Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fluff Talk Thursdays #10


By Guest Writer
Chari from Take Time To Smell The Rose Blog

I felt very honored to be asked by Beth to share with her readers how to Sew Your Own Stash. I also felt nervous, because really, I haven't had the best experience with sewing my own diapers. Believe me I have had many failed attempts before I learned what worked for me and what didn't.

However, I hope that my trial and errors will be helpful to the everyday cloth diapering mom. Even if you only know how to turn on your sewing machine, you can sew a cloth diaper!

What you need to know before you start!

  1. Figure out how many diapers you are needing to make or need to complete your stash.

  2. What kind of diaper are you wanting to make? Fitteds that you will have to have a cover over, Pocket Diaper, AIO or just a diaper cover?

  3. Your budget for making these diapers: Keep in mind how valuable your time is as well. If you aren't saving that much money by sewing your own diapers, is it really worth your valuable time you will spend making these diapers?

  4. Start out slow: Look at all the diaper patterns to see what pattern will probably work out best for the shape of your child. Use scrap material to cut out the pattern and pin it to your baby to see if it will fit or if you need to make adjustments. Don't cut your diapers yet from your valuable diaper material yet!

  5. Buy all your diaper materials from a trusted diaper supply store. Believe me I have wasted so much money trying all different kinds of material and supplies out thinking it would be cheaper and better. WRONG. Just buy from a diaper supply store and you know that you won't have a diaper that won't function or fall apart.

  6. Don't expect your first few diapers you sew to look like they were professionally sewn. You're learning. The more you sew, the better they will look. Maybe it's just me, but I know there is no way someone would want to buy the diapers I made ;-)

First thing first, you've got to have a pattern! Take some time to look at the different types of patterns out there. When looking at patterns keep in mind that you can always alter it to fit your baby.

  1. Free Patterns. All of my patterns I have used (except for one) have been free online. Here is a list of some.

  2. Diaper Patterns for Purchase. There are multiple diaper patterns for purchase. All of my previous research has been for free patterns and tutorials about sewing. Here are a couple of patterns for purchase that I have heard great reviews on.

As I mentioned before, buy your materials from a cloth diaper supplier. I have wasted money on different materials at the local craft store that I thought would be cloth diaper worthy, but it wasn't. Especially when it comes from fleece and aplix you can not buy that same quality at your local store. Even after figuring in shipping charges the aplix will be much cheaper, not to mention last much longer. Prices are pretty much going to run the same on cloth diaper supplies. Sign up for newsletters as you may get a discount that may make it cheaper to purchase from one store. Here's a few sites:

There are also co-ops where you can buy the fabric cheaper. Here are a few:

There are lots of diaper tutorials out there. Here are the most helpful & interesting.

  • Wazoodle: Seriously this video tutorial beats any of the many, many I have watched! I'm a visual learning so I have watched a lot of tutorials. It answered a lot of my questions and had better techniques for sewing a pocket diaper than any other.

  • Frugal Sewing: This is all about making your stash out of old t-shirts, etc. She even breaks down how much it would cost you to diaper your baby this way. Amazing!!

  • Sew Your Own Diapers: Tutorials for several types of diapers, very helpful.

  • PUL Pocket Nappy: She uses snaps, but you can easily change with aplix.

  • Confessions of a Diaper Fanatic: You have to read how she cloth diapered her grandchild for FREE.

  • Very Baby

My Experience
My first diaper I sewed was a newborn diaper cover from the Rita Rump pattern and Ottober Pattern. I made 3 covers and thought that would be enough for my 1 dozen prefolds along with the pocket diapers I had purchased. The first one I sewed was too tiny (remember I said they ran small) and so I made the next 2 a little larger. Since this was my first baby and I had not cloth diapered before I chose to finish making diapers after he was born. I didn't know how these would fit. I added the gussets which was very simple. The mistake I made on this was I bought regular bias tape. Don't laugh, I'm sure you know exactly why this was a mistake! I highly suggest FOE (fold over elastic). I didn't start using cloth diapers until Ethan was 4 weeks old and by then these covers were too small. I think I squeezed him into the largest one a couple of times just so I felt better lol. Here are pictures of the best looking cover.

Of course, having a new baby when do you have time to sew? I didn't try again until he was about 5 months old! I picked up a yard of cute fleece at JoAnns to experiment. I didn't have good luck, but since I've come across a few more tutorials I know how to better work with it.

Next I attempted to make a couple more pockets out of the PUL by tracing a diaper I owned and adding a bit to the rise, but it turned out too large. (apparently he's not happy to have a huge bum)

Just recently I came across the Spindles to Sashes One Size Fits All Pattern. It has the instructions for snaps and aplix! I was sent the pattern for review and I will giving one away during my Cloth Diaper Event that starts January 1st! I will cover more details in my review & giveaway of the pattern, but here are some pictures of the completed diaper. I messed up in a few places, but it's still functional. I now know what I need to do differently next time!

On the smallest setting

Medium Setting

I hope you find this information helpful and hopeful in making some of your own stash. Just be patient during the process. As you can see, my diapers are not perfect, but it was fun to learn something new. After you've sewn a couple it gives you a new respect for the WAHMs. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them for you.


Your Assignment For Today:

Grab my Fluff Talk Thursday Banner (can be found at the tail end of my blog), write about any experience you may have with sewing your own cloth diapers. Feel free to share pictures of your diapers as we would all love to see them.
Then come back and link up your post for all to read.

For those of you who have not tried sewing your own diapers,
Link us up to any Cloth Diaper giveaways you may be hosting (or know about) or maybe an old post you wrote on cloth diapering.

Next Fluff Talk Thursday will be December 3rd

Topic is: TBA ( I will post a reminder with more details soon)

To see last the Fluff Talk Thursday Post click here.
Instructions for Fluff Talk Thursdays, click here.

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Jamie said...

Wow! I would totally miss that up trying to make my own. Good job!!

I am going to be hosting a cloth diaper extravaganza in December...stop by my website tomorrow for my details!

Mama Kalila said...

Off topic but you won a blog award at my site.. will be up tomorrow morning (scheduled).

Annie said...

I didn't get mine posted today...but I have a few handsewn dipes in my stash so I totally should have.

Just wanted to say that Cheri did a FANTASTIC post! I enjoyed all the info - wonderful!

Audrey's Blog said...

I made a bunch of diapers when I was pregnant with my daughter and they ended up leaking terribly. I solved it by adding an additional soaker but in the end it would have been better if I had made pockets instead of All In Ones. Also, I noticed the website I bought the pattern/materials from changed their diaper kit to include more soakers in the AIO. After I made them of course. Thanks for all the info and resources, I may try it again... :)

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