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Is making your own diapers worth the effort?

Poll Results: What's your oppinion?

  • 59% (37)
    I really love it and definitely think it's worth the effort.
  • 29% (18)
    It's ok, sometimes I like it but it depends on the day.
  • 6% (4)
    Not really, stick with buying the professionally made ones.
  • 4% (3)
    Other - because there's always an other!
62 Total Votes  
post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm no seamstress but I have a pocket fitted side applix pattern with openings in the front and back that seems really easy (turned and top stitched). In my vision I'd make a tri-folded soaker that attaches to the front of the fitted and tucks into the front pocket but you can straighten through the back pocket too. Because it's turned and top stitched it can be used as a pull up - because it's a pocket it the soaker won't bunch when it's sliding and sliding down and because it's side applix Nana will love it.

Details aside, is it worth it? How many diapers will I totally mess up before I make something usable? Will I make 10 diapers and then decide I don't want to make diapers anymore? How do you really feel about diaper sewing?
post #2 of 26
i only do it when ds absolutely needs them (holes, outgrowth etc.)
so when i made the smalls for the new baby i made them in 1 large batch to be over it.
I dont mind sewing but its not my fav.
but both kids have more knit stuff then they know what to do with..and the new babies not far behind. lol
I dont hate sewing its just that if i pull out the machine the boys turn into devils and everything goes wrong...but they will let me sit and knit for hours.
post #3 of 26
Well, that was the plan when we started cd'ing. It took me two whole days to make two diapers. The first was complete garbage, the second was mostly garbage. I gave up after that! Since then I've always felt it was worth it to buy them from someone who knew what they were doing!

Oh, but I'm not the world's greatest seamstress- I have basic sewing skills and make slings, pajama pants, scrubs, etc with no problem. I think it was the elastic that messed me up, and having to be so exact working with such as small product.
post #4 of 26
I generally enjoy making diapers for my DD, but I absolutely loathe cutting out the pieces. I have an elastic foot for my sewing machine, so I don't hate that part as much as I used to (the foot tensions the elastic for me, so I don't need three hands when putting it in). I also have a serger and a snap press, so really, making diapers is as easy as it's ever going to be here. That said, I'd still rather make regular items of clothing than diapers.
post #5 of 26
I voted other because I could have voted for a couple of them.

I love it and think it is worth the effort.
I also think you should have some back-up professional choice if you are a new sewer.

I learned to sew last January and dipes were about the only things I made. I even drew my own patterns from dipes I already had. I made about 20 pocket dipes, some hemp flat dipes, and some extra covers in about 2 months. They worked really well.

I did spend some good money on them though buying hemp for inserts and MM fleece. I almost invested in a snap press but settled for aplix which worked fine.

I don't have time to sew dipes now and have only made about 4 in the last 8 months. Needless to say I bought about 20 new ones on the TP and new.

I have only made a couple fitteds to try and they were ok. I say, lay a dipe out and trace it if you like it. I think this is legal as long as you aren't trying to make money.

As far as screwing up, even as a beginning sewer, I don't think any of my stuff was unusable. You can always rip the stitch out ya know.

I do also think it is hard to know exactly what type of body your babe is going to have. That is why I went no further than newborn and small with my sewing.

Since you can make fitteds with no elastic, like mother ease, I would say that that prolly cuts down on the time. I found the elastic to take some time and was my least favorite part.

I say, if you have the time, it is a wonderful way to prepare for the new babe and have a fun (and sometimes frusterating) thing to do.

There is a place that will make you fitteds out of any fabric you have, this is what I did with my leftover hemp and flannel. It was 5$ a dipe and I even sent in some clothes that I got at the free box.
link here
I had 5 larges and 2 newborns made just because there wasn't enough fabric for bigger and this way my DD could have play dipes. You do have to pay shipping both ways, although on her end I think it is less than actual.

I do have to say that the NBs looked really small to me. I either can't remember DS being that small or they were just super small. The Larges seem to be a true larges.

Hope that helps.

Oh, and also, I think once you find a pattern you like, you can spend one day cutting all the layers and another day sewing them up. This makes things go a bit faster because you are doing the same thing over and over.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the honest answers! I definitely appreciate it!

