Monday, November 16, 2009

Extreme makeover: diaper edition

He was done with his newborn size diapers (6-13 lbs) by about 6 weeks and was starting to bust out of the smalls (10-20 lbs) by about 5 months old. I just put Dio into the size medium diapers (18-36 lbs). Zari didn't go into the mediums until after she was a year old!

These size mediums are boring, though. White PUL, white hook & loop, white elastic, off-white bamboo velour.

I decided to give one of the diapers a makeover. I recently bought a snap press (why didn't I get one earlier???) and some new PUL prints and solids. I took apart the old diaper and, using the bamboo velour inner layer, made this:

I also liked my FuzziBunz so much that I made some of my own pocket diapers. First I made a pattern using the Fuzzibunz diapers. The green dotted one is a One Size knockoff, identical except I made snap elastic because I couldn't find buttonhole elastic in the right width. The sun & stars diaper is basically a Perfect Size knockoff, except I trimmed the seam allowances and put on FOE (fold-over-elastic) on as an experiment.

I bought microfleece for the wicking layer from a diaper supply store, but was very disappointed to find that it doesn't wick--it repels! So these pocket diapers I made have been leaking like crazy. They still repel water even with repeated washings. I'm giving up on microfleece and will switch to a high-tech atheltic wicking fabric like powerdry or procool for the wicking layer. For now, I'm using the pockets as a cover and just laying the absorbent soaker pad inside, rather than tucked underneath the microfleece.

I also made a stack of organic bamboo velour soaker pads for my new pocket diapers. They're 13x13", two layers thick, and fold into thirds with snaps. They really didn't need snaps, but I was having too much fun with my snap press.

And finally I made myself a new wet bag. My old ones are plain white and starting to come unstitched. This one's a lot more fun. The zipper is recycled from a bag I bought at a thrift store.

When I was expecting Zari, I made 24 newborn, 24 small, and 18 medium all-in-one diapers with hook & loop closure and FOE binding. Then I helped my sister make 48 of the same kind for her own stache. Now that I've made a variety of cloth diapers, I'd definitely do a one-size adjustable pocket diaper with snap closures if I were starting over again. I'd probably buy one stack of 36 prefolds for the soaker pads, rather than sewing my own. I like pocket diapers because they wash and dry really quickly, especially if your soaker pad unfolds into thinner layers. They keep your baby feeling dry because of the top wicking layer. And snaps don't wear out, wick moisture (which is a problem where I've sewn on my loop tape on the front of the diapers) snag up the diapers, or make a diaper chain in the wash. I like FOE because it's quick to apply, but it does wick moisture around to the outside of the diaper and, if your diapers have hook & loop closure, it starts looking ratty. So I'm leaning more towards a turned-and-topstitched style. And, if you use buttonhole elastic, you can make one-size adjustable diapers--which means you only need to make one set, not three or four!


  1. i'm totally impressed by your diaper making skills!

  2. Is it possible that you used the microfleece wrong side up? Does that make any sense? Cause to me, the opposite side of a wicking fabric should repel in order to prevent moisture seeping back through but I don't know if the fabric actually works that way... Just a thought!

  3. No, I tested it on both sides and the fleece repels just as badly on both sides.

  4. Maybe what anonymous said? Otherwise what is the Fuzzibunz secret? I can't believe Dio's in such a big size already (except looking at his pictures i kind of can). Eli's leaking out the legs of his fuzzibunz. Not sure if it's that he has such skinny little legs, or needing to replace the elastic, or both. I have the older style of fuzzibunz and the elastic is sewn inside a channel with no opening-- do you think opening it up to try to replace the elastic would make holes for leakage?

  5. Maryanne,
    When you say that your FB's leak, what kind of leaks? Poop blowouts? Pee running out of the holes? Or moisture slowly seeping/wicking out somewhere?

    If you could replace the elastic without putting too much extra stitching in, I don't think that would create more leaks. You'd just unstitch the stitching where it veers from topstitching to the casing (so about 1/2" or 3/4" to unpick). Then once you have the new elastics in, you'd stitch in the same place to hold it down. It might be a bit tricky to get the new elastic in. I'm trying to visualize how you'd do it, especially on the "far" (ie, front) end where you have to reach way in to hold the elastic that you're threading through.

  6. Rixa - this is great!
    I've always used Chinese prefolds, pins, and plastic pants. They are cheap, last forever, and do their job. This year I was gifted some Bum Genius diapers and they are nice! They are similar to what you have made.

    Love this blog!

  7. The only leaking I have with the FB is around the legs-- generally pee or other wetness seems to seep out (no actual blowouts of poop)sometimes it does seem like pee streaming out though.

    I'm not sure how these diapers were cared for before I got them.

    Thanks for your input!

  8. Any chance you have your patterns scanned for sharing?? I really wanted to make some cloth diapers because I can't afford to buy them for my upcoming birth (in late march). I got stuck with disposables for my first and didn't/don't want to use them.

  9. I've been making diapers also- it's so much fun. I don't have a baby yet to test them on, though, so who knows if they'll work? haha. Glad to see that I'm not the only one who rips off of other diaper patterns.

  10. I second Jessica! How did you make your wet bag? Mine is just gross, it permanently smells bad, and I'm not sure how to take care of it.

  11. My scanner is broken right now, but I love the Chloe Toes pattern (if you want to do FOE). If you do a pocket, the FOE doesn't seem to wick like it does with AIOs. There are also lots of free diapers patterns on the web. I'm really a fan of pocket diapers now. Even if you make more than one size, you can use the same inserts (make your own, or buy used prefolds to stuff in) for all the diapers, no matter the size, which will save you money too.

    The wet bag is easy. I'll try to post a tutorial of how to make one when I'm back home (visiting my sister and then sister-in-law for Thanksgiving week).

  12. I wish I was that skilled - your diapers are awesome!

  13. Thank you, have fun!


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