Making a soft-structure baby carrier may seem a bit intimidating at first, but it can be done creatively and safely with the right materials. Here is a list of materials you will need to create your own soft-structure baby carrier using the MyBabyvv pattern.
3/4 yard of decorative fabric
1 1/4 yard of solid color fabric
3/4 yard of Warm & Natural batting
2 yards of 1.5 inch flat nylon webbing
1 yard 2 inch flat nylon webbing
2 single adjustable 1.5 inch parachute buckles
1 double adjustable 2 inch parachute buckle
1/2 yard of batting or foam
Heavy duty thread
The decorative fabric is the side of the body piece that will be seen when looking at the outside of the carrier. I recommend that the decorative fabric be, at the very least, a medium-weight fabric, but preferably a heavy-weight fabric. You may, however, use light-weight fabrics if you sew an additional hidden body piece out of heavy-weight material into the carrier.
Solid Color Fabric
Your solid color fabric must be heavy-weight. The solid color fabric will be used for the side of the body piece that touches the baby, as well as for the straps, which must be strong and supportive. Great fabric selections for the solid color fabric include twill, canvas, denim and duck, but any sturdy, heavy-weight material will work.
The choice to use batting or foam in your carrier comes down to personal preference. Batting will need to be doubled up (two layers, instead of one) and may become flat over time, providing less cushioning on the shoulders and waist of the carrier. Foam is more durable and provides better cushioning but can be more difficult to work with.
Alternate Inner Materials
Some people prefer to have a silk or minky lining on the inside of the carrier. This can be done, but if you choose to do so, you will need to sew an additional hidden body piece out of heavy-weight material into the carrier. Do not forgo this additional layer or the safety of your carrier may be compromised.
Good Places to Buy Materials:
It can be hard to find materials at times and most local craft stores don’t usually carry a wide variety of materials. There are some good online resources for material. Of course, you can find fabrics wherever you’d like, but these are some good resources I have found helpful over the past couple of years.
Denver Fabrics has a large variety of solid color heavy-weight materials. Denver Fabrics also has a small collection of heavy weight prints. Search “twill” or “canvas” to see some of their choices. Prices are inexpensive and shipping is reasonable.
Fabric.com carries a large amount of all types of fabrics, including decorative heavy weight materials. Search “Twill,” “Canvas” or “Duck” to see some of these fabrics. Fabric.com has a large array of patterned heavy-weight twill designed by Amy Butler. Their prices are a little higher than Denver Fabrics, but shipping is free over $35 and customer service is excellent.
Strap Works is the best place to find nylon webbing and buckles. The nylon webbing can be found in many different colors, and even patterns. Strap Works sells their nylon webbing by the foot, so be careful when ordering and remember there are three feet per yard! Strap Works also offers a large variety of buckles, even with discounts when bought in bulk!
Although it is possible to find good fabrics at JoAnn’s, I recommend avoiding their twill, as a few people I know have experienced skin irritation and rashes from the twill. Additionally, the parachute buckles and nylon webbing available at JoAnn’s are best to be avoided as well, as they often have imperfections and are much thinner than webbing found elsewhere. Additionally, parachute buckles at JoAnn’s are usually much more expensive.