Sunday, August 14, 2011


After I made the Discouraging Diaper I thought I'd try my hand at making some doublers out of the sleeves and other T-shirt scraps I'd saved. Up until this point I'd been using preemie prefolds or a folded up piece of cotton flannel baby blanket as doublers for the T-shirt diapers, but I'd always intended on making jersey doublers so I finally sat down and did it.

It really started with these:

These are some double-layer sherpa doublers I made from some sherpa inserts I'd gotten a long time ago. I originally just cut an insert in thirds and sewed one side, but even that was too long and a bit too wide so the other day I said 'that's it!' and I made them all pretty. I used a purchased doubler/insert as a guide, cut the sherpa ones and zigzagged the edges. They're a bit curled in the photo since this is right after I sewed them. They straightened out a bit after washing.

On to the jersey doublers. I thought at first I'd make them a simple elongated oval like the sherpa ones, but anything with straight sides always gets bunched up between the legs so I settled on drafting a bone-shaped doubler instead.

I had a pattern already drafted for one of the first diapers I made, but it was for a size small, so i just made it a bit longer and copied the scoop in the middle. I surveyed the amount of fabric I had left and saw that I could get 6-full layers, and split that into two doublers of 3-layers each since 6 would be too thick to sew and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't wash out well in the laundry.

It took rather a long time to cut the forms out, and I had to substitute some tan jersey in for the yellow and blue doublers since i didn't have enough of those colours, but I managed to get 8 doublers in two days:

The topmost layer of the doublers was also stretching as I zigzagged them, so that didn't help to ease my frustration with this fabric, but they turned out all right in the end. And the jersey is more absorbent than I'd originally thought - under a PUL cover I just need the fitted with two jersey doublers. I add a sherpa doubler  if I'm putting a wool cover on my girl.

It was quite a learning experience and if I had to do it over again, I would do a few things differently. Firstly, I don't really like bone-shaped doublers. Yes the straight ones do bunch up more between the legs, but they also have more fabric and therefore (slightly) more absorbency, plus straight ones are easier to cut. Secondly, these doublers are a tad too short; I'd lengthen them by at least 2 inches. Thirdly, if I had enough fabric I'd instead make large, square/rectangular 2-layer doublers (or inserts, I guess) that you would fold into thirds - in the end it's easier to sew and gives you more fabric, thus more absorbency.

I also made some overnight doublers last night out of a few bamboo fleece wipes. Why? Mostly because I'm wacky, but really because I have too many wipes. Whenever I'm putting away the diaper laundry I have to really stuff the wipes into their container and usually I can't get the lid closed. Since I made those stretch terry wipes from the leftover baby towel material (see 'Adventures with Stretch Terry') I've got more than I need. Plus I don't really like how the bamboo wipes feel when they're wet. They're super soft while dry, but bamboo tends to get hard and stiff when it's wet (which is one reason I sold off all the bamboo diapers I had) and I don't like that.

Anyway, I figured I could make a couple of doublers for my daughter's overnight diapers and take advantage of the bamboo's super-fast absorbing quality. I took four wipes and unrolled them - oh yeah, that's another thing I don't like about these wipes, they roll up on two sides:

I bought 2 dozen of these wipes from a WAHM her in the GTA and they started off nice and flat, but after the first wash the two ends rolled up and just stayed that way. Even if I unroll them and try to flatten them out again and fold them up a different way, once they go into the wash they roll up again. Sigh.

Okay so I unrolled four wipes and zig-zagged the edges together (just touching, not overlapping) on my sewing machine and got something that looked like this:

My original idea would be to fold it up in thirds or quasi-quarters and get a multi-layer doubler like this:

This all happened at 9 pm last night, and I was all gung-ho about it but didn't really stop to think it through and I realised a few mistakes I'd made after sewing two of these.

Firstly, I shouldn't have used polyester thread. The seams were way too rough and scratchy; I should have used cotton instead. Secondly, they're much too big. My girl really doesn't need all that extra absorbency - she's already got a folded up hemp doubler in her diaper, and the diaper itself is a cotton terry flat which is pretty darned absorbent on it's own.

So just before I went to bed I ripped out two of the seams so I was left with just two wipes sewn together. Then after I was in bed for a few minutes I came upon a better way to make the doublers, but I left it for this morning since I wasn't going to get up again that night.

This morning I ripped out the last of the purple stitching, put cotton thread back in my machine and made a few doublers that look like this:

As you can see, it's just two wipes overlapping in the middle, sewn together with zigzag:

Fold the top and bottom flaps over the middle and ta-da, you've got a doubler with four layers in the 'wetzone':

We'll see how it works out tonight.

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