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Osnaburg Wrap for Babywearing

38 comments

Here is a “tutorial” for making an Osnaburg wrap.  It’s totally not hard. At all. However, when I was looking online to try to find a tutorial (or even clear opinions on the matter), I couldn’t find anything… and I’m a good Googler. So, I thought, why not share what I learned with others?

What is an Osnaburg wrap?

An Osnaburg wrap is simply a woven wrap for babywearing. Have you heard of a Moby wrap?  Well, a Moby wrap is a long piece of stretchy fabric that you wrap around your body in a way that you can carry your baby on your body.  However, Moby wraps do not last forever because since they are made from a soft, stretchy cotton, your child becomes too heavy for the wrap and begins to sag.

Proper support is important. Here is a link to some pictures of woven wraps and a really good explanation.
(I don’t want to steal a picture of a random mama and put in on here. That’s creepy.)

So, as your child becomes a toddler/heavier baby, you would be best if you transition to a woven wrap, backpack carrier, or mei tai. Most of these things are fabulous, but they START at $60.00 +. I can’t afford that.

However, you can MAKE a wrap for less than $20! 

Enter Osnaburg.

Osnaburg is an inexpensive muslin fabric that gives a little on the bias (a 45* angle) and is the most ideal for homemade babywearing wraps.

This is all you have to do to make a wrap, essentially.
*get fabric
*cut
*finish ends
*wear baby/toddler

Begin by purchasing 6 yards of Osnaburg fabric (I bought only 5, so I had to make adjustments). I went to Hobby Lobby, used my 40% off coupon. Osnaburg was $4.00 a yard there, so I spent roughly $12.00 on my whole wrap.

wrap0001

Cut your fabric at 30 inches. This is where I found the most discretion.  The fabric comes at 45″ (width) and some people simply say to cut it in half.  However, if you’re a wrapping newbie, and if your child is bigger, you want the extra coverage.  30″ is best.

Then, because I only had 5 yards, and I wanted a little color, I decided to sew on some fabric at the ends.  This gives me a little extra tie space.  Osnaburg shrinks, so you don’t want to end up short. 

I used a French seam to secure the ends, and that will be my next post.

wrap002

The finished French seam.

*You must be extra careful when adding anything on your wrap, like panels. This wrap is carrying your child and you don’t want to compromise the integrity of the fabric and risk harm to your child.  Even with the French seams, I have to check them regularly to make sure it doesn’t wear down. Also, do not buy 2.5 yards to make a 5 yard wrap! Your baby will go in the center of your fabric, and you don’t want to make the fabric weaker by cutting it up and placing a seam where your baby’s booty will reside. :)

Then, find the center of your wrap, and mark it. Add a ribbon or something to make sure you KNOW it’s the center of the fabric.  You don’t want to have to try to find the center every time you wrap. Sew in place.

Almost done!

wrap003

Unfinished edging.

Then, finish your ends by hemming or surging. IMPORTANT: you need to differentiate between the two long sides of the fabric. You can sew or surge with different colors, or different stitches.  I used a zig zag stitch on the top side, and a straight stitch for the bottom. Some people say that you don’t have to finish the ends, but I hate unraveling, so I don’t recommend it.

Finish the ends.

DONE! That’s it!

wrap004

The finished product! Note the ribbon “center” mark and the zig zagged edge at the top, the straight edge at the bottom, and the French seams!

So, the entire project took $12.00 and a little free time in the evening! I use this wrap to put Bluebelle on my back or front.  It can also do a hip carry! She’s 22+ pounds and this wrap puts little to no strain on me. I use this for my workouts and when I’m trying to make dinner and she won’t let me put her down. :)

Wrap for babywearing

A front carry.

 IMG_1505

Also, if you’re interested more in babywearing, let me know! I’ll be glad to share some fabulous links with you!

~April

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1131517533 Christina Hallmeyer

    I really like this tutorial!! thank you for sharing! I would love to know more info about babywearing. I did with my last two kids, but only really perfected the front carry… Thank you for this post!

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      You are more than welcome! I am far better with the front carry than any on the back. It seemed to be her preference! I frequently visited YouTube for new ideas, though!

  • Audrey

    So what kind of fabric is the print? Is that part of the wrap?

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      The printed fabric was some cotton I had on hand. It’s not strong enough to bear any weight, but since I just used it as extra length and a little color, I was comfortable using it, especially using a French seam to secure it. It’s entirely optional. I just needed a little extra length since I’m about a size 14 and a little bigger than some who may baby wear. Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m happy to share!

