I found the COOLEST thing - Mothering Forums
Babywearing > I found the COOLEST thing
jgale's Avatar jgale 06:44 PM 04-06-2004
I live in Philly and I was browsing in a store that sold Asian textiles. I had my boy in his Girasol and the lady who ran the store wanted to see how it was tied etc., then she dug through this basket and pulled out 4 baby carriers that she bought in Vietnam--they are traditional Hmong carriers.

Well, I had almost not even brought my wallet with me that day but thank heavens I did. I immediately took Diego out of his Girasol and tried on the carrier she had. It was SO fabulous. I bought one on the spot and then ended up going back to the store to buy two more of them.

The lady was so excited that she gave me a discount and took a picture of me holding Diego in it. She said that she figured that someone might buy one to hang on their wall because they are so beautiful, but that "no one would be willing to give up their Bjorn and actually use it!"

It is kind of like a Kozy except that it only has straps at the top which go over your shoulders, cross in the back and then tied under the babe's bum. It is so simple and will be really cool for summer.

The fabric is absolutely GORGEOUS--quilted and embroidered and it is a little faded as she bought it used in Vietnam. I love the idea of all the little Hmong babies who might have ridden in it.

She said that in Vietnam they wear the babies on the back with it, which I have done with Diego. This week I also tried turning him around so he faced forward which he loved (he hadn't ever done that before).

Best of all, the design is so simple that I made one for my friend in 2 hours. She just came over and pawed through my fabric stash and I made her one that night that she can take on her beach vacation next week.

Can you tell I'm a little excited? I'm going to try to post a link for a picture of me and my little guy in it.

I just love how I happened to find it in this store and that it is an authentic carrier from a totally other part of the world. Yay!

Joannect's Avatar Joannect 07:01 PM 04-06-2004
That's too cool! My Mom is going to Vietnam this summer. I'll have to ask her to keep her eyes open for something like that. Sounds so pretty. I'd love to see a picture of it
kofduke's Avatar kofduke 07:47 PM 04-06-2004
Can you post or pm me the store & addy? I'd love to check that out!
CajunMama's Avatar CajunMama 08:08 PM 04-06-2004
That is so awesome I can't wait until you post the link!!

I am impatiently waiting.... :LOL
Mizelenius's Avatar Mizelenius 11:03 PM 04-06-2004
How cool! I love Hmong work!
mcmrymoon's Avatar mcmrymoon 11:30 PM 04-06-2004
hey kofduke - potential outing??? :LOL
blessed2bamommie's Avatar blessed2bamommie 10:59 AM 04-07-2004
Yeah! Don't tease us! Post a pic! Post a pic!
kofduke's Avatar kofduke 01:18 PM 04-07-2004

Patiently sitting in my office with no work to do, waiting to see where I can take a field trip!
jgale's Avatar jgale 02:54 PM 04-07-2004
Sorry ladies, just saw all the replies now.

I'll try to post a picture tonite--I'm computer challenged and don't know how to get the pix off the digi camera so I have to wait for my DH to get home.

As for the location of the store: it was called Ruka and it was on 19th between Market and Walnut (can't remember exactly where). Here's the news though: she only had 4 and I bought 3--I know, I'm a junky. they weren't cheap either! The one that I didn't buy would have needed some major work on the straps as they were very worn. That is also true for one of the ones that I purchased. I may fix the straps and sell it on Ebay, but I haven't decided yet.

Hopefully I'll have pix for you guys tonite... Jessi
blessed2bamommie's Avatar blessed2bamommie 03:00 PM 04-07-2004
I understand...I couldn't post a pic either. :LOL
MiaPia's Avatar MiaPia 03:21 PM 04-07-2004
That is so incredibly cool! Please please try to post a picture! I would love to see it!
lisabc311's Avatar lisabc311 04:18 PM 04-07-2004
Oooh, I wanna see!!! I wanna see!!!
kate-astrophe's Avatar kate-astrophe 05:21 PM 04-07-2004
is that store????

