Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cost Effective(er) Moby Wrap

There must be at least five different baby carriers at my house.  I've tried most everything out there and have found what I do and don't like.  The Moby Wrap is right up there at the top of my "like it" list.  I just don't like the price.  I can't justify that cost for a single strip of fabric.  So I talked to a friend of mine who has one and got some dimensions from her.  That was almost four years ago and I don't have the original dimensions.  Sorry.  What I do have is good enough, though.

Yours won't come with the eternal spit up mine tends to have.  Say it with me: machine washable.  Good.
I like to use interlock knit because it looks the same on both sides and the cut edge doesn't roll.  It also has more stretch in the width than in the length.
See?  Same on both sides.  It makes me happy.
I once used fabric that had spandex in it and a lot of stretch in the length.  It ended up cutting off circulation in my baby's legs and little Blue Eyes ended up with purple legs.  No fun.  Jersey knit without much spandex is another good (and usually cheaper) knit to use because it's sturdy enough without being too heavy.  There are tons of cute prints available in cotton jersey.  I just don't like how the cut edges roll.
Knit side, purl side, and lots of roll.
Start with 5-6 yards of fabric.  That will actually give you enough fabric for two wraps.  If you only want to make one wrap you can buy 2.5-3 yards and cut it up the center to make two long, skinny strips.  Place one right on top of the other before continuing.  There will be a seam in the center of the wrap when you're done, but that will also help you to find the middle when you are ready to wrap it around yourself.  I bought a full 6 yards because I had a baby shower to attend and wanted to make one for both the mom-to-be and myself.

For a wrap without a center seam the very easiest way to cut out the carrier is to fold the fabric in half along the width (hamburger style) .  It makes for more even edges and takes up less space on your cutting board.  Or your living room floor.  For a wrap with a center seam just make sure your two cut pieces are right on top of each other with the edges matching up.

Smooth out the fabric as much as possible.  This task is much easier when there aren't children running over it or deciding to park their little keisters in the middle.

How does anyone stay mad at that face?  It's impossible.  The Pink Blur wins again.
The wrap in the picture above was made to the measurements my friend gave me.  Rather than measure and cut again I just used it as the pattern.  It's about 24-25 inches wide, though you could probably go as narrow as 20 inches and still be happy.  The tapered section is 29 inches long from the point to the parallel edges.  If you're an anal nut job like I am it would also help to know that the taper is 14 inches wide at its midpoint.  Measure, mark and cut.  It's pretty easy.

For wraps made with 2.5-3 yards of fabric, stitch the two pieces together.  I suggest a flat fell seam for both stability and a uniform look on both sides.  You now have one loooooooong piece of fabric to wrap a baby in.

No one in their right mind would worry about this, but I did.
If you weren't convinced of my analness before, it can be seen again in the picture above.  I folded the cut edges in half to match up the tapers.  Then I trimmed them so they matched exactly.  Toldja I'm a nut job.

Now all that's left is to serge, serge, serge around the edges.  Then serge some more.  It takes awhile to go up and down 6 yards of fabric.  Most knits don't require a serged edge, but I think it looks more finished with serging.

Wearing instructions can be found on the Moby Wrap website.  I'm just now moving my little man up from the newborn cradle hold to the hug hold.  He gives the wrap two thumbs up.  Cost-wise, two wraps will run you about the same as one real Moby Wrap if you use interlock. Jersey is cheaper.  Coupons are a good thing.  Sales are a good thing.  Too bad you can't usually combine the two at a fabric store.