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Old 11-20-2012, 01:00 AM   #1
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Making Flats out of something other than Birdseye

I was thinking of making some flats...But with a craft room full of fabric, I don't want to have to buy birdseye. Can you make flats out of anything other than birdseye?

I don't own any flats to compare. I figure hemming preshrunk fabric to 27"x27" would be easy so that is not an issue. I was reading about people making them from old sheets (I don't think that would snappy?), curtains, etc. So would a Woven (like quilting weight) work? Also I've read people use old flannel receiving blankets as flats. What about old tshirts or stretch 100% cotton jersey knits? I think I might have some 100% cotton waffle knit also. (like thermal underwear fabric) Would the stretch make them work better (Would it be easier since t-shirts are snappyable?) Would stretch Cotton Terry work? I also have gauzy muslin fabric like A&A blankets... Would that work?


Does anyone have any non-birdseye flats? What works well? Anyone have 2 layer flats? (Like a turned and topstitched with different fabrics?) Is there such a thing as a 2 layer flat?

Feel free to bounce ideas off me! Any advise welcome!

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Old 11-20-2012, 01:23 AM   #2
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Re: Making Flats out of something other than Birdseye

Ps.. other 100% cotton options are I have some really pretty vintage 100% cotton velveteen, barkcloth, and Broadcloth.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:52 AM   #3
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Re: Making Flats out of something other than Birdseye

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Originally Posted by Rdesonia View Post
I was reading about people making them from old sheets (I don't think that would snappy?), curtains, etc. So would a Woven (like quilting weight) work? Also I've read people use old flannel receiving blankets as flats. What about old tshirts or stretch 100% cotton jersey knits? I think I might have some 100% cotton waffle knit also. (like thermal underwear fabric) Would the stretch make them work better (Would it be easier since t-shirts are snappyable?) Would stretch Cotton Terry work? I also have gauzy muslin fabric like A&A blankets... Would that work?


Does anyone have any non-birdseye flats? What works well? Anyone have 2 layer flats? (Like a turned and topstitched with different fabrics?) Is there such a thing as a 2 layer flat?

Feel free to bounce ideas off me! Any advise welcome!
I have made some; I do prefer the birdseye ones, but will be glad to share other things too
If you're wanting to snappi, a fabric that has a not very tight weave is good, such as birdseye or diaper gauze. It also needs to be tough enough to stand up to repeated snappi-ing, or cheap enough that you don't care so much if it wears out and are fine with repurposing it as a dishrag. Those are the main points to keep in mind. Specific fabrics--a woven that is quilt weight isn't going to be ideal, because it's neither snappi friendly nor inexpensive. There is also very little absorbency in quilt weight wovens, though they certainly are cute! I have made flats out of old flannel sheets. They work fine; I do not snappi, but imagine they would do well with that. Cotton jersey, if not a tissue knit, is also a good choice. Be careful when using old sheets, etc. (receiving blankets too) as fabric softener buildup can be present and will interfere with your using them as diapers.

If you have a serger (I assume?) Then it is super easy. Hem with rounded corners to 27x27 or 32x32, tuck ends of thread in, done. I prefer the larger size flat for my toddler. Turned and topstitched flats are also fine. I find that a serged edge stays flat and is easier to fold, whereas a t&t tends to curl and is of course thicker. There is no reason not to do a 2 layer flat, it's not typical, but it works fine and you can use 2 different kinds of fabric as your preference or need dictates (absorbent inner, cute print outer?) etc. If you decide, or must, turn and topstitch I suggest at least a 3/4" seam allowance. Anything smaller creates a really thick, small edge which is annoying for both folding and drying.

HTH
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:40 PM   #4
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I just made some serged edge knit cotton terry flats. Pros: they are very soft and absorbent, cons: they are thicker than Birdseye, alot thicker. I only padfold my flats so I can't say wether a snappi works well or not. I will be making some flannel flats to try out next. I don't think that quilting cotton would work well as it is not very absorbent. I bet your thermal knit would work well though.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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Re: Making Flats out of something other than Birdseye

I think I might just have to do some experimenting and I'll post back the results. I'll make them in a variety of cotton fabrics (I'm thinking 31x31 as DD is 16 months). I'll make some double layer too. I'm not going to make any flannel though as I have several receiving blankets that I made out of flannel. I don't use fabric softener so that is not an issue.

Please keep bouncing ideas off me!
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:24 PM   #6
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I've seen some muslin flats being sold before. I do but personally know how well they work though.
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:16 AM   #7
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Re: Making Flats out of something other than Birdseye

Here is one more thought I have--When you look at woven fabrics try to pick stuff that isn't going to wrinkle big-time after drying, because it's really annoying to fold when that happens. I do not care for gauzy fabrics for that reason.
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:05 PM   #8
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Re: Making Flats out of something other than Birdseye

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Old 06-13-2013, 08:50 PM   #9
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Re: Making Flats out of something other than Birdseye

I have made bamboo french terry and cotton french terry, bamboo fleece and bamboo baby loop terry. The french terry worked pretty good. The bamboo shrunk a lot. The cotton stayed a little better. Both snappied well. The bamboo fleece snappied well at first, but then became too thick and wouldn't snappi well as it shrunk more. Our favorite really was the baby loop terry. The stretchiness really allows you to get a nice fit.

Wovens just don't snappi well unless they're a very loose weave.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:53 PM   #10
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Re: Making Flats out of something other than Birdseye

Actually I think old bed sheets would work great, if they're flannel. I love flannel flats because birdseye can be a little rough, especially when its wet. Plus the flannel seems to be more absorbent.
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