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Making a Ring-Wrap

I don't know if this exists elsewhere -- I was brainstorming all night and this came to me as I was going to sleep. It's a variation on the wraps that are gaining popularity, but without needing to learn complex ties and such. The wrap is easily adjustible with the rings, and looks very tidy.

I recommend this for people just starting out with a wrap, and those who will be using only front carries. It's not really safe for back carries -- at least, I was never comfortable with it for them -- but can be helpful if you want one carrier that does a couple of things. It can be used for front carries, forward-facing and tummy-to-tummy, and also as a ring sling. If you want a carrier you can use for more wrap carries, especially those on your back, I'd recommend the "convertible" version, which has the rings held in with snaps or hook & loop tape, so they can be removed if you want to do back carries.

Update 1/31/2008: there's a new company based in Japan that has an identical design and which claims patent pending (Japanese patent, presumably) on it. I'm putting this verbiage here to make it clear that my version (this Ring-Wrap) was invented in 2003; I posted about it on the Babywearer in early 2004, and put these directions up on January 29, 2004. A thorough search would result in the patent being denied (because the design is pre-existing), but I don't know if Japanese patent officials would think to look at US sites. For what it's worth, I was here first :)

WARNING: If this is used in a ring sling configuration, the fabric should be AT LEAST 25" wide, and certainly no narrower than 22". The fabric MUST be able to be completely doubled as a sling, so that when it's worn, there is no gap for the baby to fall through. The layers should never be separated when being worn as a ring sling, as serious injuries can result. All precautions that you would normally take with a ring sling must still be observed -- if you find that the wrap is too narrow to carry a baby in a safe position, DO NOT USE IT as a ring sling!

This pattern is copyright to me (Jan Andrea) and is NOT for resale under ANY circumstances!

Materials needed:

Cutting out the fabric:

Use the directions above to create your long piece.

Sewing the rings in is the most time-consuming part, but it's pretty easy.

Fold the fabric in half at the middle of the length. You can mark the sewing lines in a few different ways: with special fabric pencils; with masking tape; or by folding the doubled fabric again about 4" from the first fold and pressing with an iron. Unfold, then thread your rings on. There will be a *lot* of fabric wrapping around the rings. Match up the sewing lines and pin the two layers together. Sew along the sewing line. You will probably need to stop every few inches to rearrange the fabric -- it will be very wrinkly. Go slowly and try not to get aggravated :)

I would suggest sewing this seam twice, 1/4" between stitching lines, for extra strength.

Wearing the wrap: (Click on thumbs for larger images)

New! Illustrated wearing directions (opens in new window).

I like this because I can adjust both sides of the wrap easily and quickly through the rings, and I don't have to tie complex knots or deal with a lot of excess fabric. And it was *so easy* to sew -- it took me all of 30 minutes to make my first one.

Reader suggestions:

Maureen made a no-sew ring wrap using this method: I made a ring wrap by sliding two D-rings to the middle of a six yard long piece of 36" wide muslin and secured the rings with a hair rubber band. 24" wide muslin, available practically everywhere (JoAnn, Hancock, etc) would be better, but 36" worked. I popped my 36" tall 33 lb. Toddler in there and walked him to sleep for his nap just now. TOO COOL! So, that would be a no sew option for your readers. I didn't even hem the edges. I used to use this piece of muslin as a wrap, but ds got too heavy and it became painful to use. Yet it was really comfy with the rings. I think it works with the D-rings b/c they don't slide around due to the flat side of the rings taking the fold of the fabric.

Melanie has this version for wearing a wrap with rings on her back, though the rings are not permanently attached at all. They basically rest on your front, to provide slightly easier adjustment on the sling.

  1. Center the wrap across your back, just under your arms.
  2. Ga ther at your chest, between your breasts.
  3. Thread both tails through the rings.
  4. Throw the right tail over the right shoulder and the left tail over the left shoulder.
  5. Behind your back, bring one of the tails across your body and tuck under the back belt.
  6. Do the same with the other tail.  there should be an X and a cross piece on your back.
  7. Bring both tails forward
  8. Pull the fabric through the rings.
  9. Thread both tails down through the rings (over the top ring and under the bottom ring),
  10. Enlist a cooperative person to insert an optionally cooperative infant between all of the straps and your body.
  11. Have your partner then tuck the infant's legs over the bottom straps.
  12. Have your partner spread the belt widely over the infant's back for best weight distribution and comfort.
  13. Have your partner lift the infant to your shoulder level, and you pull on all the straps to tighten.  Tighten the belt (cross-piece) first through the front rings, then the shoulders down, and finally the leg straps by pulling the tails.
  14. the infant is now secure and you can take long walks without straining your back.

Options: the center back is stable and supports most of the weight,  It would therefore be a good place for a decorative or twill panel, a pocket, or embellishment.  the center back could also easily accommodate a toy ring or a hood.

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