STEP 1: Choose your fabric
There are several things to consider when choosing your fabric, such as how thick and warm, or light and breathable, or how stretchy or taught you want it. I have experimented with several different types of fabric, and here is what I've found:
100% cotton knit: Cotton knits don't have much stretch. This is can be a good thing if you're wearing a heavy toddler, because the fabric "gives" less and is more supportive. On the flip side, the less it gives, the less comfortable it tends to be. Another great thing about 100% cotton though is that it is very light and breathable. I tend to use my 100% cotton wraps in the summer.
100% cotton gauze: I personally haven't made a gauze wrap, but a friend from La Leche League made one because she said it is the most breathable fabric you can use for a wrap. In her opinion, gauze is great because you can even wear it in the water. The drawbacks to gauze is that it's not as stretchy or comfortable as some other fabrics, and you also have to finish the edge with a surger (which I don't have).
95% cotton, 5% spandex knit: In my opinion, this is the most comfortable fabric. It has the perfect amount of stretch to be supportive, yet comfortable. The only drawback is that it is generally pretty thick and can be really hot in the summer. However, I've found that the cotton/spandex rib knits are lighter and more breathable than the standard cotton/spandex knit.
60% cotton, 40% polyester: This fabric is softer than 100% cotton, but not as stretchy as a cotton/spandex blend. It's also more breathable than some cotton/spandex blend fabrics, but I'd have to say that overall it's probably my least favorite fabric to use.
STEP 2: Determine how much fabric you need
The first wrap I ever used was a Sleepy Wrap, which is 5.5 yards long and 20 inches wide. I found that the width was great, but it was a little long. Moby Wraps are even longer... according to different search results I found online, Moby wraps are between 6 and 6.5 yards long and between 24 and 30 inches wide. That's a LOT of fabric in my opinion. It's no wonder so many people feel that Moby Wraps are difficult to tie and uncomfortable to wear!
I've found that for me, 5 yards long is the perfect length, and that 20 - 23 inches wide is the proper width. (To give you a frame of reference for determining how much fabric you might need, I'm about 5' 3" and usually wear a size 4.) The width of the fabric I use varies depending on how wide the bolt of fabric is. Bolts of fabric are usually 45" or 60" wide, so if I get one that is 45" wide, I cut it in half and if I get one that's 60" wide, I cut it in thirds.
STEP 3: Fold and cut
This part is really simple, but I took some pictures, since I sometimes have a hard time explaining things...
Fold the fabric in half, length-wise. (Yes, my craft room is tiny... I guess it's not much longer than about 2.5 yards, which is why you see the arm of the chair I'm standing on.)
This next step is optional... There will probably be a funny edge along the outside edge of the fabric with little holes in it. I cut this off so that both sides of the fabric have the same style edge. (That style being, roughly-cut-by-dull-scissors style.)
(And please don't pay attention to the gross, cheap carpet... we're replacing it with wood soon!)
Next, you'll want to take one of the wraps and fold it in half length wise, then fold it in half again. (So for me, that leaves me with a pile of fabric a little over a yard long.)
(It helps if you have a toddler who likes to color... and if you use washable marker!)
Now, just cut along your lines.
I like to cut both ends together so that they are the same, or at least close to it.
STEP 4: Optional finishing touches
It is helpful to to have a quick and easy way to find the center of your wrap. I've done a few different things...
Make a loop from a scrap of ribbon, folded in half and sewn straight across:
This is great, because you can hang the wrap from a hook by the loop. It's also a quick and easy way to be able to find the middle of your wrap.
You can sew a big pocket across the back of your wrap.
This is nice because it adds a bit of detail to the wrap. You could also put a couple of diapers in the pouch, so that you wouldn't have to carry a diaper. A word of advice though... I found that this particular pocket is WAY TOO BIG! It took away too much of the stretch in part of the wrap you want the stretchiest, and diapers and cell phones get lost in a pocket this big. I think it's best if the pocket is about as wide as your child's back. Also, I sewed a smaller pocket inside the big pocket so that my phone wouldn't get lost.
My preferred type of pocket is a small one on the inside of the wrap, like this one:
After making this one though, I discovered two things:
(I just realized this is a horrible picture, because the pocket doesn't blend in with the wrap, but the wrap blends in with the table!)