Guide to Sourcing Fabric for Carrier Overlays - Timber Stitches

Guide to Sourcing Fabric for Carrier Overlays

You're ready to send in your carrier for an overlay project, but what about the fabric? You may be wondering how to find fabric to order for your custom overlay if you don't already have something on hand or how much to order if you've already picked one out.  This post will answer your questions and give you all my favorite fabric types and places to order them from. 
How much fabric should I order for an overlay?
The simple answer is one yard.  One yard will be enough for almost any overlay option that I offer.  Most overlays will have fabric leftover when working from a yard.  This gives me more length to work with and gives me better options for pattern placement on large scale prints.  You can order some custom accessories to match your new overlay if you want to use up some of your extra fabric! 
A few exceptions to the 1 yard rule:
-Sakura Bloom tails
If you'd like your tail to be done all with one piece of fabric, you'll need a length of two yards.  If you are alright with a seam in the fabric somewhere in the middle, however, 1 yard will be enough! 
-Happy Baby pocket panels
Pocket panels don't use nearly as much fabric as other overlay options.  If you are purchasing fabric from somewhere that offers cuts in less than one yard, you can buy one of the following sizes: fat quarter, fat half, or half yard.  Please note that a simple quarter yard will not be wide enough.  
What type of fabric do I need for an overlay?
Sturdy fabrics like canvas/duck cloth or ring slings are the best options. They’ll hold up better to wear and feel more like they are supposed to be part of your carrier. 
Here's the complete list of all my favorite fabric sources to use for overlays! Click the store name for a link to that stores website.  
-RPC designs are always a favorite. Their newest releases are available on their website. This link will take you to just the options they have in canvas.
-Older (and current) RPC designs can be found in dozens of fabric shops. If you’re looking for a particular print you can usually find it available somewhere by googling the fabric name. Pearls and Clover is one shop that has a really great selection of new and older Rifle prints in canvas as well as a few canvas prints from other designers. Their prices are listed by fat quarter, so be sure to select the full yard option to see pricing.
Hawthorn is another fabric shop that has a large selection of canvas from RPC, as well as a handful of other designers.  The link above will take you take you to a search result for all the canvas options on their website.  You can also browse by designer, select Rifle Paper Company, then look through their RPC fabrics by collection.    
Joann has a HUGE selection of canvas and duck cloth options available. One plus is that you probably have a store near you to browse in person. You can take your carrier to find something that looks great with it then either order online and have it shipped to me or purchase your fabric in person and send it to me with your carrier. There will be a larger selection online than in most stores. Avoid anything called outdoor, waxed, etc.
Hobby Lobby has a really great selection of canvas fabric as well. They don’t have as many options as Joann, but I feel like it’s a higher quality selection. You won’t feel like you have to sort through hundreds of listings to find the really cute options. Their online selection is not well categorized or searchable, so you’ll likely have an easier time browsing in person. 
Ring slings can easily be chopped up and repurposed for overlays. You can find some really fun patterns available or even use a sentimental sling that you no longer use. Most textiles should work but avoid things like waffle or modal fabric.
Woven wraps are another great baby carrier that can be repurposed for an overlay. Any brand will work, but the link above will take you to Oscha’s website. They have a beautiful selection of carriers, but they also sell just fabric pieces that are great to use for overlays!  The fabric pieces they sell are more narrow than standard fabric, so you’ll need a two yard piece if you plan to do the front of a carrier and the straps.  1 yard will be enough for just the front of a carrier. 
I’ve found some really fun handwoven fabric on Etsy that could make some awesome overlays. This shop in particular has a really good selection. I’ve never personally ordered from them.  
If you have a questions about whether or not a fabric will work for an overlay, it's always best to ask first before sending something in for your order.  I can be reached by email at or through my Facebook profile that can be found as the admin of the Timber Stitches Facebook Group.  
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