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baby doll sling

September 8, 2010

I was informed (after pestering her mama) that Lucy, our sweet 2-year-old niece would love a doll sling for her birthday.  I was pretty psyched that our nephew’s wood blocks went over so well, and decided that I *must* DIY this one as well.  After all, doll slings involve sewing, and I’ve currently got a love affair going with my machine (shh! don’t tell Jason!).

I scoured the internet for some ideas/directions/inspiration, and surprisingly, I didn’t come up with much.  (Maybe I entered the wrong search terms?)

So, here are my own little directions, based on these directions.  It was easy peasy, once I figured out what size a two-year-old is.  I have absolutely no frame of reference to go on with kids sizes.  (Emily, you can totally do this.  Time to get out your sewing machine for your sweet school-aged girl! 🙂 )

I used two different fabrics for this (stripes & polka dots), but you could easily use the same fabric for the inner & outer parts of the sling.  From each fabric, I cut one 14″ x 10″ rectangle and two 4″ x 14″ rectangles – so when I was done cutting, I had a total of 6 rectangles – two large and four small.  (Note that if you use the same fabric for both sides, you could minimize your sewing by cutting one 14″ x 20″ rectangle and two 7.5″ x 14″ rectangles and making each into a pocket by sewing only one edge – not two).

(If you’re new to sewing, it’s always a good idea to wash the fabric before you use it, in case it shrinks.  Also, I find that ironing everything and measuring/cutting exactly is crucial to the success of my project.)

Match each striped rectangle with it’s polka dot counterpart and sewed along one of the long edges, with the good sides of the fabric facing each other.  Then, iron the skinny sides of each rectangle under, lined up the good sides of the fabric and sewed along the other long edge.

Turn everything right side out, so you have a little pocket, like so:

On the two smaller rectangles, I top stitched around three of the edges, making sure to lock the stitch at the ends (by stitching forward, then backward).  I also top stitched the two long edges of the large rectangles.  (Hopefully this means that they continue to lay flat after a trip or two through the washing machine.)

Next, pleat the short end of my large rectangle and stuffed it into the unsewn 4th side of one of the small rectangles.  I sewed across the top of the 4th side (now with pleated large rectangle stuffed in it!) a bunch of times to make sure that it would hold.  Repeat with other side of large rectangle + other small rectangle.

Then, attach a small strip of velcro to the end of the inner part of one of the small rectangles, and the outer part of the other small rectangle.

Finally, to take a picture for the blog, insert one of the stuffed animals you have on hand because at 30 years old, your parents are finally kicking you your stuff out of their house.  Which, naturally, includes boxes and boxes of dolls + stuffed animals, as well as every drawing/painting/project you took on from age 3 to 18, including the one where you glued marshmallows to a paper tree.  That project did not age well.  Colored marshmallow goo everywhere.

Ta da!

I’d love to hear from you if you tackle this project, or if you’ve made a baby doll sling using other methods…

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. japortma permalink
    September 8, 2010 12:46 pm

    ahhh how cute! Once I have little kiddies you will be at the top of my list for making stuff for them 😉

  2. September 8, 2010 2:31 pm

    You will be the greatest auntie who can create any item on demand!

    So sweet, but you lost me at the word “sewing”!

    PS are you going to update your blog photo with your new hair-do?

  3. September 8, 2010 8:51 pm

    This looks great. What a fun gift.

  4. September 8, 2010 9:49 pm

    Love it! The fabric you chose is super cute. Lucy is one lucky gal!

  5. Ashley permalink
    September 10, 2010 12:15 am

    Oh silly, Mom didn’t kick you and your stuff out! They just want you to have it so you can remember how good life was when you didn’t have to worry about bills or mortgages! Back when it was easy and all you had to worry about was the 2 page paper double spaced with works cited… I wish I could go back to the care free days when stress involved which friend was mad at who… The baby sling looks awesome! You may want to add a disclaimer that it is not for actual use for a human baby…. The velcro may not hold the weight of a live baby!

  6. Mel B permalink
    August 2, 2015 10:48 pm

    My 9 year old daughter wanted one of these for her American Girl doll. We made it today. I did add on some length and width since she is probably bigger than your niece and the AG dolls are long. We made the large section 15″ x 22″ and the top parts 10″ x 15″ I wish I would have added a little more length, but she says its fine. Overall, it went great! The only other question / problem was the sides of the sling. I should have pulled the edge of the pleats tighter on the sides so it holds the doll in better. My daughter picked out one fabric, so that made it go even faster. Thanks for the great steps!

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