Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Pattern Emerges...

Four diapers (and patterns) later and I've finally settled on a pattern. It's been Frankensteined from two free online patterns and something I drafted myself. The Decepticon Diaper was okay for fit but because of the sharp corners it had under the wings it was hell to serge, so I rounded the corners a bit for the next one.

You can't see it too well in this photo, but the diaper is a lovely, bright lime green. Colour-wise this is my favourite of the ones I've made so far.

I also rounded out the front of the diaper, again because corners are murder on a serger.

I had a bit of a screwy patch in the serging that I had to fix by hand, but it's holding nicely.

The 'scoop' of the wings wasn't rounded enough and I still had trouble serging it so for the next diaper I made that part even more rounded. But because it made the back so much wider I had to lengthen the wings. This one was almost perfect.

I love the purple serging on every diaper; I think that if I do end up selling diapers I'm gonna make the purple thread my trademark.

Oh, and I also used new elastic on this one - 10mm cotton braided elastic and OMG I don't know if it's the cotton or just the brand but this elastic is SO MUCH BETTER. It's super stretchy and stays super stretchy even when sewn onto the body of the diaper. It's so stretchy in fact that it makes the diaper look smaller than the previous two (Hubby even thought I'd made a smaller-size diaper) and as a consequence it fits my daughter so much better. Since the elastic is stretchier, there's less of it in the diaper and it makes a tighter fit. I'm switching elastic for good.

Anyway, I still wasn't satisfied with the curve of the wings so I scoured the internet for another free pattern - a one-size fitted - and then I realised I already had one downloaded. Doh. I printed it out and compared it to the one I'd made and they were almost the same, except that the one-size pattern's wings were longer and the area under the wings was even more curved. I played with the idea of trying out the one-size pattern (shortened in the body so that it would fit my daughter) but I decided instead to take the back of that pattern and paste it onto the rest of my pattern (with shorter wings). There was surprisingly little alteration needed (I only cut off a couple of milimetres to make it connect to the rest of the pattern) and tested it out with a tan coloured shirt.

It turned out really nicely, but this was the most frustrating diaper out of all of them because my darn serger decided to become entirely useless on this one. It'd been working fine up until then and suddenly decided to intermittently drop stitches.

In a way this was a good thing (even though I had to rip out the stitching on the diaper twice; luckily I noticed the dropped stitches before I'd even done half the diaper so it wasn't much either time) because it made me finally figure out how to do some kind of overlock or whatever with my mom's old machine. The machine has a real overlock, as I've mentioned in previous posts, but it uses a heck of a lot of thread (mostly from the little bobbin which is a bitch to rethread) so I tried out the 'zig-zag overedge' stitch. It has a special foot to allow you to sew over the edge of the fabric (as the name implies). I used it while making the purple wool wrap and figured it would be good enough.

Looks rather nice, though I think I may have to add a straight stitch along the bottom of the zig-zag to make it more secure. It's gone through two washes and so far so good. Using one machine does make the whole process a lot easier because I don't have to keep switching machines (and lugging the heaviest one, the serger, up and down the stairs all the time). And it's MUCH easier to use the zigzag on the edge than to serge. I have way more control and it's easier to stop and go over mistakes, but since it doesn't cut the fabric before sewing it I just have to make sure everything's even before sewing. No biggie; a few snips and it's ready. Plus I can pin everything mores securely so that the fabric doesn't end up stretching as much.

Speaking of the purple wool wrap, I've since moved the velcro and lanolized it, but after trying it out on my daughter I noticed that it wasn't felted enough because it was still really stretchy. I ran it through another felting wash and it's better (and fits a bit better, too) but I think it still needs one or two more washes to be really and truly felted. What I may do is put it in boiling water for a few minutes, then dunk it in cold water (just to speed up the process) but I'm still undecided. I use it as a spare cover, but I don't really like it because it gapes open at the front.

These two pictures were taken before I did another felting wash. The fit's not bad, but it's kinda big, and like I said it gapes at the front because the wool stretches too much.

After another felting wash:

It's hard to tell but it does fit smaller and there's less stretch in the wings, but again, it needs more felting. 

That's all for now. More diapers on the horizon...

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