Why I Choose to Use Cloth Diapers

Product Reviews

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Diaperkits: A One-Size Improvisation

I am so excited to have the opportunity to give a "How To" lesson based on a diaper kit given to me by Amber at Diaperkit.com

Within the next week or two, I will be doing a more official review and giveaway of of her Deluxe, AIO kits, but since reviewing diaper kits also involves a lesson of sorts, I decided I'd make separate posts explaining how I used her kit rather than have one, extremely long post for you to read through when it comes time to give one away.

Diaperkits.com sells sized diapers and I love one-sized diapers.  When Amber asked me which size she should send me I told her that I would like to try to make one of her diapers into a one-size, but that my daughter is a size 2 according to her size chart and if she preferred it, she could just give me a size 2 and I would make a sized diaper.  She graciously agreed to let me modify her pattern in my review,  sending me a size 4 (large) diaper. 

I liked this kit so much that I bought a size 2 kit a few days after receiving it, and once I make that diaper, I'll post a more simplified "How to," and then I'll post a giveaway.  SO EXCITING, RIGHT???

In any case, here is my process for making one of her amazing diapers:  

My kit came with the following, precut pieces:
3 Layers of flannel (inner)

1 soaker (tri-fold)

1 layer of PUL (outer)

1 envelope of scraps and elastic for practice

All the necessary notions: 
1 length of elastic long enough for the legs and the waist
1 strip of loops 
2 squares of hooks 
3 squares of loops
1 size tag (so cute!)

1 Easy-to-follow instruction booklet

I was very eager to get started! Despite the fact that we had guests coming that evening and my time would have been better spent cleaning my house, I tore into her package and pulled out all the pieces so I could begin right away.  

Now, her diaperkit is an AIO (All In One) diaper.  However, because I was making it one-sized, I had to change the diaper to an AI2 (All In Two) so that the front part of the diaper wouldn't be too bulky when the rise snaps were set to the smallest setting.  If you find yourself overwhelmed by the process of sewing this diaper, stay tuned because I'll be giving a tutorial very soon on a sized diaper with no alterations as it would be much simpler to make, and easy even for beginner seamstresses. 

First, I sewed together the thicknesses of the tri-fold insert with a zig-zag stitch as instructed. 

Then, I sewed it to the three layers of flannel.  It was AFTER I sewed the insert to these layers that I realized that I needed to make an AI2, so I proceeded to rip all the seams out of the insert to leave it separate from the inner layers.

My adorable little daughter happily watched the process from the safety of her walker.  

If you want to put snaps on your diaper, it's best to get a snap press.  Amber specifically warns against using other types of snaps--as do others--but since I don't have the money yet to buy a snap press, I went ahead and bought some snaps from the local JoAnne's. 

I noticed as I started working with the PUL that Amber had the foresight to cut notches in the fabric to show where the elastics should start and end.  It was nice because it took away all of the guesswork!

Using a couple of other One-Size diapers that I own as reference, I laid out the snaps on my diaper.  Then, I carefully measured and put a mark where I wanted each snap to go.  

Using a mallet I filched from my husband's tool supply, I proceeded to hammer each snap into place with the tool that comes with the snaps.  (There are instructions on the box of snaps if you've never done it before.  Again, I recommend using a snap press if you want your snaps--and thus your diaper--to have longevity.)  I anchored the snaps into not only the PUL layer, but into a layer of flannel as well to give more stability. 

I also put snaps on my insert and two of the inner layers so that I can have an AI2.  When the diaper is at it's smaller size, the insert will be longer than necessary and I can fold it as I wish so that there is extra absorbency where my daughter needs it most. 

Next, I put my two layers of diaper against each other, right sides facing in.  (My first layer= two layers of flannel held together by the snaps for the snap-in insert; My second layer= the PUL layer against the third layer of flannel, these two also being held together by snaps--the rise snaps)  Once they were together, I carefully pinned them in place.
The next part was so fun! I sewed the layers together leaving the top of the front of the diaper open. 

It's necessary to clip the selvage on the corners if you want your diaper to turn out with crisp corners.

