I’ve been dreaming about this summer’s week at the cottage, and all of the wonderful time spent in the water (I’m sure the lack of central air-conditioning and the few days where the ground floor thermostat registered 30°C played no small part in my dreams of swimming…). Thinking of all the things we would need to bring, one thing lodged itself at the forefront of my mind (next to a properly fitted life vest for Maus)…a mesh water sling!

I had been eyeing the sling pattern in Growing Up Sew Liberated, and am hoping to make a sling for a wedding in September, so a water sling seemed like the perfect chance to practice sling making.

The materials list for making a water sling was short and sweet: 2¼ yards of sports mesh and a pair of sling rings (a sewing machine and thread as well, of course). I have seen in other online sling tutorials that some people recommend just using steel rings from a hardware store, and while I can’t say that they are not safe, I can say that proper sling rings from places such as this are made specifically for the purpose. I suppose it requires a bit more forethought, as the rings need to be ordered, but to me it made sense to use proper rings.

After some discussion (thanks for the help, Tanja!) I chose to make the sling double-layered for more support. Cub is a big boy already and Mausi does still love the occasional snuggle in the sling, so more support is certainly welcome. This way also I would be able to use the water sling for walks in the woods and around the cottage rather than just for in the lake.

 I must have redone the shoulder 4 times (and am certainly happy that I had the water sling to practice on ere I attempted the sling for the wedding!), before I was finally satisfied. I first attempted the shoulder as shown in the book. Then I attempted to replicate the pleated pattern on my much-loved sewfunky ring sling. I wonder if I could get away with a simpler gathered shoulder when using dupioni silk…

I sewed 3 rows of stitches to hold the shoulder, and each row was sewn twice. Goodness though I do hope that the dupioni silk sling shoulder isn’t quite as thick as this shoulder was…my poor sewing machine struggled to get through it, and I had to help by manually advancing the needle through parts!

So now, with Cub snug in the sling I have hands free for Maus…or maybe to scratch a passing spaniel…

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