Friday, March 12, 2010

Make Your Own Moby Wrap Tutorial

I love babywearing. Love, love, LOVE.

I borrowed my sister-in-law's Baby Bjorn and used it for the first time when Monkey was 3 weeks old. She was asleep within seconds. Sleep. Something she hadn't done without great effort on my part since she was born. That's when I fell in love with babywearing and we've used a carrier every day since then.

But by the time she hit about 12 pounds, the Baby Bjorn was killing my back. I loved the idea of the Moby Wrap, but I hesitated to spend $40 on a piece of fabric that I wasn't sure I'd even like. So I decided to make my own. It's simple and much cheaper than buying one...you can get TWO wraps for about $20 (or less)!

*Note: this is my first attempt at a tutorial, so if anything doesn't make sense, please feel free to ask questions.

Here's what you need:
5-6 yards of cotton gauze (I'm short and can get away with 5 yards. The one I'm making in this tutorial is for a taller friend, so I bought 6 yards just in case. JoAnns sells this for $5.99 a yard. If you get on their email or mailing list, they send out a lot of coupons and you can get it for 40-50% off!)
Scissors
Thread
Sewing Machine or serger



How to do it:
First, wash your fabric (I always pre-wash). Then, fold material in half lengthwise.



Cut along the fold so that you have 2 pieces of fabric, each roughly 20 inches x 6 yards (or however long you chose to make yours). You could use a quilting ruler and rotary cutter here, but it doesn't need to be perfect. Cotton gauze is a "wrinkly" fabric and once it's finished, imperfections really won't show. And they definitely won't show once you're wearing it.



Trim off the rough edges.



Now it's time to sew the edges to minimize fraying. I don't have a serger, so I used a simple zig-zag stitch around all four sides of one piece of fabric. I think that serging would probably look nicer, so if you have one, go for it. Repeat with the other piece.




You're done! You can find the instructions for how to wrap it here. Keep the second one handy for when your baby spits up on the first or give it to a friend. If you're making this as a gift, don't forget to print out the instructions or give them the link.

 Please ignore my dirty bathroom mirror. Monkey's new favorite game is to rub her slobbery hands on it :)

Happy Babywearing!

72 comments:

  1. Very cool! I wish I was crafty or even had a sewing machine. LOL! I am getting a Sleepy Wrap to review when Little Joe arrives. I can't wait!

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  2. i think i'm going to try making this!!
    my sister in law is pregnant & when i told my husband i wanted to buy her one of these, he said the price was crazy!!

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  3. Awesome! I'll definitely have to try it!

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  4. Thank you for the tutorial! One question - are you supposed to sew the two pieces together? The Moby wrap looks like it's one continuous piece of fabric. I can't wait to try this!

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  5. KrisNicole,
    You're right - it is one continuous piece, so you don't sew the pieces together. This will make 2 wraps. It's really nice to have 2, so that when your baby spits up on one, you've still got one to wear while the other one is washing.

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  6. Thanks Kayla! I think I was trying to make it more complicated than it is :)

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  7. I've seen this around but when I went to find it, I couldn't! So glad to see it again. I linked on my weekly roundup. I think the first one I saw said that you could cut it into thirds or in half, I'm not sure how wide the real ones are. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

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  8. Lenetta,
    You want it to be about 20 in wide. I cut mine in half because my fabric was 44 in wide. If you were able to find fabric that was 60 in wide, you could cut it into thirds and have 3 wraps. Thanks for linking!

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  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this tutorial! It was very helpful! I too was hesitant to spend $40 of a sling that I was not even sure about using, and really would rather make it myself if I can. I will definitely be trying this soon!

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  10. Thanks for this! I just wanted to point out that you start off by saying to use 5 or 6 yards in fabric length...but later mention that each piece for 2 wraps should be about 20 inches by 72 inches....72 inches being only 2 yards instead of 5 or 6!! :)

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  11. I fixed the error. Thanks for pointing it out!

