This is a guest post written by a reader of All About Cloth Diapers.
Did you know that you can make your own diapers?
Really! If you are even slightly handy with a sewing machine you shouldn’t have much trouble at all picking it up. I have even heard of ladies that taught themselves to sew by making cloth diapers! There are many patterns available, a number of sources to purchase fabrics, and even online groups of women who chat about sewing diapers. Let’s take a look at some of the basics.
If you are just starting out I would recommend that you purchase a pattern that has clear directions. My personal favorite is the Very Baby pattern. I started out using their fitted pattern and it is still my favorite. They also have patterns for one-size fitteds and pockets, covers and even an AIO! There is a tutorial section on their website that shows many different modifications that can be made to their patterns.
There are a number of other patterns available to purchase. Here is a small and by no means exhaustive list. I have not personally tried every pattern designer listed:
Little comet tails: Little Half Moon Diaper Pattern, Little One Size Diaper Pattern, Stellar Transitions Pattern, Little Starter Cloth Diaper Pattern
Rainy days (shop currently closed)
Darling Diapers Unlimited
There are also free patterns that can be found online with a quick google search. Here are a few:
Mama bird (as of August 2009, now costs $2)
Rita’s rump pocket fitted (and variations)
Darling diapers Newborn
The next step will be finding your fabric. If you have a bunch of old t-shirts stashed in a closet that never get used you could cut them up to make diapers! Upcycling is fairly common in the cloth diaper sewing world as there are a number of ladies that cloth diaper for financial reasons. Old flannel sheets and pajamas also make good diapers. Cut up old towels for soakers, old socks can be used for cloth wipes….You get the picture. There are a number of clothing items that can made into parts of your cloth diaper stash.
If you would prefer to buy new fabrics there are a number of online shops that carry fabrics for cloth diaper making. One is very baby.com. They carry many different fabrics. PUL (used for the waterproof layer of AIOs, pockets and covers), knit terrys, diaper flannel, micro fleece and many other fabrics. They also sell elastic, Velcro, snaps, thread and patterns. Diapercuts.com and celticclothswholsale.com are a few other places to look. Joann fabrics is another place to check. They have a sale on their flannel fabrics a few times a year and many of the Joann stores now carry the diaper fabric PUL.
One other hint for you! If you prefer snapping diapers but gasp at the price of a snap press, kamsnaps.com has snap pliers available.
While we are on the topic of “sew your own”… Lets not forget that you can make your own cloth wipes and wet bags too! There are many tutorials out there that can be found with a quick google search!
I would recommend that you look at two different forums. One is called Diaper Sewing Divas and the other is found on the Very Baby website. Both of them are wonderful places to go and ask questions. The ladies on either site are terrific at sharing knowledge. If you decide to sew your own stash of cloth diapers you will not be alone in figuring things out. There are no stupid questions.
As a stay at home mom of 3 boys under 3, I am very glad that there are companies that have made it easier for us to make our own cloth diapers. It gives me the chance to try cloth diaper styles that I would not be able to buy ready made. The cost per diaper is much less as long as I am willing to put in the labor to sew them. I am able to sit and sew while the boys are napping or while they are occupied with their toys in the same room with me. Sewing diapers is a fun way to clothe your child’s bum with things you have created yourself . It can be a way to save money and (dare I say it) an almost addicting hobby.
Some sites I found (it’s me now :) ):