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.


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

That is a great idea! Sounds like very nice diapers. I imagine those disposable diapers cause a lot more skin issues than people think.

thesunnyabyss said...

I used cloth part of the time with my kids, they are nicer to their bottoms, you are just so talented, I don't think I have heard of fold over elastic before I'll have to look for that, take care of yourself, hugs

connie said...

I was looking for you adapted diapers from the Rita's Rump pattern, and couldn't find them. :( Your note at her site for the pattern made me curious.