My son is 15 months now and is just about to grow out of his Little Caboose size 1's but he's also in the process of potty learning so I thought this would be an interesting way to help us size up while getting exactly what we want/need. I don't know how far I'll go with this. I thought I'd pick up a few of the basic supplies today at the fabric store just to make a single diaper and see if I think it's worth investing money into good elastic, sherpa, fleece and applix.

Anyway, thanks again - your answers are honestly helping!
post #7 of 26
I dont hate sewing its just that if i pull out the machine the boys turn into devils and everything goes wrong...but they will let me sit and knit for hours.
That is how it is with me, sewing, and the girls. I can't concentrate and I mess everything up. Also I don't have a serger so a diaper takes twice as long. Yet I can crochet to my heart's content and they are angels. I think it is because it is easy to pick up and put down so I can constantly interact with them and there are no hassles.
post #8 of 26
I voted other...
I really love to make cute dipes for ds's bum, and if we get pregnant again, I know I'll want cute little dipes for the next babe. It's a lot easier to justify to dh the money on fabric and notions, than on ready-made dipes (even though making your own isn't all that cost effective). On the other hand, I love to try out other people's ideas too. I've made some dipes from a pattern I purchased, then drew out my own pattern once I got the hang of it. But, I'm constantly revising as I see other ideas implemented in diaper design. I guess I'm after the "perfect diaper!" So, I still buy diapers too, just not quite so many. HTH
post #9 of 26
I think making my own cloth diapers is totally worth it.

1. I love to make them, rather addictive
2. They're way cheaper than buying ones other people have made (or at least they were until I bought that snap press )
3. They fit better than any others I've ever used. I get to determine exactly what style, materials, colors, type of fit, etc, and they're all custom made to fit my baby.
post #10 of 26
I definitely think it's worth the effort. You get so much use out of them and you can tweek them to fit *just right*. That said, I don't always love doing it, but it's definitely worth it when I'm done.
post #11 of 26

I got my machine just to make diapers and had never sewed before, but I totally think it has been worth it and a lot of fun -- in the same way that diaper collecting is fun, iykwim. I have been able to create diapers that I adore from my favorite fabrics (it kills me, now that I see what's available, that wahms have such a limited selection). I am by no means a seamstress, but the dipes I'm making actually look pretty darned professional. Plus, I am so proud of them.

I am curious about what pattern you're referring to. I have tried three purchased patterns. I didn't like the first two at all and thought I might not be able to make milo dipes after all, but then a friend gave me her own pattern and it was great. I thought i was going to make a whole stash from that, but then i tested amber's darling diaper pocket fitted and now i'm in love. I've made two p fitted's and one fleece pocket so far and they are awsome.

Btw, I was so shocked to see that you're doing ec. Wow! I am still thinking that potty training will break my heart. :LOL There's some really great looking training pant patterns out there though.

post #12 of 26
I thought I'd pick up a few of the basic supplies today at the fabric store just to make a single diaper and see if I think it's worth investing money into good elastic, sherpa, fleece and applix.
Use old clothes for your test diapers - that way you aren't out any money from your experiments! It usually takes me 3-4 tries before I can get a pattern to be exactly the way I want it....even when working from someone else's established pattern.
post #13 of 26
Hi Jenn!!!I thought how tough could it be???well it took alot of time and patience but when i finished my 1st diaper i felt so good!!!! I think it really only saved a few $$$ and i did buy rather expensive stuff for a beginner.. Id recommend an old flannel sheet or cheap really cheap fabric from the store to make one so that way your only out acouple of bucks if it doesnt go as planned! have fun and let us know how you do!!
post #14 of 26
I made my 1st 3 out of old flannel receiving blankets I didn't need anyway. If I were you I'd start w/ something like that, where it's really no big deal if you accidentally cut your fabric in half or something.
post #15 of 26
I love knitting more, period. So if I have some spare time, Im going to spend it knitting instead of sewing. I made a bunch of diapers for William and a few for Aislyn this past spring because we really didnt have the money to buy very many diapers. Fabric is cheap at walmart so I was on my way. I bought some flannel sheets at goodwill and those were my demo ones. I made about 2 fitteds, and 1 cover that werent the best before I made some awesome ones. We still use them, well Aislyn does, William outgrew the ones I made him and now his sister uses them.

