Last time I made a ring sling, I used a bottom weight broadcloth, which ended up being a little too bulky and stiff. This time, I used a nice linen and rayon blend fabric from JoAnn Fabrics (here). It has a beautiful drape, very breathable, adjusts easily even with baby already in it, but also very sturdy and durable. I got my rings from SlingRings.com (here). I'm in love with the way this turned out!
So, what you'll need: 2.25 yards (81") of linen/rayon blend fabric 2 large aluminum sling rings Sewing machine, thread, pins, seam ripper, scissors ... and of course an assistant (AKA a baby who will be rolling himself up the loose end of fabric while you run the other end threw the sewing machine!)
Step 1. Cut your fabric to one rectangular piece measuring 81"x43" (As a size reference, I'm relatively petite - 5'3" & about 115 lbs. - the finished length of 80"x42" leaves me with about 2.5 ft. of tail fabric when baby is in the sling.)
Step 2. Hem all four sides of the fabric. I used a 1/4" double-turn hem. This basically means you fold the edge over a quarter of an inch, then fold it over on itself another 1/4" - this keeps the frayed edge from being exposed! Sew4Home gives a great explanation of how to do a simple double-turn hem here. I chose a decorative stitch for my hem, but any apparel stitch should do.
Step 3. Pin your pleats along the 42" side of the fabric. I did roughly 1.5" pleats and wrapped the top and bottom edges underneath to give it a smooth finish. I did two pin lines, one at about an inch, and one at about 8 inches.Use a basting stitch to set your pleats(see image below for what that looked like in my settings)... Sew to the inside of the first set of pins, roughly 1.5" from the hem. Then sew another line on the inside of the second set of pins, roughly 7.5" from the hem. Remove your pins. You should have two basting lines at 6" apart. Attach the rings! Fold the pleated edge through the rings and match up the two lines of basting stitches. You may want to pin here, but I usually only pin if I'm setting pleats. Use an apparel stitch to sew the fabric together, about an inch past the basting line, away from the rings. This should be about 3.5" away from the rings and 0.5" from the hem of your fabric. I used this kinda funky stitch and like the way it turned out... Step 6. Remove the basting lines and snip any loose threads! There you have it! For great videos on how to use a ring sling, visit Elle Belle Creative's blog here! Here's the finished product! Photo by Jillian RaakPhoto by Jillian RaakPhoto by Jillian RaakPhoto by Jillian Raak