Many types of baby slings are easy to make. You’ll save money as well as have the satisfaction of doing it yourself and getting exactly what you want. It’s also an inexpensive way to test out different types of slings to see which is best for you, or to have different ones on hand for different situations. Some slings can be made without sewing a stitch, others with minimal sewing, and still others with pouches and pockets and zippers.
Slings can be made from silk, cotton interlock, wool, a bed sheet, and even crocheted. Any fabric that is strong and breathable will work. To test it, hold it up to your mouth and try to breath through it. If you can, so will baby. This is more important for small infants who will be tucked in the folds. You can use denser fabrics for older children who will hold their heads outside the sling. Some moms even have summer slings and winter slings.
Wrap slings are the easiest to make, as they are a flat panel of fabric. Wrap slings can either be tied across the body to secure (there are even some methods of wrapping and tucking the sling that no knots are needed) or secured by looping one end of the fabric through a ring. Depending on the fabric chosen, you’ll need to hem the edges and secure the ring. The easiest to make would be a simple wrap made from a fabric that does not need hemming. Just cut and go!
Tube and pouch slings, Asian-style slings, and padded wrap slings do require some sewing, some more complex than others. There are excellent patterns available, many of them free. Here are two sites to get you started.
1) http://www.mammasmilk.com/pages/makeyourown.php has patterns for free and for sale. It’s very informative with pictures, difficulty levels, and information about each type of pattern.
2) http://www.thebabywearer.com/lists/Sewing.htm is another wonderful resource offering patterns for free and for sale. You’ll find a pattern to make a doll/child’s sling, information about fabric choices, and even instructions on how to make a poncho and a zipper insert for your coat to keep both baby and mom warm.