There are two ways to craft a pod (podaegi) with wide, wrap-style straps. Part 1 covers the easiest method, and is simple enough for beginner sewers. Part 2 is a little more in-depth, but makes for a cleaner finished product.
Either way you choose, the first few steps are the same. Let's get started! You'll need:
- One woven wrap, roughly 3m long (120")
- One piece of pre-washed heavy canvas, 6" x 20"
- Matching thread
- Light cotton batting (optional)
Cut your blanket and straps. I recommend a blanket at least 30" long - you'll lose 5-6 inches after hemming and forming the headrest. You can make it as wide or narrow as you want, I usually cut them around 18" wide. In this picture, I was using a wrap that is 30" wide, so I only had to cut it to the right width. For most wraps, you'll need to cut the blanket sideways and then trim the sides to the correct width. For straps, use the entire width of the wrap and long enough to extend to the center of the pod. For example, if you want 80" finished straps and an 18" wide blanket, cut your straps 89" long.
Hem the long cut edge of each strap. Mark the center of each strap and use that as a guide to accordion-fold each side, meeting in the middle.
Sew on the end, and again at 5" from the end. Baste another line of stitching at 10" from the end (see my finger?).
Fom here, you get to choose. Quick and dirty? Or a little longer, but much cleaner in the end?
Turn (twice) and hem all four edges of your blanket - I suggest 1/2" seam allowance. Cut your canvas so it is the same height as your folded strap, and length should be 1" less than the width of the blanket. Here's an idea of what your canvas should look like.
Pin the straps so that the cut ends meet in the center of the canvas. Sew the straps to the canvas and reinforce like crazy (x-boxes, triangles, whatever makes you happy). Make sure the strap is sewn down all the way to the middle of the canvas. Here's an example of how I reinforce the strap to the canvas.
Lay your blanket out, right side down. Lay the canvas at the top of the blanket (make sure it's centered!). Grab the blanket and canvas together, fold it down once so that 4-5" of the blanket is now covering the canvas. This top area is now the headrest for the pod. Pin and sew the sides and bottom of the headrest closed. After you've sewn the headrest closed, you can take out your basting stitches from the straps.
Finally, reinforce the headrest by stitching through the blanket, canvas, and straps. Here I used a long rectangle, but several straight lines of stitching would work just as well.
Voila! Wrap-pod, complete!
Grab your baby and GO!
Use the width of the strap to estimate how much of the blanket to fold down for the headrest.
Make a little mark on the blanket where the bottom of the headrest will be.
Turn the edges of the headrest once and sew almost to your mark. It should look like this, with the raw edges still exposed.
Cut a piece of heavy canvas the size of your [folded over] headrest.
Fold the headrest over (right sides together) with the strap in between, right side down. You did cut your straps long enough to meet in the middle of the headrest, right? Leave this sticking out of the edge of the blanket, with the rest of the strap in the middle. Your basting line should be inside the folded layers at this point.
Pin and sew the side edge only. I like to use a triple stitch for this.
Alright, stay with me. You're halfway there!
Fold the end of the strap back over onto the canvas.
Hold the end of the strap and the canvas together, pull the blanket out of the way.
Make sure the strap and canvas are laying flat together from your last seam, and reinforce until you can't reinforce any more. I like to do straight and diagonal stitching, as well as some bartack at the edges.
Fold the blanket back under the headrest, insert the other strap with the end sticking out, pin and sew.
Turn the headrest right side out, and take out your basting stitches. At this point, if you wanted extra padding, you could cut it and insert it into the headrest. I like a layer of Warm & Natural cotton batting - I cut it 2x the height of the headrest and fold it around the canvas/strap ends. No pics of this, since I didn't use padding on this pod. But I'm sure you can use your imagination.
On the back side, sew the headrest closed along the bottom. Remember when you turned the side edges of your headrest edges under once? Now that the top is sewn, the edges are double-turned and waiting for you to sew them! Oblige by sewing down each side.
Reinforce through the headrest as well - on this one, I used a rectangle. Three or four straight lines across would work just as well.
Congratulations! I knew you could do it.
Grab your baby and go for a spin!