It was time to put the elastic in so I practiced with the scrap pieces Amber included in her kit.  I actually did this part incorrectly because the instructions are clear about sewing the elastic on the shiny side of the PUL.  Ooops! I guess that's why she included practice pieces! (If you want to see a video tutorial on how to sew elastics into a diaper, click here). 

After practice, it was easy to sew the actual elastic into the diaper.  The precut notches were invaluable!!!

Per the instruction booklet, I put the elastic on both legs first...

And then on the waist.  Once all the work was now done on the inside of the diaper, I was SOOO excited to turn it right side out to see what it looked like!

I pulled the diaper out of the hole left open at the top...

And voila!! It looked pretty successful to me!

It was time to close this baby up!

I folded the ends in, and sewed a stitch across the top.  I didn't feel the need for pins, but if you're not comfortable sewing it together like this, you should probably use a few pins. 

Time for the velcro!!! I put the velcro at the waist first--I found that my snaps were just a bit close for comfort and so my sewn line wasn't straight.  I'm sorry, but I forgot to take a picture of that part of the process.   Next time, I'll make sure I have plenty of room to sew the loop side of the touchtape onto the diaper when I put the rise snaps on.  After sewing the front strip of touchtape, I sewed the hooks and loops to the closure tabs.  I left way too much room on the sides.  It's much better to sew close to the edge of the touch tape.  If you don't, it will curl after a couple of washes, remaining functional.  Lesson learned!!!

I tucked the cute little size tag into my closure tabs.  Amber suggests putting the size tag underneath the front strip of loop tape sewn to the tummy of the diaper.  But, honestly, where you put the tag is up to you.  That's the best part of these diaper kits! They leave room for creativity!!!

My stitches don't look so great on the hook side.  It took a little practice to sew the hooks on correctly.

In order to put my laundry tab in the correct place I stuck it against the loops and then folded it over.  

Voila! Now I have a laundry tab!  These diapers won't be snagging on their buddies in the laundry any time soon :-)

Once all the touch tape was added, the diaper was complete.  

Check out my one-size rise snaps!
How cute is this??? I'm so proud of myself!!!

A view from the top.  

When I tried the diaper on my daughter it was slightly large around the waist, so I took some loops from my own touch tape stash and added some more to the side so I can close it more tightly.   

With this addition, the diaper fit my little Precious very well.

I was nervous about this leg.  I think I probably did something to the elastic to make the flannel flair out so.  It worried me because I wondered if leaking would ensue, but after using this diaper in many different situations, I now know I have nothing to worry about.  Even with my leg-hole mishap and my alterations to Amber's design, the diaper holds moisture just fine.  

The other leg was perfect.  No flannel showed. 

A view of the closure tabs opened so you can see how they attach. 

I think she likes it!

I'm definitely going to be a future Diaperkit customer.  I had so much fun making this diaper!!!
Go check it out for yourself.  I assure you, you won't be disappointed. 


Heather said...

Thanks for this. It showed me that I could sew diapers if I wanted to!

Michele said...

Wow! This turned out great. I have been thinking about sewing my own diapers and this kit sounds like a great thing to try in order to test the waters. You made it look so easy! I'm looking forward to you next post about these kits.

whocg23 said...

I love your posts! I saw both of your guest bloggings on the Whisperer and the Cloth Diaper Blog. I am now a follower. I also love this lesson. I think I may have to check out Diaperkit.com and I look forward to your next posting about it too. :)

The Jacobsen Family! said...

Like I said, I am LOVING these posts on making cloth diapers! I am definitely going to check out diaperkit.com! You did an amazing job!
I have an award for you at my blog. I know you already got one of them, but there are 2 there... =)

saskia said...

cool- one of my projects is diaper making- and what a doll your baby is!

Sarah said...

Would you suggest purchasing one of these kits to start? Then adjusting your own pattern from this one? i cant wait to see your step by step. Can you please be as basic as possible. Can you also state how you measure her for the diaper and then how you take those measurements and decide how to cut the diaper out. Also what is your fav material to buy...if I was going to buy my first set of material, what would you suggest?