I live in Center City and I'd love to check out that store. Can you tell me what it's called or where it is?

jgale's Avatar jgale 08:32 PM 04-07-2004
Kate--I posted the address of the store a few replies up.
jgale's Avatar jgale 08:41 PM 04-07-2004
I hope this works


Try pasting that into your browser if you can't click on it...
kofduke's Avatar kofduke 09:26 PM 04-07-2004
OMG, that's so beautiful. I'm going to be in that neighborhood on Monday, so I'm going to try and check the store out (assuming all you sling hyenas haven't beat me to it!!!)
kate-astrophe's Avatar kate-astrophe 09:40 PM 04-07-2004
Originally posted by jgale
Kate--I posted the address of the store a few replies up.
How did I miss that? I love that store too. I walk by it all the time.

mcmrymoon's Avatar mcmrymoon 10:59 PM 04-07-2004
what a great carrier! check out this link http://www.sjalar.nu/

click the second word on the left. it should bring up a page that has the ellaroo on it. scroll down to sakara. at first i thought it was that one but i notice the straps are too thin on yours to be that one. isn't this one beautiful though?
blessed2bamommie's Avatar blessed2bamommie 12:15 AM 04-08-2004
CajunMama's Avatar CajunMama 12:35 AM 04-08-2004
Thanks for posting the pic! beautiful carrier- and precious DC
kofduke's Avatar kofduke 01:40 PM 04-13-2004
I went to see it yesterday! It's gorgeous! I think that the damage to the straps on the one that's left would make it too hard for me to safely sling my big DS without needing to modify it too much (he's 25 lbs or so!) but it's gorgeous. I *might* go back and get it for my wall in a few weeks it's so pretty (that was why the owner bought them) - but if someone else wants it for actual use, don't let me stand in your way!

I chatted with the owner about the slings - she thought you were awesome, jgale - she was so impressed with how intuitively you got your DS in there! She is going to document the pattern, and try and have a few made. She was thinking of cotton, but I suggested a brocade, which she hadn't thought of. She said she has some Vietnamese brocades that she might try
jgale's Avatar jgale 01:46 PM 04-13-2004
She had mentioned to me that she might do that. I was sort of hoping that she would ask me to help her with the sewing, but she made it sound like she had other people to do the work.

I've made 2 carriers based on that design already--one for me and one for a friend of mine. I just used really light cotton (stuff I use in my quilts) so that they would be comfy for the babies for summer.

I may take my babycakes by there in the home made one so she can see it...and maybe I can get involved in her project. I bet she's got some fabulous fabric in her collection.

Next, I'm going to make one for my DH out of a manly paisly that he picked out of my stash. You can pm me if you think you'd like me to make one for you.

I'm still working the kinks out a bit, but I should have the design squared away after the next few I make (I've got 3 pregnant friends who are all going to receive one for their baby showers...)
liz-hippymom's Avatar liz-hippymom 01:08 PM 04-14-2004
do you think you could post directions on how to make one? i really want to make a back carrier- but i am looking for a more simple pattern- or clearer directions than the ones i have seen online. you said it was really easy so i would love to try! i would pay you to make one- but we are sooo broke right now, and i have tons of fabric!
jgale's Avatar jgale 02:11 PM 04-14-2004
I'm happy to post directions. The only thing the slightest bit tricky about doing that is that I laid the original cover down on my fabric and traced around it to get the shape right.

However, I'll try to measure it in the next few days and figure out if I can describe it well enough that you could follow the directions.

It's a great, simple carrier. I'm still really excited about it. My babe is in the one I made now, facing forward, bouncing on the seat of the chair I'm sitting on, and chewing on the edge. I think the next one I make will be trimmed in terry cloth. Not so stylish, but excellent for chewy babies...

Ember's Avatar Ember 11:17 PM 04-15-2004
It's gorgeous! And you and your babe look gorgeous in it.

So cool that you were able to recreate it. I would LOVE to have some directions too. My sis is going to be giving me her unused sewing machine so I'd love for that to be my first project.
Question......how is it with the thin straps? I would be afraid that it might not be too comfy since my ds is 23 lbs.
4boybarians's Avatar 4boybarians 11:46 PM 04-15-2004
I just told my husband about how you found these and showed him the pics. He said, "That's beautiful! And that lady looks very smug."

Frogmorest's Avatar Frogmorest 09:37 PM 04-16-2004
That is beautiful!!!!! I really need to get my butt into gear and make something like that!

jgale's Avatar jgale 11:40 PM 04-26-2004
Sorry I haven't posted directions yet.

I haven't forgotten and will do it soon. I've been tweaking the design a little, and the weather here has been so freaking nice that I haven't been by the computer at all.

Plus I took the boy to the march in DC yesterday (in his homemade carrier...in which he nursed while we marched!) and have just been wiped out today. He pooped on his carrier. Damn sposies!

Anyway, I'm way off topic here, just wanted to tell folks who were hoping for instructions that I'm going to try to write them up this Friday and get them on the web some time next week.

Happy baby snuggling. Jessi