Diapering for less - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 12-15-2004, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know there's an entire website dedicated to this but I still want to ask for more tips.

I've extended my diapering "services" to those who need and have around 40 diaper staring me in the face just as I finish the Christmas needy diapers. I'm out of some basics like applix and elastic and I'll need to pick up supplies I can't get in person for these diapers as well (it stinks to run out).

So, what cost cutting measures have you employed that would be acceptable for diapers you're giving away?

~ I was looking at getting velour for inners but that can get pricey when you need to buy 7 yards (equalling 30 diapers).

~ Do you find that you get about 10 inserts per yard of sherpa/hemp?

~ What other less expensive inners would you suggest for fitteds?

~ I know for pocket fitteds I need a stretchy fabric as an inner and so far knits, sherpa or velour seem like my only options - all cost at least $6 per yard, any suggestions on that?

~ Pretty much all of my diapers have been three layers unless I get a great quality flannel print and a thick knit inner, are your fitteds three layers? Am I over-doing it?

Any other thoughts or suggestions would be completely apprecatiated! Just buying what I need to online and not including the cost for knits/flannels/wovens for outers I'm looking at $125 prior to shipping for 30-40 diapers so I'm definitely open to suggestions.
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#2 of 28 Old 12-15-2004, 11:50 PM
 
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For ds, I usually use 3 layers of fabric. Two layers of hemp, and then an outer hemp or print. I usually add a soaker and booster too, each about 3 layers. But, I've made some others too. Diaper flannel and birdseye are a lot cheaper per yard. The flannel is more absorbant than birdseye, so you can use less, but I've had some issues with it fraying at the seams. So, I'm not sure what to tell you. Good luck! It's an awesome thing you're doing mamma!
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#3 of 28 Old 12-16-2004, 02:27 AM
 
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I just wanted to say that I think its wonderful of you Jenn to make all these diapers and we Btter see some pics!!! :LOL I second the flannel... Maybe use birdseye for the soakers or at least for a few layers?? I have some Very Baby AIos that are all Birdseye and it seems absorbant. I know its really the cheapest fabric you can get. Also check out that website fabric.com or go for some clearance sales.... Good Luck!

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Its a GIRL! Alyssa Ann 6/29/10 7lbs 5 oz
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#4 of 28 Old 12-16-2004, 05:47 AM
 
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gosh, jenn, have you lost your mind? :LOL I signed up to do two aios for a mamma and finally just finished them. little guy has not been letting me do anything.

as for doing it cheaper, i'd say call around to thrift stores and see if any of them throw out or give away bags of clothes they don't sell. i think at some places you can buy garbage bags full of clothes for a few bucks. an old t-shirt can make an awsome inner, or two. I have a couple of pocket dipes with t-shirt inners that are great. but, i don't think it's worth it to just go shopping at the thrift store for t-shirts. do look for flannel sheets though. at the one nearest me they sell sheets for 1.50 each. i'd think you could make quite a few soakers with a queen or king sized sheet. and if they sell towels cheap, that'd probably make a fun dipe...

and you definately gotta post pics! where can i find the pics of your xmas diapers?

J.

Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

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#5 of 28 Old 12-16-2004, 12:51 PM
 
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You are the master. 40?!?!?!?!?
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#6 of 28 Old 12-16-2004, 01:14 PM
 
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I generally make pocket dipes, and my inserts are 4 layers of sherpa (DS is a heavy wetter). The outer is usually PUL or ultrex, with a fleece layer next to baby. I have made a few fitteds and AIOs as well. My fitteds are sherpa, and I've been using terry for the inside layers for the AIOs. I've recently started doing AI2's with windpro or wool outers (I go to my local thrift store on saturday mornings and get clothes for $3 per bag...lots of wool sweaters and skits and such for a great price).

How many inserts you can get per yard really depends on how many layers you use. I just bought some diaper flannel, so I'm going to experiment soon. Old towels make great inners.

