Hubby and I are really excited to cloth diaper our baby. We did some research (which meant ultimately consulting a lot with my bestie’s cousin who is in the cloth diaper business: Hippeez Cloth Diapers) and looked into what we were going to need. A set of the ones we wanted were about $350.00, so we put together a diaper fund for my baby shower, and went on our merry way. When I started telling people that the set was of 12, they started saying that it wasn’t going to be enough, because babies poop a lot. My plan had been to just wash them as I go, but started getting worried as time went on. What if there were so many poops that the first diaper wasn’t done drying by the time the last one was being used?
Naturally, I turned to the internet. I looked up a whole pile of cloth diaper making tutorials, sourced out a bunch of materials, and approached my math whiz of a husband to help me figure out realistically how many diapers we could make ourselves for $350.00. The number on the least amount side was 28. This is a significant increase from 12, so we’re off to the races. Of course, I now have less than two months to master diaper making.
Attempt #1 is a bit of a mismash. I used this PDF Ottobre pattern as my template, but used this tutorial from Dream Crafter for directions. As with my previous tutorial on working with PDF patterns, the Ottobre pattern printed at %93. Since this was a prototype and my girl is going to be a newborn, I just cut out the bigger pattern instead of the newborn one and used that.
I had some flannel from Wal Mart and an old thick flannel topsheet that I never use, so I figured those would be good for a trial diaper. Planning a little far ahead here, but in the spirit of not being wasteful, our little girl could have this to use on her dolls or stuffed animals someday!
First thing I did, to avoid having to tape the pdf pattern together, was trace it onto my pattern paper. Which is actually 1-inch graph paper from Staples.
I cut it out, pinned it to my fabric, and cut out my pieces.
Putting the right sides of both pieces together, I pinned.
I sewed all the way around with a 1 cm seam allowance, leaving most of the top part open for turning it later.
Next, the elastic. The pattern had dots on it for where the elastic starts and stops, so I marked those on the edges of my seam allowance. I cut a five inch piece for the back, and two six inch pieces for the leg holes.
Now for the tricky part. Sewing elastic can be daunting, but fear not! It’s actually very straight forward. The key is that you want to stretch the elastic so that the fabric is flat. You sew that with large zigzag stitches so that once finished, the elastic will ruffle up the fabric evenly but won’t pop any stitches when it stretches.
The elastic pieces go on the outside of the seam, and while the leg hole ones were a little finicky because it wasn’t in a straight line, it wasn’t too unpleasant.
After this, I gave the seam allowance a close trim and clipped little notches in the curves to make for easy turning. And then my very favourite part, flipping it right side out!
It looks like a blob, so that means one more step, and that’s to sew the finishing hem around the outside. This step will also double to close the open seam at the top. I folded that in and started there, going all the way around and allowing for a berth around the elastics.
Beauty! It’s diaper shaped!
All in all, it wasn’t too difficult or time consuming. Granted, I didn’t put any fastenings. The pattern calls for velcro, but I’m dead set on using vinyl snaps. Upon folding it around a teddy bear, I’m thinking that I’d like to widen the outer flaps and make the front thinner. I’ll be trying that on my next prototype.
I also realized the value of a serger, because one of those would make this process a LOT faster. How, you ask? I’ll see you on Wednesday with part 2!
Share your favourite cloth diaper escapades in the comments below!