Up-cycle a pair of old jeans to make an easy pouch sling.
This is an ideal beginner’s sewing project. You do not need to have much sewing experience as there are only a few seams involved.
A pouch sling is an ‘easy to make’ and comfortable solution for baby wearing. Now you can make your own using a pair of nicely worn-in (but not yet worn out) jeans!
You will need:
A pair of your old jeans (or trousers)**
Cotton drill (or similar) lining fabric
** We found that most people’s inner leg seam is roughly the same as their diagonal torso measurement or longer. You should check to be sure that your trousers will be long enough for this project.
INSTRUCTIONS (Ten Easy Steps)
STEP ONE: Measure from the centre of your shoulder to your opposite hip bone. This is the length of the sling before you begin your curve. This measurement will run along the inner leg seam of your jeans.
STEP TWO: Lay your jeans flat and draw an invisible line (in your mind) from the crotch across the leg. Measure five to ten centimetres up the outside leg seam from this line to mark where your curve will end up. This measurement depends on how ‘deep’ you would like your pouch to be. NB: You only need a very shallow pouch for a new-born baby but you might like a little more depth if you are hip-carrying a toddler. (I can wear my 21 month old on my back or side with a deeper 10cm curve).
STEP THREE: Draw a curve to cut. This should be a gentle curve that meets the outside leg seam at 90 degrees. This means that there will be a nice flat area in the middle of your pouch to support your baby.
STEP FOUR: Cut each leg away from the jeans. You will be left with some very strange little shorts. Throw these away so that you are not ever tempted to wear them!
STEP FIVE: Unpick the inner leg seams of your jeans and lay the two pouch pieces flat on top of your chosen lining fabric. See ‘medley photo’ at the top to see the shape you should have. Pin these pieces down to act as pattern pieces for your lining.
STEP SIX: Cut out your lining so that you have four identical pieces of fabric (two from jeans and two from lining). Each piece should have a curved tops and a straight bottom.
STEP SEVEN: With right sides together, stitch your lining pieces together along the curve (lining to lining). Do the same with your jeans pieces. Stitch each curve twice so that you have a nice strong seam. (A French seam is also a good idea if you are a little more advanced).
STEP EIGHT: Put jeans pouch piece and lining piece together with right sidestogether (so that it looks inside-out). Pin together so that curved pouches line up and the fabric won’t slip when you sew. Stitch together along both long sides as well as the bottom side. Leave one of the seams open so that you can turn the pouch sling the right way around again.
STEP NINE: Turn right-side out. Fold lining over inside edge of jeans so that you have a neat edge. Press with an iron. Stitch around the whole pouch so that all of the seams lie flat.
STEP TEN: Check your pouch fits nicely by trying it on diagonally over your body with the curved seam at your hip. If you want your baby to sit higher then you can overlap the final seam edges a little more. With the lining facing inwards, stitch the final seam together (two leg ends or ‘bottoms’). Turn the seam outwards and top stitch in place on the jeans side. You will see a nice stripe of coloured lining along the jeans side of your sling now. Use a zig-zag stitch or similar to add some strength to the open seam.
That’s it! Now you can wear your pouch sling. And it’s reversible too!
Extra for Experts:
Add a pocket if you have a back pocket left over from your jeans/trousers.
Cut a belt loop and stitch in place so that you have a secret place to clip your keys/toy/pacifier to.
HOW TO WEAR YOUR POUCH SLING:
Fold your pouch sling in half lengthways so that the denim side is facing outwards and you can look into the lining when you put it across your body like a sash. The curved end should sit at your hip and the ‘bottoms’ seam should sit on your shoulder (or thereabouts). The curved seam is the part that supports your baby.
If you are carrying a newborn they should sit ‘froggy’ style with crossed legs in the pouch. They can face outwards or towards you. Make sure that their face is clear from the fabric and that they are not slumping!
If you are carrying a larger baby, their bottom should sit in the pouch part. Their legs can be crossed and folded up inside the sling so that they are reclining inside it.
If you are carrying a toddler they should sit with their bottom in the curve. Their legs will come out of the sling and will sit ‘around’ your hip with one leg in front and one leg behind.
To adjust your sling you can fold the inner layer over your shoulder. It should sit nice and flat across your back so that the weight of your baby is distributed nicely. Swap your carrying side regularly to give your shoulders a rest!
If in doubt google ‘how to wear a pouch sling’ for some nice easy-to-understand videos.
Let me know how you get on!
Up-cycling with Outie! Did you know that our up-cycled Splat Mats reduce the stresses of baby messes one ‘splat’ at a time?