Thursday, May 3, 2012

DIY Arm Sling
How to make a sling for an injury

Hopefully very few of you will actually USE this tutorial, as I hope none of you need it. Unfortunately, I have the body of an 70 year old, and have many joint problems. My rotator cuff is always a problem, and Monday I felt a strange pop when reaching behind me with my left arm. It normally grinds with most movements, but it's not always painful. Late Monday and all of Tuesday I was miserable, barely able to lift more than a few pounds. Lucky me, I don't have health insurance. So after a little research and being sure to NOT self diagnose, I decided less movement and anti-inflammatorys were my best bet. I made this sling yesterday to restrict movement as much as possible. I figured, if I'm making this stupid sling I'd make it fashionable, doubling as a scarf, and then I'd share the tutorial with you all.

You will need:
  • fabric, approx 40" x 40"
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • straight pin
  • pinking shears or fabric shears

1. Find some scrap fabric, preferably around 40-44 inches wide. Cut the fabric to the exact width the fabric is woven. I used pinking shears to prevent fraying. 2. Open it up and you have a square. 3. Fold on the bias, forming a triangle, good sides together. 4. Sew raw edges together, leaving a small opening to flip the sling right side out. Turn right side out and top stitch and close this opening.

1. Hold against your body, with point of the triangle towards the bad arm or shoulder. 2. Place arm at 90 degrees. 3. Bring other corner up to behind your neck. 4. Tie! This sling is fully adjustable, so be sure to tie it high enough. I needed to have my arm around 90 degrees or I'd move it too much. 

1.You will have a funny flap hanging down. You can just tuck it up or continue sewing to make the sling a better fit. All tutorials I saw stopped before these last four steps, so these steps are optional, but I'd recommend continuing, and since I'm a perfectionist I kept going. 2. Bring the flat up and between your arm and your body. Pin it close to your breast bone. This will become a slight pocket in which your elbow will sit. Secure with a pin. 3. Go to your machine and top stitch the flap. Trim excess fabric. 4. Ready to wear!

The occasion for this tutorial is less than optimal, so photographing it seemed funny. But here it is. You have a sling that doubles as a cute scarf when you're feeling better. I think it will even function as a cat carrier. I'll have to try when I've fully recovered!

When I got to work later yesterday, I wore the sling like this most of the time, tucking my hand and wrist in the sling, preventing me from rotating my shoulder. Many were confused if I was injured or just wearing a green scarf. Both!

Hopefully, those that needed this tutorial found it helpful. I, in no way, mean this to treat your ailments. Be sure to consult your physician or medical professional. I just don't have the option of going to the doctor and so far, my arm is better today than it has been all week.

Have a great day everyone! Hooray for no more shoulder pain, so far. My fingers are crossed!

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  1. That is the most creative and cutest arm sling I have ever seen! I love the color and freak yeah it doubles as a scarf!

    Hope you're feeling less and less pain each day, love!

  2. OMG! Thank you for this. I too hurt my shoulder. I tried a mass manufactured sling, and although it helped some it kept moving out of place. I'm trying this right now!

    1. Happy to help. Hope you feel better soon!

  3. Thank you for this tutorial, it's the ONLY one I could find on the whole internet that explained how to do this not just how to tie it or how to make an ugly one with strapping and a back pack clip! I just made a baby version followed all your steps, just reduced the original size to 56 x 56cms. Thank you so much for your help!

    1. So happy to help! I hope you don't need it for too long and you recover from whatever ailment you have!!