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  12. My mother made one for me when I was pregnant with baby #4. I was reading all the reviews online about the Moby wrap but was also a bit skeptic. we used a full sized top bed sheet made from cotton jersey knit. Cut it in 3's length wise and then used the machine to sew each end together. This was supposed to be our "practice" wrap and if it worked, we'd go and buy material to make another one. Turns out, the sheet worked perfectly and we didn't have to make a second one. Baby and I love our homemade baby wrap and it was absolutely free!

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  13. I am going to by the material to make one tomorrow. I have a 14 month old who is wanting to be held all the time, I've been looking for a great price on the Moby wraps, but haven't found one I could live with. I can't wait to make one and start wearing my sweet baby! Thank you so much for this tutorial!! I'm a new follower and might feature this tutorial on my blog!! Thanks again!!

    http://www.ruralgrace.blogspot.com

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  14. Hello - I bought 6 yds. of 60% cotton/40% polyester interlock fabric
    from Jo-Ann Fabrics to make my own Moby wrap. Does anyone have
    recommendations as to whether to make 3 wraps of 20 inches wide vs. 2
    wraps of 30 inches wide? I see on the websites that the real Moby is
    20 inches wide, but the fabric that I got might not be quite as thick
    as the Moby so was wondering if it would help to have the extra
    width. Is it helpful to have the extra width for these wraps or is
    it just unnecessary bulk?
    Do most people fold in half when wrapping (which would make the part
    around the waist only 10 inches wide for a 20 inch wrap)? Is this
    plenty to cover baby?

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  15. I would go with 3 20" wide ones. I measured my wrap and when it's folded, it measures about 10.5" wide. Personally, I think it's more comfy when the fabric is spread out over you with no bunches. I think that if you had it much wider than that it would have to bunch up because it wouldn't have anywhere to go (I hope that makes sense). I've always thought that it was plenty to cover the baby. If you look at the last picture I posted you can see that I (used to) unfold the material at the last step to completely cover her whole back. Now that she's older, I rarely even bother with that step. Hope this helps!

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  16. Thanks for the advice!

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  18. I have a newborn and was wondering if this sling would work for her?

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  19. VERY sorry that it took me this long to respond to you - but yes, this works great for a newborn :)

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  20. Kayla - what about plus size? Do I need to make it longer? Prepregnancy I was an 18. Love to know as I am about to ask my mom to make me one :)

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  21. @JennDex...I would make it longer. Somewhere between 6-6.5 yards depending on how tall you are.

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  22. I like the idea of tapering the ends. does someone know how far in to taper, and what is the narrows part measure? What does the real Moby tapering measure?

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  23. instead of using a sewing machine to stitch the ends would it be ok to use the heat bonding tape?

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  24. cool krafty thing to make on your own! and it costs a fraction of what it costs in stores

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  25. what are you sewing ???

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  26. Wait your sewing the edges so it doesnt fall apart?

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  27. I want to say I'm about average height (5'7") should I go with 5 ft of fabric then or closer to 6?

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  28. @Tara - I sewed around the edges so they didn't fray.

    @Stephanie - If I were you, I would go with at least 5.5 ft. I'm 5'4" and 5 ft worked for me, but whenever I had to wash it, it would shrink back up a bit and I didn't have but a few inches hanging off when I tied it.

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  29. I am going to try this, I am 5 foot 9 inches and size 16, how much fabric should i get? I also dont have sewing machine will it be ok? also another blog told us to get 100% cotton fabric?? xxx

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  30. Thank you for the great tutorial! My only concern is the strength of the fabric compared to the Moby Wrap, is it comparable? The cotton gauze fabric looks a little more saggy than the Moby Wrap in the pictures and I was just wondering if it'd have to be adjusted for frequently, etc? Thanks again!

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  31. Thank you so much for this. I am wondering the same as the previous person. I live on the gulf coast of alabama, and it is so humid here that sometimes I feel like I am walking though water instead of air. I would love to make a gauze moby instead of anything hotter, but am wondering about the "body" of the gauze.