  • Nicole

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I’d like to make one of these wraps for a girlfriend who is expecting her first. She is plus-sized, around a 43DDD and her hubby is around 6’3, 300 lbs. How many yards do you think she’d need? If you see this and don’t mind emailing me back, I’d greatly appreciate it! Otherwise I’ll try to check back here for your reply.

  • karen

    I am wondering how well the osnaberg breaks in. Is it pretty comfortable and what about breathability? I live in Florida…

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      Osnaburg softens with wear and I’ve had no problem with it. As far as the lightest weight, I have heard that Cotton Gauze is the lightest and is also recommended. I would recommend getting a user name with http://www.thebabywearer.com and browse the forums. They are fantastic! I will tell you, I carried my daughter at about 18 months for 3 hours at the State Fair of Oklahoma and it was about a 90 degree day. I did just fine. :) You WILL be warmer naturally because you’re babywearing, so that is something to keep in mind. Good luck!

      • karen

        thanks. I have a very sweaty baby so I know what it is like to be warm and well, covered with sweat. I am currently using a maya ring sling with him, but need something with more support as he is rapidly nearing 20lbs. I have read that the osnaburg does give excellent support so I am going to go for it!

        • karen

          I think I may add 2 small pockets to the tails for some color and because I am constantly using the one on my maya.

          • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

            Good luck! The pockets are a great idea!

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks for this tutorial! One question though, what is the purpose of telling the two long sides apart? They’re the same length and everything, right?

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      Good question! The reason why you need to know one edge from the other is because of the wrapping. It’s a lot of fabric and it’s difficult to see if you have grabbed the correct edge. Unintentional twisting can be both uncomfortable for the mama and could result in an unsafe wrap for the baby. Hope that helps!

      • Elizabeth

        Oh I totally didn’t think of that! With my Moby, I knew from the fold or selvage so now that makes total sense! Thank you for the fast response!

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.wilder.716 Heather Wilder

    Do you know anywhere I can download wearing instructions for a woven wrap?

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      Heather, I would highly recommend thebabywearer.com! I’m attaching a link of different wrap styles right now! With this website, it’s completely free, but you often have to create an account to view the forums!

      http://www.thebabywearer.com/index.php?page=WrapInstructionsChart

    • Stephanie Harris

      Youtube Babywearing Faith. That woman is AMAZING!

  • amber barraclough

    question – i’m new to the baby wearing scene and just made a moby wrap for my preemie. as i’m looking through the instructions on wrapping it, i’m so confused why you would fold it in half every time instead of just sewing it in half before use. i did a google search about it and came across your blog – thought i’d ask someone who’s done this once or twice ;-) am i missing something? why wrestle all the fabric every time to fold it in half?

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      Well, I’m no expert, but I would say that the folding is really helpful for placing it on the body correctly, but you need to be able to open it fully to create the “pocket” to keep the baby at his/her safest. It helps to ensure a proper fit. I’d also recommend checking out thebabywearer.com! You can sign up to view the forums, but those women (and men!) are PROS! :)

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      One more thing — you CAN wrap this gathered if you’d like. Here’s a link! http://www.mobywrap.com/mw/wrapping-gathered.htm

  • Alyssa

    Thank you so much for taking the time to blog about this! It’s just what I was looking for. I’m getting started right away!

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      I hope it worked out well for you! :)

  • Cassie

    I’m so glad you wrote this. Theres hardly anything out there that doesn’t require a base of prior knowledge on BWing. Just what i needed

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      You are quite welcome! Glad it helped!

  • Kim

    I wish I could see the pictures!

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      I’m sorry! I don’t know what happened. I’ll try to get the photos back up soon!

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      Try it again — I think I got it!

  • Jessica

    Can’t see the pictures :/

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      Thanks for the heads up! I don’t know what happened. I’ll try to get the photos back up soon!

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      It should be fixed!

  • ashley

    I wish I could see the pictures. :(

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      FIXED! Let me know if you can see it!

  • Cortney

    I truly appreciate this! Thank you!

  • Cortney

    How much did you put on the ends?

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      I am so sorry it has taken me so long to respond! I could have SWORN I did it already. I used about 1/2 yard on each side — 18 inches? Just enough to add some color and length.

  • Destiny

    I wish I had a sewing machine I would love one!

  • Teresa V. Nick

    The lavender pattern is just on the ends?

    • http://red-dirt-mama.com/ April McGrew

      Yes! It’s not essential for the wrap, but because I should have purchased 6 yards of Osnaburg instead of 5, I needed a little length for the tails. It’s important to not weaken the fabric where the baby rests! If you want color, I recommend dyeing it with a quality fabric dye or even hand paint it! I wanted to do that with mine… I just never found the time! :)

  • Sara E.

    Do you have a recommendation on a particular type of dye?