Thursday, January 31, 2008

Homemade Stash

Here's a pic of all the homemade diapers I'm currently using. I had to put two away b/c they were too small and one b/c I used flannel as the soaker and it got all bunched up.


So I've been experimenting with different fabrics and different patterns for my diapers. I mentioned earlier that I've tried flannel, t-shirts, and clearance cotton for the body and flannel, t-shirts, microfiber, and birdseye diapers for the soakers.

The flannel soaker didn't work at all. It's all bunched up inside and I can't use the diaper anymore. The only flannel diaper that is okay is the one with an inside body of t-shirt and a soaker of microfiber b/c the microfiber is nice and flexible and there are only two pieces of flannel. Any diaper with more than two pieces of flannel or a stiff soaker is too stiff and dries to slowly.

I was doing mostly microfiber soakers b/c they are so flexible and absorbent, but then I started reading on that lots of people have problems with microfiber stinking after a while. So I went back to using layers of t-shirt or birdseye.

The clearance cotton fabric is okay, but it's woven more tightly than the t-shirts and makes it harder to fasten with a snappi. I decided I prefer using a snappi to sewing velcro on. The velcro is tricky in the wash and it just takes more time to make the diaper.

I was also trying different patterns to see if I could adjust the fit of the diaper, but that resulted in some ridiculously ugly though usable diapers.

Basically, after all my experimenting I like my first diaper the best. The blue and green one made exclusively of t-shirts. I will finish using up the clearance cotton b/c it's not bad and I don't want to waste it, but I think from now on I any new fabric I acquire for diapers will be t-shirts. I think I will make soakers of either t-shirt, birdseye, or microfiber. They all work well. I have modified the original pattern only slightly to make the wings longer so I hope it will fit a little longer. The two diapers here are made with that pattern. The flowered one is my clearance fabric with a birdseye soaker. The white one is all t-shirt.

I went to savers yesterday and got a couple t-shirts and three wool sweaters to continue making recycled diapers and covers. Now I just have to decide what kind of covers I want to make out of the sweaters. Longies? Shorties?

Another Wrap

I decided to make another wrap with the tickle turdle pattern. Even though the directions are a little tricky to follow, the end product is easy to use. I made this one with some leftover yarn my mom bought at the farmers market. Since it came straight from somebody's farm I think it probably already has some lanolin left in it. There wasn't enough for a whole wrap though so I used some of the pattons too. The pattons is softer and stretchier. I'm not sure how these two yarns will work together once I start using the wrap, but it looks cute.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Recycled Sweater Longies

I made these longies from the back and sleeves of the sweater. Oh man, I think they are so cute!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Recycled Sweater Shorties

I made these wool shorties from a wool sweater I had that got too small. I used the directions on these websites:

It was super fast and easy and I think it's pretty cute. Maybe I will look for more wool sweaters at goodwill.

Cloth Diapering Inventory

I thought it would be fun to take inventory of my cloth diaper stash and evaluate what I've purchased. So here is my inventory and my thoughts about it.

Prefolds/Contours and PUL Covers

24 infant size bleached Chinese Prefolds
12 premium size unbleached Indian Prefolds
6 small kissaluvs contour
1 NB BummisSuperWhisperWrap
1 NB Litewrap
1 NB prowrap (color)
2 Small BSWW (print)
2 Small Thirsties (color)
3 Medium BSWW (white)

I really like prefolds and covers, but I like trying new things too so I tried the KL contours. I bought them as a cheaper alternative to a fitted diaper, but as it turns out they don't work well. They didn't absorb much and since there wasn't any elastic on the legs everything leaked out the side. So far I like the Indian prefolds better than the Chinese b/c they are softer, but I hear they don't last quite as long. I like unbleached better than bleached b/c I like a natural look better. The BSWW seemed to fit better over a prefold than the Thristies cover did, but the Thirsties fit better over my homemade fitted diapers. I wish that I would have remembered the litewrap and prowrap when I was buying my medium sized wraps b/c they are cheaper than either the BSWW or the Thirsties and I seem to remember liking them as well. (It's hard to remember b/c I used them for such a short time.)