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  32. I didn't have a problem with needing to adjust it much until she got up around 20 pounds and then I'd have to tighten it after she had been in it for an hour or so...pretty much I used it for shopping at that point and I would tighten it up before I put her back in it at each store.

    It does stretch out regardless of the baby's weight, but as soon as you wash it, it shrinks back up. You have to consider that it's a very wrinkly fabric by nature and using it kind of "irons" that out, making it a little bigger.

    And in reply to saramummy86, I'd go with 6 yards. This fabric will fray, but not too bad. You'll probably be ok. One made out of knit wouldn't fray at all.

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  33. Is it 5 feet or 5 yards, in the instructions it says 5 yards which seems like a lot, and then in the comments you say 5 feet, sorry just want to clarify before I go buy fabic

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  34. This is yards. 5 feet would never make the multiple loops around your baby/torso.

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  35. Sooo making this!!! I'm very excited and it is A LOT of fabric but if you think about it it will grow with your baby so if its a lil long to begin with it will last longer

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  36. I'm 5 feet tall and a size 12/14 pre-pregnancy. How much fabric should I buy(yard wise?)Also,I was looking for fabric that doesn't have a wrong/right side.And does cotton gauze fray after some use or washes? Thank you.

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  37. Victoria, I would say maybe 5.5 - 6 yards. Cotton gauze doesn't have a right/wrong side, but will fray, which is why I stitched around the edges. If you want something that doesn't need to be sewn and doesn't fray, you'll need to get a knit fabric.

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  38. Where do you see how to wrap this?

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  39. @MamaK716 - instructions can be found here http://www.mobywrap.com/InstructionSample.pdf

    I use the wrapping folded method (p. 5) and the hug hold (p. 11), but there are several different ways you can try.

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  40. A word of advice, people, from someone who knows.

    PICK A COLOUR YOU LOVE AND ADORE!!!

    I have been wearing mine almost every day for two years (I had two babies, 20 months apart). Had I known I would be wearing it that much, I wouldn't have chinced out at bought from the sales bin.

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  41. Kayla, Do you think it would work if you had a knit and you sewed two lengths of it together because it wasn't long enough??? I am trying to save money and use what i already have, but also don't want to ruin a perfectly good piece of knit fabric that i could use for something else!

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  42. It probably would work if you sewed the seam together well enough...I would go over it several times to make sure it would hold. It probably won't last as long as having one solid piece (as far as baby's weight goes), but it should work for awhile.

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  43. how many positions can you wear this in? can you nurse while wearing this? my baby is 8 months so i'm looking for a carrier to support her without killing my back

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  44. Tatum,

    I never tried nursing in mine, but you can wrap/wear this in as many ways as you can the Moby Wrap (http://www.mobywrap.com/InstructionSample.pdf). I'm sure if you googled nursing in a Moby, there's a blog out there with good tips :)

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  45. go on you tube and you can find A LOT of ways to wrap it. it will not stretch as much as a moby, which is why it is perfect for larger babies and for doing back carries. and you should never sew two pieces together because this creates a weak point. I actually am in the process of making mine now.....I'm serging 6 yards of cotton gauze and then sewing a button in the top middle to help while wrapping baby :)

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  46. I am considering making one of these for my niece who just had her first baby. I am wondering, when sewing, did you include a mark or tag for reference in the instructions? @Melissa, of what purpose is the button you are adding? I don't know if my niece will like using this, but she is overwhelmed with trying to cook and clean with a newborn and I know that I loved my slings when I had babies, especially when they were fussy during my busy times. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  47. I am around 12/14 and 5'4" how many yards will i need? Also do i need a 100% cotton or cotton gauze?

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  48. Just so you know, baby shouldn't be sitting in a crotch dangling position like that. But should instead be deeply seated with knees above or even with butt. it will be much more comfortable for both of you. Otherwise great tut!
    http://ecochildsplay.com/2012/01/31/slings-car-seats-baby-wearing-and-the-risk-of-hip-dysplasia/

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  49. would a rayon material work?