40 diapers...you're crazy!
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#7 of 28 Old 12-16-2004, 01:32 PM
 
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Have you tried Wazoodle.com for fabric?, they have some good prices and are very friendly.
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#8 of 28 Old 12-16-2004, 01:48 PM
 
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Our Joann's has velour on the clearance table for $4 all the time, check that out.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#9 of 28 Old 12-16-2004, 05:10 PM
 
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Hmmmm....I responded, but it's not here! :
Anyway, use t-shirts if you can scrounge enough or buy them by the bagfull from a thrift shop. They really are very absorbent. I use 4 layers for the body of a diaper (or 2 layers plus one of denim), and a 2-piece 4&6 layer insert for my qd dipes. I haven't come across anything else that absorbs as much.....especially for so little money.
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#10 of 28 Old 12-16-2004, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love this board!!!

You guys are so nice and easy going and welcoming and helpful.. I'll stop there before I gush out a Halmark card!

I'll call my local thrift stores and see if they ever sell bags of stuff like mentioned, I've never heard of that before.

Someone pm'd me and asked if they could send me their old receiving blankets and I could make as many diapers as possible from them for that person. Stuff like that is fabulous. I can get creative with bodies of diapers but I don't mind spending the money for 5 yards of sherpa or so for soakers. I think that's the really important part.

I really want to keep this "service" going year round and I need to make it affordable and I think all of these suggestions are the key!

Also, I thought about making pre-fitteds or fitteds from pre-folds. I've made two so far and they've turned out pretty good. You can get a dozen premiums for $25 and that's pretty economical and I can buy used prefolds too if they are in good condition for even less.

I did check Wazoodle but they didn't have any white velour (only blue) and they didn't have sherpa either. But I haven't combed through the entire site, just parts.

We don't have a JoAnn's or any other national chain here in Hawaii. I really wish I did! I *need* their good prices! :LOL

Now I need to go investigate where to buy birdseye. I have some really good flats I bought off of the TP and I'd love to know where that material came from because it's absorbant and sturdy!

And as for fraying flannel - I thought I could use in in the soaker (a few layers) and then top it with sherpa but wrap the sherpa around and under so it also works as a binding to keep the fraying to a minimum. I'd bind it in pretty far. As with everything it's trial and error but hopefully more success than otherwise!

Anyway, I think with these cost saving measures in place I can make 30-40 diapers per month at around $75 (half the cost) and I can swing that. My only concern is that some people won't want used materials but if they feel that way then I can offer them prefold fitteds/pre-fitteds.

And as for being nuts? Of course I am!!

I did a huge drive for Bolivia that took me many months to get shipped off and was expensive but I got it done and hopefully some babies/mothers benefitted from that drive.

If I ever hit the lottery we'll all be in trouble, I have a terrible soft spot for everyone around me it seems. I'll keep working until I burn out I think. Right now, it's still fun (although my husband isn't so sure) and I really enjoy helping.

Oh and the Christmas diapers pictures? I'll try and post them here later today.
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#11 of 28 Old 12-17-2004, 02:04 AM
 
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I saw your thread Jen. I thought it was sew sweet of you. I have made a mere 7 dipes for the needy mamas, I thought that was a lot!

For the inner of a pocket, have you considered brushed nylon? I have a lot left, we used to have a Coleman plant here and they gave away all their "scraps" (as in, anything too small for a sleeping bag which is still FRIGGING HUGE) in the mornings. Brushed Nylon is what they use inside some sleeping bags and I have lots of flannel from sleeping bag inners too. I wish you lived here, I'd totally sew these with you and share stuff. If I can find shipping $$$ maybe I could ship some.
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#12 of 28 Old 12-17-2004, 02:11 AM
 
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Hey Jenn, I *think* they sell birdseye at Fabric Mart. I was in there last week looking for it, but I didn't buy any-no money :LOL If you need directions let me know.

student/sahm to three awesome girls who are always on the go!
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#13 of 28 Old 12-17-2004, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I'll go check out Fabric-Mart this weekend! I need to pick up some more prints anyway.

And I've never heard of brushed nylon before. What are it's properties?


Oh and Jayne: http://www.picturetrail.com/gid5987910 I put this on the Christmas Needy thread but I'm not sure if you're checking that out.
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#14 of 28 Old 12-17-2004, 08:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennInSeattle
Oh, I'll go check out Fabric-Mart this weekend! I need to pick up some more prints anyway.

