View Full Version : Those with fleece pouches

10-14-2003, 02:30 PM
So I made myself a fleece pouch this weekend. I do like it once I have DD in it (the shoulder is very comfy), but do you find it hard to get your child in and out of the pouch?

I will say that I like my pouches REALLY snug and tight. So it is really short when I put it on without DD in it. But once she is in it, it fits just fine. Its just a bit of a pain to get her in it since the pouch is so snug against me when I start out. Is this me, or is this normal?

I tried on a KKAFP recently and I am pretty certain that mine pretty closely resembles that one (without the snaps of course).

(Maybe I'm not just a pouch kinda gal at heart, but a cotton pouch gal at that...)

10-14-2003, 03:07 PM
Yes! It is kind of challenging to get DD in and out of it, but now that I've got a great fit on mine (read: super snug!), I find it to be worth the trouble.

The way I get her into a hip carry is this (I wear my pouch on my left shoulder):

1) put on pouch so it's folded in half, up against me
2) hold DD up with her chest and arms kind of slung over my right shoulder, so her body is mostly supported by my shoulder and my arms are kind of free
3) take her legs and squeeze them between the pouch and my body - pulling the pouch away from my body with my left hand and stuffing her legs in between with my right hand (using the crook of my right arm to keep her from falling off my shoulder)
4) now that she is between the pouch and me (but not actually sitting in the pouch yet), i get her situated on my hip the way i want
5) i spread the pouch under her butt and up under her armpits

It sounds more complicated than it is - it took me a few times to master it, but that takes about 30 seconds I would say and I've got her in a good sturdy carry that can last for quite a while.

10-14-2003, 03:28 PM
I find it a little bit more cumbersome to manuever my DD into and out of the KKAFP versus my cotton hotsling-type pouch. I think this is mainly because with the KKAFP the fabric is thicker and there is more of it to get around DD properly. For example, I often ask for assistance if it's available in taking DD out of the fleece pouch. But I never even think about it with the cotton one. Especially since it sounds like you wear your slings quite snuggly, the thicker fabric just takes up that much more room than the thin cotton, and hence less room to manuever! As long as it's comfy for you both, sounds like a normal issue to me. I bet your sling looks great too :)!

10-14-2003, 07:18 PM
I use the Emmasmom method....once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature, but you've got to get used to how the sling gives, and where it's tighter, and how to compensate for it.

Now that my baby is older, I get him out of the pouch by pulling the bottm open and letting him wiggle out. He thinks it's the best part of the whole ride, and usually wants to go back up so he can scoot back out..... ;-)

10-14-2003, 07:33 PM
Yes, that is how I get DD in and out too. Its just a bit of a pain with the fleece pouch because it is so snug and also because her clothes tend to "catch" on the fleece as I'm trying to slide her in and out.

Today I was wearing her in the fleece pouch and she leaned backwards suddenly. She didn't fall out, but would have if I hadn't put a hand behind her in time. With my cotton pouch, the sling fabric is too tight for her to do that (although she could arch her back and get out if she really wanted too). But with the fleece, since the fabric is strertchy, she just bent the fabric backwards when she leaned back. Is this typical? I am still not sure about my design.

10-14-2003, 08:13 PM
Do you have a sturdy binding around the edges? I'm wondering if that might make a difference in her ability to do what I like to refer to as "the throw-back"!? AG is so much smaller than Sarah that it's hard for me to know but it's just a thought.

10-14-2003, 08:23 PM
That's a good point. I actually haven't decided on an edge treatment yet, so currently the edges are unfinished. But a sturdy binding probably would help a lot.

10-14-2003, 10:26 PM
I think its the fabric, and the fact that you like your pouches tighter than I usually do. Fleece tends to make kids clothing "drag" on it when you put them in and take them out. Fleece does allow a little more give when they do acrobatics like the "back bend" you were refering to (Josh loves to do this--it drives me nuts!). I try to pull it up to his shoulders, but toddlers really like to have their arms free (as I'm sure you know :)). Every sling has it's down falls. You have found the ones for fleece (that and the fabric is very warm). But the postives are it's snuggly when cold outside, it has some give to it which makes me feel less confined and claustrophobic, and it's softer on chubby legs.
What color did you make your sling in? I'd love to see a picture! Was 3/4 yrd. from G Street fabrics enough?

