I think it’s special: the last thing I stitched in my IL home sewing corner (basement), was a maternity top and pants for my daughter… and the first thing I’ve completed in my new TN sun room sewing studio (check out my NEW sewing view below!) is…a knit wrap-style baby carrier – and more maternity clothes coming up next – at least for my ‘personal sewing’ schedule.
Not that it really saves much $$ – but it was fun, interesting, and satisfying to create this ‘Boba Wrap’ as it is called at BabyRUs. My hubby laughed and rolled his eyes when I came out with it on, carrying the closest thing I could find to a ‘baby’ in the house! I do pray that my Granddaughter in God’s workshop (daughter’s womb) won’t come out with bunny ears like this…
Click on the photo to visit the website. Scroll down on the product to see the ‘How To Wrap Video, but I’m adding some photos from that video and my own explanation to each step below.
After some experimentation, I found that a VERY stretch Poly/Lycra or Rayon/Lycra single knit JERSEY cut to 24″ wide and approximately 6 yards long will create this wrap. Since most knits of this nature are 60″ wide, 3 yards will do…just cut the 24″ width twice from the 3 yards and piece together. Even at that, you’ll have a good bunch of ‘scrap’ knit that will be fun to utilize in other ways. This seam will be the center of your Boba Wrap – which actually ends up down the baby’s back, and will make starting the wrap process much easier by locating this seam at the center front of your body. Though six yards ‘works’ for me (after some experimentation) the size of the Mom (and babe and bust!) will also determine the length, but six yards finished length is a good starting place…
Select a solid color fabric rather than the print I utilized just because the fabric will twist and flop around some, and a print has an ‘ugly’ ‘side’ to it.
Since this started out to be a baby shower gift, I decided to finish the edges with serging – though technically, that really wouldn’t be necessary. I’m planning to go to BabyRUs to ‘check out’ the original…my guess is that it is serged, but likely not anything special…….
Below the wrapping instructions/photos I’m including some VERY helpful serging techniques, so if you have a serger…be sure to read on to the end of this post.
Step 1 Center the wrap on your body, over the chest, right side out. Take LONG ends to the back and cross them over each other, keeping as wide as possible. Next, these ends will each come up and OVER your shoulders –
Step 2 Next…feed each of these LONG ends UNDERNEATH the front piece as shown in first photo below. Pull SNUGLY – see second photo. Then, cross over each other and bring to the back.
Step 3 Now, AGAIN, cross over each other in the back and pull around to your front for the finishing tie at center front or your hip.
Narrow the ends. Considering the end ‘tie’ function, I decided to improve the design by narrowing the last 3/4 yard on each end of my Boba Wrap. Once I ‘fit’ this on my daughter with grand baby, if another is requested I may well REALLY narrow the last portion of each end much MORE to decrease the bulk in the final ‘tie’.
Where does Baby go? Inside that snug, but quite stretchy, pocket on the front that was the very first across your body placement in step one. If you’ve followed these directions, there will be a vertical seam right there in the center front.
I always highly recommend a serger that can work with just two threads! Why? Because rolled hems are so much easier!!! With a triple-thread serger, the lower looper thread is SO tight, you don’t see it anyway. Besides that, why use 3 threads when you can get buy with two is my question! Sew…check out if your serger can do a serged edge and a rolled hem with just two threads. If so, you have some type of ‘plug’ or ‘adapter’ that goes on (plugs up) the upper looper. See mine below. (Elna 704 – from late 90’s)
When serging with two threads, the lower looper thread is what ends up ‘on top’, or in a rolled hem, ‘rolls’ the edge, and the needle thread is generally loose, creating the thread seen on the bottom, where you generally view the lower looper thread.
For the decorative ‘special’ edge for my soon-to-be-born first granddaughter, I decided to use extra woolly nylon in navy for a nice, filled in two thread rolled hem edge. This thread will wrap the rolled hem edge, and go in the lower looper . If you’ve ever worked with woolly nylon (let alone extra woolly nylon), you know it is almost impossible to thread. The trick is to make a ‘lasso’ of regular thread, thread the regular (double end) through the looper, then pass the woolly into the loop of thread and PULL – as seen in the photos below.
Clipping right along, I was smart enough to let my serger do the removal of the ugly white selvage on the knit fabric – finishing with this neat edge all at once. However, checking the tensions, it was obvious that I could improve the look. See in the second photo below that on the lower side, the needle thread was visible – which meant it was too loose. To tighten, you always go to a higher number on the dial. Just remember: low= loose and hi = tight. I also then lowered the chain looper tension and achieved the perfect edge as shown in the third photo below. This run of edge finishing worked like a charm!
Next, it was time to measure and mark the 24″ width all along the length of the fabric so that I could repeat what I’d just done. I always use my chakoner for tasks like this. In this case, on the RIGHT side of the fabric because I needed the right side up to work the rolled hem edge.
Life is full of challenges, and sewing teaches PERSISTENCE. Darn if I didn’t all the sudden have this beautiful edge working itself OFF the fabric edge!!! For some reason, it seemed impossible to ‘get started’ again. The best hint I can give you is to shove that fabric up under the foot, and to penetrate fabric to start. The other hint would be to serge on some fabric with more firmness to get going, then proceed onto the knit. Honestly, this ‘off the edge’ gremlin attached my project several times. I am not a ‘perfectionist type’ of seamstress, so in several spots, I just went back and, as I say, ‘zoomed on and then zoomed off’ that portion of the edge to fix it. Honestly though, my best technique hints are these three:
- Conscientiously move the fabric with your left hand behind the presser foot over to the right. What was happening was the weight of the long length of knit was naturally pulling the work off to the left after the edge was ‘worked’ by the serger. Sew…., keeping it all over the right behind the needle counter-acted that natural affect of the fabric weight.
2. Move the cutting action, the fixed blade over to the right so that less fabric is cut off. That actually rolls more fabric into the edge, and helped conquer those ‘edge gremlins’.
3. With every serger I’ve ever worked on/taught/helped with, THIS IS TRUE!!!! When a thread breaks (as it did on me one time during this project – the woolly nylon lower looper), You MUST not only fix the thread which is broken BUT BUT BUT, you MUST get the needle thread coming directly from the eye of the needle back. It can NOT be wrapped around the lower looper (as it does in the regular operation) when you BEGIN. Have you not figured out that (for the reason you didn’t know before you just read this hint), that for some reason – ONLY if you completely re-thread your serger, will it ‘work’ after a looper thread has broken and been re-threaded!??? Well – this is the reason – what you read above. Sergers are amazing machines, but you MUST know the RULES and respect everything that goes on. Perhaps on the multi-thousand dollar versions, this isn’t necessary – I don’t know about that, but on all other sergers – at least ALL those I’ve helped/taught on over MANY years, THIS IS TRUE!!!!!!
Send me pictures of YOUR babes and grand-babies in a Boba Wrap!