Anyway, I've been obsessed with baby wraps. I wore my daughter until she was 9 months old and I got pregnant with 2.0. Have you seen how much these things cost? Upwards of $1300!!!!!!! I'll be broke in a heartbeat if this gets out of control. Bring on two fantastic Facebook groups, the DIY Babywearing group and Dyed Baby Carriers. Saviors to my craftiness and my back account.
I haven't sewn anything since I was 18, so this was a nice challenge. I used a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby to purchase 7 yards of osnaburg fabric. According to the groups, this is the best, cheapest, strongest fabric that you can get for baby wraps. It's near the muslin, no one ever knows what it is, so you're on your own finding it.
Here's how I did it...I guess I could have done a pictorial but I kept getting flustered and forgetting. Sigh.
-I obsessively washed and dried my Osnaburg on HOT HOT HOT in order to shrink it. I did this more than I needed to, but I was annoyed that the lint trap kept getting full in my dryer. I kept thinking this means I must wash and dry again..and again...and again. I probably did five cycles. Obsessive obsessive...
-OMG this is the best part. I needed to trim the normally 45" fabric to 32" (leaving a 2" allowance for hemming). According to the groups, ripping is the best way, so I did it! I ripped that b&$)h right up! Worked like a charm too.
-I'm not a fan of squared edges on a baby wrap because they get bunchy, so I tapered them to look like a parallelogram.
-Then I did a 1" hem all the way around. I used Gutermann white cotton thread. Hemming kind of stunk because I hate measuring. It's not perfect, but its fine.
IT'S DYE TIME!!!
Before I could use my pretty colors, I had to scrunch my fabric up accordion style, then I had to soak the fabric in soda ash. I used the tulip brand because it was easily available to me. There are directions on the box, but I feel like it was a one cup soda ash to one gallon of water ratio. I did two gallons of water and two cups of soda ash in a nice bucket...
I'd bought many many many packets of Dylon dye at Joann's and Hobby Lobby. I was going for the rainbow effect. I used three packs of each color. This was too much. Newbie mistake! Actually, I'm not a newbie...I've dyed before, just not like this. So call me a semi-newb.
Anyway, the colors I used were
I also did a mini project with this one with pink and yellow iDye. I dyed a hobo bag that's been laying around my house annoying me with its whiteness.
Since I decided that ice dyeing was my best bet for the rainbow, I needed a set up. I used a baby pool that was serving no purpose in my backyard other than to harbor a large colony of mosquitoes and an old rack that was taking up space in my garage. In the end I ended up using various buckets to keep the ice from disappearing, you'll glimpse that in a mere moment...
Since the wrap was pre-scrunched, I finagled it onto the rack.
Twenty pounds of ice later and we had this bad boy melting away blissfully in the 110 degree Texas heat.
The white you see is soda ash in the dye packets. I used three packets of each color. Two hours later the ice was completely gone (shocker) and there was all sorts of dye muck sitting on top of the wrap. Having seen this problem arise with other projects in the group, I knew to add more ice. Unfortunately for me, the only ice I was hoarding was my blessed Sonic ice used to cure the intense pica pregnancy cravings stemming from the lack of iron in my blood. Oh well, it couldn't be helped. Hubby will be making an ice trip to Sonic this evening.
Now came the waiting game. Let that baby sit for 24 hours...
The next day I waited until nap time and went to visit my creation. My first thought? No more mosquitoes in the pool! The second thought was that the dye was really dark. I transferred the wrap and bag to the black bucket and took it to the bathroom to rinse rinse rinse rinse rinse rinse rinse rinse. I could have done this with a hose outside but the heat index was 115 and well, I'm 6 months pregnant and don't needed to be lolly gagging about outside. Bath tub it is.
And bath tub it was for about 2 hours. I waited until the water was 90% clear, then I took it all down to my machine and rinsed some more. I did 2 more cold rinses and then a hot one. The water was clear at this point, so I did a full wash with two extra rinses on the end of it with 2 tablespoons of blue dawn. You can also use a wash agent called synthrapol, but interestingly enough, I didn't have any laying around. Blue dawn works just as well, just use a SMALL amount. It'll mess up your washing machine and you'll have a very clean floor afterwards if you use too much.
I dried it and then I was done!
Here are the final projects. The wrap is not what I wanted (I didn't want any natural fabric showing through-oh well), but it was a great project. Very challenging for me.