10-15-2003, 09:20 AM
Yes, I do pull the fabric up around her shoulders, but there is just so much stetch in it that she can easily pull the fabric when she leans backwards.

I actually went "shopping" in my basement fabric stash *blush*. I had a charcoal gray 200 wt Malden Mills fleece leftover from when I was into making fleece vests several years ago. So I think I had about 3/4 of a yard left, and that was plenty. The pouch is 23" wide. I think it looks quite nice.

Do you make a French seam in your fleece pouches? I did the French seam, and with cotton, I usually sew down the seam at the end, to make it look better and add strength. But the fleece Frence seam is so bulky, I didn't do that.

10-15-2003, 12:00 PM
Oooh--charcoal grey sounds nice! With my fleece pouches I usually don't do a French seam because it does turn out so bulky. I do 2-3 parrallel regular seams for strength. I figure fleece is so strong, the stitches aren't going to rip out if I skip the french seam.

10-18-2003, 11:12 PM
beth, will you post a pic? now that i am feeling ambitious with my sewing machine, i'd like to give it a try... is there a pattern online that you used? is it this one: http://home.comcast.net/~s.gower/fleecesling/directions.html

10-19-2003, 04:04 AM
I actually made 2 of that kind w/ the rubber band outer edge. I really like using the microfleece. I combined that instruction with http://www.ida.net/users/stace/sling.html and made it without the rubberband and it works better. I didn't like that the rubberband dug into my ds' neck or arm pit or restricted him so much. So, I used a fleece material and cut it with a slight smiley face. (If you read the directions, you will understand what I mean.)

The first pouch I made was with non stretchable cotton, and with the instructions on the page I mentioned made it way too big.

Just fyi, I am 5'1.5", 135 lbs, bust 38", and my fleece pouch measures 20-22.5" (20" by the shortest end of the smile and 22.5" for the longest end of the smile) by 22.5".

Remember to get 3/4 of a yard instead of half. My microfleece sling was too thin because I asked for half a yard, and they cut it wrong.

Good luck!

P.S.- I wish I knew more about fabrics in which to sew a sling. I want something stretchable and breathable since I keep my house warm now with the new arrival. Any suggestions?

10-19-2003, 07:57 AM
I also essentially combined the instructions that Zen mentioned and the one you gave. I haven't added a binding yet and may not. I am just not so into the fleece pouch.

I am also almost exactly the same size that you are! My fleece pouch is 20" on the short side and 21.5 " on the long side. (My smile is less smiley than yours, LOL!!) And when I made a cotton pouch using that pattern, it was also WAY too big and I shortened it significantly. Mine is in the car right now, but I'll measure it later. :)

EDITED to add: My cotton pouch is 24.5" on the short side and 26.5" on the long side.

As far as fabrics go, I am coming to prefer cotton fabric that has just the slightest touch of stretch to it. I don't think that a single layer of lightweight cotton is really appropriate or very sturdy. (Remember I'm carrying a 30 pound toddler). I lvoe the Maya fabric, substantial cotton with a bit of stretch. I also really like the fabric that my cotton pouch is made from (although I am NOT crazy about the color, but it was on clearance). Its a heavy cotton, not so heavy as denim, but more substantial than quilting cotton. But a cotton twill or pique would be nice I think.

10-19-2003, 02:57 PM
I am so uneducated about fabric. So is twill and pique cotton but a little stretchy? I definitely like the stretchiness of fleece but not the weight. Is the Maya fabric a twill or pique or something else? Does it say if you go to like a Joann's that the fabric is a twill or pique? My first pouch made was made out of a light weight cotton, and I thought it didn't seem heavy enough to make a good puch.

Sorry that I am asking so many questions. I am more than clueless about this.

