

11-03-2003, 09:37 AM
The best ring sling pattern that I have found is here: http://www.slingmemommy.com/#_instructions_for_making
It is the easiest to sew and the shoulder spreads so beautifully! Most of the ring sling patterns require that you fold the fabric accordian style, but this pattern is much more simple and it actually is so much more comfortable.

Babies carried in a sling cry 45% less!
See the link below for more: