Friday, June 27, 2008

sewing diapers

I'm in the midst of making 3 dozen cloth diapers and 6-8 soakers (covers) for my youngest grandson. The price and general feel of disposables is nasty and since they are on a horribly tight budget I offered to buy the fabric and make them for Abby so she can put the baby in them, saving about $16 a week that they can use on other things they need.

I have one dozen done. The others are waiting for my eyes to stop hurting so I can finish putting them together.

I found a free diaper pattern I tweaked, as usual, while retaining the original shape. Instead of stuffing them with liners each time, I just sewed 6 rectangular pieces of flannel together with a zigzag stitch and sewed them inside the diapers. That way it's all together already and there's nothing for her to lose.

These diapers use pins, not snaps or velcro or aplix. The nicest thing about that is that they can be used from birth through potty training. Most of the newer cloth diapers come in sizes, which means you buy new ones each time the baby outgrows the ones you already have.
When I diapered my kids, I used the same diapers all the way through, so I was glad to find this pattern.

The person who made the pattern also has in the instructions to sew the front and back of the diaper together and then turn it right side out, after which you add elastic to the legs. Not for me. I use FOE (foldover elastic) to bind the edges of the whole diaper and stretch it pretty much as far as it will go on the leg area. This saves time and also puts a nice edging on the diapers.

The soakers will be made of fleece with an extra piece of fleece and a piece of microfiber fabric sewn in "the wet spot" to help limit soak-through episodes. These particular soakers have bands at the leg openings and waist instead of elastic, which I like for a couple reasons. First, they are a bit more trim. Second, since most of my family inherited at least a piece of my intolerance for latex or rubber products, the use of elastic can be irritating. That's why, when I found this pattern, I downloaded it to use for the soakers. I downloaded all the sizes so I can make bigger ones as he grows.

I'm not using PUL for the soaker, either. PUL is a polyurethane laminate over fabric that makes it pretty much waterproof. It's all the rage in hand-crafted baby diaper covers these days. However, since polyurethane is a byproduct of petroleum refining and that is associated with the latex issue, I'm not using it. I'm hoping the soaker with the extra wet spot protection will do the trick.

Yes, she'll have to change him a little more often. No, they're not as convenient as disposables, and she will have to carry a bag to put the wet diapers in and such. However, they are MUCH cheaper than disposables and better for the baby, not to mention the environment. He will like the feel better. It has to be hot lying in plastic and paper and petroleum beads every day. Cloth which will breathe and let his skin do the same will be much better.

I also found a group that provides hand-crafted diapers for low income moms and after I finish these diapers I am hoping to feel up to making at least a few dozen and donating them to this organization. When I post the pics of the diapers I'll include the link to it. I believe they also accept cloth menstrual pads so I can make some of them too. Mine are great. It's much better than paper and plastic (again?) and feels softer on the skin. I don't get a rash from the flannel ones, either.

I guess that's enough for today. Have a blessed weekend.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

wet month

We've been keeping track with the rain gauge. If my counting is right, we had around 16 inches of rain in May. We were 12 inches up for the year by last week. I believe the drought in this area is now officially over.

This morning I got my courage up and went in the chick area outside - the roofed one - armed with the shovel, rake, and broom, and proceeded to rake, sweep, scrape poop, and shovel stuff up. Once I had it at least 75% cleaner, I added some fresh hay and spread it a bit so that it will absorb some of the poop and some of the remaining dampness and then in a few days I can do it again and we'll have a clean outside area for the babies.

I can't do anything for the hens right now outside-wise. The dirt is either dirt or it's mud. They do have much more room inside, though, so they can go in there if they get hot or need a dry place to hang out. We do need to put some perches in there, though, so they have a place to sit that's not on the ground. Maybe I can come up with something.

I've been sewing a lot. I made a new dress, some headcoverings, a jumper, a blouse and a nightie for me as well as a jumper for Becky and a top and shorts for Abby. It's good to feel up to sewing. This week I need to start on June's birthday presents. Kenny will be 3 on the 15th and Tobie will be 7 on the 21st and they both need quilts...Kenny's will be a quillow and Tobie is getting a denim/flannel rag quilt since he outgrew the one I made him when he was younger. He asked for it specifically so that's what I'll make him.

I did call Tech Support and they helped me rig up this computer the right way so that the mouse isn't acting all whacky and the internet doesn't keep shutting down all the time. I'm most of the way adjusted to it now. In fact, the regular computer feels weird. Today I went to Walmart and got some stuff and picked up a dinner lap tray thing they had there to put the laptop on. I didn't know you're not supposed to put it on your lap or it can overheat. Now I'm not using a kid's tray...the one I had been using had given me a bruise from where the folded up leg piece rubbed against my knee.

I'm so blessed...yes I am...God is good.