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Baby Sling Pattern

baby sling pattern

Quick Illustrated Tutorial

If you have already used the free baby sling pattern, and just need a quick refresher,or are an experienced seamstress,  then this quick guide will 'tutol' you back through the process easily.  

If you are new to sewing, or have never made a baby sling before, please see these 
patterns for advice on choosing fabrics, wearing instructions, and a great beginners baby sling pattern.  

A custom baby sling is easy to make, but there are some important considerations that you'll need to wade through if it's your first time making one.  If you'd prefer a pattern with photos instead of illustrations, check out this fast photo tutorial baby sling pattern.

Be sure to check out the instructions for making a paper pattern from your newly cut out custom baby sling pattern. This makes it much faster to cut out your baby slings in the future.  You'll also find links to wearing instructions and videos with great tips on carrying holds and safety.  

To sew a lined sling: lay fabrics right side together, and cut and handle as one piece of fabric to save time.

If you're making a fleece pouch sling, or using stretchy material, be sure to choose fabric that stretches more across the width than the length.  (fig.1)
fleece baby sling pattern

Step 1
Cutting out your baby sling pattern
Cut fabric(s) to width, or fold for a self lining sling.
free baby sling pattern
baby sling pattern

Step 2

Fold your fabric so it is ready to cut
Fold your fabric in half so that it is half as wide
(if it's not already folded this way)
baby sling pattern folding
and then fold it in half again making it half as long.  
Line up corners neatly so you're looking at a rectangle of fabric.
baby sling pattern folding

Step 3

Measure for a Custom Fit Baby Sling Pattern

free baby sling pattern measurementIt is very highly recommended to take your body measurement for a custom fit. (fig.5)  To get your custom measurement, measure across the front of your body from one shoulder to the opposite hip bone, and then add 3” to the body measurement to get your custom measurement.  If you are only using stretchy fabric, then add only 2". The extra length is allowance for the pouch that cradles the babies heiny.  When in doubt, go larger.  It's simple to cut along the seam and just stitch it smaller.  You don't have a simple option for making a small pouch bigger.

Ifree baby sling pattenf you are making the sling as a gift, and cannot take a custom measurement,
here is an average size chart that I use:  Choose the size based on what size fitted shirt you wear.  If you are using stretchy fabric, subtract one inch from the size chart measurement.

It's always best to take an actual measurement instead of relying on an average size, but these are helpful guesstimates if you are making a gift.  If you have more questions about sizing, there are some helpful tips on the FAQ page.
Note: Do not add 3" if you are using a measurement from the size chart.  The allowance is already built into these measurements. 

Step 4

Measure and cut the curve for the pouch

Pin bottom right hand corner through all thicknesses of fabric.  
Measure back from the top right corner 3", and mark.  
Drop down 1/2" and mark for seam allowance.  
Mark and cut curve.
I highly recommend making your pouch slightly larger than you think you'll need.  For one thing, there is the milk issue.  
Two.  If your pouch ends up too big, you can quickly alter it by cutting off the pouch seam and re-stitching it to make it smaller.  But if you make it too small, there is no simple solution for making it larger.
baby sling pattern
Mark your custom baby sling pattern on paper
to save time on your next sling!

Step 5

Optional Taper Cut

Measure from the lower left hand corner, however wide you want the shoulder section to be.  Take into consideration that the sling will be supporting the weight of a baby or toddler.  
I like to taper to about 8 inches, then add in 1/2" seam allowance.  
Mark the left seam, and cut in a straight line
from the upper right seam as shown in fig. 8
baby sling pattern

Step 6


Consult your sewing machine manual and select
a stretchy or zig-zag stitch for sewing fleece or stretchy fabrics.  
Skip to fig 3 if you're making an unlined pouch.

Lined Pouch:

Unfold your pouch and line up the long sides.  The lining and outer fabric should face right sides together.  Don't sew the curved ends yet!
sew a baby sling Stitch down the length of both sides and turn right side out
baby sling pattern
Making the strong 'French Felled Seam.'  
Line up the curved edges, and stitch 3/8 from edge.
Trim seam to 1/4".
french felled seam
Turn pouch inside out, and iron.  
Sew a seam  1/2 " from curved edge, fully encasing the first seam.  
Lay out as flat as possible, and stitch the outer edge of the seam,
flattening it onto the pouch.
This is a very strong 'French felled seam.'
baby sling carrier
Hem your Unlined Pouch:
Roll and stitch edge hems in place after you complete the french felled seam.

wearing a baby sling

Wearing your Baby Sling

See the links and video at the bottom of the sling patterns page for instructions on sling safety and wearing your baby sling.  For more ideas and different holds for your baby sling, check out the video at the bottom of the sew a baby sling page.

Time Saver Tip: 

Make a Paper Pattern of your 

Custom Baby Sling

If you plan on making more than one sling, then use the sling that you've just cut out to make a quick custom pattern.  
  1. Take the folded sling, and lay it on a piece of heavy paper.   A cut and unfolded shopping bag or a heavy piece of wrapping paper work well.  

  2. Carefully trace around your sling to create a paper pattern.  

  3. Be sure to label the pattern with the name and measurements of the person who it is made for, as well as the fabric type (stretchy or non-stretchy).  
Now all you have to do for your next sling is cut & fold your fabric as shown above, pin on your baby sling pattern, and cut it out!  It's also easier to make modifications when you make your own free baby sling pattern.  If your first sling turns out a little too long, or you want the pouch to be deeper, just make some notes on your paper pattern, and make the needed adjustments on your next sling.

Want more creative inspiration?
Find more great free baby patterns, and unique handmade baby gift ideas here!