Pockets and Inserts
4 bumGenius one-size pocket
1 small Fuzzi Bunz pocket
1 medium Fuzzi Bunz pocket
1 medium Dry Bees Fleece Nighttime Pocket
1 Bum Wear one-size pocket
10 Cotton Babies one-size microfiber insert
2 Large Happy Heiny's Micro-Fiber Insert

When I first learned about cloth diapers I thought I wouldn't like pockets at all, but I received the FB as a gift and I tried the bG on the recommendation of a friend and found that pockets are quite useful. They are great for going out b/c they are easier to pack in the diaper bag than prefolds and covers. It turns out that they are the only thing we use at night too. We were using disposable at night but they started leaking every night so we switched to a pocket with two CBOS inserts and rarely get a leak anymore. As far as brands go the bG OS are the best. The fact that they are one-size is really useful and I prefer the velcro closure to snaps b/c you get a better fit. FB are good diapers, but just not as good as bG. The Dry Bees diaper leaked terribly the one time we used it at night so I haven't tried it at night again b/c I don't want to have to change my son's pajamas and sheets in the middle of the night again. I use it during the day and it's fine, but it's a little narrow for the insert. The Bum Wear diaper doesn't work at all as a one-size diaper in my opinion. I couldn't get it to stay on the smaller size, but it works fine as an overnight pocket and it comes in really cute colors and prints.

Diaper Accessories
1 Baby Moon Diaper Wipe Concentrate
2 Small Bac Out
2 Large Bac Out
2 Tea Tree Oil
1 Large Bummis Flushable Bio-soft Liners
1 Flannel Baby Wipes (15)
10 Kissaluvs Knit Terry Wipes
10 BabyKicks Hemparoo Washies/Wipes
1 Wahmies Diaper Pail Liner
1 Snappi Diaper Fastener (3)

The diaper wipe concentrate smells really good and lasts a long time although sometimes it's easier to just use plain water. I poor the bac out on dirty diapers. It's supposed to start cleaning them while they sit in the pail waiting for wash day. I think it works well. I use a few drops of tea tree oil in the wash occasionally b/c it has antiseptic properties. The flushable liners are nice although often the solids shake off the diaper just fine and I don't need a liner. The flannel wipes work just fine, but I like the terry and hemp ones better. They are both softer and I think they work a little better b/c they are textured on one side. I love the pail liner b/c it's such a pretty color (cornflower blue). I like snappis b/c I don't like having a loose diaper in my cover. I think it works better if it's a little tighter and I prefer snappis to pins.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Fabric

I found clearance fabric for $1 a yard, so I bought some 100% cotton fabrics. I found the softest ones I could that weren't knit b/c I thought I'd try something that wasn't as stretchy as the t-shirts. I'm also making my pattern with a little bit wider wings on the back so it will reach around further. I kind of wish I could use something other than velcro to keep it on b/c it's kind of expensive and a little stiff. Many diapers out there have snaps, but I don't really know how to put snaps on something and I think it would be hard to get them to line up and get a good fit. Here is a picture of my first diaper with the clearance fabric. It's not very masculine, but it's just a diaper after all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wool Wrap

Here is the wrap I made using this pattern:
I think theirs look better. This pattern was a little harder to follow than the other one b/c she didn't give a particular number of stitches. Those of you who know me know that I prefer specific directions. As I was working on it I also found some of the stitches and directions strange and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, but I think in the end I like the way it fits. It has extra room in the butt and the top doesn't come up too far in the front like it does on the soaker. I thought about trying to attach buttons to fasten it on, but a snappi works really well, so I don't think I'll bother with buttons.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Here is my first fitted diaper with velcro. The velcro does make it easy to use. I might want to make the flaps longer though.

Wool Soaker in Use

Here's a picture of the wool soaker in use. I've used it a lot now and I love it. It works great and I think it must be more comfortable than the synthetic covers. It feels more flexible and might be trimmer. I want to make more wool covers, but I'm going to try out different patterns.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wool Diaper Covers

I have heard great things about wool diaper covers and I wanted to try them, but they are really expensive to buy. I found a couple sites with patterns for making your own. These two are crochet patterns:

This is a pattern for making a wool cover out of an old sweater:

I have tried the first crochet pattern, but I haven't tried the other two patterns yet.

