Tuesday 15 February 2011

Child's Arm Sling - Upcycling

Over a year ago my youngest daughter broke her arm (unbelievably she did this when playing in the soft play!).

After a visit to the hospital, they put a lovely bright pink chalk on her arm, and supplied me with a blue band sling. As soon as we got home I realised that this sling just wasn’t suitable for a toddler. It is a standard issue sling, which is given to children and adults.  I have attached a photo of the blue sling at the bottom of this blog.  It never stayed in place, it just kept slipping of everytime she was walking about.  Also, it didn’t really blend in with her many pink outfits!  I don't think she owned any blue clothes apart from a pair of blue jeans, and those were not worn that often.
Opposite is a clearer photo of the pink sling on its own.  The straps look small, beacuse they are tucked into the shoulder padding. I searched the internet for ideas about how to make a sling. I couldn’t find any tutorials or patterns for what I wanted.  There were however, a few sites that sold some lovely slings with great fabrics suitable for children.

I took my inspiration from the photographs online and came up with my own design. I didn't want one of the many cartoon character type fabrics which are most common in the children's slings. My sling, obviously had to be pink.

Looking at the photographs, I could tell that this wasn’t really a difficult task, they are simply shaped and sewn as a bag (except you leave one side open for your arm to rest out. I had a lovely pink top which I had bought for my eldest daughter, but she never wore because the fitting wasn’t very good. I used this top to make the bag part of the sling. I then used some other pink material to make the adjustable handle. I didn’t have any fasteners, so I sewed on a few buttons and a button hole so I had a choice of adjusting the length. These were hidden under the moveable shoulder padding I made. For the padding I used matching pink material and used wadding to pad it out. I also added a couple of press studs to fasten the sling so her arm was a bit more secure.

My daughter loved her new matching sling. I decided to make another one so that she can alternate. This time I made a nice yellow one. I used an outgrown yellow summer dress that had belonged to her, as the main part of this sling and for the straps. Photos of this sling are above.

I didn’t take many photos of her when she originally broke her arm, so a few photos here are recent photos of my daughter without the chalk on. I took these for demonstration purposes.

The photo below is the original blue sling that the hospital had provided for her.

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