Sunday, 4 October 2009

My Little Bean Bum Pocket Diapers...After much designing

So I have made pockets and I love them. At first I noticed a bit of wicking along the leg hole. I was distraught but after reading some tips I added a bit more absorption and wala. No leaks. I only had a 3 layer microfibre insert before so I added a 2 layer bamboo one as well. Now I just use the bamboo because it is just that much more absorbent that I can use it alone! Bamboo is also so much trimmer. Everything I love. Snap fittings, onesize, slim and trim, micro fleece inside so a dry bummy for baby, pocket, Elastic in the front as well and good adjustability. I am a happy momma and Lib is a happy Bean.

Friday, 25 September 2009

New Tutorials on the way!!!

I will soon be posting a tutorial for a onesize, pocket nappy, very similar to the Bum Genius. AMP or blueberry style.
I have been on a quest to design a fully effective onesize pocket that is slim. very SLIM. I have seen the bum genius on a 2 month old and it was SOOO bulky. So I want to make one with all the qualities but slim. Difficult stuff. I don't even know if its possible but I am going to try. I also am going to design without the velcro/aplix as it dies so quickly. I figure, why even make a nice, long lasting nappy if the velcro dies at the end of the first child. I do like velcro for the ease of fastening but snaps seem to be doing fine and I am finally getting my little 10 month old trained to lay still while I change her. Although for the sake of all who love aplix I will include both options in my tutorial. I have been experimenting with many types of fabric and I am going to use in the tutorial the most absorbant yet slim. Basically the most effective fabric wins. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

How to make a One Size, Fitted, Pocket Nappy...for free or very cheap.

This tutorial may seem daunting. It is actually very easy. I just included lots of photos soevery step would be explained.

You will need:
One used polar fleece or micro fleece blanket of jumper etc. Micro fleece tends to work a bit better and is thinner. Or you can use new microfleece.
One used terrycloth or microterry towel or baby towel. Both will work fine, micro terry is thinner. You can also use new terry For the tutorial I used one of my baby's old terry baby towels (for the sake of proving it can be done for free) but on my other ones I used new bamboo terry.
Around 1.5 feet of elastic. I use a slightly wider elastic for the waist band and a thinner elasticfor the legs holes.

Using the measurements, cut out the same pattern in both the terry and the fleece.

(Interruption from the tutorial)
Ok so I made a modification to the design. It's optional but the reason I did it is because I found that having the absorbent terrycloth layer go all the way up and around the waist made her a bit wet up around her waist. Not something I liked. So I changed the design but not the photos in the tutorial as being heavily pregnant I have not had time to make any new diapers right now. Below is the modification. You basically only take the absorbent terrycloth layer just below the waistband part. Then you cut the waistband part from microfleece. In the end baby will have microfleece around their waist on the inside and outside. Then you obviously put a diaper cover over the whole thing. I hope the diagram makes some sense. If not, just let me know.

-(And back to the original tutorial)-

Place the two pieces with the wrong side out and zigzag stitch the edges.

Do not stitch the tab ends or the pocket opening at the front of the nappy.

Add a straight stitch next to the zigzag for extra support. (If you have an overlocker you can use that instead if both stitches)

Prepare for adding the leg elastic. Note, do not cut the leg elastic in segments, we'll do that later. Place the elastic approx 1 inch down from the back tabs and tack down.

Fully stretch the elastic while zigzagging. Then cut the elastic when you reach approx 3 inches from the front pocket opening.

Sew elastic on the second leg hole as well.
Turn the nappy right side out.

On the back side (the tab end) of the nappy sew a seam for the waist elastic. Approximately the width of the elastic you plan to use. Leave both ends open.

Thread the elastic through the opening. I use a safety pin to help guide my elastic through the fabric.

Once the end of the elastic reached the hole opening, sew it down with two seams.

Then continue to stretch the elastic through until it reaches the other opening. Once it is all the way through sew that end up as well with two seams. (note: You can skip this whole step by simply sewing in the back elastic the same way you sewed in the leg elastic.)

nappy should look like the below image.

Turn your nappy back inside out and sew up the tab ends. You can round them or leave them square, it is up to you. Use a zigzag and a straight stitch or an overlocker for good strength.

Now it is time to finish your seams. Turn the nappy back to right side out and sew a nice seam along the edge starting at the back elastic. Follow along the edge of the tabs and the inside of the leg elastic (this also encloses the leg elastic).

Stop this seam at the end of the leg hole elastic as you do not want to sew up to the insert opening. This would impede the folding down of the nappy front into itself.

Now hem the front end insert opening with a French seam. This opening is also where you will fold in the nappy for a smaller baby.
Congratulations! Your nappy is done!. It was inexpensive (if not free). Easy to make and highly effective and practical! One of the slimmest birth to potty nappies you will find. You can adjust the absorbency by adding more or less inserts and boosters. No need for liners as the fleece/microfleece will keep baby's bitsy bum dry. And highly adjustable sizing, especially because it is used with a snappi/nappi nippa. A very versatile nappy... made by you.

Now for a mini tutorial on adjusting the nappy size.

First you put in you insert through the front pocket. Then you fold the nappy into itself at the level you want. A few tries and you will know what height is best for your little one.

Fully opened for a toddler.
Fold into itself.

Newborn Size.

