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Friday, February 19, 2010

Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Okay guys.  So if you're afraid to break out that sewing machine for the first time and plunge your needle in to something like a cloth diaper, then this is the project for you.  It's a great starting out/confidence building sewing project so pay close attention.


First, I start out with flannel.  Flannel is a good fabric for beginners because it's woven and not knit which means it doesn't stretch--good for first time seamstresses.  It's also soft and absorbent so it makes a great baby wipe.

Since flannel shrinks, you want to prewash it before working with it.  This is a good rule of thumb for any sewing project, actually.


I don't have a serger so I will be turning my fabric inside out to sew so that the seams remain inside and unseen.  So, I ironed it with the right sides facing each other.

Once it's ironed, you want to decide what size wipes you want.  My current cloth wipes (also handmade) are about 7" squared.  I decided to make these 8" squared because when turned out they will be smaller--about 7 1/2."  So, mark off lines on your fabric for the squares with a ruler and a pen or a pencil.  The marks won't be seen because they're on the inside of the fabric.  And anyway, they'll eventually wash off.  

Now, cut out your squares based on the lines you marked on your fabric.

You want to choose a thread that coordinates with your fabric because you'll be putting a couple of top stitches on your wipes (top stitching is when you sew seams onto the outside of your garment/project)

Time to sew the inner seam!  Very easy.  Leave about a 1/4 inch seam allowance, and sew a stitch along the edges of your wipe, leaving about 5 inches open (un sewn) for you to turn the wipe right side out. 

Your wipe will look like this when it's been stitched all the way around:

Now, trim the corners so that when you turn the wipe right side out they'll be nice and crisp. 

Time to turn it right side out. 

Next, it's important to iron the wipe so all the seams will be nice and crisp.  Since flannel is made of cotton, you can set your iron on high.  I like to start by ironing the inside of the opened seam on both sides, so that I won't have to pin this part in place when I sew it up.

Then, I iron the entire wipe.

Once it's ironed, it's time to top stitch it.  I like to start just before my opened edge begins to make sure that part is sewn closed properly.  Since the rest of the wipe is already sewn on the inside, I know it will stay in place when I top stitch.  I don't leave much of a seam allowance here.  You want to make sure your seam is close enough to the edge that it will catch the inner seam allowance or your wipe will still have a hole on the open edge.

This is what your wipe will look like once top stitched.  Your wipe is now complete if you want it to be.
However, I like to add one more top stitch to ensure that my layers will stay together throughout the duration of the wipe's life :-D.  So if you want to add another stitch as I did, then, go for it!  You could even try a decorative stitch here to dress it up some!  My finished wipe looked like this:

Now, wasn't that easy?  Don't you feel like you can do it?  If you're afraid to start sewing but you really want to learn how, then start here.  It's a simple project and there's no need for perfection because this is going to be used for wiping little bottoms, noses, and spit up. 

God bless your efforts!

Let me know how it goes for you!


Shannon (Coupon Mommy Of 2 ... Now 3) said...

Girl you are doing an amazing job with your stuff

Hey go here to do the comment #'s
this was the easiest one yet.


Kayla said...

You can also go with an even easier and faster (read: lazier) method and just zig-zag stitch around the outside edges. That's how I made mine and they're holding up great after being washed every other day for 4 months or so. It doesn't look as professional as using a serger, but it works!

Beccalynn said...

@ Kayla--Mine are actually made that way too--just the zig zag. But I like when things look finished so I thought I'd give a tutorial on more finished looking ones :-D

Heather said...

Thanks for this. My wipes are starting to wear thin after 20 months and I have some flannel receiving blankets we never used. Hmmm...sounds like a good use!

The Jacobsen Family! said...

I know I can make these, and definitely have been planning to. After making countless blankets for my kiddos, this will be a piece of cake, thankfully. =) I LOVE that fabric you used! Great idea from Heather above about using old receiving blankets too! Wish my sewing machine had some decorative stitching... That would be fun! =)

Kim said...

I don't have a sewing machine, therefore I'm a knitter :)

BabeeLove said...

Great Job! You seriously need to start an etsy shop. I did a review on cloth wipes for a lady that owned an etsy shop and yours LOOK way better and better quality. Go for it woman :)

Crazy for Cloth! said...

Very professional looking! And inspiring too! Now following you!

Maria said...

What kind of method do you use with your cloth wipes? Like keep the dry and spray on bum stuff? Keep them moistened in a wipes case? Ive got ooodles of receiving blankets I could break out to make some wipes and get that sewing machine working!!!

Tim, Allyson, and kids said...

I've made some wipes very similar to these, but haven't had more time to add to my stash. I've asked my mom and sister to help make some more and emailed them the link to your tutorial. It makes it so much easier than typing that all out myself :) Thanks! I'm looking forward to having more wipes so I don't have to wash so frequently.