Tuesday, June 7, 2011

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.

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