My girlfriend broke her elbow jumping off the local bouldering wall. The hospital gave her a sling, however she had weddings to attend the next day and next week so needed something a little more fashionable.
A quick search gave several sellers of very pretty slings however none would arrive in time so some improvisation was required.
I found an excellent outline at:
However it didn't have a clear pattern so I began measuring...
Step 1: Plan and Measure
1. First make sure you model has wine and chocolate, this is apparently better than pain killers(?).
2. Measure the limb to sling.
- I used a height of 340mm and a length of 350mm (some of this length and height is 'lost' to the curves).
- Once the material was marked out I pinned it and refit it to my model to check all was well.
3. Cut material roughly to size.
- I pinned two sheets of material face to face (inside-out) and cut out the rounded rectangle to use, leaving ~10mm around for the edge seam.
Step 2: Sew
1. Sew along your lines.
- My two material sheets were pinned face-to-face, so the sling was "inside-out", once three edges were sewn I turned it the correct way round and ironed it.
2. Sew the back edge
- I tucked and pinned the back edge tidy then folded the sling in half, this meant the final seam turned the sheet into a sling shape.
Step 3: Straps
1. Wrist strap
- The first strap over the wrist area was sewn onto both sides of the sling and had a metal D ring.
2. Back to front strap
- This strap runs from the back of the elbow around the back of the wearer and over the opposite shoulder.
- It's looped through the wrist strap D ring and adjusted with a slidey thing.
Step 4: Neck Strap
1. Neck strap
- As wearing a sling is probably not very comfortable the back of the neck was padded.
- I used dish sponges with the brillo pad pulled off.
- Sew a tube inside out, invert and stuff with foam.
- Slide onto back strap and sew up the ends
- Make sure the foam is bellow the strap.
Step 5: Finish
Step 6: Further Itterations
Although the current sling is fit for purpose there are a couple of improvements which may be of use:
- Second strap
Currently with a single strap the sling can rotate (wrist slip down), this isn't an issue for an elbow but may not be as good for a wrist etc. A solution could be to use a second strap around the neck.
- Mobile phone pocket
Because it takes a little longer to retrieve phones when one handed it may be easier to keep it tucked safely inside the sling.