Ive been meaning to make some since William is needing larges now, chunky monkey. But I just dont have the time so the TP has been my friend.

If I made my diapercuts ahead of time, I could get about 3-4 diapers done in the afternoon during naptime. Once everythings cut (the pita part to me) it goes by quickly).
post #16 of 26
i think its totally worth it fun wise. for me i doubt its been worth it $ wise since i got so addicted to it. but i tell myself i am learning a craft, hell, an art! which is way more fun than just buying. sometimes i do hate the mess that's involved though. i am always in the middle of 10 things which are all layed out on the table.
post #17 of 26
Totally depends on the day, how my sewing machine is working, how tired I am, etc. etc. But I like that I can get NEW dipes (of which I have precious few) with exactly the features/absorbancy I want for pretty cheap. I adore sherpa since it's so stretchy and soft, but I have no "real dipes" made of this.

I have made a bunch of very functional pockets for ds (shamelessly copying the HH pattern) and some sort-of weird fitteds for the new baby. They are very cute and soft and squishy, but I don't know how they'll fit. I don't want to make too many because what if the baby is shaped like an alien and none of them fit? And if I wait until it's born, when am I going to find the time??? I can barely find time now!

*sigh* I love to sew, but things never turn out the way I want. Maybe because I'm lazy and cut every available corner?

Oh yeah, I have to say, getting a rotary cutter was the best thing ever. Hemp is BRUTAL to cut by hand, but pretty painless with a rotary cutter. But watch out! They're SOOOOOO sharp!! (Can you say "band-aid incident"??)

Hmmm... maybe I should make some pull-ups. I loath the smell of sposie pull-ups. Why do people think pee smells?? It's the sposie gunk! (sorry for the tangent)
post #18 of 26
To be honest I think I've spent way more learning to make diapers than I ever would have done just buying them. But I absolutely love doing it, so much so that I now make them to sell.

However, in the process I've learned my strenghts and weaknesses. Serged fitted's are not my thing. I'm hopeless. I make Eliza covers aplenty, she has prints, she has plains, every single colour I spy that I want she can have, its quick, easy and really professional looking. Pocket nappy inserts? I'd never pay for them again, they're so easy. Because I'm also making stuff to sell, Eliza gets her gear from offcuts etc so in that way it costs me less. I can make pocket diapers and little all in ones, all bound with foldover elastic and they're gorgeous.

When you've had wahm stuff, you're measuring up against some tough standards but its incredibly satisfying when you shell out for good materials, to have produced something that measures up.

I'd still say though, only do it if you enjoy doing it, I think the materials are so pricey you dont really save much. of course you do if you used recycled clothing or cheaper fabrics, but those dont produce a product that I'd personally want to use.
post #19 of 26
I like it because I was able to come up with a design - including pattern and fabric - that I have not seen any WAHMs do and it works great for us. I would hate to be limited to not just what WAHMs have designed but what they have in stock as well. I like a single consistent system, and finding 3 dozen of a WAHM dipe you like isn't an easy feat. I have a serger and a snap press, and our diapers look just as good as the WAHM diapers, if I do say so myself. It took a bit of trial and error to reach that point, but it was well worth it.

At the same time, I don't like making diapers enough to make them for someone else. I prefer knitting because there is no sewing machine pedal for ds to play with nor do I have to clear off the entire dining room table and haul machines upstairs. So when I make diapers, it's factory style (I do a bunch and cut them all out, then serge the soakers, then sew the soakers to the body, etc.).

They are cheaper than WAHM-made diapers, and I must confess that after making my own and knowing what trouble goes into them, I would feel a tad guilty paying the small price that WAHMs ask for their diapers. It trully is a labor of love for whoever makes them.
post #20 of 26
Just resurrecting another old thread that newbies (to diaper making, anyway) like me would find useful or interesting. I didn't vote because I haven't started making diapers yet - just threaded my first machine a few days ago and attempted a seem - very amusing! It was 1/4 inch in some areas and a whole 1 inch in others. Oh well, gotta start somewhere!
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