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Old 07-25-2017, 01:32 PM   #1
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Sewing Cloth Diapers?

I'm batting around the idea of sewing my own cloth diapers - mainly because I absolutely love fitteds but can't stomach the price of them new. I have a bunch but they were all purchased used (FSOT and EBay for the win!) and most of them are falling apart now because they were super cheap and.. super used!

Looking around the interwebs and I'm finding half a dozen patterns and just as many opinions on what to make them out of; everything from t-shirts to spendy organic hemp/bamboo/cotton blends that I'm sure are super soft and snuggly but have an orbital price to match.

So here's the question: Does anyone here make their own fitteds? I have a few thoughts that I'd like to bounce off of you if you do!
  • Which pattern do you use? Anything close to SBish out there?
  • There are a million types of elastic recommended. Looks like Dritz 1/4" is the most recommended. Yes? No?
  • I'm seeing cheap snaps punchers on Amazon - worth it?
  • I've got some GMD medium prefolds that I was going to sell but how hard would it be to make them into soakers?
  • Or should I just try to make them into Workhorse clones?
  • What are easy fabrics to work with? Thinking I'd either get birdeye or go for gold and pick up bamboo cotton fleece (I think that's what SBish uses)?

I'm sure I missed a million things here. Any advice from folks who have made their own is welcome.

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Old 07-25-2017, 05:52 PM   #2
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Re: Sewing Cloth Diapers?

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Originally Posted by TheJessle View Post
I'm batting around the idea of sewing my own cloth diapers - mainly because I absolutely love fitteds but can't stomach the price of them new. I have a bunch but they were all purchased used (FSOT and EBay for the win!) and most of them are falling apart now because they were super cheap and.. super used!

Looking around the interwebs and I'm finding half a dozen patterns and just as many opinions on what to make them out of; everything from t-shirts to spendy organic hemp/bamboo/cotton blends that I'm sure are super soft and snuggly but have an orbital price to match.

So here's the question: Does anyone here make their own fitteds? I have a few thoughts that I'd like to bounce off of you if you do!
  • Which pattern do you use? Anything close to SBish out there?
  • There are a million types of elastic recommended. Looks like Dritz 1/4" is the most recommended. Yes? No?
  • I'm seeing cheap snaps punchers on Amazon - worth it?
  • I've got some GMD medium prefolds that I was going to sell but how hard would it be to make them into soakers?
  • Or should I just try to make them into Workhorse clones?
  • What are easy fabrics to work with? Thinking I'd either get birdeye or go for gold and pick up bamboo cotton fleece (I think that's what SBish uses)?

I'm sure I missed a million things here. Any advice from folks who have made their own is welcome.
I've made a lot of diapers. My absolute favorite pattern is Rainy Days because they are SOO quick and simple to sew up, and you only need two sizes. They fit a big range, and they have fit the kids I have used them on very well.

I've used a lot of different fabrics and prefer something with stretch. I really like sherpa because it dries so quickly. I like french terry. I like baby terry. I like some fancier fabrics that I got cheap...but I only use stuff that I can get at a very good price. For your first couple I would start with very cheap or free materials.

The prefolds would be very easy to make into soakers or into prefitteds (workhorse knockoffs). This site is super helpful for tutorials. I have used a few different patterns on here and they were pretty good. Keep in mind that you will loose at least size when turning a prefold into a prefitted--so if it's a medium prefold it will be a newborn or small prefitted. http://prefold2fitted.blogspot.com

I use kam snap pliers. You can get them on sale for as cheap as the knock off brand ones. https://kamsnaps.com

I use 1/4" elastic on newborn only. Everything else I use 3/8" or 5/8".

I feel like I am rambling and maybe going to offer a lot of information and be overwhelming so anything else just ask! I've tried several patterns and what not and I think I probably still have some pictures kicking around somewhere too.
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Old 07-26-2017, 06:14 AM   #3
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Re: Sewing Cloth Diapers?

Wow! Thank you! That clears up a lot. Especially the prefolds to fitteds size lost. I totally would have not known this until I cut up a diaper.☺️

So here's one more that I stumbled on yesterday after posting this: There seems to be some split School of thought on using a serger vs a sewing machine. The server seems like it would cut a lot of time and effort but cost near $100 for a decent used one. The machine I already have but I'm not sure how the diapers would hold up. What stitch are you using and is it starting put?
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Old 07-26-2017, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: Sewing Cloth Diapers?

I LOOOOVE my serger for diapers. It is much quicker and easier. I didn't invest in it solely for diapers though, I use it for tons of stuff, so it was money well spent here.

Diapers on a regular machine hold up just fine. The stitching for the elastic varies, but if you sew on the full length of elastic you will use a zigzag stitch. I usually use a straight stitch for the rest of the diaper.

A couple considerations--some people do not like the look or feel of a serged diaper. If you don't then go ahead and stick with your regular machine. Some diaper patterns specifically call for a serger (like the rainy days pattern). I suppose you could zig zag all the edges instead but it wouldn't be quick and it wouldn't look very professional, + you'd have to do a lot of trimming the edges. With many patterns you can use either a sewing maching or a serger. A sewing machine will take longer and be a couple extra steps but it will still be a well made, nicely finished diaper.
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:35 AM   #5
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Re: Sewing Cloth Diapers?

You are the best. Seriously. ☺️. Now, is there a serger you'd recommend? A company worth avoiding? If it's anything like the machines then I'd probably steer clear of Singer (I've had two of their machines burn out on me with only light use). Is Brother ok? Any insight into this Baby- something server that seems specifically marketing to the clothing set? (Sorry if I'm getting annoying!)
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:24 AM   #6
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Re: Sewing Cloth Diapers?

https://smile.amazon.com/Brother-103...Brother+serger
This is a great serger...reasonably priced, holds up well. I've had mine for four years and it's handled tons of abuse. You can sometimes find it on sale for around $150.

I would steer clear of anything singer unless you are looking at antique/vintage machines. I wouldn't recommend that just starting out though...sometimes sergers are a beast to thread and starting with a used machine might be tricky. (The machine I linked has a color coded thread guide, it's probably the easiest there is unless you look at incredibly pricy machines)

I am not quite sure what you are saying at the end about marketing?

No worries, you aren't annoying! We were all new at some point and I appreciate the people that held me and am happy to help you.
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Old 10-01-2017, 04:07 PM   #7
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Re: Sewing Cloth Diapers?

I'm interested in making diapers too. Thanks for this info!
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