Saturday, April 4, 2009

Onbuhimo Tutorial

Recently, I was watching babywearing blurbs on youtube and noticed some women using an Onbuhimu, which I had never heard of. I looked at several videos and thought it looked like a really great sling! It is less bulky than the mei tai I made with less straps (none around the waist) and the straps were nice and long so I could make a Tibetan tie. Upon research, I could not find one good tutorial on how to make one so I documented my journey into onbuhimu- hood and hopefully this will help someone make one for themselves one day!

I want to start by saying that I am no sewer! I do sew, mostly because I am cheap and can figure out how to make something cheaper than what I can buy it for, but I don't know correct terms, tensions, proper anything. I am a free form kind of girl!!!! So, take my experience as a beginning for whatever you want to do to make the Onbu your own!

Also, I loosely based my Onbu on a pattern by Beth M. for a 'Man Tei.' Her directions are found here: I also looked to as a rough tutorial. It would be very wise to reference these two sites also. I belong to the yahoo sling sewers group and EVERYONE said to order rings from so that is where my 2' aluminum rings came from. Rochelle Price from Sling rings was very helpful and gave me the measurements of her onbu to assist me in the process. Thanks Rochelle!

I made the solid brown bits (back of sling, bottom where rings are attached and straps) out of canvas and the pink pattern was 100% cotton. The canvas bears the bulk of the weight of my darling Evie.

OK.... here we go. First, I measured out my straps. I made them 6" wide and 65" long. Cut two. I folded them in half and ironed a crease down the middle as a reference point. I wanted them padded so I layed a double layer of fleece- stuff I had laying around the house, about 4" from one end going a distance of roughly 30" which is probably 5" too far. It works just fine but some of it goes into the ring and it adds a bit of bulk.

I then sewed the fleece to the canvas with a straight line down the middle of the canvas. This is the side that will be the bottom of my strap when I attach it to the rest of the sling. I folded the right sides together (fleece facing OUT) and sewed a 1/4" seam, closing one end of the strap and leaving the other end open.

I turned the strap inside out using the pole off of my beach umbrella! A yard stick or broom stick would also work. I pressed the strap then top stitched the whole way round to avoid slipping.

Next, I cut out a large square of canvas and contrasting cotton (18" by 22") and traced a lampshade to get the curve around the top. I placed a piece of fleece on the canvas for padding then placed my strap on the fleece. I pinned the strap into place and using a satin stitch (I looked that one up!) I secured the strap to the canvas body of the Onbu.

Then, I placed the right sides together of the canvas and cotton and stitched around the edges and curve of the sling MAKING SURE NOT TO STITCH OVER THE STRAPS!!!! You want to make sure there is an opening to pull the straps out when you go to turn the sling the right side out. Trim the edge of the curve, turn right side out and press.

Here you can see that I did not stitch over the straps.

When you turn your Onbu to the right side, simply pull the straps through the opening. Press the Onbu and at the same time press under the raw edges around the straps and pin down.

Top stitch the entire sling (I did two seams of top stitching for added detail and to be sure the fleece padding did not slip around and bunch up) being sure to close the openings around the straps.

Fair warning.... this part I pretty much did free hand. I cut a section of the canvas about 11" wide by 28" long and pressed a crease down the middle. I added two layers of fleece for padding and stitched around the edges but leaving an opening to put the body of my Onbu in the top.

I placed the Onbu body into the pocket (about 2 inches in) and pressed the raw edges under and pinned. I then top stitched twice, all the way around to securely attach the body to the bottom section.

I placed the ring on one end of the strap, cut the strap to the right length and satin stitched it into place. According to Rochelle (the only Onbu wearer I know) you want to be sure to use the 2" rings and keep the rings close to the body of the Onbu to avoid digging into your armpit! Repeat on the other side. I also top stitched down the center of the body a few times for added detail.

Clean up any loose thread and VOILA! You have yourself an Onbuhimu! Please leave comments if you are using this tutorial and let me know how it worked for you.... I would love the opportunity to make improvements if needed! Happy sewing and even happier baby wearing!


My sweet sweet love!

