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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Problem Solving Skills.

Here's what I do when I have a problem.

First, I blow it completely out of proportion and have a hissy fit over it.

Then, I blog about it. Or post it on my facebook. Because misery loves company.
After that, I sit down and really think about it. I can think about a problem for days, even weeks, before making a decision. To call me spontaneous would be a complete and utter lie. (Which sucks, because everyone thinks spontaneous people are great. Well let me tell you this: the one time I was spontaneous, I ended up in jail. Spontaneity is not my friend.)

So. I had this problem of not having a way to carry Monkey around, other than my arms, which wouldn't be a problem if I didn't have four other children who also needed the use of those arms. Sometimes I kick myself for ever thinking having one or two children was hard. I should have appreciated it while I had it.

Anyway. Back to the problem. Me and my best friend, Dr. Google, spent some quality time together doing research on baby carriers and, especially, DIY baby carriers. I came to two conclusions.
Conclusion one: there is one HELL of a lot of elitism when it comes to attachment parenting. You have to be rich to make it look like you're doing a good job. If you're not, all the rich parents will tell you that you're doing it wrong and that their expensive way is better and that it's "worth it" to drop a few hundred bucks on something like a baby carrier or cloth diapers. Uh, no. Not when that couple hundred bucks feeds my kids for a month.

Conclusion two: there is absolutely no reason why a DIY woven baby wrap can't work. You just have to find the right kind of fabric.

Turns out, the right kind of fabric isn't hard to find at all.


I went to Jo-Ann's and found this great dobby fabric for $7.99 a yard. That is waaaay more than I would ever spend on fabric, especially when I need six yards, but check it out - it was on sale! For 60% off! I chose this fabric because it's 100% cotton, and it's a medium weave. It's not as loosely woven as a gauze, but not nearly as tight as a quilter's calico. It has a beautiful, fluid feel to it, which I really like. If I'd had my druthers, I'd have chosen something brighter, or dye-able, but the more I look at and use this, the more I love the colors.

I washed the fabric then cut it to the right width (about 30.") I ironed it and hemmed the edges. I didn't do a nice rolled hem; I just folded it over and sewed it with a tight, narrow zigzag stitch to prevent it from unraveling. Then I sewed a piece of 1" wide grosgrain ribbon to the front to mark the center.

Here we are modeling the new wrap. This is the front wrap cross carry, which I'm actually not a huge fan of, but it's the one I know how to do best. This is sloppily wrapped and needs to be tighter in the rails, but I just threw it on to take the picture. And yes, I'm wearing a shirt underneath.

There are no pressure points or any of the other evils that the babywearing elitists tell you will come with a DIY wrap. The fabric is nice and grippy and distributes Monkey's weight very well. Best of all, I can use it for years to come. A great investment for $18.


Jenni said...

I'm so glad you worked it out. And I think that wrap is gorgeous, as pretty if not more than some of the ones I've seen online. Well done.

Susie said...

It looks great! Hope it helps your hands multiply too - Oi, life sounds so busy for you right now!

Stuff On My Blog said...

That's awesome! Gorgeous fabric and it looks way more $$ than 18bucks! Nice one :D

I hate the 'snobbery' that seems to come along with natural living/AP as well. I have an 88 dollar sling (aussie brand, everything is $$ here anyway) but it was a gift or I'd likely have NEVER had it!

That said.. it was a workhorse through 3 babies!