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Reversible, unpadded ring sling: Method 1 | Method 2 | Method 3

This method is a bit more secure for fabrics of different weights -- brocade and lightweight lining, for example -- because the rings are not held right against the seam that joins the two fabrics (as they are in method 1). It uses a method more like the fleece ring sling to reduce bulk at the ring end, as well.

Please note: if you're making slings using this method that you intend to sell, please include a link back to these instructions in your sales page. I was pretty happy being the only overlapping-pleat sling maker on the market, and would like a little credit if you're selling them! You can use the graphic at the bottom of the page, or just a text link -- either is fine. these directions have taken me many, many hours to put together -- they are not just some random freebie. All directions on the site are copyright to Jan Andrea, for personal use only, and are not intended for bulk resale.

Materials needed:

Preparing your fabric:

If your fabric is wider than about 36", I would suggest cutting it down to 36" or less. If your fabric is thick, 30" is about as wide as I would recommend; if it is thinner, 36" is fine.

Optional pocket:

If you want a pocket in your sling, I would recommend using an inset pocket. I have made pockets where I put a facing on the brocade, sewed in the zipper, and then just sewed the two fabric layers together to form the pocket bag, but have since rethought the idea, as that can add stress to both layers and shorten the life of the sling. An inset pocket with a zipper takes a little more time to create, but the results are more professional. Click here for a full page with instructions. Put the pocket on before sewing the rest of the sling.

Sewing the fabrics together:

Sew the two lengths of fabric together along one of the short sides. This should be a fairly sturdy seam -- I'd sew it once with the wrong sides together, then topstitch so that the thinner fabric seam allowance is pressed under the thicker fabric.

Now, line up the other short sides, right sides together. This will mean that 3" of the thicker fabric shows at the top. (As it's 6" longer than the thinner fabric, 3" of that is on the top and 3" on the reverse.) Sew the fabrics together like that, leaving a space for turning. Turn right-side-out and topstitch the edges.

A brief diversion: how to make a border around the edges using this method

Cut your fabric so that the one you want to be the border is wider -- if you want a 1/2" border on each side, make the border fabric about 1" wider than the other fabric. Mark the center of each fabric on one of each fabrics' short edges.

[This is where it gets a little weird. I can't visualize a way to do both the borders and the longer outside fabric in one step, so I think it will be necessary to do the border part first, then fold the outer fabric over and topstitch it. There may be a way, but my brain isn't cooperating.]

Sew the long edges, right sides together, and when you get to the longer part, fold the edges under with the same seam allowance and keep sewing, making a partially-finished hem (that is, fabric folded up once, so a raw edge is still visible, ra ther than twice) on all three of its unfinished sides This is easier if you started with the longer fabric on top, since its hem will need to be folded upwards.

Now, line up the center marks on one cut edge, so that the borders are sticking out equally on the long sides. With the right sides together, sew this set of the cut edges.

the picture at right shows the sling as it will be when turned right-side out -- you can see the borders on the edges, and, on the outer fabric that sticks out, where the edges have been hemmed.

For the other end, fold half of the longer portion over, so that it meets the end of the shorter fabric, and topstitch around the whole segment.

then you can start sewing in the pleats.


Now, you just sew as you normally would for the fleece ring sling. When sewing in the pleats, sew 6" from the edge

(If your fabrics are both very thin, you can use the regular pleating method (folding ra ther than sewing them in), but for brocades, it will probably be necessary to remove the excess fabric, or it will be too thick at the ring end. I prefer to sew them in for most projects. If you prefer the hot-dog, fanned, or other shoulder designs, you can use them, but I don't know how well they will work in terms of the thickness at the shoulder.)

Make sure that when you sew the pleats in, the 3" overlapping piece is considered the clean side, as it will be folded over the rings and sewn down in the next step.

Putting in the rings:

After you've made the pleats, just put the rings on as with a regular sling. Fold the 3" overlap over the rings towards its coordinating color. Sew the rings in with at least two, but preferably three lines of stitching for strength. If you removed the excess fabric, the sewing will go a little easier, but it's still pretty thick. Sew slowly, turning the machine by hand if need be, and use a fairly thick needle for this part. If you get frustrated, turn off the machine and cool off for ten minutes (I know, I've been there -- I never cursed more and louder than I do at my sewing machine!)

Outer/thicker side Inner/thinner side Seam within ring --
the thicker fabric takes the stress!

Threading your sling and babywearing:

I finally got around to adding illustrated directions on threading and wearing your sling. Please check them out! If you have any questions, please email me!

Link to me!

Did you use this pattern and like it? Please link back to me from your site or blog! (This is not an invitation to copy the file to your site, nor does it imply that the file is freeware. I invite links, but as I do make changes to the files on my site from time to time -- and often they are important ones -- I do not wish them copied to other sites.)

The URL for this page is:

Here is a little graphic you can use: Rev. Jan's Baby Crafts

To make a link, please copy the graphic to your own directory (linking to it here is theft of bandwidth! Shock/horror!) by (PC) right-clicking on it, or (Mac) clicking and holding, and selecting "Save picture as..." then copy this code and paste it onto your page wherever you want it:

<a href="" target="_blank">
<img src="link.gif" alt="Jan Andrea's Baby Crafts" height=50 width=135></a>

Remember to change the image source to wherever you've saved the image! And thanks for the link!

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All content, barring that which is otherwise attributed, is ©2007 to Jan Andrea. If you wish to use my content on another page, please email before doing so, even for content with the Creative Commons licenses. Text/images used elsewhere must be attributed to me. Be advised that I will pursue copyright violations.