A while ago at the library, I admired another woman’s long wrap, which she told me was a Didymos sling. If you follow that link, you’ll find out, as I did, that they are hideously expensive. After briefly considering making my own, I decided just to make do with what I had, which you may remember from my lengthy babywearing post–until we were in New York a couple of weekends ago, and it became abundantly clear that Abby had outgrown all the options I had at hand. I tried carrying her in the Ergo (front carry), and, while it worked, I wanted to keel over after about three blocks. I tried the back carry, but the weight was too low and I hated the way the belt strap dug into my not-as-sleek-as-it-used-to-be midsection.
After a rather humiliating experience at Joann’s, when I discovered that I could not, in fact, use a 40% off coupon on some lovely sale linen, I ordered six yards of linen from fabric.com and came up with this:
Yes, blurry iPhone pic, but it makes the point. I love it! Abby likes it too. I can’t say that she likes it better than the stroller, but getting her on my back and lugging the stroller down the steps and out the door actually take about the same amount of time. Would you like to make your own? I feel a little silly posting a tutorial for this since it’s so easy, but here goes!
1. Order yerself some fabric. I used six yards, but the Didymos measurements for a size 6, which is the largest that an average sized woman would need to wrap all the carries, is about 5 yards. I may end up chopping a bit off of mine, because it’s very long. The fabric should be lightweight and firm; no knits. I really like the linen, but you could also use a loosely woven but sturdy cotton.
2. Wash and dry.
3. Rrrrrrrrip. The Didymos slings are between 27 and 28 inches wide. Since my fabric was a 60″, ripping in half worked perfectly and gave me two inches for hemming. If you have 44″, you’ll need to do a little measuring and cut so that your piece is 30 inches wide. Ripping is really the easiest option here, and it’ll give you a nice straight edge. Make a small cut on a non-selvedge side and just rip it in half.
4. Iron. I didn’t bother ironing any but the ripped edge, because I knew it would just get wrinkled again right away and, anyway, linen never looks really pressed. So, iron a few inches in from the cut edge.
5. Cut. The Didymos slings are cut in the shape of a parallelogram to make the knots easier to tie and to hang more nicely. So get out your scissors and cut. I estimated by marking fifteen inches in from the top edge on the left side, and fifteen inches in from the bottom edge on the right side. Then, I cut diagonally from my mark to the edge of the fabric. I should have taken a picture of this, but I didn’t. Here’s a picture of the remnants.
6. Baste. Sew a line of basting stitches about a half inch in or so in from the long ripped edge.
7. Fold and Iron. Using the line of basting stitches as a guide, fold the raw edge over an inch, and then over an inch again. Press!
8. Sew. Using a medium stitch length–about a 3 out of 4 on my cheap machine–hem close to the edge of where you folded over.
9. Sew some more. To make the folded edge sturdier, sew another line down really near the edge of the fold. If you have the time and the patience, I think a few more rows of stitching would also help. What makes the Didymos slings expensive (I think) is partly that their looms make the fabric just the right size, so there’s a selvedge on both sides. The selvedge is nice and firm to make the wrapping tight. So, anything you can do to make the edge of your wrap nice and sturdy is great!
10. Fix up the short ends (the parallelogram ends). I decided to let mine ravel, since I’m working with linen. If you want to do that too, sew two lines of basting stitches about an inch or so in. Otherwise, fold and hem as for the long edge.
11. Watch one of these youtube videos, and wrap your baby!
Double hammock carry: