Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Handmade Baby Shower Gifts: Stretchy Wrap Tutorial

Baby girl shower gifts: bow tie headband, tether, and wrap 
Baby boy shower gifts: bow tie, tether, and wrap

I've been in a really big crafting kick lately. Not sure why, but my mood to make things doesn't seem likely to go away anytime soon. I have been jumping from project to project and making some pretty cool things. Several months ago, I had a double baby shower to attend for a couple of friends I've known for years. If you know me, I'm a huge baby product nut. Ask me about just about any baby related item and I can probably give you a huge list of recommendations. So whenever a baby shower comes along, I always want to make sure I'm giving the mom-to-be something that is actually functional, useful, and of course cute. I try to aim for things that they won't be getting from others or something that they may have never heard of that might actually become their best friend. In the past, I've always bought off a registry and then added that extra gift, but this time I decided not to go off the registry at all which is a huge turn around for me. For sentimental and economical sake, I decided to make something. Originally I had wanted to just make a small handmade item to add to my store bought gift, but that changed pretty quickly.

The one thing item that I always want to give to anyone expecting is a stretchy wrap. I loved my Moby wrap so much and it was a lifesaver for the first several months when my baby would not nap without being held. The problem with the Moby is that I can't afford to buy everyone one. I've always heard it was easy peasy to make so I decided this was the perfect time to figure it out. I found myself some jersey knit fabric at the local Hobby Lobby, used my 40% off coupon, and I was off. I was only going to do the wrap part, but then I found THIS TUTORIAL so of course I had to add the fabric on top to make it even more special for each person.

Stretchy baby wrap tutorial

Things you'll need:

  • 5-5.5 yards of jersey knit fabric. This would depend on the wearer, but I would recommend getting 5.5 just because more is always better than less. I found the perfect stretch and thickness at Hobby Lobby.
  • Optional: 1 yard of fabric for the front panel. I got my cotton fabric at Hobby Lobby, but you can use pretty much anything.
  • Optional:  Thread and a sewing machine
Step 1: Fold your fabric lengthwise (like a hotdog) and cut into two pieces. Now you have two separate wraps.
Step 2: Taper both ends of the fabric so it will be easier to tie. I used my Moby as a guide, but eyeballing it will also work. Because knit fabric doesn't fray, you can be done here and have yourself a couple of very useful wraps or you can continue to the next steps to finish off the wrap and add your own personal touch.

Optional:
Step 3: Fold over the edges of the fabric and hem all the way around. I used my double needles to give a more polished look. 
Step 4: Cut your fabric for the front panel. This is dependent on what you want to do, but I did about 24 inches. You'll want to fold over the edge of this fabric and hem all the way around as well.
Step 5: Pin the front panel to the middle of your wrap and sew down on all four sides.

And that's it! This is super easy and only took me an hour or so while I dawdled. Also with the coupons and sales, I was able to make each wrap for about $15.

A quick test run with my preschooler

I had leftover fabric from the front panels so I decided to make a couple more coordinating items. You can see the tutorials below:

Bow tie for boys and girls
Pacifier clip tutorial

Quick note: Stretchy wraps are perfect for newborns. They're ideal for up to 20 lbs, but after that you'll need something more structured. For instructions on how to tie your wrap and to see all the different holds it can do, click HERE. It may take several tries to get used to tying it, but it's really not that hard once you get a hang of it.
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