Sunday, June 19, 2011

Holding Court in the Cabin

I love my job, and I love that I can still go back and work the occasional shift. I've been an historical interpreter at Scarborough Museum in Scarborough, Ontario for about 6 years now, and it's the best job in the world. I just worked a shift today and it amazes me that even though a lot has changed at the museum since I left to have my little girl, I still feel very at home there.
Me in front of the log cabin, my favourite place to be!
I started working at the museum in 2005 (I was hired on my birthday!) while I was finishing up my Master's degree, and I am thankful to this day that I was able to get a job in the field that I studied (anthropology/Canadian Studies and Native Studies). Most of the people I worked with when I started are still there now, but I don't see them very often. My only free days are weekends (Hubby takes care of our daughter) and all my close work friends work during the week, but since I also work on special event days (Canada Day, Ribfest, Harvest, Christmas etc.) I get to see them then.

We've hired a few new people since I left in 2009, but a couple of them were volunteers while I was there, so they're familiar faces at least and all the new people are great and easy to get along with. For example, today I was working with one new interpreter who was hired shortly after I left on maternity leave and two teenage boys (well, 'young men' I guess I should say) who started off as volunteers at the museum and then got hired as staff; this, by the way, happens quite often. We take a lot of high-schoolers who are doing their 40 hours of volunteer work (mandatory for graduating) and the really good ones we try and keep around. I've worked with the new interpreter a few times since coming back, and the two 'young men' I've known since they were volunteers.

It was kind of surreal (and really great, too) to see one of the 'young men' in particular as a key-holding staff member, since I remember him as a shy 15-year-old in one of my volunteer programmes. It's often surreal for me in general because by and large everything feels the same as before I got pregnant - the houses don't really change much, I'm still wearing the same costume (that I made myself), and I'm usually working with the same people - but it's very different because I'm going home to my little girl.

We have four historic houses on the site - an 1830's log cabin (my favourite place), a Victorian Era frame house, the Carriage works and a little multi-purpose building. I'm usually put in the cabin because I love being there and my boss knows it. Not only do I know a heck of a lot about the people that lived in the cabin, I know even more about the time period the cabin represents. I've read all of Catharine Parr Traill's and her sister Susanna Moodie's books, plus Edwin Guillet's almost 800 page "Early Life in Upper Canada," and basically whatever else I could find on early settler life in Ontario. I've also got two degrees in Anthropology/Native Studies/Canadian studies, so once I get started in the cabin, I really get going! My boss calls it 'holding court' and one of my co-workers likes to say that I'm giving seminars; they're both apt descriptions. Often I've got 20+ people crammed into the little cabin and they're laughing at all my jokes and generally hanging on my every word (if I can toot my own horn here a bit) and I really, really love it. I love sharing my knowledge, and I guess it shows. I've even gotten applause.

When I left on maternity leave I cried because I love my job, coworkers and yes, even my bosses so much, but I'm so grateful that I can still come back now and again (it's averaged about 5 or 6 shifts a year, but I think I may get more this year); not only does the extra money help us out, I get to go back and do what I love, and yet still stay home with my daughter.

Cornell House

My beloved McCowen Log House
Sure it's exhausting - I generally do an 8 hour shift, on my feet, talking most of that time - but I find it so fulfilling that I don't mind the sore feet and throat and decreased energy level that lasts for a few days afterwards.

And I have to end off by mentioning that my daughter likes to 'save her poopies for Mamma.' She'll usually go the whole day without pooping, and then have a big, messy one within a half hour of me coming home. It's happened so often that we've come to expect it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Camping with Cloth Diapers

Yes, it is possible, and it's even easy! Easier than disposables by far; the last time we took our daughter camping she was still in disposables and it was a messy, smelly business, and I was constantly worried I hadn't brought enough diapers. Not so with cloth.

We went to Earl Rowe Provincial Park just outside of Alliston, Ontario.

We've been there a few times; we like it because it's close (about an hour from Mississauga, which is important when you're bringing a toddler) and the sites are really nice.

I decided to use flat diapers on the trip because they'd be easiest to clean if the need arose. The park has a small laundromat and so I brought a little jar of Laundry Tarts detergent, and I could even wash them by hand if I absolutely had to. Plus, they dry so fast that I could hang them up on my campsite.

It was also nice to know I had the detergent in case I needed to handwash some clothes; my daughter likes to get dirty when she's outside and if I have it with me I don't need to bring as many clothes for her.

