How to add embelisments, accents and pockets to your ring sling . This article was originally published by me as a pdf. You can find the pdf and other DIY patterns on my DIY page. Don't have time to sew? Custom orders are available. Please contact me for details.
Your ring sling doesn't need to be boring. Adding bling to your ring sling is easy! Some of these ideas can be sewn straight on top of the tail or a plain ready made sling and others require you to sew the accent on before you sew in the rings.
Adding ribbon, beaded trim, or braid is the simplest way to decorate your sling. You can create some great effects with ribbon or beaded trim. You can also sew a ribbon to the bottom or top of a fabric accent.
Fabric Accent With Optional Hidden Pocket
I generally don’t do accents longer than 42cm from the bottom edge of the tail so the accent won’t get caught in the rings if being shared by more than one wearer and the pocket (if you have one) is useable. The pocket will gape open if it is too close to the rings so take this into account when deciding what length of sling to make or the length of the accent. 30cm is a good accent height. You can leave a gap between the bottom of the accent and the bottom edge of the sling for a nice contrast or sew the accent right to the bottom edge.
Fabric Needed: width of finished sling + 2.5cm x (length of accent + 4cm (for pressing and hemming).
1/ Hem the top edge of your accent then turn and press bottom edge under 12mm. The edge of the accent can be right on the bottom edge of the sling or you can place it 5-10cm from the edge. If you don’t want a pocket in your accent you don’t need to hem the top edge, simply press the top edge under by 12mm.
2/ Press the two short edges under by 12mm.
3/ Pin the accent on the wrong side of the sling (the side with the seam at the rings showing and the side of the tail with the neat side of the hem), so when the sling is threaded the accent will end up on the right side. Sew the sides and bottom edge of the accent to the sling.
4/ Sew the top closed to complete your accent or follow the directions below to make a hidden pocket.
Adding a hidden pocket
5/ Divide the tail accent in three and mark with tailor’s chalk to the width of the accent. Sew three lines of stitching over your marks.
6/ With the right side of the tail (fashion fabric side) facing up, sew the top edges of two sections closed, leaving the middle section open to form a pocket.
7/ Cut one or two small pieces of Velcro about 3.5cm long. Sew one hook and one loop piece to the top of the pocket and the sling body to help keep it closed.
Tip: When adding an accent to a reversible sling, when threading your machine, put your top colour of your sling through the needle and the bottom colour in the bobbin. The sewing lines will be hardly noticeable on the other side. Alternatively use the sewn in accent method.
See the pocket section for some more examples of accent slings.
Length of material needed 74cm x 84cm (or double the width of accent you want plus 2.5cm seam allowance added).
1/ Put your sling on and decide where you would like the top of the accent to fall. No higher than around 18cm from the rings is a good guide, to prevent the accent being caught in the rings when making adjustments.
2/ Fold one long edge of the accent under 12mm. Pin on the edge of the sling or further up covering some of the tail (it depends on the finished length you would like, how you want the accent to sit and if you want to cut off any of the tail before sewing). Sew this edge to the sling.
3/ Fold the accent in half wrong sides together and pin the short edge on the tail, following your previous stitching line. Carefully pin the short sides together, then sew the two short edges from top to bottom. You can also topstitch along the bottom of the accent for a neater finish.
Overhanging Lace Accent
I think a very long lace overlay looks great on the tail of a sling but you can use a shorter length for a less dramatic effect. See information about accents above to decide on the length, just add some extra length if you want a tail overhang.
For the sling below which has a very long accent you will need about a metre of fabric which will overlap the end by about 25 – 35cm. After you have made up your sling, cut your lace to size and hem the end and sides, then iron the top edge over by 12mm or if it has a neat selvedge you can just leave it. Pin the lace in place and sew to the sling along the top and sides..
Sewn in Accent
This method gives a neat finish on a double layer sling. Decide how long you would like the accent to be then subtract the same amount of length from the side you want the accent to show on. Don’t forget to add 12mm seam allowance to your solid colour and accent fabric.
Begin with two the long pieces of your sling fabric. Sew the accent to your short solid colour piece, right sides together, turn right side out and iron. Sew the two sides of the sling using the reversible sling directions found in the Hipababy Ring Sling Pattern (see my DIY page). Find the turning hole and iron the seam allowance inwards. Topstitch. You are now ready to sew in the rings.
Patch pocket with optional flap and velcro clousre
The flap of this pocket is handy to ensure nothing can fall out of your pocket and if you place the pocket on the sling edge you can fold the whole sling up and tuck it up into the pocket for handy storage. You can use these directions to make a simple patch pocket and it is easy to alter the size of the pocket to suit you. The dimensions given below are for a small pocket, with the finished size of 23cm x 23cm. I use a 6mm seam allowance for the pocket flap and 12mm for the rest of the pocket
Cut your material to these dimensions – 25.5cm x 25.5cm
Cut the pocket flap 25.5cm x 18cm
1/ Hem the top edge of the pocket and press the sides under. Sew a strip of Velcro to the top edge of the pocket (right side). You can sew Velcro along the whole top edge or put a small strip in the middle or two small strips on either side. For a pocket with no flap sew the Velcro to the wrong side of the pocket. Sew to pocket to the sling. Move the top of the pocket out of the way a little to sew the opposite strip of Velcro to the sling.
2/ Right sides together fold the flap in half and sew around all edges (6mm seam allowance), leaving a hole for turning.
3/ Turn the pocket flap right side out, press and then pin and sew three edges to the top of your patch pocket. The flap will overlap the top edge of the pocket - by how much is your choice.
Patch pocket and border from a fat quarter
Using a fat quarter you can make a pocket and a border. You will need to piece the border together so choose a design which will lend itself to this.
For the pocket you will need:
32.5cm x30cm (finished size 30cm (wide) by 27cm tall)
For the border on the opposite side you will need: 7cm x width of sling, plus 2.5cm seam allowance.
To make the pocket:
1/ Hem the top edge with a 12mm rolled hem.
2/ Press under 12mm on the remaining sides.
3/ Sew two pieces of Velcro to the pocket top (on the wrong side).
4/ Lay the pocket on the sling where you would like to place it. Note where the opposite pieces of Velcro should go. Sew these to the sling.
5/ Sew the pocket to the sling making sure the Velcro pieces match up.
6/ Sew two strips of fabric (right sides together) with a 12mm seam to form a long strip, matching the design. Press the strip and then press all edges under by 6mm. Sew to the bottom of the sling.
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