Blog Update: This sling pattern site is no longer available. I would recommend that you do a search for "free ring baby sling" and see if you can find another resource. I apologise for the frustration.
Recently, I had found the Sweet Things Baby Slings website. The site owner, Leah Walthery, used to make the slings as a home business. In May, 2008, she made the decision to close the business and make her baby sling instructions available to the public free of charge. I found the website to be very informative and loved the addition of photos to help illustrate the various ways to wear the slings.
Leah has the sling instructions both in a format the you can read online and also as pdf files that you can download and print. I found the instructions to be easy to understand. The illustrations that she provides are an additional aid in helping even a novice at sewing to be able to feel accomplishment in constructing their baby sling. Before making my ring sling for my son, I emailed Leah to clarify and confirm that I was accurate in my understanding of the modified hot dog fold that is used in constructing the ring sling. I was thrilled to receive an answer from her within a very short amount of time. From past experience with other websites, I had expected to not have a reply for at least a couple of days.
I was able to make my little one's ring sling is a short amount of time. I serged all the edges before I hemmed the 3 sides as directed in the instructions. I did the hot dog fold with a sheet of paper first to be sure that I had it right before doing it with the fabric. It made it much easier for me as I learn faster throught the hands-on approach. I made the sling from a lightweight green linen that I bought from Walmart. My son is a large baby, at 3 months he is already wearing size 6 month clothing. I chose to double the fabric. This will also be of a benefit in the winter. Our home is heated with a wood stove, so the extra fabric layer will help aid in keeping him warm as he is held against me. It is also a blessing as I am able to wear Micah in the sling whenever around the sheep and not worry about him being bumped around as he could be if in a stroller.
I had an 8" wide x 6 yards long strip of fabric left over after making the sling. I used a portion of the fabric to make my 2 yr old daughter, Abigail, a little sling for her baby dolls. The remaining fabric will be used later in a patchwork quilt.
Overall, I am thrilled with the sling. It is comfortable to carry Micah in and he is very stablized in the sling. I don't have to worry about him being wiggly in it and falling out. Unlike an earlier sling that I had made for Abigail, the heaviness of the linen also lets me feel free to actually work hands-free and not worry about Micah's safety.
I would strongly encourage anyone looking for a baby sling, whether it be the ring sling or the pouch type to consider going to Leah's website. If you are sewing skills challenged, take the instructions to a seamstress and ask her to make one for you. Because Leah's instructions are so specific in how to make a sling to fit your body size, you will be thrilled with the results.
May the Lord's blessings be with thee,