Friday, April 12, 2013

Birth Ball Cover tutorial

I won't go into a lengthy introduction here.  This tutorial has a very specific audience.  I get that.  But, I know there's a need for this out there.  When I was looking to make one for the birth ball I carry to births, I could only find pictures of covers or very simplistic instructions (ex, "1 yard of fabric to make a birth ball cover", with no details beyond that.)  I bought myself some super cheap, and highly discounted, fabric to play around with and here's what I came up with.

Sewing Machine or needle and thread
Coordinating thread
1 yard of stretchy fabric (I used jersey knit)
elastic cut to a little less than the circumference of your ball (the width of the elastic itself is determined to your preference.  I did one cover with 1/4" and one with 1/8" elastic)

1. Wash and dry your fabric
2. Fold your fabric horizontally, like a hamburger (versus a hot dog  Not sure where I got those analogies) with the right sides of the fabric facing each other.

3. Sew each of the sides shut with a straight stitch.

4. If you desire, go back over each seam and do a quick zig zag stitch. 
5. You now have a large "pillow case".  It should look like the picture below. 

6. Take your elastic and use it to measure around the widest part of your ball.  Really stretch it here. It just barely has to fit over this part of the ball for the cover. 
7. Create a casing for your elastic. Fold the fabric 3/4", so the wrong sides are facing each other (the cover is still inside out at this point) and sew all the way around, making sure to leave a small section open to insert your safety pin and elastic. (If you're using anything but a jersey knit fabric, you may have to fold over a 1/4" first, then fold over 1/2" to create a clean edge then sew your casing.  Jersey knit doesn't fray.)

8. Insert your elastic (not pictured).  I take a safety pin, attach it to my elastic, and thread it through the tube I created.  When its all the way in, sew the elastic together, snip any left over threads,  and stitch the opening closed.
9. Turn your cover right side out and shimmy it over the ball.  It should look like this: 

See why we wanted the elastic tight?

10. With the elastic part of the cover on the floor, find your side seams.  Pick them up at the "corners". (Sorry about the blurry.  Its hard to get a birth ball to hang perfectly still.)

11. Overlap the corners, pin, and sew on both sides of the pin.

12. You're done!  Hurrah!


sewsweet said...

Thank you, this is a great tutorial! And thanks also for keeping the intro short & sweet. ;)

Mere Piare Kaur said...

Thanks! I'm a birth doula and I've been looking for a pattern or tutorial to cover my birth ball. This is really useful! :)

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial. Thank you so much! Leaving it to the last minute since I'm 38 weeks but I I just made mine in less than 30 minutes. Ready for my baby to come!

Milcah G said...

This is just what I have been searching for! I'm a birth doula, and also expecting, and would love to take my ball to sit on at my office job to give relief from sitting in the chair all day long

Nikki Kemery said...

Yes! Can't wait to make this! I'm a doula and keep seeing the crazy prices on these covers and thought "Hell! I could make these myself!" So excited to try it. You're great :)

Carrie Underhill said...

Thank you for the tutorial. Can you just clarify what size ball this is for? I tried to make one for an older ball and my hubby doesn't know what size it is, but my cover didn't work out the same as yours did. Thanks!

Carrie Underhill said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial! Can you clarify what size ball this is for? I tried to make one and it didn't fit the same as yours (my side seams didn't come together to form the handle) and I *think* my ball is a 75cm so that would explain it if this is for a 65cm. Thank you :)

Tracy said...

Carrie- yes, its for a 65. However, when I use the really thin/skinny elastic, I can get it over a 75 as well.

DreamBirthServices said...

THANK YOU! Thank you so much for this tutorial! Now, off to the fabric store :)

nd01 said...

I just wanted to drop a line and thank you for this tutorial. I am pregnant with my third and remember how difficult it was to transport the ball in along with our stuff. Basically, I heavily considered leaving it at home this time (we didn't use it the second time as labor was very quick). But I found some pretty fabric (not super cheap but $6 for jersey knit) and made this in about 30 minutes. As this will be our last pregnancy, I figure I can either pass it on or just reuse the jersey knit for something else. Thank you so much for putting this tutorial together! PS - Found it on pinterest

Anonymous said...

Fabulous. I can't wait to try this. I couldn't believe the price tag on covers, & I'm glad you posted a DIY. It's the only I've found in my searching. :]

Kari Al-Sabeh said...

This awesome, I am also a Doula and going to make this. Just wondering if you have made one for the Peanut Ball yet?

Tracy said...

Kari- no, I haven't. I actually don't have a peanut ball yet! (gasp!!)