Thursday, June 23, 2011

Arm Sling Tutorial - Hopefully You'll Never Need To Use It

Brooke chose her fabrics today.
First Rip stop Army camo - Hooah!
Second red, black and white...her swim team colors.
Brooke was nearly beside herself when she found this Latte fabric in her colors.
" This is it! Yes, I love this one!"

What was I to do? We made our purchase and went straight home to start her REVERSIBLE sling.

Hopefully the instructions are easy enough to understand. We took pictures all along the way so there are a "bunch" of pictures

You will need:

1/2 yard main fabric (this should be something sturdy, like canvas(or rip stop)
1/2 yard contrast fabric
3 metal D rings
1 1/2 yard 1" belt webbing
I used a 5/8 inch seam allowance for this project and then trimmed the fabrics back to 1/4inch to avoid bulk in the seams and allow for nice turns especially in the curved areas above the wrist.

Step 1:
Measure the arm. As you can see, we used a very scientific method to do this. I measured from just below Brooke's sleeve line to just below the elbow. THEN doubled that for the length.

For the width I measured about 2 inches past Brooke's arm to the beginning of her thumb nail.

Again, being very scientific, I traced a saucer to get the rounded edge of the sling that will be closest to her hand.

Use the piece you just cut as a pattern to cut out the contrasting fabric.

Step 2:
With right sides together, pin the straight "length" of the fabric from the top and stopping at the elbow. Brooke is very thin so I needed to gather in the edges a bit to make the elbow area snug. I did this by pinning straight down the length until I reached her elbow. I then folded the excess fabric to the sides. You can see it in the picture below.

Fold the two edges that are perpendicular to the arm in toward each other and stitch from top to bottom.

Here you can see with the contrasting fabric another way to do this. This time, beginning at the fold at the bottom of the elbow, fold the fabric inward 1 inch and stitch from bottom to top.

When you turn the fabric right side out you will get a small fold or "pocket" that will snugly hold the elbow in place.

Repeat this step for both the main fabric and the contrasting fabric.

Step 3:

To make the straps, cut a 10 inch piece of webbing and baste stitch 1 metal D ring into the center. You will remove this stitching later.

To the remainder of the webbing stitch 2 D rings to one end, as you would when making a belt.

Now, loop the long webbing (the end without D rings) through the single D ring. Then thread the same end through the two D rings just as you would when putting on a belt. This will later allow your shoulder strap to be adjustable. It should look like this when you get it all done.

Step 4:

Baste the single end of the longest strap to the center seam above the elbow. This should be done on the right side of the fabric.


With right sides together, stitch the main fabric to the contrasting fabric all the way around the edges of the sling, but leave a small opening at just where the rounded edges begin. You will need to do this on both the front and back of the sling.

Here you can see what I mean. I left a 2 inch opening in the front curve and a four inch opening in the back curve. The four inch opening is for turning the fabrics right side out and the other is simply for attaching the webbing/strap.

Step 5:

Turn the sling through the 4 inch hole. Work the seams until they are smooth and the curves are laying nicely. Attach the loose webbing/straps to the wrist area of the sling. Be sure to place one end of webbing about 2 inches into each of the openings from step 4. Top stitch the sling all the way around.

Now using a stitch ripper, remove the stitches that hold the single D ring in the shorter piece of webbing/strap. If you do not remove these stitches you will have a nice fully lined sling but it will not be reversible. (Just trust me on this. We found it out the hard way.)

As a final step, I top stitched this X design over the areas where the webbing lays inside the sling. This will add stability and durability.




Ros Horton said...

Nice Tutorial! Give "B" our best for a speedy recovery.

Very Verdant said...

Thanks Mrs. Horton

Karima said...

Nice Tutorial, I made some slings over a year ago now, when my daughter broke her arm. I made them similar, just different type of strap. I found it really hard to find any tutorials back then and had to make it up as I went along.
Karima x

Tanya said...

That is so great. My daughter has a birth defect on her arm and wears a sling more then half the time. She has done this for the last few years and will likely need to through her adult years. I bought her a handmade one on ebay a couple years ago and have been wanting to make them myself. I am looking forward to picking out fabric with my daughter and whip out one or two.
You are awesome!

Ginger said...

Very cute...but yes, hope I never have to make one. :) Following from Not Just a Housewife. Would love to have you link this up to my {wow me} wednesday link party going on right now over on my blog. The most view link will receive a set of fancy rectangle chalkboard labels from my etsy shop. Hope to see you there.


KAT said...

nice ...i sure could have used this had so much trouble with hospital slings....and spent a lot on a real good one my son has broken his radius/and ulna twice now! Hopefully God willing, NO MORE broken arms

Ashley said...

this is so rad!!! i love that you made it:) i woulda never thought to do this
great tutorial too
thanks for sharing

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