Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: How to {make} and tie a "Moby" Wrap!

Nearly as soon as Monkey was born, she was put in a sling and lugged around town. I had a great organic baby sling that the twin bought me pre-birth and I seriously wore that thing from the day Monkey came home from the hospital until the day I lost it.

And that, my friends, was a sad day (the day that I lost the sling).

I had seen a few of my friends post pictures of themselves with looooong layers of fabric draped across their bodies and tied in such a way that they could carry their baby around with them all day long. Much like a Baby Bjorn, these new mommies were sporting Moby Wraps.

I was intrigued but a bit scared by how crazy they looked. I thought they were complicated and, to boot, they were expensive!

So I decided to make my own.

I went out to Jo-Ann Fabrics and found some cozy flannel prints that were on sale for $2.99 a yard. Needing 5 yards, i thought that was a decent price. I brought it home, cut it, made it, watched a few baby wearing tutorials, practiced with a fake baby doll and, by the time Monkey was awake the next morning, I was ready to try sporting her around in my homemade Moby.

Well, let me tell you, it was great! I wore Monkey for FOUR (4 yes FOUR) hours while standing in line outside in the bitter cold to vote for the Presidential Race. J and I both wore her in Seattle when it was so snowy that cars couldn't drive, buses weren't running, and strollers certainly couldn't be pushed through the ice and slush.

That thing was perfect. The only problem was, it was hideous. I had chosen flannel (not bad in the winter but brutal in hot summers in Atlanta!), it was a crazy print that ended up covering my entire torso, and it was fraying.

So, after months of contemplating it, I finally decided to splurge and buy some Jersey-knit fabric, similar to what the real-deal Moby's are made of.

And here, my friends is the tutorial. Watch carefully because it will be over in half a second:

Things you'll need:

  • 5 yards of fabric, at least 60 inches wide, preferably jersey-knit but clearly, flannel works, too!
  • Sharp fabric scissors or a rotary cuter
  • nothing else. seriously
Two New Additions:

You get TWO Moby Wraps out of this tutorial. So keep one for you and give one to a friend or keep one handy while you are washing the other one!

Some people may need less or more fabric. If you are shorter than 5'5" you probably only need 4.5 yards (or even less!). If you are a little heavier or taller, you may need a little more fabric. I have plenty of fabric left over after I tie it and J, my husband, who is quite a bit taller and heavier than me, can easily wear the same wrap as I do.

Here is what 5 yards of fabric looks like:

Cutting with jersey fabric has pros and cons. I found out that jersey fabric is sold as a loop, like this:

Which means that you have to cut it length-wise, twice. However, the pros to selling it like that is that the fabric has two very nice creases that allow you to see exactly where you need to cut.

That being said, Step 1 is to find the center of your fabric and cut straight down the middle.

I chose to cut a little on one side and then cut the same amount on the other side. (Let me tell you, I was really missing my rotary cuter at this point...)

Please keep in mind: you are cutting it LENGTHWISE so you only end up with TWO separate pieces of fabric that will become your wraps.

Now that you have two pieces of fabric, you've made your Moby Wrap! If you chose jersey-knit or flannel, you technically do not have to sew the edges. I never did and I've been fine! I will tell you, though, that the flannel does start to fray so beware of that.

Now to put on your wrap:

1) First, find the middle of your wrap. With this wrap, I am going to eventually add a little pouch right in the middle so I know where the middle is and I don't have to fold it in half every time I want to put it on

2) Line up the middle of the wrap with the middle of your belly:

3) Take one of the long ends and wrap it diagonally across your back so that it now hangs on the opposite shoulder. You can have a friend ensure that it isn't twisted.

Do this for the other side, too, so you now have an "X" across your back

4) Now you'll have two flaps of fabric draped over your shoulders:

5) Take those long ends and cross them in FRONT of you--so now you have an X in the back and an X in the front.

6) Tuck the flaps UNDER the center panel that is across your belly so that it looks like this:

Don't worry! I know it looks like you are in a weird cult with this garment but keep going--it won't look so bad in a bit!

7) Pull the flaps to the side:

8) and tie them together in the back so you make a knot:

Now that you have your cross wrap you just need a baby!


9) Find the INNER flap. The one CLOSEST to your chest.

10) Insert your child's foot and leg into the flap closest to your body. This could be the left or the right leg, depending on whether your child is facing in or out. For this tutorial, Monkey is facing OUT--she loves her vantage point!

Since she is Facing Out, you need to put the flap completely over her leg and arm like so:

11) Do the same thing for the other side of your child so that it looks like this (please disregard Monkey--she likes to make funny faces in the mirror)

12) Now you need to take your belly flap (not belly flab!) and pull it up and over your child's legs so that it is a stomach flap for them:

The finished wrap should look like this:

Alternatively, you can place you baby facing you (which is what we always did when Monkey was little!). It's basically the same concept (insert the legs and arms and pull up the belly flap) and should look like this when you are done:

Monkey is 12.5 months old and 25lbs and she still loves being carried in her Moby. We walked all over Decatur last weekend for 2 hours with her in it and she loved it! I can even do it with my pregnant belly and no discomfort!

If you would like to see other ways of wrapping your baby, make sure you check out Wear Your Baby (the best tutorial and how I learned!)

Do you like wearing your baby? What do you use? Any more tips that I missed? Let me know!

8 people think...:

Summer said...

That looks so comfy! However, I am so bad at reading directions! Did you have any material leftover after you cut it lengthwise? I guess I was expecting you to have two pieces, but maybe I missed something. SO CUTE!

Melissa G. said...

Neat! Thanks for sharing this. Along with the pictures!

Mandy said...

Molly lives in this wrap. I actually bought one similar to the moby, but it is called a sleepy wrap. I love it! She is secure enough that I can clean the house or do my hair and makeup without worrying about her head bobbling everywhere!
Drea, at Uniquely Placed has great video tutorials on different ways to wear in this type or wrap. http://www.uniquelyplaced.com/search/label/babywearing

Jessie Kaitlin said...

I made my own wraps too! I'll admit though, I don't use them as much as I said I would. I love my ring slings much more :)

Natalie said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing. Just wondered though, do you think a larger lady would need more material? You are pretty thin and I wondered just how much fabric you having hanging down your back afterwards?

Kathy said...

Great job!! Wow. I babywear and ahve always wanted somthing like a Moby but thought that I had missed my "window" Well, now youhave inspired me. My little guy s still only 18 pounds and I can definatley handle that :)

Yes Natalie! We would need more material! I havent been able to figrue out how much more though:) Its the distance from your hip to shoulder diagnally that makes the difference. :) How do we calcualte that?

Melissa said...

I am surely going to try this for some upcoming baby gifts! Thank you so much for the great tutorial!

Claudia Faucheux said...

I am so glad to have stumbled upon this. I ordered fabric to make our wrap and I was happy to see you with an older baby. My lady is 12 months and I was worried that she was too old!