Laundry Tarts is an all-natural laundry detergent so it's safe to dump in the bush when you're done washing and you won't be killing any of the greenery.

Now I have to point out that prior to this, I didn't like flats. I always wanted to like flats because they're so versatile and cost effective (even more so than prefolds) but I could never get them to work for me. First of all, one flat was never absorbent enough. No matter how I folded it I could never get enough layers to hold back my daughters torrents. But if one wasn't enough, two was too much. Layering two flats together always put way too much fabric between my daughter's chubby thighs, to the point were she couldn't even close her knees. The absorbency issue was (almost) solved by using a doubler, but on top of that, I couldn't get the flat to sit right. Regardless of the fold it would slide down her bum and leave giant gaps at her legs so the pee would just run down her leg. This was mostly due to my poor pinning abilities, but I couldn't get a Snappi to work either (it would always come undone).

Another reason I've always wanted to like flats was that they would be so easy to clean. I have a crappy front loader that never uses enough water to wash diapers. I get around this by using soapnuts and a flat/fitted combo at night (I tried prefolds overnight but the washer never washed them properly so I was boiling them once a week), but flats would make it so easy! After a few attempts I just gave up and went back to my tried-and-true bummis prefolds and Mother-ease fitteds. But when we planned to go camping I thought I'd give it another go. I did a test run a day or two before our trip and was pleasantly surprised.

This time I used PUL covers (Thirsties Duo wraps) instead of the wool. This way I knew that if she flooded the 'wetzone,' the cover would keep everything in and allow the rest of the diaper to absorb the moisture. I also forgot about the pins completely and was determined to make a Snappi work. I had a couple of new ones, and it seemed that the teeth were a bit sharper so I was able to get it to stay fastened. The PUL cover also helped to keep it in place. I didn't bother with the doublers because I wanted to see how absorbent the diaper itself was - and it was pretty darn absorbent. Sure, it was soaked through a few times but it didn't leak.

I also had a new fold at my disposal - the Diaper Bag fold. It's fantastic - not only does it allow you to use flats that you thought were too small, it also puts a lot of layers just where you need it; you can change both the width and the length of the diaper without sacrificing layers. If I'd known about this fold before, I might not have given up.

Diaper Bag Fold, from

My flats are actually old cotton flannel baby blankets, of which I had 9. I also have two terry flats (made from hooded baby towels), but those 11 wouldn't be enough for the trip and since I didn't want to bring any prefolds or fitteds I decided to buy a 6-pack of Kushies flannel flat diapers.
baby blankets

Kushies, blankets, terry flat and more Kushies

The Kushies diapers are kind of small (the standard 27" square; most of my baby blankets are quite a bit larger) but they're very thick and fluffy and ended up being the most absorbent of all the flats apart from the terry ones.

I am happy to report that the flats were a success. I ended up using 10 or 11 of them (not counting the overnight diapers) and so I didn't have to do any laundry at all. The Thirsties wraps worked well, too; there was only one leak, but that was because I accidentally left a bit of a diaper sticking out from the cover and it wicked onto my daughter's pants. A couple of her diapers were completely saturated but there were no 'flood leaks,' as it were. The overnight diapers were the same ones we use at home -the main diaper is a terry flat and the two doublers are both pieces of flat diapers folded up, and that's all held in by a Mother-ease one-size fitted and then a wool soaker on top. I air dried both the PUL covers and the wool soaker (though I forgot to take a picture of the soaker on the line).

air drying a Thirsties wrap

I was finally able to try out my Weehuggers laundry bag - basically a big zippered wetbag with a shoulder strap - and it worked nicely. I kept it in the trailer with us and it didn't smell at all (okay, if you put your nose right up to it you could smell pee, but that's it). Even when the trailer was hot during the day you couldn't tell there were wet/dirty diapers in there.

All in all it was such a success that I'm considering using the flats in my regular rotation of cloth diapers. I'm still trying to find a way to use only flats at night - as it is my daughter's overnight diaper is made up mostly of flats, but it would be nice to cut out the fitted diaper completely so my machine only has one layer of all-night-pee-soaked cloth to clean.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Decepticon Diaper, Diapers in Disguise.

