Wednesday, February 25, 2009

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Let's keep sewing!!!

I have tried a few diaper patterns and have settled on a fitted diaper pattern put out by VERY BABY. I chose this one because it was the easiest to make AND it seems to fit my son the best. It also turns out GREAT!!! The pattern can be found at www.verybaby.com and is quite detailed and explained very well. Someone with basic sewing skills should have no problem at all. The pattern also includes all of the markings for placement of the elastic and snaps. The Very Baby pattern is intended to be a snapped diaper but can be modified for hook and loop tape which is what I prefer. I have given an overview of the process below.

I use a serger to do the majority of the sewing. There are a few steps that still need to be done on a regular sewing machine. The diapers can also be made on a regular sewing machine using the turn and topstitch method. I just really like my serger!

You are given a list of suggested fabrics with the pattern but I have chosen to use recycled cloth from t-shirts, flannel sheets, nightgowns etc. I do wash all of the fabric with the same detergent that I use with my cloth diapers BEFORE I cut them up. If I am using recycled materials I will also strip them just as I would cloth diapers to remove any detergent residue or residue from softener sheets.
Most of the diapers that I make, I make from flannel just because I have a lot of it and have a pretty easy time getting more.

Materials needed:
Pattern, print flannel for outside layer, solid flannel or other absorbent material for inside layer, touch-tape (diaper quality velcro), ¼“ swimsuit elastic, terry toweling for soaker Optional materials: snaps for a snap-in soaker (I use size 16)

The diaper in the pictures is made of 1 outer layer of cute printed flannel and 3 inner layers of recycled flat diapers that were given to me.

TIP: In some of the pictures you may notice a small folded over blue ribbon serged into the top back edge. I use different colors to mark the different size diapers that I make. NB-white Small-blue Medium-green and Large-red

1. Cut out the layers for your diaper. Transfer markings for the elastic from the pattern onto the inside layer with a marking pen and sew the touch-tape(diaper quality velcro) to the outside print layer just under where the elastic will be sewn. Stack the layers together with right sides out. Pin all the layers together being careful to not block where you need to put elastic.
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2. Sew the elastic into the diaper between the two inner layers, where marked with a zig-zag stitch, stretching as you go. As you finish each leg area and front and back area clip the elastic close to your ending point.

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3. Serge around the diaper catching all the layers. The wings are the hardest to do because of their rounded shape HOWEVER if you are careful to pull the material out straight in front of the cutting blade and take it slow it comes out very nicely. When you get back to your starting point serge another inch or so being careful to not get anything in the way of your cutting blade. Finish off your serged edge by pulling out extra thread and clipping it, giving yourself plenty of room to tie it off neatly.

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4. Sew touch-tape onto the inside of the wings along with laundry tabs and a tab to overlap the wings if desired..

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5. Cut out the soaker fabric. I use 3-4 layers of old bath towels. Serge around the edge. I serge the towel 2 layers at a time and then machine stitch the 2 groups of 2 together so that I am not putting my serger through to much fabric.

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This diaper has an external soaker so that it dries quicker. The soaker can be free floating OR you can apply a few snaps for the soaker to snap into the diaper body. The snaps are pretty easy to install and I like being able to have 1 piece to handle. I use the snaps from snap source since the snap setter is fairly cheap. Their snaps have the longer prong necessary for cloth diapers as well.

The first picture is of a soaker that is free floating, the second is a picture while the snaps are going in and the third is of a snapped in soaker

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Completed diaper Size small and 2 that I had made the other day in size NB

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PhotobucketThat is all there is to it! It takes me only about 30-45 minutes to make 1 diaper (depending on how many interruptions I get). I personally LOVE them! They are SO easy to make AND use! They are also REALLY cute since I am able to choose my own fabrics. I am able to use recycled cloth which really cuts down on cost and saves an article of clothing from being thrown away when the material is still usable. Furthermore, my husband is a lot more eager to help with the diaper changing now that I no longer use just prefolds!!!!!

Warning!!! Diaper sewing can become VERY addicting!

- By Crystal

60 comments:

Jess said...

YAY for sewing your own! I can't sew for the life of me but thank you so much for the post! Hehe maybe I should talk my mom into sewing some for me

Serena said...

First of all - I WANT that green polka-dot fabric!!!

Great post Crystal!

This is one great blog ladies (and any CD gents who may be lurking out there)!

Thanks Kelly and Anelys for making this all possible!

Dani said...

Crystal - those diapers are so stinkin' cute! I WISH I knew how to sew, only for the purpose of making diapers. The pictures were great in helping to explain the process.

MrsStunner said...

I love the green polka dot diaper!

*~*a.l.s*~* said...

Wow! I'm impressed! I've seen the VeryBaby diapers (I love giraffes these days so their logo caught my eye) and was really intrigued by them. Thanks for showing us that it can be done!

Next on my must-buy list--a serger!

Senior Family said...

oh my .. i should so try this .. awesome .. i love the green dots one :)

Chic Mama said...

Nice work! Very Cute!

Andrea said...

I'm new to cloth diapers, let alone sewing them but I'd like to give it a try. I noticed the snap setter tool in your pictures. I've never heard of that. Does it work well?

melissad.williams said...

These are great instructions! I love the Very Baby patter; I have a few Very Baby AIOs. I can't wait until I get more proficient with my new sewing machine so I can make diapers too!

Erika said...

Wow- thanks for the step by step. I'm just learning how to sew and don't know if I could do it, but I'm sure going to try!!

Amanda said...

That's awesome Crystal! I'm still so new to sewing but, I can not wait to try my hand at making a cloth diaper.

I loved the green polka dot diaper...too cute!

Brena said...

That is fantastic! I've been experimenting with my own lately, and trying to figure out how the dang serger works. It's great to see it laid out step by step!

Katrina said...

Reading posts like this really makes me wish I had a sewing machine. I would love to be able to sew my own diapers, and diapers for friends.

one day in the life of me said...

I love the green diaper.

I would love to sew my own but I don't have the patience for it or the serger. Maybe if I got the serger I could find the patience.

Maggie said...

I have never sewed before but I've been wanting to learn. This is some good added motivation. Thanks!

team krasean said...

I'm so impressed! I sew a little, but I don't think I will take on a diapers project. I can't believe you can sew a diaper in 45 minutes. That's great!

angelina said...

thank you crystal this makes it so much easier and less intimidating. i have been staring at an instruction sheet for months and this makes me so much more confident. ive been wanting a snap press, too expensive, where did you get your little one? whats it called? what was its price?
angela
imisswaylon@hotmail.com

A Psych Mommy said...

Thanks for the tutorial--the pics really help describe the steps!

This makes me want to get my own sewing machine so that I can give making my own diapers a try!

KayStarGoesRawr said...

Wooooooooow! I am so excited! I had no idea there were such cheap snap setters!!!! THANK YOU! I'm definitely going to be buying one. Yay! My friend and I are about to have to repair some of our BG diapers that are having fastening problems and I would love to make them snap. (:

Nikki said...

What a motivating post! I've made my own cloth wipes, but I haven't been confident enough in my minimal sewing skills to take on a diaper project just yet. You make it look easy! I may have to give it a try. The VeryBaby pattern looks great.

I'd love to have a serger, but $$$ is a concern, so I'll probably have to stick with my old machine for a while.

Dani said...

I am non-sewer, so this question may seem ridiculous! Must you have a serger in order to make these diapers?

Matt, Sara and Kinsley :) said...

I have only made one diaper and it works pretty well but is a bit stiff. Thanks for another pattern to try.

JamesandJennie said...

Great job! I love the green dots fabric. :) Speaking from experience- diaper sewing IS addictive!

AScott said...

This looks like a fun and creative way to do your cloth diapering!

Meghan said...

Thanks for the great tutorial on Very Baby diapers! I have been gathering the materials to make my own diapers as well. I haven't yet, but I am going to try thr Little Comet Tails pattern.
Just one question. Do those kind of snaps hold up to the heavy duty washing that cloth diapers require and the wear and tear of snapping so often? From my research I thought it was best to use the plastic snaps that use the expensive snap press to put on. Just wondering :)

Umm Sayf said...

WOW! I was just looking at that very pattern online. . . wondering if I should get it or not! I'm sold!
Also, I have to know where you got that nifty (and cheaper, I would think) snap press! Please please let us know! I prefer snaps, but don't use them because I can't afford the $100 snap presses I have seen online!
Thanks for such a great and sew-inspiring post!
-Sarah

Katie said...

Those are amazing!! I wish I could sew! Thanks for the info on the snap setter. I think I am going to get one to repair some of my old BG diapers.

Melissa said...

Wow, great post....I totally wish I knew how to sew and had all the right equipment.

Heather said...

I've been looking at that pattern to try and make my sister start sewing diapers for me. Those are so cute. You did a grat job!

Sheezwhiz said...

I love love love the VB diaper pattern! The fit is awesome and they are easy to sew. That was the first pattern I bought and the one I always go back to.

Erika said...

This post makes me wish I knew how to sew. Hmm, I wonder if there is anyone I could con into making diapers for me?

Jes said...

I've given it a try a few times and I always do the elastic wrong! I'm going to keep trying though because it is very addicting and I love that I can do the designing all by myself.

Angela said...

I was just thinking of sewing some cloth diapers! I love to sew, but I just needed an excuse to do it--and this is perfect!

Andrea said...

I've been wanting to do this for a long time (more accurately, I've been wanting to forward instructions to my grandma for a long time), Great post!

Liz said...

Thanks Crystal for the great post! My mom is bringing down a sewing machine for me on Friday as I really want to learn how to sew. I was thinking more along the lines of making cute burp cloths but oh, if I could learn how to make diapers. I think I would be in heaven!

Kristin said...

I had never really considered sewing my own diapers, but this looks really easy! Fabulous! Now I am really happy that I just got my grandmother's serger.

