Wearing an elastic wrap is a good way to hold your baby and keep him close to you while your hands are free to do other things. You can save yourself a bit of money by making a homemade one yourself. It's very easy to do, so just start reading the first part to get started on the project.
Part 1 of 3: Gather the Materials
Step 1. Choose a comfortable material that is slightly elastic
The best material to make a scarf is muslin or cotton with 5% spandex or 5% elastane. These types of fabric are comfortable and slightly elastic, which allows them to conform to both your silhouette and that of your baby. To make the scarf, you will need 5 yards (4.5 m) of the material of your choice (about 100 cm or 42 inches wide).
Step 2. Keep a pair of scissors handy
You will need to have scissors on hand that you can use to cut the required amount of material. Sewing scissors are best for cutting fabric, as they have blades over 6 inches (15 cm) long, as well as differently shaped handles for your thumb and index finger.
A piece of chalk will also help to mark the line where you will cut the fabric
Step 3. Prepare the sewing machine and thread
The last items you'll need for your scarf are a sewing machine and some thread. You could sew the material by hand, but with a machine you will do it faster, get more even stitches, and prevent the fabric from fraying.
Part 2 of 3: Making the Stretch Scarf
Step 1. Examine the size, appearance and texture of a scarf
Before making your own stretchy scarf, go to a baby supply store and check out what they offer there. This will give you an idea of what is the most appropriate in terms of size, length, width, elasticity and texture before making one yourself.
Step 2. Lay the material you have chosen stretched out on the floor
Once you've purchased the appropriate 5-yard-long material, take it home and spread it out on the floor or on a large surface.
Step 3. Cut the material in half lengthwise
The easiest way to cut your material in a straight line is to fold it in half and then make several marks along the fold with a piece of chalk.
- Stretch the material again and carefully use the sewing scissors to cut along the chalk line. It will be easier to cut if you ask someone to hold the material taut while you do it.
- When finished, you should have two strips of the material, each 5 yards (4.5 m) long and about 20 inches (50 cm) wide. Each can be used to make an elastic scarf.
- You could also ask one of the workers at the fabric store to cut the material in half before you bring it home.
Step 4. Sew the edges of the wrap (optional)
Once you have cut the fabric in half and you have your elastic scarf ready to be used. However, you can make it look much neater and prevent the edges from fraying if you sew it.
- Use pins to fold the raw edges as much as you like. Then iron these edges to make them easier to sew.
- Put the thread into the sewing machine and overlock or zigzag to get the hem.
Step 5. Place a cloth patch in the center of the material to make it easier to locate
The elastic scarves that they sell in stores have a kind of label in the central part of the material to make it easier to find it. This feature is useful when putting the wrap around the body.
- If you wish, you can imitate this label by sewing a small square of fabric (in a contrasting color or pattern) to the center of the material attached to the top edge.
- Using a patch made of a different fabric will help you find the tag easily just by touch.
Part 3 of 3: Wearing the scarf
Step 1. Wrap your torso with the elastic wrap
Gather all the material for your stretch scarf and wrap it around your body from front to back, so that the label is located in the center of your waist, just above the navel.
If you want it to look neater, fold your stretch wrap in half lengthwise before you start wrapping. Make sure to keep the seams together
Step 2. Cross the ends behind your back to create an X
Cross the two ends of the material over your back to form an X. Bring them to the front passing over your shoulders (as if they were suspenders) keeping the material as flat as possible for comfort.
Step 3. Tuck the ends of the scarf under the part of the fabric that surrounds your waist (just under the label) from top to bottom
Sort the material a little so that it fits snugly.
Step 4. Cross the ends in front of your stomach
Cross the ends of the wrap again to create an X shape at the height of your stomach. Bring the ends back and continue wrapping them around your body, then tying them in front.
Step 5. Place the baby in the elastic wrap
Once you have secured the wrap to your body, you can place your baby in it. The most popular way to hold it is as if you are carrying it:
- To start, hold your baby upright at the shoulder where you placed the first strip of fabric (the one that is closest to the body). Carefully hold the baby as if he were sitting up and place him on that part of the material. Stretch the fabric as far as possible to cover the baby's body up to the shoulders leaving the legs free. Keep holding the baby while you do this.
- Place the baby's legs on the second strip of fabric (the one on the other shoulder). Next, find the third strip (the one around your waist) and pull it up to cover the baby.