I've been thinking about doing this for a while now. Corben is one of those babies that sleeps best with a little movement. In the sling, in the car, in the swing. However, the swing isn't coming camping with us, or anywhere else that we're going on holidays, and I thought it would be nice to have something that we could use ANYWHERE, that packs up nice and light. It also feels nicer, a bit more natural than a battery operated thing-a-ma-jig (and D batteries ain't cheap!) It has the added bonus that EVERY TIME baby stirs, it sets the hammock in motion again and rocks them back to sleep.
These are SUPER SIMPLE to make:
(Apologies in advance for my not-so-sexy diagrams, and my crappy point and shoot pictures...I want my camera back!!!)
You'll need 3 yards of material, with a 45" width. Most I've seen had them with plain muslin, but the muslin I had here was a funny width, so I used this cotton instead.
Fold your fabric in half lengthwise (WRONG sides together if you're using a print) and sew the 2 ends together.
Measure 14 1/2 inches from your first seam, and sew a second one.
What you have now is a large circle of fabric, with a little bit of a "tail."
Press your large seam to one side, turn under the raw edge, and sew it down. Basically what you're doing here is making a large french seam - you've made a circle of fabric, with three layers of fabric at the bottom of it. On your 14" wide bottom, decide where baby's head is going to go, and thus, where his feet will go (ie: pick a top and a bottom.) On the head end, from about 8" on either side of your 14" sandwich, fold down about 3/4" of fabric and sew down, creating a channel for some elastic. Insert the elastic, stitch down on one end, and then gather the fabric down to about 6" total. (This seems like a lot of gathering, but it'll hang better this way, and baby's head will be slightly elevated.) Sew the other end of the elastic down. Trim off the excess.
On the foot end we're going to sew some ties. I used bias tape, and just stitched it closed. For each tie, I used 13" of tape, and just knotted the end.
Find the centre of the foot end. Mark of 4", 8", and 12" from this centre point, in either direction. Sew on your ties.
(I do know how to measure, I didn't realize my tape had slipped when I went to take the picture!)
And now, the pillow.
I used a cheap piece of foam from Walmart, but I'm going to get something a little sturdier. I'm also not satisfied with the size of it, but if your babe is just a newborn, it might be fine.
I'm going to get something from Fabricland and have it cut 14" by 30". You can make a simple pillowcase for your foam, or cover it with a changing pad cover (similar to a crib sheet with the elastic all the way around.) Either way, don't make it permanent, chances are you're going to want to wash this at some point!
Next you'll need a 2 foot long piece of 1" by 3". I used oak, because it's what was cheapest in the hardwood selection. You could use maple too, or likely even a cheaper piece of pine, but I wanted the sturdiness that the hardwood offered. Cut a "U" shape notch in each end, mine is about 3/4" wide and 1 1/2" into the wood. Comme ca:
Now, for assembly! I hung my hammock on the top end of a Jolly Jumper. The spring gives it some bounce, and the clip for the door frame is terribly handy. However, if you don't have a Jolly Jumper hanging around, I understand that you can get springs at Canadian Tire. You can grab some chain there too, and whatever sort of hardware you need to attach the whole shebang together - some combo of carabiners and quick-links.
You'll need a nice sized carabiner to hang at the centre of your hammock. Thread the fabric into the carabiner. I tied another piece of bias tape around the fabric under the carabiner to give it a bit more stability. Thread the fabric into your "U" shaped slots in the wood. Again, another bias tape tie around the wood and the fabric. (I saw a few versions that had these ties sewn on, but I'd recommend not doing that until you see how your hammock hangs and you figure out exactly where you want them.) Insert Baby. Bounce. He sleeps, you blog, everyone wins!
(I'm going to sink a nice big eye hook somewhere on the porch outside too, so he can sleep ourdoors too when we're out there.)(Information gathered from a whole bunch of places...mostly from this blog and this forum, but I also took a look at these few pictures of what's available to buy.)
With the exception of the $5.00 piece of maple, I had all I needed for this project hanging out in my house. However, even if you have to buy everything, you're looking at a maximun of about $50.00 I figure. Heck of a savings from the $200.00 hammocks you can buy in stores!