Thanks so much for the inspiration and the pictures!

TheOGMamaBear said...

Those diapers are adorable. I've sewed a few diapers on my own but I'm not a great seamstress. But then next time I get pregnant I will be sewing some newborn fitteds.

Montana Mama said...

I love it! I might have to be careful though, b/c I am finding myself getting addicted to sewing! I just made some neat baby shoes a few weeks ago! If anyone wants to see them, there's a few pics on my blog. :)

Now I just need a serger so I can make these!!! :)

MKury said...

I wish I had the patience to sew such cute diapers!! They are adorable. Perhaps one day I will try.

Kristin said...

I was looking at the pattern description online and it mentions that if you use a woven (non-stretchy) fabric you may need to lengthen the wings in order to maintain the range of sizes the diaper will fit. When sewing with flannel do you lengthen the wings and if so by how much?

Thanks for the great info!

Cecile said...

Okay, if I ever get a chance to take a class of some kind in the evening, I'm choosing sewing!

one_lucky_mom said...

Very cool, to bad I don't have a decent sewing machine otherwise maybe I would give it a try even though I don't have much skill when it comes to sewing.

EdenSky said...

I did try, really I did, but I just don't have your skills! This post makes me want to try again though.

BookyG said...

That was really cool, I don't sew, but it is interesting to see how the diapers I use are made. Thank you.

Kelly said...

I wish I could get motivated to get out my sewing machine and really learn to sew better. I mainly use it to reattach my aplix to my covers that have worn so bad from so much use. One day I might actually get to sewing diapers, the only problem will be they will have to be for friends since by the time I find time to sew, I'm afraid my little ones will be out of diapers and in school :)

I love the green polka-dot too! Very cute. And thanks for the great step-by-step post.

Kelly said...

I need to learn how to sew and knit - those diapers are so nifty and I'd love to be able to use my own fabrics to make diapers! Maybe someday...

Crystal (Cristy) said...

Hi Ladies, The snap thing is brand name snap setter. I found it on snapsource.com . So far the snaps have held up very well for me. It costs just under $10 vs the snap presses that cost around $100. Since I only make the diapers for myself and my Mom it makes NO sense for me to pay so much. I also only bought a small pack of snaps at first to see if I likes them. That way I was not paying out a bunch to find out that I didnt care for how they worked. I have found out a few tricks since starting to use it that have made my snaps set so much tighter.
The green polka-dot fabric was found at Jo-Ann fabrics for those of you that make diapers and really liked it. I LOVE it too!!
YES. This pattern does come with brief instructions for sewing it with just a sewing machine. I just really like using my serger. You can use the turn and topstich method for sewing with a machine.
Kelly, Thank you so much for figuring out how to get this to you all! Computers!!!
For those of you that are interested in sewing but just a bit nervous about starting on diapers.. JUST TRY IT!! If you dont try it you will never know if you can do it. It is fairly easy but does take a bit of practice just like anything else!
Have fun!! Cristy
cristy_curuncha@hotmail.com

MommyCat said...

Wow, this really makes me wish I could sew! I may have to recruit my mom to make some new dipes for my little guy. I love the polka dots, very cute!

brandi said...

i would really love to learn to do that i think i need a sewing tutor!

Tanya said...

I wish I could sew!

amanda said...

so cool. wish i could sew. :0)

Day to Day Tripper said...

Love the sewing ideas. I have been sewing hemp inserts with a friend and thought that was fun. I would love to try a diaper some day. Thanks for the great picture directions.

Suzy said...

I tried once to make a cloth diaper for myself, let's just say I was very unsucessful. But you make it look so easy, maybe when my machine is out of storage I will try again.

Kimberly said...

I've been making burp clothes, blankets and baby shoes for baby shower gifts...now I may have to throw in a few diapers, too! They are so cute and I can't believe how simple they look!

angelina said...

where does one get a snap setter?

Sarah said...

GREAT STUFF! Can't wait to do this! Thanks, Crystal! :)

Melia said...

These are great!! I am teaching myself to sew and have been wanting to make some diapers. I don't have a serger, can you explain the turn and topstitch message that you mentioned? Thanks!!

Serena said...

Melia: Actually, T&T (turn and topstitch) is typically done with a regular sewing machine.

Here's how:
1. Put the two pieces of fabric together, right side facing each other (wrong sides would be facing out).

2. Sew all around the edges, leaving at least 1" (depending on the seam allowance).

3. Trim the corners at a 45 degree angle and turn the fabric so the right sides are now facing out.

4. Press (this will make topstitching much much easier) - however, if you're working with delicate fabric be sure to use a very low setting and a press cloth to prevent burning.

5. The, to topstitch, you'll stitch around the edge just inside the edge making sure you catch the seam inside.

Heather M said...

Wish I had a sewing Machine. They look fantastic!

GwennS said...

Awesome! I'm a fellow diaper sewing addict myself..if only I had more time since the baby was born!