And I've never heard of brushed nylon before. What are it's properties?
I'm not sure! We just have a bunch from the giveaways at coleman. I haven't tried it in dipes yet. I will see what I can find out! I know it is a knit and very lightweight.
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#15 of 28 Old 12-17-2004, 11:03 PM
 
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I didn't read through all the replies and I know you probably have a pattern all worked out, but this seems like a really good deal http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...345060406&rd=1

She says it's a 40lb box and she'll pay half the shipping.. that's a LOT of fabric. Anyway, just a thought

Amber
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#16 of 28 Old 12-17-2004, 11:25 PM
 
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wow, that is a tempting ebay lot, but i'm afraid it'd be risking my own marriage to bid on it. lol you gonna do it, jenn?

Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

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#17 of 28 Old 12-18-2004, 12:08 AM
 
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It looks like she made diapers to sell.. anyone familiar with her so we have a better idea of the fit the pattern gives?

Amber
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#18 of 28 Old 12-18-2004, 12:18 AM
 
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Here feedback shows she was selling dipes under the name littleraindancers.com

HTH.

http://www.diaperpin.com/diapers/ItemDetail.asp?ID=753
There are the diaperpin reviews.
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#19 of 28 Old 12-18-2004, 12:20 AM
 
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And, reading throught the reviews, I see that Jen is familiar with these dipes and doesn't like them.
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#20 of 28 Old 12-18-2004, 12:24 AM
 
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Looks like she sells diapers called little rain dancer. I went to find reviews of them, and Jenn has a review that wasn't exactly glowing *LMAO* so I doubt buying supplies from her is an option. Oh well.. worth a shot. Seriously though.. check out co-ops. You can get a MUCH better deal on fabrics like sherpa, velour, cotton fleece etc.. than you can retail online. It's only worth it if you are purchasing at least a few yards at a time.

There is no way I get ten soakers from a yard of hemp or sherpa.. it's more like 3-4 depending on the soaker type. But, I think I use more fabric in soakers than the average diaper usually has. If you are making a three layer hemp or sherpa soaker that looks kind of like a doubler, you'll get quite a few. If you go contoured, you lose a LOT LOT LOT of fabric to waste unless you plan very carefully the contoured shape so you can lay them out jut right to not have waste. Anyway.. I guess my point is, don't do contours.. just go for the rectangle.. think liz cloth two sized diapers inside. For the body of the diaper, I think a layer of flannel print outside and a layer of sherpa inside is just dandy with a quick dry or sewn in soaker of three layers. That's pretty good for most wetters.

Anyway.. my favorite co-op is sewingsupplycoop yahoo group. The woman running it is AMAZING. Join up if you aren't already a memeber.
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#21 of 28 Old 12-18-2004, 12:52 AM
 
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omg! lmao, too! that was too funny. lol i remember wanting a littleraindancer when people were talking about them.

Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

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#22 of 28 Old 12-18-2004, 01:21 AM
 
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Dont you hate when you are typing and you loose everything you just typed

Okay so anyway- for the soakers what I found to be the best price and really the best working as far as soaking and long term use is terry wash cloths folded in 3rds and serged then sew it in the center for the soaker- You can get 9 for 2.50 at walmart or any store like that. And to tell you the truth I have dipe I made for Rainey over a year ago and they are getting to warn for her to wear, but the soakes are still perfect.

Also look at this site http://fernandfaerie.com/sewing_fitteds.html You can get some really great tee-shirts with cool prints on them and make diapers, it is knit so great for a stuffer type dipe. I know the lady who makes these cant keep them in stock so maybe look into that- I think they are just so damn cute! After I go crazy making these wool covers out of sweaters I am going to sew some of these dipes using old shirts

Pics please jenn, Pics!!!

[B][I]~Ang~ Mom to 2 sport-head crazy girls: Rainey and Breeze  and my little lost love- @18 weeks with gestational age of 7 weeks

RAINBOW BABY DUE MAY 4th!!!
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#23 of 28 Old 12-18-2004, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ROFL! I don't think I would have caught that it was the same seller! Wow! I was still considering bidding but hadn't quite decided!! Geez.. she had just changed her business name when I bought my diapers so she must have been in the middle of a product change which explains why my diapers were so aweful and everyone elses were decent. They were so bad they were donated to Bolivia rather than given to someone else. Sad little diapers.

