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Podeagi: A Korean Baby Carrier Revised and corrected 16 November 2003

Podeagi --open Podeagi --  ready to wear

Materials needed:

Pieces: Black lines are for cutting, red for sewing.

Don't worry too much about reproducing the exact curvatures. I made curved lines because it seems more aes thetically pleasing, but it's hardly necessary. Every manufacturer seems to have a different design, and you could just use straight lines and 90 degree angles without harm to the wearability. Just make sure all the top and bottom pieces are the same width where they are sewn together.

For the straps, you could also make one very long strip -- it would be about 180" in length, total -- to sew across the whole body of the carrier, instead of just attaching the two straps to the ends. This method would be more secure, as the strap would then also be weight-bearing. To make a long strip, just cut out three instead of two, sew the short ends together, and then make the tube. then, I would sew the top and bottom portions together, and then sew the long strap to them at the base of the top portion. I've seen a couple of pages online now by women who have actually sewn this carrier, and it seems that the straps could stand to be a little longer, so you might consider doubling the length -- it's easy to cut length off (besides finishing the cut ends), but not as easy to add length.

Caveats: If you have a very small or very large frame, this layout may not work for you. If you are small, consider cutting a narrower bottom portion (i.e. less than the 30" specified below). If you are large, you may need a wider bottom portion, or this may be fine.

Bottom piece Top piece Straps

Layout:

Pattern layout for 60If you use 60" fabric, you'll need about a yard and an two-thirds, if you're just using one color/pattern. If you want a contrasting top piece as shown above, you can get 54" for the main color and about 12" for the contrast.

For 45" fabric, two cuts that are 60" long (1 2/3 yards) will do nicely -- to lay the pattern out, open out the fabric (which usually comes folded lengthwise) and fold it in half the other way, so that you have a piece 45" wide and about 30" long. You can then lay out one bottom piece and one each of the straps and top portions on each fabric cut.

To Sew: Seam allowances should be 1/2" throughout.

  1. Positioning the strapsFirst, prepare the straps.
    1. For Single-layer carrier:
      1. Sew the three strap sections together at the ends, so that you have a single strip that's 180" by 6".
      2. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, and sew to make a tube, leaving one end free for turning.
      3. Use a ruler or something similar to turn the tube right-side-out -- this will be time-consuming, since it's so long. Finish the open end.
      4. You'll need to finish the sides and bottom of the blanket portion before sewing on the straps -- a simple turned hem, or bias tape, are both fine.
      5. Pin the strap to the top edge of the bottom, about 3/4" down from the top, and such that there are two equal-length straps on each side. Sew.
    2. For Double-layer carrier:
      1. Fold in half lengthwise, and sew the edges, leaving one edge free for turning.
      2. Turn, press (if desired), and topstitch the edges (if desired).
      3. Sew one strap to each edge of a single bottom piece, as shown at right, at the top of the seam allowance.
  2. Double layer carrier, bottom pieces:
    1. Place the pieces right-sides together
    2. Sew the left, bottom, and right sides together, being careful not to catch the straps in the stitching. Reinforce the stitching where the straps attach -- these will bear most of the baby's weight, and need to be very secure.
    3. Turn the piece right-side out, and stay-stitch the top of the pieces.
  3. Top pieces: (If you have ever sewed a shirt collar, this is very similar)
    1. Sew the two top pieces right-sides together along the curved edges, leaving the straight edge free.
    2. Turn the piece right-side out.
    3. Treating bottom pieces as one, pin one top edge to the bottom pieces, right sides together, leaving the other top edge free.
    4. Sew those edges together, being careful not to catch either the straps or the other top edge in the stitching.
    5. Fold the unstitched edge of the top piece under by 5/8", then topstitch it to the unit, as shown at right.
  4. Finishing: You may elect to topstitch around the edges of the whole podeagi, or use bias tape around the lower edges. either is up to you.
  5. Wearing:
    1. Wears the Baby has a guide with pictures, which I will not attempt to duplicate... mostly because my "baby" is now a 30-pound toddler, and I don't think this carrier is meant for kids that size!
    2. Peppermint.com now has directions as well, with different positions, like a front carry and two modified back carries. With illustrations.
    3. the only other page I saw with podeagi suggested that they would be marvelous for parents adopting Korean infants, as they are already used to being carried this way. So if you know someone who is adopting from Korea or possibly other sou theast Asian countries, you might consider making one of these for them.
    4. Renee R. has pictures of a podeagi she made for her little boy, following these instructions!  She says of its construction, "I must tell you though, I modified your directions a lot to fit me, I made the blanket 70" across [ra ther than 60'], and the straps are around 60" [ra ther than 56"] each." I asked her about how it would fit a larger woman (like me :) and she said, "I am, as per the picture, not a small thing. I think that similar modifications would make it work on a larger-breasted woman, I think the big thing is making sure the blanket part goes far enough around so that the straps don't cut off circulation."  As for wearing, she said, "I think it was a bit weird for my son, as he's used to front-carrier slings, but he was comfortable and enjoyed it."

Other directions on the web:

Narrow-blanket podaegi with patchwork -- very pretty!

Simpler pattern, narrow-blanket, written to be sewn using a cut-apart wraparound carrier. Could also be done with home-dec weight fabric.

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