|Week of May 13: 0|
|In-stock slots: currently none||Week of May 20:|
May 20, 9am Eastern; 3pm Eastern
Please read at left for explanation!
I've started using the sewing slot system again. I hate to do it, but I simply can't keep up with the order volume that's been consistently high for months now. Please click the link for an explanation of how it works and why I need to use it.
At right, In-stock slots are for fabrics I have on hand (basic and organic fabrics) and will be sewing from scratch; WCRS slots are for things you're having sent to me like wrap pieces, custom fabric, or sling shoulder redos. Next refresh is the date and time I will be adding more sewing slots.
Here's what's going on in the next couple of weeks: I'm going to change from sewing a mix of WCRS and in-stock slings each week, to just doing WCRS one week and in-stocks the next. I think this will be more efficient and allow me to sew more slings, and may also may sewing slots easier to get.
This coming week, I can't sew at all on Monday because we have to be out of the house for 24 hours for application of spray foam insulation. So starting on Tuesday, I'll be sewing all the WCRS orders I currently have, for the weeks of the 13th and the 20th (if you have a WCRS sewing slot for the 20th, please send your wrap as soon as you can to facilitate this). I likely won't be adding sewing slots for either type the week of the 13th, so that I can catch up on what's currently outstanding during the transition. If you are in dire need, of course please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll set up a reserved slot for you.
The next week (week of the 20th), I'll put up *in-stock* sewing slots on Monday morning and afternoon, and probably Weds. afternoon/evening, too. There will be about 70-75 slots in total; I think that's about the best I can do for the week, although Weds. may be fewer if I'm not able to get through the Mon-Weds. orders in time. (This is about 25-30 more than I have been adding, so it should be easier to order.) I will also put up slots on the 20th for WCRS sewn the week of the 27th, probably 80 or so (it would be more, but Monday's a holiday). This will mean I'll need people to send their wraps as soon as they can for sewing that week.
After that, I'll be doing every-other-week sewing slot refreshes for both in-stock and WCRS. As always, if you're unable to be online during the slot refreshes, please email me. I think this should work better for me and my customers, but it's a work in progress :)
I've been making slings -- and only slings -- since 2001.
There are a lot of sellers on eBay and Etsy now, many of them using the same pleated design I've been using since I started (and for which I offer free sewing directions, for personal use, and have done since early 2001).
What's the comparison?
Well, the prices may be similar (usually mine are lower) and the fabrics may be the same (I was the first to offer tencel twill, for example; and linen is a favorite amongst many sling wearers and sewers). But I feel that my years of customer service and troubleshooting make SBP a better choice than what may be a brand-new startup, where the maker in question may not be able to answer your questions about wearing your sling, or may not have considered the mechanics of how a sling is sewn.
For instance, the further away from the rings the first seam is sewn, the less the shoulder area will be able to spread out. The wider the pleats, the more unmanagable the shoulder can be, cutting into the wearer's neck and flowing over her arm. The narrower the shoulder area is, the less you'll be able to spread it out. I've put a lot of time and testing into my slings, so you can rest assured they will fit most women correctly. I've seen a number of slings where the sewing is so far from the rings, even the seller is unable to wear the sling correctly -- the fabric ends up all bunched up by her neck, or in a 4" area on top of her shoulder. That's not comfortable in the long run, and can be unsafe as well -- if the rings have to be worn low for the wearer to be able to spread the fabric over her shoulder, there's less room for the baby in the sling, and less fabric around the baby's body.
Does the seller offer original directions? If not, it's likely they haven't fully considered how to help when a customer has a question about how to use a sling. It's my experience that in order to tell someone how to use a sling, you have to know it inside and out yourself. You have to have worn a sleepy newborn, or a heavy, struggling toddler, to really be able to troubleshoot those situations. I'm on my third "sling baby" now, and have years of experience with a wide range of ages and stages. If you email me, I'll be able to help. Will you get that kind of help from someone who is copying another company's wearing directions? Who knows. And of course, the photos used in their listings will tell you a lot -- are they even using their own slings correctly? If the rings are down near their ribs and they have to hold the child to keep them from falling out; or the fabric is all bunched up by their necks, they probably won't be able to help you wear a sling correctly or comfortably, either.
Sewing (and wearing!) slings can be a safety issue. When you buy something that will be holding your child, you want to know that it's going to be safe. Is the seller using adequate fabrics, or just something they got cheap at WalMart? If they're using thin cotton prints, are they in a single layer (one hopes not!) or safely doubled? Are they using safe rings? Sometimes they will say; other times, it's left to your imagination. And it's not something that a lot of manufacturers like to talk about, but it is important: are they insured, in case the worst happens and a child is injured in one of their slings? If they aren't insured, both parties are in for a world of hurt.
Finally, if you don't want to take my word for it, please go read the ring sling reviews at The Babywearer. Click on "reviews" at the top of the chart to sort by the number of reviews, and see who comes out on top :)
Of course, some Etsy and eBay sellers are reputable and do sew safe slings and can help you use them. I don't want this to sound like I think all of them are universally bad, because they aren't. But you need to be able to tell which are which, and examining the photos (or indeed, the lack thereof) can tell you a lot. Here are a few Etsy sellers I recommend: Babyette (she's a fantastic woman and a lovely seamstress), SnuggyBaby (shoulder is very wide, but the slings are quite nicely-sewn), Obimama (for gathered-shoulder fans), and Baby Pockets (neat shoulder design and they look very well-sewn). SweatPea slings are also very well-sewn, but she's not on Etsy anymore.
Good luck, and safe babywearing!