Okay, so this diaper's not disguised in any way, but I just had to use the catchphrase. One of the shirts that dh so generously donated to the Cloth Diaper Experiment was his Decepticon shirt. I don't have a shot of the whole shirt, but it was black with this applique:

It was a nice big shirt with no side seams, so even with that Decepticon 'face' on the front I could still get  4 full medium-sized diaper layers out of it, cuz I'm sneaky like that:

It's folded in half, so two layers under each outline. I altered the pattern, too - I rounded out the bottom of the wings to make it easier to serge, and I widened the front using the front from the large pattern as a guide.

The diaper went together easily, and putting the elastics in with the Janome was a breeze.

I reinforced the ends of the elastics by hand, just in case. I tried using the overlock stitch on the Janome to 'serge' this diaper, but the thread tension was too high; I'll have to play with that a bit before using it on a full diaper.

The Dreaded Serger still works fine on jersey; I took out one thread again because with three it's all loose, but for some reason two threads makes a nice, tight serge:

The inside of the Decepticon Diaper:

In Snappi position:

I really like the back view of this style of diaper for some reason. The frills made by the elastics and serged edges is just so cute:

After serging three diapers from this pattern I've realised that I need to change the front from that trapezoid shape to one that's more rounded because I can't quite get the serger around those top two corners.

I had to fix one of them by hand:
Not my best work but eh, hopefully it will hold.

So basically it's going to become more like a 'traditional fitted' shape, with a large rounded front and possibly even longer wings. I'll scour the Internet again this weekend for free patterns again if I can't get this current one to look how I want.

I didn't make a soaker pad for this because I want to see of the body of the diaper will hold up after washing, so I'm just using one of my existing doublers, a bummis preemie prefold.

Decepticon Diapers: more than meets the eye...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

Goodwill is the place to get cheap cloth diaper fabric - i.e. T-shirts -  and if you manage to catch one of their 50% off sales you can get shirts for $1 or even less. But holy cow, the madness! I took dd to our local Goodwill this morning for the latest 50% off sale and even though I only spent maybe 15-20 minutes getting my shirts, it took me 45 minutes to get out because the check-out line was that long.

Two things prevented an otherwise speedy purchase - the place only had two cash registers and there were a few people (unfortunately ahead of us) with, and I'm not exaggerating, FULL GROCERY STORE SIZE SHOPPING CARTS. It was crazy, I've never seen anyone purchase so much of ANYTHING all at once. I don't know how they managed to get it back to their cars. God forbid they had to get on the bus with 2 or 3 full pretty-much-garbage-bag-size shopping bags.

I was going to go when the store opened at 9 am, but I wanted to wait for the diaper laundry to go into the dryer and I didn't think it would be that packed since it was a weekday. If today had been a Tuesday I would have been fine - I was chatting with another mum who was in line with me and she told me that the last 50%-off sale had been on a Tuesday and there were only 2 or 3 other people in the store when she'd gone. So middle-of-the-week is definitely the way to go with these things. You couldn't pay me enough to go to one on the weekend.

My dd did very well until the last 10 minutes when she got upset and wanted to be 'akka-mamma!' and of course I'd left the sling in the car. She was in an umbrella stroller and I didn't expect to be there long enough for her to get upset and want to be held. I never learn; this isn't the first time I've neglected to bring the sling and then really needed it. I have to burn it into my brain - ALWAYS bring the sling! Better to have it and not need it than vice versa.

Anyway, I did get a good deal - 8 mens' T-shirts (either XL or the same size as XL) for one dollar a piece. Good quality, too - new or nearly new. And a nice range of colours:

I think the lime green shirts will make especially cute diapers. I was originally looking to get mostly white shirts and maybe one or two coloured ones, but the coloured jersey was so much thicker and better quality than the white that my ratio got reversed.

They had some nice orange shirts too, but I didn't want to go overboard since these will be used to make 'tester' diapers. I estimate I can get about one medium-sized diaper per shirt, with 4 body layers and enough scraps left over to make an external soaker. I'm going to use the scrounged Zorb I have for the soakers since I intend my dd to actually use these diapers; she needs the absorbency of the Zorb since she's a supersoaker.

Adventures with Stretch Terry

I really, really want to make some stretch terry fitted diapers for my dd, but because of my serger issues it hasn't been possible. But then my mom brought her awesome 20-year-old touch-screen does-everything sewing machine when she and my dad were here a few days ago, and it seems like I could actually do it.

The machine is a Janome embroidery machine, and it cost $3000 back in the 1990s (who knows how much it would cost now!):

This machine seems to do every conceivable stitch, but most importantly it's a true overlocking sewing machine. It has a special foot for it, unlike my sewing machine which uses the same foot as zigzag stitch.

