No Sewing Machine? No Problem!

If you don't have a sewing machine, you can still join the DIY community! Here are some carriers you can make without a sewing machine!

Stretchy Wrap

A stretchy wrap is the simplest diy out there. Simply buy 5 or 6 yards of an appropriate fabric (100% cotton jersey is the most popular, or 100% lycra or polyester athletic mesh if you want to use it in the water) and cut it down to 20"-30" wide. Done! Jersey and athletic mesh do not need to be hemmed as they will not unravel. Bonus: most of these fabrics come 60" wide so you can get 2 or 3 wraps out of the fabric you bought.

Woven Wrap

A woven wrap does need to be hemmed to keep the edges from unraveling and protect the edges from tears. However, hems are not weight bearing and can either be done by hand, or you can take your cut-to-size fabric to a local dry cleaners or alterations shop and have them hem it. This is generally around $15 but may vary based on the size of your wrap and your local business's prices. If you want a short wrap, you can buy a 60"x120" tablecloth, cut it in half to 30" wide and then only have one edge that needs hemming.

Pouch Sling (sort of)

If you sew a short woven wrap (again, hemming by hand or having a dry cleaners do it) you can tie it into a simple hip carry and keep it knotted forever and use it just like a pouch sling for quick ups.

Ring Sling (no sew)

A no sew ring sling is essentially a carry for a short woven wrap, but you can keep it threaded permanentaly and use it just like you would a ring sling with sewn-in rings.

Modify a store-bought carrier

Another budget option is to buy a budget store-bought carrier and modify it to make it personal with suck pads or a slipcover. These can both be safely hand-sewn, or you can use a 5T t-shirt as a no-sew slipcover for most mei tais and buckle carriers.

Infantino makes several budget carriers that are sold in big-box stores like Walmart and Target. The Infantino Sash Mei Tai is especially popular. In addition, if you can find an Infantino Slingrider or Wendy Bellissimo pouch sling (both recalled) in a resale shop (they typically sell for $1-$5) you can send it in to Infantino and they will send you a brand new mei tai in return!

Safety Reminder: While hems are safe to sew by hand, it is not recommended to sew any kind of reinforcement stitches by hand. A sewing machine can provide more even tension and therefore more consistent, even and strong stitches.

-- Alyssa Leonard - 2016-08-30

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Topic revision: r1 - 2016-08-30 - AlyssaLeonard
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