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  50. Thank you for doing this post. I will definitely be trying this out! :)

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  51. I went to Jo-Ann fabrics and asked for cotton gauze & they showed me to Halloween-ish looking fabric... Am I missing something? LOL There were only 2 or 3 colors and not what I would want to wear at all.

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  52. Ha...I can only imagine. Here's what you need: http://www.joann.com/sew-classic-specialty-cotton-solid-gauze-many-colors/xprd810632/

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    1. Thank you! I will look for it next time I'm there.

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  53. an easier way to make these is with jersey knit. It comes 60 inches wide and you can get three out of one piece of fabric. no sewing because the jersey knit doesn't frey. you can find it on line for about $3.50 per yard. you need about 7 yds

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  54. I've actually been meaning to update this post, Judy. I recently bought jersey knit and made 3 new wraps for our newest baby and I LOVE it!

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  55. I'm wondering why height determines the length of fabric you use. Am I missing something? I make ring slings and the only difference in length of material is how wide the person I'm making it for is.

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  56. Hi, I notice the Moby says its for babies 8lbs and over, but my little one was premature and at 5 weeks old only weighs about 5lbs. But I'm dying to wear her! What do you think? Can I make one and use it on her this small, or do you think she's too small?

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  57. I made a mistake when cutting. i didnt measure and figured that the material was the same size as the last one i got. anyway after cutting and unfolding everything sends up my wraps are only 15 inches wide!!! is this not going to work? did i just mess the whole thing up or would this be ok? my daughter is 3 months old. thank you for any and all advice.

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  58. I'm having trouble finding Jersey Knit fabric, where can I buy it?

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  59. Ok maybe I am missing it, but where does it tell how to wrap it?

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  60. I found it. Just didn't see it highlighted on my computer like it was on my phone.

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  61. My daughter lives in a very hot environment. Whole home in Ct her store bought Moby was wonderful and actually helped keep the baby warm ..However, now back in Haiti she needs a lighter fabric. I looked at linen and it seems to rough and had no stretch. I did buy a cotton, poly fabric but like the idea of tapering he wrap to avoid extra fabric. where can I start to taper it without compromising security for the baby. Strollers are not an option in Haiti so the wrap is her best form of transporting the baby while out. My daughter is about a size 8 and 5'5'

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  62. I actually already own a Moby Wrap, but I was looking on how to make another one because my little guy spits up a LOT. A backup would be nice! Thanks for posting this.

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  63. HELP PLEASE! I got the wrong material sizes!! Would you think that two pieces of jersey knit material sewn together to be long enough for a moby wrap will be safe for baby?

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  64. hello im really plus sized I wear about a 4x or 5x. how much fabric would you suggest to buy for someone as large as me I also weigh about 450 lbs. thank you

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  65. If you are unsure how much fabric to buy to accomodate differing size body types, try a piece of string. Wrap it around you like the moby tutorial and when you've tied it off at the end, that should be the right length for you. Cut. Measure out that string and thats how much fabric you need to buy.

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  66. Did you line dry afar washing your fabric or did you throw it in the drier? I bought jersey Knit to make one but Im not sure if I should put it in the dryer or not.

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  67. Can I just ask the lady at Jo-Ann's to cut my material in half (or thirds if I buy the jersey knit)? I just don't want to make a mistake and ruin the material I buy.

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  68. I made my own wrap as well after i had previously purchased a moby wrap at a flea market for 8 dollars. I decided to do one that the fabric was stretchy but thinner because where i live it gets very hot and the moby was just too hot to wear and i gotta say i like the one i made better because it secures my baby good but its also very breathable. I also decided to put an anchor in the middle so it looks even better than the moby i have lol. I still use the moby when the weather is cool and not so hot. Just thought i would share in case someone was having the same issue as me with it beeing too hot to wear.

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