I started off my babywearing journey by borrowing a friend's homemade stretchy. The fabric she has used contained a lot of polyester, which was very hot and sweaty for the summer so when I went into Fine Fabrics in Hillsborough with the intention of buying some fabric to make my own I opted for some thin cotton jersey fabric and made my own, which you can see in this photo of me carrying my 8 month old son Daniel in a front carry for a 5 mile walk in the peaks around Hartington. 

I think they still have the same fabric in stock so if you want to make one like this you can! 

All you will need is 5m of cotton jersey fabric. Ask them to cut it in half lengthways for you as you only want it to be half the width of normal fabric (about 30 inches wide instead of 60).

Aaaaaand, that's it! that's your homemade stretchy done! Because it is a knitted fabric it doesn't fray so you don’t need to worry about hemming it. So you can just go ahead and tie it straight away, in the shop if you fancy!

Looking back (isn’t hindsight is a wonderful thing!) I now think this fabric was far too thin and unsupportive, especially as Daniel got older and heavier, he started to sag downwards so we moved onto a woven wrap instead (thanks to another member of Sheffield Babywearers who sold me first woven wrap). If you look carefully at the picture you can see that the fabric isn't spread very well and it would cut into my back a bit. Something I learnt at my first sling meet was how to stop this happening, and once you've experienced a well spread, supportive wrap you won't go back!

However, it was very cheap to make (£30 got me 2 wraps, you can sell one or sell on the fabric) and I got to choose some funky fabric that I liked. I'd definitely make my own stretchy again but I would use some thicker cotton jersey next time so it would spread better and be a bit more supportive.

Thank you to Rebecca Stothard, mum to Daniel (now 20 months old), for sharing her experience of making her own stretchy wrap. Many of our other members have made their own stretchy wraps, ring slings, mei tais and buckle carriers, so come and join Sheffield Babywearers on Facebook if you want to know more.
Sophie Chaplain
17/11/2012 02:13:03 am

I too made my own stretchy. At the time I didn't know of any local fabric shops so I ordered my cotton jersey fabric from ebay, it was about £20 plus p&p for 5 metres. When it arrived it was a generous amount, enough to make 2 slings with some left over. I did hem mine but that was more to do with the fact that I had a shiny new sewing machine than out of any real necessity. My home made stretchy was my first step into the world of babywearing. A world I am loving more and more each day.


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