Ruck-bu …. no I wasn’t sneezing I meant ruck-bu!

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This is a new creation of mine!   I used a few sites for ideas/insrpiration.  They includeCherry Berry Baby and Barefoot and Pregnant, Esquire.

Being on kid #2 and being smarter but also on the go more I have found myself interested in carrying Sam around instead of using a stroller everywhere (because there are places where strollers just don’t go or don’t go easily).  I started out with an Ergo and a loaner ring sling (thank you Monika!).  I liked both at first.

The Ergo started to both my back once Sam hit about 15# though & the ring sling was a loaner and unless you are VERY capable with it, you shouldn’t really back carry.

So I got into baby wrapping.  The beauty of a wrap is that they are super flexible.  The downside is they aren’t very intuitive – just a large length of woven fabric really.   Alot of moms have probably tried out a Moby wrap – very similar but longer & stretchier than a woven.  Woven wraps can carry kids… not just babies – KIDS!  I got two different lengths for Mother’s Day & found I liked each for different things… but my longer “rainbow” wrap had a hem flaw.  The manufacturer (Little Frog in Poland) was AWESOME and replaced it leaving me with the “flawed” wrap.  So I set out to make a DIY creation with it.

Cherry Berry Baby “The Cherry Bu”

I had realized what I didn’t like about the Ergo was the waist belt.  Any time I wrapped Sam and had a waist belt I didn’t like that either.   No matter how I tried they always seemed to hit right where I have the fractured facet joint in my back.   So a Mei Tai was out, but I liked the concept… so what was similar?  I found the onbuhimo or “onbu” but it also had an almost waist strap system and another mom on a DIY facebook forum suggested a reverse-onbu or “ruck-bu”.   I found this picture/website & knew I HAD to make one (Cherry Berry Baby picture)!

Too bad there weren’t any tutorials or patterns…. Good thing I have a sewing, DIY & engineering background because I went to work making my own pattern!  I borrowed ideas from so many places I am putting it up here for free with just the affiliate links for compensation because I don’t feel right selling the pieces that belonged to other DIYers.

I started out looking for a body – and really liked what Barefoot and Pregnant, Esquire had on her blog here.   I also liked that hers was a toddler body but had adjustability.  I didn’t want a Mei Tai, and I didn’t want button holes all over my wrap fabric body panel, and I didn’t want a padded waist band.  Partly because of how this carrier works but mostly for my own back!

So – I took her body and tweaked it.  My pattern includes a hidden cinch system, padded & adjustable shoulder straps, double rings on the shoulders and wrap straps on the bottom as well as a cinch hood.  If you want to skip any of these you totally can.


  • Fabrics – the key is 2 supportive layers on the body panel.  I used middle denim & woven wrap for the outer with wicking (non-supportive) inner for the body.  You could do a cotton print (non-woven) outer with inner & middle supportive layers.  Wrap straps MUST be woven/supportive.
    • Woven/supportive fabric for outer, wrap straps & inner hidden lining
    • Wicking inner fabric (or woven if you like)
  • For the “cinch” system
  • Shoulder straps
  • Waist “wrap style” straps
    • Woven/supportive fabric
  • Body
    • 2 layers of supportive fabric
    • 1 layer of wicking or decorative or supportive fabric
    • Padding scraps
    • Hood fabric
    • Hood straps

I will post again with the actual pattern & remaining instructions.   I need to copy it to 8.5×11 and scan it in.  I started that tonight but grabbed a 9×12 drawing pad…. whoops!   Too late tonight to do it over.


9 thoughts on “Ruck-bu …. no I wasn’t sneezing I meant ruck-bu!

  1. Oh Heather!!! This is my dream carrier and I have attempted 2 so far with moderate success. Have you attempted another one yet? How did it turn out?

    1. Just the one so far! I am not looking to make/sell them – just the one for myself. With a bigger guy (he’s 14 months & into everything now) I don’t carry him around as much except when we are at big brothers’ school stuff. I like it, but the tails kinda drive me crazy! Putting it on outside they drag until it’s all set up which isn’t long, but if it is messy on the ground any dragging is too much IMO! For heatI think it is hands down awesome! For a wrapper it’s a great quick carry but has been too complicated for my SSC loving friends.

      What was unsuccessful on yours?

      1. I’m a mediocre seamstress and on the first one I made the straps too short and couldn’t manage a comfortable tie off. I made them longer on the second one but I made them 14 inches wide and my passes seem off. I have a 15 month old and an almost 4 year old. I was hoping to make the perfect one for quick ups for both kids when we’re out. (I should add that I have been using TC to make them so I could get the design right and the material leaves something to be desired.) I found an old woven for cheap locally and I’m going to try your tutorial with it next to see how I do!

  2. Hiya,
    This is my next project 🙂 I made a pod recently and like it but still need a wider panel as my boy is preschool size. I’m used to buckles but hate the way waist bands look on me. Pod is good but not as quick as buckles so thinking this is a good in between. Will post when done 🙂

  3. How long did you make the padded shoulder straps ?? This is the bit I’m trying to figure out in my head.

  4. In your final paragraph you mention posting an actual pattern. Link?

  5. I see that this tutorial is from a long time ago, but do you have a photo or video tutorial of how you would wear or tie a carrier like this?

    1. No sorry I don’t.

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