Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cloth Diaper Pattern Link

Just after posting about the savings of using cloth diapers, a baby magazine arrived in the mail and had an article on 'going green'. Their article stated that the average family spends 1,600 dollars per child on diapers! Goodness, that is enough to buy some sheep! After trying a few different patterns, this is where I found the pattern for the style of diapers we liked the best.

I used the pattern that is on the above link, but made a few changes regarding materials used, and a few changes to the method of making them.

Since I was using a serger, and the serger would could the material for me as i sewed, I did not cut out the pattern precisely. A pattern was cut out of an old pizza box. I then transferred the pattern onto the liner material using an ink pen. (The line would be cut away by the serger) For the inside of the diaper, i used cotton flannel -one yard made approx 10 diaper liners.

The material here is folded, so once I had all the patterns "drawn" on the right side of the material, I cut them apart and would then turn the material over and then mark the pattern on the other piece of fabric. (by cutting the material while it was folded, it saved cutting each liner individually)
For the "soaker" part of the diaper, I used a washcloth. (purchased in a multi-pack at wal-mart - they look thin at the store, but once washed and dried, they really fluff up) You can tri-fold the washcloth and serge the edges, or just tri-fold and go!
You're now ready to sew it to the diaper liner. Place the soaker under the liner and center it between the sides and position it where you want it front to back. Flip it over and pin in place.

Now sew around all the edges of the soaker.

Now it's time to sew the liner to the outside of the diaper. For the outside of the diaper, I use 2 layers of t-shirt material. Pin the liner to the t-shirt material and serge the side edges only - leaving the top and bottom open. It is not necessary to mark the outer layer with the pattern, I just lay the pattern on the material and cut it out a large square...the pattern is already marked on the liner and that's all we need.

With the sides serged, we're ready to sew in the elastic for the leg openings. (this is marked on the original pattern) You might want to experiment with the length of elastic to use. The first batch of diapers i used 5-1/2". It worked fine, but made the diapers seem a little smaller, so I used 6" and the diaper fit much better.

Place a mark approx 1/2" from end and again at the length you want. Do not cut the elastic until it's sewn in the diaper.
Mark on your liner material with a pencil where the elastic will stop and start. Place the elastic inside the diaper from either the top or the bottom. (this is why we serged only the sides earlier) Pin the end of the elastic (at the mark) to the mark on your liner material. Using the sewing machine now, sew from edge of diaper across elastic to hold it in place. (I reverse over it too) Once you have sewn across the elastic, turn and sew along the elastic to the other mark, being careful to catch the elastic in the stitching. (we're making a "pocket" for the elastic)
When you reach the mark on the liner material, pull the elastic until you see the mark you made indicating the length. Back the elastic up so that the mark on the elastic now matches up with the mark on the liner. Raise the pressure foot, turn and stitch across the elastic to secure in place. Cut the elastic now approx 1/2" from where it is stitched.
Repeat stitching the elastic in the next leg, cut the elastic and you're ready to serge the top and the bottom of the diaper closed. That's it!
I use snappies to fasten the diaper. You could use velcro, pins, etc. I like the snappies because they are simple and easy to use. . is the link for the 'snappie' diaper fasteners. (also a great link for purchasing cloth diapers if you prefer to buy your diapers!)
Keep in mind these cloth diapers do need a cover. I haven't had them to "leak" out the sides, but they will soak thru. We have been using a wool cover, and have been pleased with both the diapers and the cover.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A stack of savings...

I love to recycle. Just recently, we went thru our closet again in efforts to make space.
Most of the clothes will hopefully be worn again. However, there were a lot of t-shirts and such that wasn't of quality to give away -most everything i've worn around the house has paint on it! I had been planning to make cloth diapers anyways - so this was a perfect project to use up those old shirts.Just an idea of the savings that can be had with cloth diapers - if you replace just one pamper a day with a cloth one, in a years time, you've saved right at 100 dollars. That's amazing, isn't it? (the diapers we're using now cost 26 cents, but it could be more or less depending on the size and brand and quantity purchased) That 100 dollars might not sound like a huge savings over a years time, but if you multiply that by the number of diapers you use a day, say, 10 a day, you're now looking at a sizable savings! If you keep your kid in diapers long enough, you can probably convince your husband that you have saved enough to buy a large flock of sheep. lol.
Of course, you do have the laundering with the cloth diapers, but it is simple, and much easier than I expected. I just rinse them out in the laundry sink. I have diluted laundry detergent in a pump bottle and if the diaper is dirty, a bar of natural soap gets them sparkly white again. (it's only gross if it's some other kid's I wring them out and hang them on a hanger to dry, and just throw them in the dryer the next time the dryer is running. (we don't have to deduct any cleaning expenses from the savings now :) it's very minimal)
Buying cloth diapers can require an up front investment. but it will pay off in the long run. Initially, I purchased just 6 cloth diapers at a price of 94.00 - (some were up to 17.00 each) The price of making diapers is pennies on the dollar compared to buying them, especially if you have a stash of old t-shirts that can be used. I bought 100% cotton flannel for the inside of the diaper and cotton wash cloths for the inserts, and spent less than 10 dollars for 14 diapers! These cotton diapers are not waterproof, so do need to be covered. We are using wool covers.
Even if you don't feel comfortable with sewing, you can still use cloth diapers and save big! That is, if you have a use for cloth diapers.
I'll be sharing the link to the pattern i used along with some diaper sewing tips in an upcoming post.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Cleaning..

The weather was beautiful out today! We thought it would be a good time to start some spring cleaning.. in our pastures - not that the house didn't need it, but make hay when the sun shines, right?
We're working on cleaning up the new pasture that was fenced in last fall. There's a lot to do, but we've started with an area that has a lot of trees down. This stump reminded me of a tombstone....
Maybe it's a memorial to all the trees that have died here and are resting in peace. (well, until the chain saws started up today)

We took time out for a family photo.. (put the camera on "auto") Wyatt wasn't ready for his picture to be taken when the light stopped flashing, but we can't expect him to smile for all his pictures. I think this is actually the first picture that i have of him crying! Despite his expression in the picture here, i think he had a fun day. (we all did)
This picture was taken at quitting time, the girls stopped by to see how much we got done. It's hard to tell that we got much of anything done, but it's a good start.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Au ooo ah eeeh

That's right, it's me, Wyatt. Mom has been busy, so I'm taking over the blog- well, just for tonight. Since Mom last posted, I've been learning how to use the computer. I get really excited when i can sit at the computer and play. I'm getting big, but my head isn't as big as it looks in the picture. Who took that anyways?
. This is our new calf, Petey. Mom said we weren't going to have any calves this year, but what did she know? (hope she doesn't read this) I would have thought someone would have noticed the heifer is getting big, you know what i mean? The first clue they picked up on was a heifer in the holler - hollerin'. They caught on pretty quick then. My Dad saved the calf, and the heifer. Mom was holding me, so couldn't help. (i think that was convenient, don't you?) Well.. she did get the sheep book, the one with pictures on how to pull a lamb, (don't you think they could use a book on cows?) but Papaw got here just in time to help Dad. We didn't know if Petey would make it, but he's a week old now and doing just great.
I don't sleep much during the day, but Mom is grateful that I sleep during the night now. If I do take a long nap, when I wake up, she's making pottery. She said there's a wool festival coming up in May that she needs to be getting ready for. Maybe I can go too.

Mom took this picture of me in my camo. I'm hard to find, but if you squint your eyes, let them go out of focus just a bit, you'll see me - I'm in the center.

Well I have to go, i think I hear my Mom coming.