When I was pregnant with my first son I didn't know much about "baby wearing". We simply went into a baby store and I tried on all of the baby carriers to work out which one was most comfortable. I grabbed a dolly that was in the shop and used that as a pretend baby to see how easy it was to put a baby in and out of a baby carrier. We settled on a Baby Bjorn carrier. Having a refluxy baby meant that both my husband spent many hours pacing up and down our hallway with our baby in the carrier trying to get him to sleep and it was fabulous, however it did give me a sore back though hubby found it a lot more comfy.
Since then I have used the www to find out about baby wearing and have been amazed at the many different types of wonderful slings and carriers that are available. So when I was pregnant with my second son I decided to buy something different to give it a go and opted for a Jazsling, in a gorgeous Indian cotton fabric. I absolutely loved this sling, and my baby was so cosy in it, I would often get comments from strangers while out and about telling me how lovely he looked in there. As this type of sling is sized, I bought it so that it would suit my height, so as much as I loved it my hubby didn't find it as comfortable!
Fast forward to when I was pregnant with our third son and I had grand plans to walk son #1 to and from school, approx 40mins each way. I would need something more supportive than a sling, and although I have a great pram, I figured that as my first two boys didn't like being in the pram while they were babies, I highly doubted that my third son would! So I bought myself and Ergo on sale and it has been fantastic. Excellent choice for the school run but too bulky for short trips, such as to the supermarket. I used to use my Jazsling for quick trips and I used it again to carry bub #3 but unfortunately he no longer likes it and constantly squirms and cries when he's in it, he just can't seem to get comfy any more.
So that's why I decided that I would have a go at making my own carrier. I couldn't decide between a wrap style sling or a mei tai carrier though so bought some fabric to make one of each!
My first attempt was the wrap, pretty simple I thought - just buy 6m x 1.4m suitable fabric, cut it down the centre longways to give two long pieces of fabric 6m -.70m, overlock the edges and sew a line down the centre so you know where the centre is to make it easier when putting on. Too easy! From my brief research on the www it appeared that many wrap style carriers were made from cotton jersey (t-shirt fabric) however I made mine out of Cambridge Suiting fabric, which was mix of cotton/spandex/rayon (I think if I remember correctly) so it has a slight stretch to it. I picked it up from Spotlight on clearance for $5/m. After sewing it, I tried it out a couple of times but decided that it was just a smidgen too long and it was bulky at the ends to tie up, so back to the overlocker I went and shortened it as well as tapering the ends so it's now a much better fit for me and far easier to tie up. As I had enough fabric to make two, I have overlocked another one for a girlfriend who is due with her second child in June.
I have almost completed the mei tai carrier as well, pics to come soon!