10-19-2003, 07:19 PM
The Maya fabric is a special weave. I have never seen anything like it in a fabric store, and it would be so expensive that if you did it would cheaper just to buy the sling already made!

Twill and pique are types of cotton fabric. Both are slightly heavier than a cotton fabric like calico or muslin. Some cotton twills have a bit of lycra that would make them just slightly stretchy. Pique is also just slightly stretchy. And the fabric bolt should say twill or pique on it. Pique is usually a "spring" fabric.

Another good fabric choice would be chambray or a very lightweight denim.


10-19-2003, 10:31 PM
If you picture what a pair of Dockers khaki pants are made out of--that's twill. There is thinner and thicker twill, but it's the same fabric. JoAnne fabric makes a twill that has 97%cotton and 3%lycra that is perfect for a cotton pouch sling. That's what I make all of mine out of. It's much more comfy than regular lightweight cotton, because it moves with you a little more.

I tried finding woven fabric like Maya Wrap slings are made out of, and the cheapest I found was $14.99 a yard (online). You would need two yards, and that doesn't include shipping costs! A Maya Wrap sling is only $39.99 or $30 on Ebay. So it's definetly not worth buying the fabric.

Have fun making yourself a sling :)

10-19-2003, 11:42 PM
Thank you Beth and Amy for such good information. There are definitely nice pants material that tend to be slightly stretchy. Do they sell that type of material? Some people were also suggesting cotton knit jersey which I haven't been able to find. What are muslin and calico like?

How do the materials and design of the slings differ? Is the material more important than the design?

10-20-2003, 01:35 PM
You can find muslin and calico in the quilting section of any fabric store. They are both thin cotton fabrics.

The pants material you are referring to is probably the stretch twill.

Cotton jersey should be readily available as well. I don't particularly like sewing with knits, but that's me!

I think that fabric is as important as the design and can have as much impact on the comfort of the sling as the design does.

All that being said, a lot of sling wearing is very individual. What some folks love, others dislike. So you really need to just try it out. The nice thing about making your own is that you can make sometimes make one for a fraction of the cost of buying it.

FYI, I got my Maya off eBay for only $25, which was a pretty good deal and it looks brand new.

10-20-2003, 05:23 PM
Why don't you like sewing with knits? Is it harder?

Pant material isn't nice and soft. How do you solve that problem or is that the trade off?

10-20-2003, 08:06 PM
Knits can have tendency to stretch when you sew with them. They are soft and cuddly, but I don't find the cotton fabrics to be "harsh", just not as soft. And I guess that is the trade-off.

10-21-2003, 07:36 PM
I love the colors & material of your cotton pouch. It looks great & so easy. And when did you get a Maya :)

~ mommy to Declan 3.24.03

10-21-2003, 07:55 PM
LOL! About 2 days after I tried on Amy's at the zoo, I started watching an eBay auction for one. It came last week. I got it for $25. It was actually kind of hard to find an auction for a small. I checked recent auctions and there was only 1 small out of about 30 auctions, so when this one came up, I snagged it!

It is truly a beautiful sling, and I find it very, very comfy!

10-22-2003, 12:56 PM
Heres my opinion:

Sewing with knits makes me cry it's so hard :( The fabric slips through the foot plate, the thread doesn't "catch" half the time so it skips all over, and the fabric stretches so much it's hard to get a good fit. Unless you are an experienced seamstress, please don't stress yourself out with knit fabric!

Twill fabric (especially with stretch to it) is very soft once it has been washed. Use some fabric softener (like Downy unscented), and it gets even softer. Sure, it's not like knit, but it has to be more firm and strong to work well in holding a baby.

I would NOT use calico or muslin fabric unless you double it. It will tear out thru the stitches after a little while. There is regular cotton fabric that you can use only one thickness of. Ask the nice people at your fabric store to help you find some suitable for carrying a baby in.

Happy To Help,

10-22-2003, 01:28 PM
Too funny! Glad you found your Maya. Looks like there will be more show & tell at the next get together. You guys have been a great and bad influence on me. Since the zoo I've bought 2 slings & a bugaboo :)

~ mommy to Declan 3.24.03