Fits like a charm. I included a photo of it on a doll that would compare to a 7 pound baby. This is including a 3 layer microfibre insert. Note how slim it looks. Obviously you use this nappy with a nappy nippa fastening. Also you have to use it with a PUL cover. Someday I will do a tutorial on an all in one with PUL on the outside. Someday....

Happy Nappying!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Sunday, 6 September 2009

The Cloth Nappy Stigma (and maybe a bit of a rant)

Well I googled cloth nappies and came across an article written by a female journalist. She talked about cloth nappies and the "attitude" that seemed to come with them. Although I was surprised at how ignorant she was about actual cloth diapering, I understood what she meant. It is sort of the attitude that the cloth nappying mother has it together and the disposable using mother does not. Sort of the same attitude that can come with a home birther toward another mother who had a cesarean, or the baby wearing mom to the one who puts her baby in a pram, or the scheduler to the demand feeder. And I am surprised at myself for even sympathizing as I am an avid baby wearer/home birther/demand breastfeeder/homeschooler/don't let them cry-it-out because it sends stress hormones to the brain and until 7ish months they don't understand that you are not actually physically part of them (but that's a whole different blog) type of mom. So why? Well I guess it is because I have been on the other side. And now that I cloth diaper, I see the response I sometimes get when I tell other moms. Like they suddenly feel guilty about using disposables and feel like they have failed in some way. I have a friend who had two sets of twins in a row. Yes no joke. And I do not expect her to cloth diaper all of her children. She can't afford a nanny or a nappy laundering service. Or just like my other friend who had every intention of having a home all natural water birth. But the baby was breach and it would have been quite dangerous in this case to try it naturally, besides the fact that the NHS does not allow home births in a breach case. So is she suddenly not a good mom? Actually she is a wonderful loving mother!
So if you are a Cloth Nappy-er. Bear in mind that it is a gift, it is fun and in my case, it saves a lot of money. I only have one baby right now and it isn't that hard to do either. So if you can, use cloth, and let the moms who really need to use disposables use dispoables...without the guilt trip.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

How to turn a PUL wrap and a large insert into an All in Two

This is very simple and works if you like the Pop In (by Close Parent) or other All in Twos. It is a good way to turn your nappy covers into nappies.

The instructions are as follows.

You will need:
1 PUL nappy cover. A good fitting one. Nappy covers with a second layer of fabric, either inside or outside work best as well. It adds to the durability.
2. Large insert that fills the nappy cover well. Night insert work well. (you can also sew an insert to fit)
3. Aplix/Velcro, Hook and Loop. Or plastic snaps/press studs, if you have the press to attach them. I will admit that I don't really like aplix all that much and in this case it is a small pain to clean out so I did it with snaps.

Sew a strip or two 2 inch square (spaced out) of loop Aplix/Velcro onto the back inside of the wrap. Make sure to place it as high up the back as you want the insert to reach.
Next sew a strip (or two spaced out 2 inch squares) of hook velcro/aplix near the end on the insert. Be sure to place it so the insert will sit in the right place when attached.

You can also do this at the front as well if you want the insert to stick better. But just at the back will hold it.
It is helpful to have a strip of loop available for washing to use as a laundry tab. Another option is to put the Hook tape on the Cover and sew in another strip of Loop for a laundry tab. Then put the loop strip on the insert.

This tutorial also works great with snaps if you have a snap press. Just place the snaps accordingly and wala, you have a snap in insert All in Two.

Please let me know how this works for you if you try it :)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The reason I blog cloth nappies!

Well I have started this blog...purely to post tutorials and any other helpful info about making your own cloth nappies, wraps etc. Cloth nappies, (wonderful as they are) can be pricey, and when you look at the different sizing, nappy wraps/covers, how often you wash them, and other accessories it all adds up. Still, far cheaper than disposables, it is worth it. But there are circumstances, like my own, where even fitted cloth nappies were not really an option as laying down that initial sum was just too much.
So I decided to make my own. And I had some ideas about the sort of nappy I wanted. I have long since learned, there is no one superior nappy. All mums are different and like different kinds best. But the one I designed for myself has all the qualities that I would want most in a cloth nappy. Not to mention... CHEAP! I will list them...

1. Effective. I need them to actually work.
2. Easy to use. Simple. Although it was very important for me to be able to use woolen covers as well as PUL covers so I designed them to need a cover. Some people do not like this.
3. Slim (or at least slim-ish). Though I do think poofy bum is adorable. I just need it to fit from birth to potty and not bulk out too much on a newborn.
4. Pocket nappy. I wanted to be able to change the absorbency without the extra insert sliding all around.
5. Onesize. Very important. I like lots of adjustment range.
6. No snaps or aplix/velcro. The reason no snaps is because not everyone has a snap press or pliers and the reason for no velcro is that it wears out quite quickly and there is no point in long lasting onesize nappies if the velcro is going to go. So a Nappy Nippa it it adds to the adjustability.
7. Simple to make. I enjoy complex sewing but when I decided to make this into a tutorial I thought that simple is best.
8. Microfleece or polar fleece inside. No slipping liners and a nice dry bum. Plus the poo does not stick well to it so easier cleaning.
9. Maximum absorbency to bulk. I want all the fabric used to be put to good use. No useless extra layers.
10. Good containment. So elasticated leg holes and back.
11. Easy-to-find fabric. You should be able to get all the fabric from charity shops/thrift stores car boot sales/swap meets or your husbands old wardrobe.
12. Cheap.
13. Cute.

These were my stipulations. You can make inexpensive nappies that are still very effective and lovely!