The instructions for the first pattern were great - very clear and easy to follow. I first did the medium size and it was way too big for my six-month-old son. Then I redid it in the small size. I didn't like the frilly edge to the leg openings and they were a little too big so I just stitched a row around the leg opening and then stitched a second row where I skipped every fourth stitch to make the opening smaller.

Here is what it looks like.

I think it's really pretty. I love the yarn. It's Patons Classic Wool Merino yarn. I got some Eucalan No Rinse Wool Wash from to soak the cover to restore the lanolin. I doubt the yarn still had lanolin in it.

I would like to try to adjust the pattern to change the fit if I can. The front comes up too far on my son's tummy and I folded it down. I'm not sure if I know how to adjust a crochet pattern to fix that though. I've only tried the cover twice and I may have felt a hint of dampness, but it was so slight that I'm not totally sure. So I guess I don't know for sure if it was waterproof. Maybe I need to soak it in the lanolin rinse some more. I don't really know a lot about wool covers, so I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong. I will have to try it some more. I also want to try the other patterns.

Two More Diapers

These two diapers have birdseye diaper fabric for the inside layer. I don't know what difference that makes from t-shirts but thought I'd try it. The outside layer of the top one is t-shirts. The outside of the bottom one is t-shirt on one side and a crib sheet that was too tight and kept ripping on the other side. I thought it would make a cute diaper, but not be really absorbent or soft so I put it on the outside. I may have to sew velcro on this one b/c the snappi doesn't hook on to the sheet. Both of them have microfiber soakers. These microfiber soakers are from the auto department. I got eight for $8. They are cheaper than the microfiber towels you find in the kitchen or cleaning departments. I think mine might be a little too big though. Since microfiber is so absorbent I'm not sure they need to be that big. I think I may cut the rest down a little.

Microfiber Inserts

For these two diapers I used a microfiber washcloth as the soaker. The left one is t-shirts and the right one is flannel and t-shirts. The all t-shirt one dries faster than the flannel one, but this flannel/t-shirt/microfiber diaper dries faster than the flannel with flannel or t-shirt soaker.

More Diapers

These two diapers were made with flannel as the outer layer and t-shirt as the inner layer as recommended in the pattern I used. The soaker in one is both flannel and t-shirt and in the other one it is all flannel. I don't like these as much as the first one. The flannel is heavy so the elastic on the legs doesn't stay as snug. It also takes an eternity to dry b/c it is so thick and heavy. The performance seems to be the same as the all t-shirt diaper though.

My First Diaper

This is my first fitted diaper. It's made completely of my husband's old t-shirts. I used four layers for the whole diaper as directed in the pattern I used, and I used 8 layers of t-shirt for the soaker in the middle. I decided not to add velcro to it and just hold it on with a snappi. So far, this diaper has been one of the best that I've made. It absorbs well, but dries pretty quickly after washing.

Finding Patterns

I searched for patterns for creating your own diapers and I liked these two the best:

The first one is the one I actually used to make my diapers. The directions are clear and easy to follow, includes helpful photographs of every step, and doesn't require a serger. It also has elastic around the legs and back. I have six Kissaluvs contour diapers without elastic on the legs and they leak out the sides, so I wanted to make diapers with elastic on the legs.

Even though I didn't use the directions at the second site, it was helpful b/c it suggested using old t-shirts to make the diapers and gave a recommendation of 8 layers for the soaker in the middle of the diaper.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sewing My Own Fitted Diapers

I was using Chinese prefold diapers and Bummis and Thirsties diaper covers on my son. I was also gradually buying several bumGenius one-size pocket diapers. My son outgrew the infant size of prefold so I bought the premium size Indian prefold. The Indian prefolds are softer than the Chinese and I like that. However, the premium size was enormous. There was so much extra fabric folded up in front that he barely fit in his car seat anymore.

I started relying more and more on the bumGenius pocket diapers, which I love, but they are a pretty expensive option for using all the time and I only had a few so I was washing all the time. I started looking at fitted diapers, but they are also too expensive to use all the time. Then I found some sites with patterns for making your own fitted diapers and I started making my own.

The Beginning

I've been experimenting with different kinds of cloth diapers and making my own diapers and covers, and my husband said I should blog about it b/c someone would be interested in reading about it. I can't imagine that anyone would be interested in it, but I'm going to blog about it anyway b/c it might be fun and then I'll have notes about what I've done.