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Can anyone give me some diaper making tips?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi Ladies!!
Can you give me some do's and don'ts about diaper making?
What I'm looking for is what you've learned along the way that you can pass onto a newbie. Basic stuff, like "best thing to use for a soaker pad is ......." or "don't use ........ because.........".
That kind of stuff. If everyone gives me a do or a don't, it will help out tremendously.
I'm working on my 6th diaper, and having kind of bad luck, and I'm almost in tears because it's not going very well.
Please help!!
post #2 of 26
My best tip is to forget about the prepackaged elastic that you can buy in the fabric store. I was using that at first and was not happy with howmy diapers were turning out. I started to buy 100% cotton elastic (on a roll - sold by the yard) and the difference is amazing! It's so much stretchier than the other stuff!
post #3 of 26
Best soaker materials are IMO ...hemp french terry or fleece ...or Burley Knit Terry (BKT) ... now if I could get hemp BKT I'd be set!

For diaper bodies I prefer sherpa, interlock, velour ... Flannel is nice too but doesn't stretch

What kind of diapers are you trying to make?

I started out with shaped diapers (had to teach myself to sew!) ... no elastic to worry about.

Maybe a pattern would help ...I've heard that poopockets are easy
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to make AIO's.
I got the poopockets pattern last week, but didn't care for it, just wasn't aesthetically appealing, so I made my own.
I'm not a novice sewer, just new to diaper making, and I'm getting frustrated, because it's not going that well...
I'd like to learn from other's mistakes
post #5 of 26
So what type of problems are you having? are you serging them or tnt?

What materials are you using?
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm using diaper flannel, ProCare, and a cotton print, in that order, and I am sewing a soaker into the flannel.
One of the most annoying things that I come across is that I start out with pieces of equal size, but then I'm left with all this extra fabric on the other side after I get done sewing. I am soooo ready to rip my hair out!!
What I'm gonna do next time is layer my fabrics and then cut all of them at once, instead of cutting like 3 pieces of the flannel, 3 pieces of the ProCare, and so on, KWIM? This way they should be 100% the same size
You said french terry is best for a soaker pad, I'm having such a hard time with it bunching up.

You're from BC, eh? Do you have Tim Horton's up there? I'm from Ontario, and miss the coffee like crazy!!
post #7 of 26
We have Tim Hortons ...but it's not as big on this coast as it is on the other LOL.

One of the trick I use to get my soakers to stay straight is first make sure that the soaker is all sewn together (ie if it's 3 layers then all three layers are either serged or zi zagged together) ...then I position it properly on the piece I am sewing it to ...draw around it with a marker (fabric friendly and watersoluble) ...this way when I'm straight stitching(or zig zagging) it onto the flannel layer I know exactly where I need it to stay ... the stretch fabrics NEVER like to stay in line with the wovens so drawing it out helps a lot!

It's a good idea to cut all the layers together ..but no matter what you do there will always be some variance ... often I leave about a 1" seam allowance (to be trimmed off later) and just draw the pattern onto the top layer ... and then just sew on the lines. Learned this trick from the HoneyBoy pattern.
post #8 of 26
first of all, I PIN, PIN, PIN. I've been sewing for almost 28 years and I could do without but it saves me so many headaches by taking a few minutes to pin everything nicely. I notch (just a snip into the seam allowance) where the elastic goes on each layer and then line up all the layers. I also pin my soakers into place at all 4 corners to make sure they stay in the middle.

You also might want to loosen up your pressure foot, when you've got lots of layers you don't want the foot shoving everything out of place.

I really don't recommend cutting all the layers together, it's much neater to cut each type of fabric seperately, since they all lie differently and because you have to seperate them to sewin the soaker anyway and reassemble it all. But hey, if it works, go for it!
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
This is very helpful.
Is it wise for me to be putting that many holes into the ProCare by pinning it? Should I maybe pin it at the seam allowance?
Do you notch for the purpose of being able to line the fabric layers accurately?
post #10 of 26
Mmmmm I'm drinking a Tim's coffee right now.

Do you like Pro-care? Are you using it as the outside layer or are you covering it with another fabric? I had some procare but it felt too plasticy for me, so I made it into a wet bag.

Pin like crazy and make sure the PUL is on the bottom when you sew. Otherwise it doesn't slide under the presser foot and you end up with tons of PUL and no fabric left at the end of the seam. I think if you run the dipe through the drier when you're done it seals up the pin holes.

I notch. I thought I could get away without it (it's such a small piece of fabric!) but nope.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
By this time next week I'll be drinking a Timmy's too!! LOL I can't wait!

I don't love the procare, but it was cheaper than the cheapest PUL I could find. It does feel plasticy, like a raincoat kinda. I use a cute print on the outside.
Why do you notch though? I've usually only notched things that were curvy
post #12 of 26
I notch 'cuz my dipes are curvy!

Also, I cut out the types of fabric separately, and I'm not too accurate so they often don't line up very well. At least if I notch I have a vague idea of what should go where.

I agree, PUL is outrageous. I got some off the TP and I LOVE it - so light and soft and pliable and NOT plastic-y.

I'm lazy, so I didn't want to have to add another layer on the outside - plus there's a greater change of wicking like that.

Enjoy your Tim's! (That's so funny - my sister calls it Timmy's - she lives in the US now) but we all call it Tim's)
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Oh, so if I add a print on top of that, there is a greater chance that it will wick?? Why?
What's TP?
post #14 of 26
TP = trading post - kiss your money goodbye!

Because the outer fabric is not waterproof, if there is *any* way the moisture can get from the inside to the outside it will e.g., cotton thread in the stitching, lining fabric touching the outer cotton at any point... I'm not an expert but I'm sure there are more ways.

I'm not sure how you stop this, but there must be a way...
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hmmmm, maybe that's why some of them leak.....
It is so easy to sew a diaper, and yet so complicated at the same time. How do you make your AIO of you don't mind my asking?
post #16 of 26
I notch to mark my elastic placement and to make sure all my layers are lined up correctly. Two notches on each side that will have elastic, plus occasionally one at the center. Notches are also good for very long seams to make sure you don't end up with one piece way shorter than the other.

I haven't used ProCare, so not 100% sure how similar it works to PUL, but you can seal pin holes with a hot was hand dry after sewing. I am still careful to keep my pins close to or in the seam allowance, but I'm not psycho about it.

I personally haven't had trouble with an outer print layer wicking, but it can happen especially when the dipe is not absorbent enough. There are water-resistant sprays that you can use on the outside that cuts down on wicking, AngelWraps carries a good one that she uses on her AIO's. I prefer to have my pretty outer fabics laminated, cause I like only having to use 2 body layers, especially when I turn and topstitch, the seams would get so bulky with 3 layers, but I sew for business, it's not the most cost effective thing for just your personal dipes.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Do you send them somewhere to get them laminated? And is that done after the diaper is complete?
Do you have a website for AngelWraps?
Your own website?
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Oh, and how many layers of what kind of fabric to make sure it's absorbent enough?
post #19 of 26
I've got a few sites for diaper sewing tips on my site if you need them.
just email me or pm me Hi_eagle@hotmail.com
There are a few ways you can make sure your inner doesn't wick to your outer.
The easiest way is just use your procare as the outer. That way you can turn your diaper(don't topstitch) and there will be nothing for the wetness to wick to!

Or if you use a cotton outer you can use a micro or suedecloth inner, and then just do a lay in type of soaker. Sew it to just the back or front. Serge or zigzag, or overlock stitch your outer edges.

You can also use foldover elastic along the outer edge, to help it not wick. But that I think has tendency to wick after a while.

The main thing is to do a sortof lay in soaker.
post #20 of 26
IzzyBee, you send the fabrics to Fabrite They have a whole department now for diaper fabrics. It takes a couple of weeks and you need to send a minimum of 3 yards in each piece. Sometimes there are co-ops where everyone sends their pieces to one momma who then sends it all in to Fabrite.

http://angelwraps.com/ has the DWR sspray and http://onestopdiapershop.com/ carries NikWax products (don't know which is better)

You'll have to pm me for my site, I'm not allowed to post it here.

Number of layers is a personal preference (and depends on your baby ) I like 2 layers of thick terry (Burley knit terry or woven hemp terry) and one or 2 layers of cotton batting or hemp fleece, but we EC and change very often so that might not be enough for many babies. The wicking thing is sort of try and see, some combos work gret for one momma and wick terribly for others.

You can also get great ideas from Sew Your Own Diapers and the accompanying Yahoo group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sewyourowndiapers/

Hope that helps!
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