In order to test out this machine's overlock stitch (and also use up the rest of the two hooded towels I had left after the failed terry diaper) I decided to make some wipes. They're double-layered, terry side out on both sides. I managed to make 17 of them (there are 16 in the picture because one of them had fallen to the floor):

I did straight sides for the first few wipes...

...before I realised that doing rounded corners would be much easier:

I think they turned out quite nicely:

I had two newer (whole) baby hooded towels left, and after taking a seam-ripper to the binding I overlocked the edges and made two single-layer terry flat diapers:

I'd already made two other flat diapers using the overlock on my machine, and you can definitely see the difference between the overlock stitches. The green terry has the 'real' overlock from my mom's machine and the white one below (with purple stitching) is from my machine, which can't sew over the edge of the fabric, so I had to sew almost a cm away from the edge and then cut it away the excess fabric.

It works, though. The older towels have been through 4 or 5 washes and I haven't noticed any fraying. Those towels are a bit rough so I fold them with the loops to the inside:

This is the 'Diaper Bag Fold' in case anyone's wondering. It's great for smaller flat diapers. I use these for overnights (with a Mother-ease OS fitted and a doubler made of half of a flannel baby blanket folded in 8ths) because I can Snappi them easily. Previously I used a big flannel baby blanket, but I had to pin it and I'm terrible at pinning diapers.

If I can get my hands on some more stretch terry (I might even pick up some cheap hooded towels at Walmart or wherever) I'll try my hand at making a simple Snappi-able fitted diaper.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Crunchy Viking Garden

Yesterday my mom and dad came for a visit and I took a break from cloth diaper sewing to put the garden in. Of course, it had to be the hottest June day on record (42C with the humidex) but that was they only day my mom could get off work. We managed by taking dd in periodically to cool down. Even at 22 months old, dd was very helpful, and my mom had her pulling weeds and carrying plants and putting pots away; it was really adorable.

I always forget to do a 'before' picture, so here's the finished product:

We have a really big backyard with lots of space for gardens. My mom and I widened this garden by about a foot and a half when dh and I moved into the house; it wraps all the way around to the other side of the deck. The marigolds are there not for looks but to keep bunnies and other critters from eating up our veggies - pest control pioneer stylz. There's also basil here and there to protect the other plants from bugs as well as disease. Also cuz I love basil.

So we've got carrots and dill:

Onions (and maybe some odd chives):

Then three patches of assorted lettuces, mesclun and mustard greens and spinach:

Radishes (seeds):

And then the herb and overflow patch. Right now there's oregano, garden thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary and some extra lettuce:

I planted all the marigolds (we had to send my dad back to Home Depot twice to get more flats) and my mom did the rest (the big, bushy oregano and lemon thyme have been in the garden since last year) so that I could go into the house with dd when she got too hot. My mom has the constitution of a well-seasoned draught animal, and is just as stubborn - no one is going to make her stop before SHE wants to.

We also have a bit raspberry patch (or line, as it were) that I partially killed off this year by burning it with too much manure (DOH):

Yeah, that empty patch in the middle there is my fault. Oh well, who knew? There's a big tree on the other side of the fence and the roots run right under that part of the raised bed, and you could tell they were stealing the nutrients away from the raspberry stalks, so I dumped some manure on them (nothing I haven't done before), but maybe because the bag had been sitting outside for like a year, it was too strong... at any rate, we had to cut them all down.

At least the one end is still nice and bushy:

We've also got another little garden on the other side, with more lemon thyme (it was supposed to be garden thyme but was mislabeled), chives and mint (that's always trying to take over and is always mostly succeeding):
The lemon thyme here is also from last year. The chives were planted a couple of years ago, and the mint was there long before we ever moved into the house.

And then at the foot of the deck opposite the big garden, we have a strawberry patch. We finally put a cage on it this year because the robins have been pecking holes in all our strawberries:

Close up of some berries forming:

It rained last night so everything got a good watering. And in a few weeks, we can go out and 'pick a salad' every evening for dinner. Yum!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Dream May Yet Be Within Reach

So maybe I was a bit hasty about wanting to smash the serger because I tested it on some jersey this morning (dh was nice enough to donate 2 of his T-shirts to the cause) and it works fine even with 3 threads. It's not great - the loops are kind of loose - but it works. I talked to my mom and she told me she often shared my desire to smash the thing, but she also told me that she did use the serger on towels and such, so it used to work on thicker and rougher fabric. We think we got hosed when we took it to the place in Streetsville to get it 'fixed,' and it seems they charged us $100 for merely cleaning it. My mom hopes to find someplace that will really fix the serger (and apparently the usual cost for servicing a sewing machine is around $30) so that I'll be able to serge whatever fabric I want.