Anyway, enough reliving that! :LOL

I am part of a co-op, I'll have to check and see which one it is and start paying attention to the millions of messages a day! I do the rectangular inserts for the most part but like to throw in a few contours for extra coverage.

Thank you so much for the help and chatting, I just love talking diapers - especially sewing diapers! And Amber, I hope you don't mind me making these diapers from your pattern - it's so perfect and easy!
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#24 of 28 Old 12-18-2004, 11:24 AM
 
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Hey Jenn - wazoodle sells sherpa. They just call it jogging/sweatsuit fleece. (Get the heavy kind, it's lovely and plush.) But I must say that I prefer buying from co-ops when possible...
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#25 of 28 Old 12-18-2004, 11:39 AM
 
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hey jenn First, you totally ROCK for doing this!!

Now, to keep it cheap, I'd second what Stell said about thrift shops for tee shirts, but I'd also look for king sheets, flannel or jersey knit. There's a LOT of yardage on a king sheet! When I made a bunch of fitteds for ethan a few eyars back, I went to the local value city (like a marshall's type place, but cheaper) and got 3 california king flannel flat sheets for $8 each, and made at least a dozen diapers from each sheet.

Also, I know you said that you've got no joanns, but their after christmas sales are absolutely NUTSA> If you can find someone on the mainland to go for you and pick up tons of killington flannel (super plush and absorbent) and ship, it would still be cheaper than anything you can find there, probably.
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#26 of 28 Old 12-18-2004, 02:38 PM
 
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Jen,

That's great if you use the pattern! When licensing is available, you might think about doing something like KHW does and just sell them and donate the proceeds.. at least that way your materials are paid for. Or, for evey one you sell, you could donate one... you wouldn't make an ounce of profit, but your supplies would be covered.

I can't even imagine how long it would take me to finish 40 diapers! Takes me an hour or more for one diaper and I usually get about 40 minutes a day to actually sew without little hands grabbing at me or a little person crying "no work mama!" And some days, there's no sewing at all because she gets so upset if I even move toward my sewing area. Man what I wouldn't give to have some family near by for a small break here and there.

Why are you sewing anyway?! If I were in HI, I'd be sitting on the sand somewhere sipping a strawberry daquari and I'd never move again.. EVER. I'd just be big and fat and lazy in the sun.

Does Nathan let you sew without a fuss? Oh wait! He probably still naps doesn't he? I long for the days of naps! Seriously though.. it's an addiciton isn't it? Sewing diapers.. even though I feel like they take me a long time to finish, they are really projects that dont' take long to see results and it gives you such a sense of accomplisment

aplix through a co-op is a much better price. I'm always shocked at how fast I can go through aplix. And, you know, of course, I prefer knitted elastic (really hate polybraid and woven elastics) for a turned diaper.. if you plan to use a lot, a co-op is totally the way to go.. or even http://www.diaperfabric.com/store/Ws...mbs=No&Thumbs= .. 22 cents a yard if you buy by the yard or 10 cents a yard for a full roll. I ususally pick mine up at wal-mart because I forget to order ahead of time and need it right away but it ends up costing me like 60+ cents per yard.. that's kinda pricey per diaper for just the elastic when you are donating the diapers.

Oh check and see if you have a yahoo freecycle there.. and ask for diaper flats. Most mamas had some around for burp cloths or a ton that never got used at all. They are usually birdseye and are easy to chop up into wonderful soaker pads. I'd go with like 4 layers of birdseye and a layer of sherpa myself for an average soaker. Worth a shot.
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#27 of 28 Old 01-17-2006, 04:40 AM
 
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This thread has LOTS of great advice. Thanks!
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#28 of 28 Old 01-17-2006, 11:10 AM
 
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Wow that is great that you do that. Maybe i could do something like that once i get my sons stash built up. I made him 15 fitted for around 10 dollars by going to the thrift store for material.
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