We have been doing a bit of this and a bit of that lately! Because Evie is eating food now, the diaper situation has changed. Paul recently installed a sink sprayer to our toilet and it works awesome! The directions can be found at:

and was about $25 cheaper than buying a kit online. I will post a photo when I get a chance. We have also been experimenting with different liners for our cloth diapers. I tried microfleece- mainly b/c it is cheap and easily accessible but poor cuteness is developing a rash b/c of it so now I am awaiting a shipment of raw silk to make some liners. I purchased two from a local store and they work wonderfully and cleared up her rash overnight so I am looking forward to having enough silk liners that I can chuck the fleece. Really, I think I am going to try to come up with a project to reuse the 9 X 13 squares of fleece I have now.... any ideas? I also finished a new sling for Evie and will be posting a tutorial soon (b/c there aren't any out there.... weird). Here are some recent photos of the sweet one and a video where she is experimenting with sound..Cutie Pie, sweet love, darling faced girl (God help me, I sound like my mother!)

Oh yeah... and I have been knitting up some wool covers lately too (see the pink skirty up top? That is her diaper cover!)! I am hoping that before she is one, we will be using a 100% natural diapering system. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 20, 2009

St. Patty's Day 2009

So I checked Facebook in the morning and everyone said they were giving their kids green food; green pancakes, cinnamon rolls with green icing, and green breakfast casserole, sooooo I thought Evie may want to have some green food too! I dressed her in her adorable leg warmers (the weather was FAB! 70's in March hurray!) and sat her down for some avocado breakfast. She ended up with most of it smeared across her face but did seem to get some in her mouth. What a mess! Then she went into the sunporch to watch Emma and Lucy sunbath on the deck! She loves watching them while they are outside and waving and talking to them. Later in the day, we took a looooong walk in the woods which was awesome because Emma was so tierd, she forgot to punch us every two minutes!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Oh so much done so little time to record it! Evie is now 10 months old- that's like almost a year- ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh where did the time go? The day after her 8 month b-day she started crawling. I hope I never forget the look on her face as if to say, "Mummy, I get it now! Check this out!" and crawled across the room to grab the cat's tail! Then, three days later she pulled herself up on a chair. I was totally unprepared for those two events to happen so close together but hey- it is not about my readiness that dictates what she will do when! Now that she is 10 months she is standing for 30 seconds to a minute at a stretch- it is only a matter of time before she walks. She is walking easily along the furniture now and transferring from one piece to the next with ease! Does it get any easier watching them grow older? She is just the love of my life and not a day goes by that I fail to wonder how empty life would be without her!

She also tried her first bit of solid food this month! I cried! We chopped an avocado up into tiny chunks and let her roll it around in her mouth. She did not swallow any yet but the dogs are going to LOVE this new phase of her life!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Walk in the brief January sun!

Hi all- we went out walking today- Emma and Lucy were soooooo happy! This was Evie's first wintertime walk and after some initial protesting, she began to look around at the trees and I think she actually liked it! Evie is turning into such a loud mouth! I just love all the babababa and dadadada and razzberries she makes! Everyone who meets her says that she is just a happy, happy baby and I have to agree (although I really have no comparision!) She is such a joy and gift to our lives!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Evie's first Christmas


Evie turned 7 months on the 5th and oh what a month it has been! More parties seeing the Spira's and the Mixa's! She is jabbering away like crazy! Earlier this month it was sticking her tongue out and making bubbles. That turned into making motorboat sounds and ba ba ba ba ba, then today she started with da da da. It has been so cool watching her speech evolve. No words yet (although I swear she has been saying 'hi' at totally appropriate times for months now! She is getting up on all fours with no problem and almost crawling. She can now push herself up from laying down to a sitting position and keeps trying to pull herself up on tables, footstools and her favorite thing to pull herself up on is me!

Monday, November 24, 2008

6 month photo shoot

Here are some recent pics of Evie at 6 months. She has a new toy she really likes- it is one of those mesh bags that you put frozen food (or in our case frozen spring water) in and they can safely chew on it- and she threw it on the floor. Paul got up to take it to rinse off and she just screamed and pouted as he walked away. He turned around to see what was the matter and she was all smiles. They danced that routine another couple of times and we both just shook our heads b/c she is now pitching a fit to try to get her way. Why didn't anyone tell me this could happen so soon? Good thing she is so darn cute!