A Simple, Unpadded Native-style Baby Pouch ( or Sling )




My thanks to Jan Andrea for the inspiration and guidance on how to make this. I had some issues following her directions, so I decided to post what I made here (with my alterations). My hopes are that my struggles won't be yours.
Again: you can find the original instructions at Jan Andrea's webpage .

Interesting note: The curved-seam pouch was invented by Hygenia Halfmoon, who then showed the method to Nancy Main, who started "New Native". Now many pouches for sale are labled "Native-style" even though they are a very recent innovation (certainly not actually Native American), dating back to the 1970s with Hygenia's book "Primal Mothering in a Modern World".
Thanks again to Jan Andrea for this tidbit.

A pouch-style sling should be between 20-22" wide before it's folded for wearing and 10-11" deep when folded.

Visit Hotslings.com for great wearing directions, until I make an Instructable on baby wearing.


Fabric: Between 1.5 and 2 yards of fabric depending on the size; he most you will need is 2 yards, unless you are built very large.

Sewing machine and thread to match/contrast with the fabric.

Time: under 1 hour, even if this is your first project.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Step 1 : Get Your Measurement

Before you begin, you'll need to know how long to make the sling. Most pouch-style slings are shaped so that the upper, open portion is shorter than the lower, folded portion. This makes measuring for one a little tricky, since the place you measure will impact the final size of the pouch, and therefore, how well it fits. If you are currently pregnant, not to worry! You'll be measuring mostly above the bump anyway.

Measure yourself from your shoulder to the opposite hip (the point of your shoulder, and the place on your hip where you rest your hand if you place your hand on your hip -- this number will probably be somewhere between 20 and 30"). Double that measurement.

Add 6 inches to your doubled measurement. This is to make room for your baby. So your final measurement will be somewhere between 46-66”.

I am making this one for a friend and her shoulder-to-hip measurement was 28.5". We are going to round up to 29" to make it easier. When you double 29" you get 58" then add 6" for the baby to get a total of 64". This is the final measurement for the length.

Step 2: Step 2 : Layout Your Fabric


Fold it in half, so it’s 22” wide. If your fabric is heavy enough without doubling, you can cut it down the center fold and have two 22” wide slings.


Fold it in half, so you have one 22” wide piece of fabric. Cut the overhang off and you can use the leftovers for accessories such as a pocket, case, or a child size pouch to match.

Step 3: Step 3 : Cut Your Length

Now that you have your width, you need to cut your length. Take the measurement from the first step, (mine was 64") and cut the lenght of your fabric to that measurement.

Step 4: Step 4 : Fold Fabric

Fold the fabric in half widthwise, then in half lengthwise.

I folded the corners down just for show. Yours should be flat.

Step 5: Step 5 : Making the Curve

To make the pouch sling truly pouch-like, you need to cut a curve into the unfinished edges:

The lengthwise fold should be the measurement you took (plus the seam and baby allowance), and the unfinished edge, once cut, should be about 3" shorter than that.

Note that the curve straightens out as it approaches the unfinished edge. This will make hemming the edges a lot easier; I would recommend having a straight section about 1.5" long to accommodate a 3/4" rolled hem.

Step 6: Step 6 : First Seam

Next, unfold the lengthwise fold, and sew the new curved cut edges together at about 1/4" from the edge, with the WRONG sides together. Then turn it wrong-side out and sew 1/2" from the first seam. This is a French seam. Now, it should look fairly finished, one more step.

Step 7: Step 7 : Final Seam

Finally, fold the sling in half along the lengthwise again, so that the seam you just sewed is on the inside and you have a tube of material with a fold on one end and the curved seam on the other. Hem the unfinished edges together, so that you have a tube shape after the seam.

Next, fold it so that the pretty seam you just finished is on the outside.

Step 8: Notes

- The curve in the pouch should always be located where your baby's bottom is.

- Be persistent, start early, and try the carrier again if it doesn't seem to work out at first.

- Wear your baby high. This prevents back discomfort and allows you to carry a much heavier burden. The bottom of the sling should fall below your navel, but not below the spot on your hip you measured at.

- Go on-line. There are lots of resources with information about baby carrying.

- Teach others how to use your carriers.

Be the First to Share


    • Book Character Costume Challenge

      Book Character Costume Challenge
    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Cardboard Speed Challenge

      Cardboard Speed Challenge

    34 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago

    Yeah, I noticed that because I was already at your website. I thought perhaps you also wrote this piece. Sorry that someone not only plagiarized your work, but refused to apologize when called out for it. :/ Adding photos isn't writing a new piece. Even changing a few words here and there - that would get you kicked it of college.


    Reply 1 year ago

    She gave credit in the very first line of her post. Please read carefully.


    Reply 1 year ago

    I just read the entire DIY before coming to comments. She gave you credit in the very first line of her post.


    Yes, they say that by commenting, I've added an attribution. I'm less than pleased with this, but they won't take it down so I'm kind of stuck.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Very belatedly, I've just realised that you might mean my comment elsewhere.  I also said;

    "You may also want to contact one of the admins (see the "About" link at the bottom of every page) to request an editing or removal of the project."

    That is still an option.


    Reply 3 years ago

    I thought this looked very familiar!!! ? need to share your attributions to references used in your posts Pink&BlueDesigns, i am sure i have even seen some of these pictures elsewhere before too!

    This is not "word for word" off your site! All images are my own in the picture. I was trying to share and make an easy baby sling instructable where there was none. I will try to take it down and make it better. Thank you for your lovely comment.

    Word for word means... words, and I specified "text" in my comment. Copying words is still a copyright violation, unless you get the author's permission or at least give them credit. You could have asked me, or given me credit, and this would not have been an issue.

    I gave a link your site for inspiration! I took my own pictures & I did not use your method intirely! To be honest your original instuctions were a bit confusing, so I took the idea and made it my own! Thanks for the history lesson though.


    3 years ago

    Know what is funny about people complaining about copy rights, etc.....my mother created and sewed many of these type slings back in 1964 to use for me when I was a baby and made multiple ones for others, including me, over the years to be used for my babies. LOL! I still have her original pattern and instructions on her newspaper pattern, she designed. The newspaper is dated Sunday, April, 5, 1964. LOL! She made them, gave them, and sold them for years to people all across the country and even the world, so who stole whose ideas. She made hers exactly like all this and the other websites show. So stop complaining people, most important factor is babies are close to their mommies. :)

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    The sling is very common, yes. Many people make them. The word-for-word instructions copied on a for-profit site is plagiarism.


    4 years ago

    Thanks for the tutorial. It helped me create one....


    8 years ago on Step 6

    Are you sewing a curve at each end of the length? or all four pieces together?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I wanted to know if you used knit fabric of woven? It does make a difference when you sew and the finished product. Thanks.

    1 reply

    I am not too familiar with fabric types. I use quilting fabric mostly. I do not like my slings to be very strechy, but that is just my taste. If you do use a strechy fabric, make sure that it stretches from the inside out where the baby will sit. If you put the stretch the wrong direction, it will not fit right.