hand sewing and laundering diapers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 08-18-2005, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious -
does anyone sew their diapers by hand?
and does anyone hand wash them?
I really want to get started cloth diapering - but don't know what I need to yet.
For newbies, would you suggest I start making my own, or buying a couple to get a feel for them first?

Michelle
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#2 of 14 Old 08-18-2005, 04:27 PM
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Hand sewing - it would depend on the style you wanted to make. I don't think it would be difficult to hand sew flats, for instance. You'd just be hemming around the edge. But I think if you got into fitteds and were trying to hand sew elastic in the legs and whatnot, it would be pretty frustrating. I did have a customer once who hand sewed fleece AIOs but I don't know how they held up or how they turned out.

I don't know that you have to buy ready made dipes to begin with unless you'd like to see how they are made and get a sampling of the different styles. If you already know what you like and want, then selecting the pattern that seems to fit your wants would be the first step. It just depends on what you want to accomplish and how much you know you like already.

Does that help?
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#3 of 14 Old 08-18-2005, 06:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonbucket
But I think if you got into fitteds and were trying to hand sew elastic in the legs and whatnot, it would be pretty frustrating.
Could you sew a casing at the leg area and then tack the ends?
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#4 of 14 Old 08-18-2005, 08:49 PM
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Yes, but still I'd worry about the sturdy-ness - unless you're a better hand seamstress than me
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#5 of 14 Old 08-19-2005, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the responses - it really taught me a lot. Such as, I think I will try my hand at sewing on a machine first. (I've always been better at hand-sewing, but I haven't sewn on a machine in a few years).
I don't know what is it out there, so I'm not really sure what I want. I guess I will do more reading up on different kinds and maybe get a couple from ebay, or whatnot.
I like the idea of the AIO - I have heard good things about them. I don't know anyone who cloth diapers, my friends with children think I'm ridiculous for entertaining the thought. But I think it's important, and definitely more frugal in the long run ( with a 6 month old, and one on the way - the new baby will be able to use the same diapers).
And it shouldn't be difficult to do a hand wash every night, or every other night, and let them dry on a rack in the bathtub, right? I mean, what does the washing entail? Soaking, then a more a active wash, then a rinse?

Michelle
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#6 of 14 Old 08-19-2005, 08:40 PM
 
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As to the handwashing - have you searched the regular section ("camping", "handwashing", "hand wash", etc.)? You might want to consider fleece for the inside layer b/c even with air drying, it will still be soft next to your babies' skin. It sounds like you need some sort of pocket diaper with a "stuffer" so that everything will dry in reasonable time. Maybe look up posts for pocket diapers - either 1) all fleece, 2)a PUL outer and fleece inner, or 3) pocket fitted diapers with a fleece inside layer and then a wool cover. Ask if you are still confused or need help with this. You would likely need at least 2 days worth of flats if you were going to wash every night (one days' worth is drying, one days' worth is ready to use). Prefolds or anything thicker is probably going to take longer to dry - and thus require more of them - depending on where you live.

Is cost a factor for you? If so, look at Mehndi Mamas posts - she has a site showing how to use old clothing to sew up diapers.

You are not crazy - it's just that people are not used to cloth anymore. It does take time (I'm guessing nobody is arguing the cost savings with you) - but it is a trade off. You can wash diapers at home, or you can spend your time going to the store to buy more disposables. I spend less time washing cloth than I would loading up 3 kids and going to the discount store where I would also buy lots of other things.
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#7 of 14 Old 08-19-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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I forgot - do you hand wash all your clothing? B/C if you were going to the laundromat every so often, I have heard of people doing a light wash and drying diapers on a rack in the tub and then taking the dry - and lighter - load to the laundromat. That could be an option once you got your stash big enough.
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#8 of 14 Old 08-20-2005, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I generally only get to the laundromat once every 2 weeks, or sooner if things get really bad. But I pretty much have the family on a strict budget (have to save up for a minivan now), so I really only put aside a certain amount for laundry.
Thank you so much also for the site to visit on making diapers out of older clothes. Money is definitely a factor, even more so now with another on the way!
My husband was looking at a diaper site yesterday and he exclaimed over the price of one cloth diaper (it was $13.95), and I said "but look at this way - we spend $ each month on disposables, some people pay a little more on the start up, but recoup the cost in not much time." So, he likes the idea, especially since the new baby will be able to use the same diapers his or her big sister will be using.

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#9 of 14 Old 08-20-2005, 11:54 AM
 
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I would think that for handsewing and hand-washing, you'd want to go with flats and wool. Your flatfold diapers can be made from flannel sheets, recieving blankets, and even t-shirts if they're big enough.

Heck, you can even fold up an uncut t-shirt to make a decent pinnable diaper! I need to get the instructions for that up on my site......no sewing involved, and easy to come by - just ask everyone if they have any old cotton t-shirts that are too crappy to wear anymore!

Pull-on wool soakers are very easy to sew by hand. I usually whip-stitch the seams, and go over them twice for extra security - it holds up very nicely.
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#10 of 14 Old 08-21-2005, 04:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehndi mama
I would think that for handsewing and hand-washing, you'd want to go with flats and wool. Your flatfold diapers can be made from flannel sheets, recieving blankets, and even t-shirts if they're big enough.

Heck, you can even fold up an uncut t-shirt to make a decent pinnable diaper!
Mehndi Mama - you are amazing! The information you have is so helpful to show us all how diapering can be done much cheaper by using things we already have.

I was thinking last night also that for pocket insert flats, hand towels from home or the second hand store could be used - and there would be no sewing involved! And fleece can be found used, too, to make both the insides and outsides of a pocket - just that you have to know which goes where. But the flats and wool are probably the easiest for handwashing/sewing, just like Mehndi Mama says...
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#11 of 14 Old 08-21-2005, 05:22 PM
 
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Thank you
I just hate how cloth diapering has gotten to be so much of a status symbol that more people say "I can't afford to cloth diaper" than "I can't afford disposables". I really love my expensive diapers, but I really love my recycled ones, too. I say, if you have a bag of t-shirts, a wool sweater or two, a pair of scissors and a pack of diaper pins, you have all you need to cloth diaper. How fancy you get about it is entirely up to you.
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#12 of 14 Old 08-21-2005, 06:44 PM
 
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mehndi mama, I didn't know you were the owner to the Fern & Faerie site! I've gotten so much inspiration from that, and love the frugal diaper instruction part. I have one prefold I made from a t-shirt that I had. Do you remember the Jolly Green Giant? And, his little friend, Sprout? Well, the T had a pic of Sprout with his name under his feet, I made that the back part, it's so cute, and makes me smile everytime they wear it!!
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#13 of 14 Old 08-22-2005, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so glad that I posted this - the feedback and advice you've all given me is wonderful and would have taken me so many hits and misses, I'm sure, before even coming close to all the great stuff you've all said.

I think I'll order a few diapers, get the feel for them, and then begin compiling necessary materials, so that I can sew them. We have an old Singer, but I'm way better at hand sewing, so we'll see which turns out better!

Now I guess I just have to try to used to having a third baby on the way!!!

Thanks again - and I can't wait to read any more super-helpful responses that may be posted.

Michelle
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#14 of 14 Old 08-23-2005, 06:32 AM
 
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Well, good luck to you on this project! I would love to hear which works out best for you!

And three kids...well, I'm still going crazy, but I would not trade it for the world.
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