Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fluff Fest- Cloth Diaper Making 101: Getting Started

So you want to try your hand at sewing your own cloth diapers? Good for you. First thing you need to do is evaluate a few things.

  1. What are you current sewing skills?

- none? basic straight stitch? serger?
  1. What type of diapers do you want to make?

- fitteds? pockets? AIO’s? prefolds?
  1. How much you can spend on your stash?

- are you gonna spring for a snap press? Or are we buying thrift store tees?

Ok... so have you answered those questions? Honestly? LOL!!
So what are your sewing skills? If you can’t sew at all do not give up. There is a brilliant idea out there of a tie diaper. No having to do snaps or sew on velcro. In fact you can just cut a t-shirt and add an insert and there you have it.



But hey you think you can sew... at least a straight line?
Well there are plenty of diaper patterns out there for you to try. Cheeky Diapers has a big ol’ long list of free patterns and tutorials listed for you. Zaney Zebra also has a pretty good list. Check those out.

If you think you are pretty good with a machine... and you don’t mind spending a little money there are tons of diaper patterns out there available for purchase. Just do a google search for cloth diaper patterns. I do know that Very Baby is a popular one. I found this great website too, diaperpatternreviews.com they have a big long list of patterns.

Ok... so we have talked about your level of sewing experience and found something for everyone. Now let’s go over the type of diapers you want to make.
  • Fitted diapers... fitteds need a cover if you are going out and about. Usually around the house though they are fine to just go coverless. Fitteds are the most breathable and if your baby has sensitive skin this may be the best bet for you. -less rashes!
  • Pocket diaper... pockets need a waterproof layer in them. So be prepared to buy PUL or some other type of waterproof fabric. Pockets will require a little higher level of sewing skills as you have to make a pocket. But most daddies like these if you pre-stuff them. And they are nice for babysitters.
  • AIO’s... these also have a waterproof layer in them. These have the absorbent soaker sewn right into it. So there is no need to stuff diapers. But they are harder to get all the way clean and they take longer to dry in general. BUT they are as close to the “ease” of disposables as you can get.
  • Prefolds... prefolds are flats with that are pre-folded and sewn that way. There are a few types of fabrics you can use for prefolds or flats. These require some type of closure... snappi’s, pins, a wrap style cover. They also need a cover like a fitted.


Those are really your basic diapers. There are variations on styles of pockets and inserts that lay in... snap in... or stuff in.

So do you know what diaper you think is best for your baby, your lifestyle and your family?
Well then let’s talk $$!!

Do you want to get by spending as little as possible? Or are you ok with a little added expense to have some of the conveniences you would like?
Some things to think about when deciding this:
  • Do you want snaps, velcro, or are you going to go with a snappi?

snaps will cost a little more... and, are you going to hand press all of them with
hand pliers? Or will you spring for a nice press? I have a nice press I would
recommend to anyone (and I use it for more than just diapers).
  • Fabrics.... where are you getting them? Think on this one for a bit and we will talk fabrics next time. BUT in the meantime what is your allowance for diaper supplies? Will you be able to buy nice “diaper making” fabrics? Or are we going to use thrift store t-shirts and receiving blankets? These are fine but decide how much you have to spend on fabrics and then we will talk about where to use that money you have set aside. I mean... diapers have priorities you know.


Ok... so now you have really thought through some tough questions. You have some idea of the type of diapers you want to make and you have picked out a pattern, right? Well next time we will talk about what types of fabrics work best for which diapers. We will also talk about where to splurge for fabrics (prints? inserts? inner layer? which ones are most important?). I may also share a few places you get some diaper making supplies. Hope you join me next time.

Video of a T-shirt diaper in use (I found this on You Tube)



Vilate Thacker
mama of 6 cloth diapered kiddos
maker of Nifty Nappy Cloth Diapers

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2 comments:

Chari said...

That's pretty neat folding up a t shirt like that! I just made a fitted using an old t shirt and sewed ZORB in between the layers.

whocg23 said...

That is the folding method I use for shirts for my girl. :) it works really well.

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