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Reviews and information about babywearing, slings, wraps and carriers for keeping your baby close and content


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Wrap scrap accessories

I’ve posted before about wrap conversions, where a wrap is converted into a carrier like a mei tai, half buckle or full buckle. An off-shoot of the wrap conversion industry is a veritable smorgasbord of things you can get made from scrap. Depending on the length of the wrap you have converted, and what kind of conversion you get, you might have nothing much left over, or you might have some substantial pieces of scrap. Or, when you find the wrap of your dreams but it only comes in a size much longer than you need, giving it a chop can be a good option, leaving you with a length of fabric that might not seem to be of much use.

As luck would have it, talented individuals have grabbed this opportunity and started making all sorts of things out of wrap scrap, so you don’t have to dispose of any of your beloved wrap, and you may even get a keepsake that you can use well after your baby has grown up.

If you can sew, you can turn your scraps into anything you like, but, if like me you can barely sew a button, there are loads of women out there (possibly men too, let me know if you’re one of them!) who can turn your scrap into something for you to treasure.

Most of these businesses run through Facebook or Etsy, so search around or ask in your local babywearing group for recommendations. Here’s a few I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with to give you an idea of what you can do.

Wrap scrap pony

Working from Florida in the USA and selling spots via an Etsy page, Wrap Scrap Pony makes pony, unicorn and pegasus stuffed toys from wrap scrap. A minimum of 60 centimetres is needed for a pony, and a little bit more for a unicorn or pegasus. I had a pony made from some scrap I had of a Cloth of Kin Sidewalk Chalk wrap that I had converted into a ring sling. It is delightful, and my daughter loves her “horsey”.

Stuffed pony made from wrap scrap

“Alexander” – my daughter’s wrap scrap pony made from Cloth of Kin Sidewalk Chalk

Girl with toy pony

Seabrezy T’s

When I first got into wraps, I bought the wrap that was released on the day my daughter was born, Natibaby Quadroses Carmine. I bought it in a size 6 as it was the first one that became available, but a 6 was always too long for me, so I chopped it to a size 3 and had the rest made into a bag by Seabrezy T’s – a woman in Perth. I love that I have something made with this special legacy wrap that will last me well past when I no longer carry my daughter. I’m thinking I’ll get the rest of the wrap made into cushion covers eventually as well.

Tote bag made from wrap scrap

Tote bag made from Natibaby Quadroses Carmine by Seabrezy T’s

Oscha keyrings

Oscha is an established woven wraps brand, but in addition they also sell keyring fobs from their wrap scraps. Here’s mine, made from Nouveau Willow.

Keys with keyring made from wrap scrap

Keyring made from Oscha Nouveau Willow.

I love these because it means I can carry my keys around my wrist and have two hands free to pick up the children, bags, paintings, drink bottles, toys etc I have to drag out of the car with me each day! A number of small businesses also make these to order from scrap you might already have.

Handmade by Davinia

Davinia is a fabulous babywearing mama from Sydney who I’m lucky to know personally. In her spare time she creates some gorgeous things from wrap scrap and other fabrics, most notably a bonnet that is pretty much impossible for a small child to remove, which in the Australian sun is very important!

Bonnet

Bonnet made from Oscha Roses Danna

Some other ideas for wrap scraps are purses, headbands, hair ties, scarves, dolly slings, children’s clothes, brooches, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Do you have something made from wrap scrap that you love or a vendor you recommend?

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Review: Oscha 100% linen wrap

It’s been beach weather in Sydney recently, and word is we’re in for a bit of a heatwave in the lead up to summer. Babywearing in the summer time can be sweaty, particularly if you live somewhere humid, or you spend a lot of time outdoors. But you can do your best to beat the heat by choosing a wrap least likely to leave you and your little one sticky and wet.

Just like linen pants or shirts might be your outfit of choice during the summer months, linen can also make for a great lightweight wrap. While cotton/linen blend wraps come in a variety of densities, some far too dense to be comfortable in a hot summer, a wrap that is 100% linen is thin and cool, less than 200 gsm. Linen is also very supportive, which many people prefer for carrying bigger babies and toddlers.

I recently had the opportunity to try an Oscha 100% linen wrap, in the Amelia colourway. Oscha is a well-established and popular woven wrap company based in Scotland. Among their extensive collection, they produce wraps on natural and white 100% linen with a variety of grad dyes – the Amelia colourway is a gorgeous purple (anyone notice that all the wraps I’ve reviewed so far have been purple? I didn’t plan it that way, I promise!).

Oscha 100% linen grad dyed Amelia

Oscha 100% linen grad dyed Amelia

One thing that is pretty true of all wraps with a high linen content is that they are quite stiff when brand new – so 100% linen is really stiff, it takes a lot of breaking in to get it into a softer state suitable for comfortable everyday wearing. The wrap I tried was a fair bit softer than new, but was still a work in progress that could be broken in a bit more. This quality makes an all linen wrap a bit confronting; I wouldn’t recommend it for a brand new wrapper or a newborn baby in its unbroken state.

This wrap is also very grippy, which meant it required a bit of effort to make the second pass on a double hammock. Linen also has very little stretch, so it is unforgiving of a sloppy wrap job, and it was difficult to get the top rail as tight as I would have liked. A loose top rail with a thin wrap and a 13 kilogram toddler wasn’t very comfortable I have to say. Thin wraps have no cush on the shoulders; to get a comfortable wrap job with an all linen wrap you need to be very precise and careful. The third time I wrapped with it, I did a much better job. I got the double hammock chest pass tighter and therefore my top rail tighter – after my first failed attempt I was surprised to find it was actually reasonably comfortable. Linen is rock solid, which I do like in a wrap. After a 30 minute stroll my daughter had barely moved, and there was little if any sag. With a big toddler, the thinness of this wrap did mean it was a little diggy after 30 minutes however, though I think if I was to use this wrap regularly I would learn more about it and improve my technique for a more comfortable ride.

Solid as a rock with a toddler

Solid as a rock with a toddler

It is certainly lightweight and cool though in the warm weather, which is what you would buy this wrap for. I think if you’re looking for something very lightweight for carrying in a particularly warm part of the world and your baby is between about five and 11 kilograms then this would be perfect. For me, I don’t think it gets quite hot enough in Sydney for me to carry a 13 kilogram toddler in this given the loss of comfort compared with some of my cushier wraps. You would also want to be dedicated to giving the wrap the time and effort it needs to be broken in, if you can’t buy a second hand one already broken in for you that is! A broken in linen wrap will be a million times more comfortable and easier to wrap with than a brand new one. Patience, and perhaps a few babywearing friends to help you break it in, would be key.

If you want to give all linen a try, as well as Oscha, an Australian brand called Lewlewbelle also makes 100% linen wraps. Alternatively, you might like to consider purchasing linen from a fabric store and trying a DIY wrap – it will need a lot of breaking in, but if you have the energy, it might work out a cheaper option if you’re on a budget.

What’s your favourite warm weather wrap?