Well, it’s been a bit since I posted about something that, you know, I actually made. So here goes!
As I mentioned previously, I’ve tried my hand at Rixa Freeze‘s pleated ring sling tutorial a couple of times. Once was just to see if I could make one (didn’t love the fabric, and the only rings I could find at the time were a bit on the small side), then the following time I had the right rings (3″ rings I ordered from slingrings.com) but my fabric was a bit too thin for how big the rings were, and when I weight tested the sling at the end (with my not-so-willing cat as my ~7 lb test subject) the fabric slipped through a bit.
So since I still had several pairs of 3″ rings left, I figured maybe doubling up on the fabric (making, say, a reversible/lined version) would fix the slippage problem. So that’s what I ventured to do today! Here’s the result:
Was too lazy (and pyjama’d) to model it, so I let my guy’s office chair do the job instead.
Also, feel free to ignore the evidence of my mistakes… 2 layers of fabric was a lot for my sewing machine to handle.
Reflections on doubling up on the fabric:
1) My poor sewing machine! I had one nasty bobbin tangle and actually bent my needle sewing the final two lines (which went through, let’s see, probably 8 layers of fabric at that point). Thankfully I had a spare!
2) The sling is not reversible, as I had originally imagined, because the unfinished edge is visible on the inside just above the rings — which sits prominently on your shoulder. So really this ended up being lined in a coordinating fabric, rather than reversible. Not a big deal, but good to know!
3) Anything heavier than a basic woven cotton (i.e., linen?) would be impossible to do this way. I would stick to a single layer for those. Or limit the pleated section to one layer, and attach the lining further away from the rings/pleated section? That might work if you’re keen to have a nice looking lining/tail fabric, or a pocket in the tail section for keys and other small items.
4) I’m not sure how easy it is to adjust this sling with this much fabric sliding (or not sliding?) through the rings. It seemed a bit bulky, but it’s hard to say without a real baby person in there. Again, my not-so-willing test subject didn’t seem impressed with all my fiddling about so I didn’t get a real feel for it.
This was a good learning experience — I think if I end up making a bunch more of these, I’ll order the smaller (2.5″ size) rings so I can use a single layer woven cotton fabric. That fabric weight seems to be muuuuch easier to find than the heavier weight ones (and there are a lot more patterns to choose from). Overall, I’m still getting the hang of making these and having a sense for the exact weight of fabric that suits the 3″ ring size. But I’m enjoying the process!
And just because she’s so awesome, here’s another plug for Rixa’s own handmade ring slings: visit her slingy blog at Second Womb Slings!