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Baby Sling Pattern

Quick Photo Guide

baby sling pattern

Some of you have requested a baby sling pattern with photographs.  My lovely assistant and I made this tutorial just for you!  You may find it more helpful to have true to scale photographs, instead of the illustrations used in my other patterns.

If you are new to sewing, please see this more detailed illustrated
pattern for beginners.  You can choose which tutorial will work best for you.  

This is a very easy pattern.  In fact it's probably just as simple as deciding which size to buy from the pricey online baby carrier stores.  You can make this in about an hour, and with your own custom fit measurements!
My baby sling patterns page also offers other styles of  patterns, including a pattern for stretch or fleece fabrics, as well as  advice on choosing fabrics for your sling.

Be sure to check out the great links and videos on baby sling safety and wearing instructions at the bottom of the patterns page.

Baby Sling Photo Tutorial

You'll Need: 2 yards of fabric

   *You can make 2 unlined baby slings with two yards of heavy weight fabric, like cotton duck or denim.
*Make one self-lined sling with a lighter weight fabric, like quilting cotton.
*For a reversible sling, buy 2 yards of each fabric type.  You will be able to make two lined/reversible slings from your 4 yards of fabric.
baby sling pattern
For this reversible sling, I chose a pale pink and a pink and brown gingham check.

Quick Tips:

  • Wash and iron your fabric!  This will ensure a perfect fit and easy care after your finished baby sling is washed.  This is especially important if you have any cotton content to your fabric. 
  • When making a lined/reversible sling, carefully line up fabric, with right sides together. If your fabrics are of different widths, line them up along the bottom & left edges.  You'll cut and fold it as one piece, saving you lots of time and effort.

Baby sling
Line up fabrics with right sides together

Measure for a perfect custom fit 

baby sling pattern Get your custom measurement by measuring across the front of your body from one shoulder to the opposite hip bone/side seam.  Now add 3” to this measurement. (fig. 5)

This is your custom length measurement. The extra length is what forms the pouch that cradles baby's heiny.

*Note: I strongly suggest erring on the side of going a bit larger with your pouch length, as you can always take it in if it's too loose.  

Cutting Width

If you are using 44 inch fabric, then simply cut down the center (bolt) fold of your fabric. make a baby sling
If your fabric is wider than 44", fold the fabric up from bottom edge, measuring to 11" and cut along the top edge to get a 22" wide sling.
baby sling


Fold your 22" strip of fabric in half (right sides facing) along the length.  If you are doing a reversible sling, either fabric may be on top. baby sling
Now, fold your fabric in half widthwise, lining up the cut ends of the fabric.  It will look like a long rectangle when it's folded correctly.  
(the photo was taken mid-fold...I found the long rectangle photo kind of boring and not helpful)
baby sling
All of the fabric corners should be lined up neatly on your top right.  I have unfolded one corner for you to see that all the corners meet here.

(tickle tiny toes...my favorite baby part.)
baby sling

Cutting Your Baby Sling

Measure your custom sling size from the left folded edge.  I slide the top panel of the fabric back to my measurement...because I'm cheap and like to save scraps.  Lord help me.

Place a pin at your measurement mark at the lower right corner.  I push it all the way through the layers of fabric to hold everything in place

baby sling
Now measure your width along the top of the fabric, placing a pin to mark it at your top right corner. 

Measure 3" back and place another pin. Now move 1/2" down place another pin.

This will all make sense in a minute
...I promise!
baby sling pattern
Place additional pins to form a gentle curve from your bottom pin to the lower top pin (which my helpful assistant is pointing out.)  I have drawn a line to help you visualize the curve.

You can also use yarn or string to help you visualize and mark out your arch before pinning if it helps you.
baby sling
***distract assistant while using scissors*** baby sling
Now, cut along the line of pins,
stop cuttiging the curve...
baby sling
at the lower white top pin. 

You'll cut straight up between the two white pins, and this is your seam allowance.
baby sling
Your finished curve should look like this: baby sling

Sewing Your Baby Sling

Unfold your fabric, keeping the layers lined up neatly.

***put assistant down for her nap.***
baby sling
Stitch along both of the long straight sides of your baby sling, 1/2 from the edge*. 
Do not sew the curved edges.

*If you are making a self-lined sling, you don't have to stitch along the folded side.

**If you are making an unlined baby sling, skip down to this step.  You'll add in double rolled hems after you stitch the pouch together along the curved edges.
baby sling pattern
Turn the resulting tube of fabric right side out. baby sling
Iron your side seams.  
If you would like to add a decorative stitch along the edges of your sling, do that now.
baby sling
Now fold your piece of fabric in half, lining up your two curved edges.  Line up the corners neatly (all 4 layers if your sling is lined). baby sling
Stitch with a 3/8" seam allowance. baby sling
Trim off the extra close to your seam. baby sling
Now turn your sling 'wrong side out' again so that the raw edge of your seam is on the inside. baby sling
Press in place baby sling pattern
Stitch along your curve 5/8 from the edge.  Your new seam will envelop the raw edge of that first inside seam. baby sling
Iron your finished seam so that it lays down flat.  This is tricky, as the curve of the pouch makes it want to bunch and pucker. 

Sewing it is also tricky, but ironing it first helps.
baby sling
Now sew down the right edge of your seam.  Work slowly, especially around the curves and toward the end.  It will want to pucker, but you've just got to go slowly and feed it through to get a nice finished french felled seam.  

Trim up your strings, and add any finishing touches...I added a little grosgrain ribbon bow at the ends of the seam.  

**If you are making an unlined seam, then finish the sides with a double rolled hem.  You'll just fold the raw edges in toward the unfinished side of your sling by 1/4" two times, press, and stitch down.
baby sling
baby sling pattern
This is a completed
french felled seam.
baby sling Mama

You've finished your brand new baby sling!

Great job!

baby sling patternBut wait...now you need to make a matching nursing cover, right?  You're in luck!  
Here's my easy nursing cover pattern.


Create adorable handmade baby accessories
or homemade baby shower gifts,
like the adorable custom wipes box below.
 baby shower gifts to make

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