Anyway, I washed dh's T-shirts and then set about unravelling them.

I have to stop here and say that I HATE OLD SPICE DEODORANT. It smells so strong and it leaves so much goop on dh's shirts that it just doesn't wash out, and it transfers the smell to everything else in the wash. I had to stop washing dh's clothes with mine or dd's because they'd all come out smelling like Old Spice. DH doesn't use Old Spice anymore (because I asked him nicely to NEVER GET ANY MORE OF THAT CRAP) but the scent is so insidious that it seems to have worked it's way into the chemical make-up of his shirts. And I must admit that other brands of mens' deodorant aren't much better. I washed his donated T-shirts three times and I still couldn't get all of the smell out.

"Do you want your diapers to smell like a man?"

Okay back to the diaper making. I was able to take the seam ripper to one of the shirts, but the other one had been overlocked AND serged everywhere so I just cut the seams out. That's when I took some scrap pieces and tested the serger again (with 3 threads, which is better and much less likely to unravel than using 2 threads) and everything seemed to be working again. It's loose, like I said, but it's useable.

I grabbed the small pattern by mistake and was able to cut three full pieces out of one of the shirts before realising it was not the medium pattern. It ended up being a good mistake, though, because I always intended to make newborn-small diapers and now I know that a medium sized T-shirt will yield a 3-layer diaper with enough fabric left over for one, maybe two external soakers.

The elastics went one pretty easily (once I stopped backstitching them - for some reason my sewing machine doesn't like doing that and always leaves a giant haystack of thread on the back - oy):

I left off the front elastic because these are meant to be used with a Snappi (which will hold it to the baby's belly tightly enough without needing the elastic). This is two layers of jersey, and the last will go on top. Ideally I wanted to do 4 layers but I could only get 3 whole pieces out of the shirt. A size large shirt will probably give me 4 layers.

I serged the top layer on; this is the inside of the diaper.

Here it is with wings tucked in (how it would look with snaps):

And my favourite, with wings on top (Snappi position):

And the back - the elastics really did go on nicely this time:

I quickly drafted a pattern for a bone-shaped external soaker pad and then serged one of three more layers of the same shirt. Again, I wanted 4 layers, but there just wasn't enough.

Soaker in diaper:

I'm very pleased with this diaper, though after making two of them from this pattern, I think I'll make the front a bit wider. Other than that, I like it a lot.

Goodwill is having a 50%-off sale this Friday, and I intend to stock up on T-shirts, because I might just be able to do this cloth diaper sewing thing...

Why My Serger Needs A Good Beating

I have a love-hate relationship with my serger. I love that I have a serger, but I hate that it doesn't work properly. It's very picky about what types of fabric it will deign to serge. Broadcloth and flannel are acceptable, stretch terry and sherpa are not. It loves to drop stitches/loops or snap threads while serging the latter two, making me very, VERY angry, because I would love to make some stretch terry fitted diapers for my dd, with external soakers of zorb between cotton sherpa, but I CAN'T DO THAT because my serger won't allow it.

Yesterday I woke up SO EXCITED about this whole cloth diaper sewing dream of mine, and so I took the old hand-me-down stretch-terry hooded baby towels we'd inherited and traced and cut and stacked and then took one whole towel that I'd intended on making a flat diaper and tried to serge it. No go. I almost cried.

Now, I must admit that the first thing I did with the serger yesterday is feed some wooly nylon thread into it to see if it could take it. It didn't work (it just kept unravelling) but I wasn't too upset, I just said 'oh well, I'll just have to use the regular polyester thread.' I realised later that I'd threaded it wrong, but the serger is so darn hard to thread even with regular stuff that I decided I wouldn't use the woolly nylon anyway.

But after I re-threaded it with the polyester serger thread, it didn't work. I thought I'd done something wrong, so I played with the tension, moved the thread cones around, etc. etc. and nothing worked - it would not serge the stretchy terry. I took a piece of scrap flannel and tried to serge that - it worked. I tried the terry again - nope, dropped loops, snapped thread. I almost cried.

I didn't give up - I decided to try and use the overlock stitch on my sewing machine (which is kind of like a cheater's serge stitch on a regular sewing machine) because I'd read that some people had successfully used that if they didn't have a serger. I could do it - I overlocked the entire diaper - but it stretched it out so much (even though I lowered the foot tension to the absolute minimum) that by the time I'd gotten to the second half of the diaper the three layers no longer lined up. I almost cried again. I was SO DISAPPOINTED, especially since I'd woken up that morning so excited...

I surmised that perhaps the serger just hadn't been designed to serge anything but broadcloth and flannel and similar fabrics, and that I'd just have to live with making flannel diapers. Flannel is a common fabric for diapers - it's not as absorbent as terry, nor is it stretchy, but it can be done. I put the serger back in the spare bedroom's closet and I figured it would stay there.

What makes me crazy is that I took it in to get serviced and forked over $100 to do it, and then I took it home and found that nothing had changed, it still couldn't serge the sherpa wipes I'd cut out. Now I had been told (by the people at the sewing shop I took the serger to) that the machine 'didn't like thicker fabrics,' but c'mon, you FIXED IT. And you charged me 100 FRACKING DOLLARS.

But there's still the jersey...

The Cloth Diaper Sewing Experiment Continues.

I made another diaper on Sunday, and this one took much less time. This time I decided to try a free pattern I'd gotten from a website (Baa Baa Baby). It was originally for a fleece diaper cover, but it could be used to make pretty much any style of cloth diaper. I also decided to pull out my 25-year-old serger and see if I couldn't make it work. Serged cloth diapers are easier and faster to make, and I was determined to use it. According to my mom, the serger was crappy when she first bought it, but it worked for a few years and the construction is still sound, but something has gone wonky with the mechanics and now it drops stitches and snaps threads and usually frustrates me to the point where I want to throw it out the window and then smash it repeatedly with a baseball bat.

Anyway, I managed to get it to work (huzzah!) by using only 2 threads (the machine can sew with either 2 or three threads) and it made me think that this whole diaper-making dream was within reach.

Okay so like I said, I used a free pattern for a side-snapping diaper. I really like Mother-ease Sandy's diapers (which are side-snap) - they are one of the few fitted diapers that fit my dd very well - and so I hoped to make some that my dd could actually use. The diaper I started with, though, was another tester, and I didn't plan to use it on my dd. Also, the pattern calls for snaps and I have neither a snap press nor pliers nor any snaps (yet) so I'd have no way to fasten the diaper, though I thought I'd try to make future diapers out of jersey or stretch terry (which would allow me to fasten them with a Snappi).

Diaper #2 - sized (medium) side-snap, free pattern from internet.

I used another old, ugly cotton flannel baby blanket for this diaper. I printed out the pattern, taped it together, and traced it onto the blanket like the previous one (though I didn't bother to make extra templates, I just used the one I'd printed and taped). I didn't bother to take pictures of these first few steps since they were the same as the first diaper.

Here's the first two layers (I'd cut three) with three of the elastics. This pattern called for 4 elastics - back and legs like before, but with another optional one at the front which I put in later:

I put the top layer on and serged it all around, and boy was that nice and fast! The first picture shows the inside of the diaper (the part that touches the baby's bum). I could have 'blind sewn' the elastics in, which is where you put the elastic between two layers of fabric and then sew it down by feel (you end up with the inside and outside looking like the bottom picture), but I've found that hidden elastics like that will leave red marks on my dd's skin, so attaching them to the bottom layer only makes the inside softer.

And here's the 'finished' product - this picture shows the diaper in side-snap configuration:

but you could fasten this diaper with the back wings on top (which is what I hope to do if I can make this diaper out of a Snappi-friendly material - Snappi's don't grip too well on flannel):

Here's the back of the diaper. The bum area is nice and poofed out:

I have to mention here that the yellow-checkered fabric made a rather ugly blanket, but with the purple stitching it makes a darn cute diaper!

I decided to do a 'practice' external soaker pad, too:

It's three more layers of fabric; here it is in the diaper:

Overall I was very pleased with both the pattern and the resulting diaper.

And to end off, here are a few shots of my 'sewing station,' aka the kitchen table:

The dreaded serger is the small blue and white machine (the one in front in the third picture). You'll notice that I 'leaked' over to my dd's high-chair as well.

Stay tuned for the next post, where I explain how, once again, I wanted to throw my serger out the window and smash it with a baseball bat.