About a month ago I received an invitation in the mail for Jay’s cousin’s baby shower. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to attend the party, but I still wanted to get her something. She is registered at Babies ‘R’ Us and Amazon.com. This should be easy, right? Well, when I looked at her lists I saw a lot of bibs, burp rags, and CLOTH DIAPERS. What?! Seriously?
First off, I don’t know how many diapers she has changed, but I don’t think that it’s been many. I honestly don’t know her reasons for using cloth diapers (though I have my suspicions), but I would LOVE to see her face the first time she has to stick her hands into a bucket of wet, dirty diapers and get them ready to go into the washing machine. Believe me, I know what is required to be done when you use cloth diapers. I’ve heard numerous stories from my mom about what it was like when my sisters and I were in diapers. She had to use cloth because my parents couldn’t afford the disposable kind. Plus, I’ve had to change a few diapers in my life and I would like to handle the contents of a diaper as few times as possible!
Now, when you think of cloth diapers, I bet that you think of these (at least, I do):
Thank you, Amazon, for providing a lovely picture for me. These are the kind that my mom used on us. They required those giant diaper pins that had chicks and rabbits on the heads. Imagine my surprise when I saw that this is what constitutes a cloth diaper now:
This is just one style. Apparently there are a bunch of these, but they aren’t cheap! The one diaper that the cousin had on her list was $15!! Not per pack, EACH! Knowing how many diapers a baby can go through my head started whirling with the cost of it. There’s no way my mom would be able to afford cloth diapers now! She had three girls in them all at the same time… That’s $45 just for each of us to have ONE. Do you know how many packs of disposable diapers this could buy? At least one and a half packs. That would get you through one day. Maybe.
So, after I resuscitated myself I decided there was no way I was going to buy stuff that I could easily make. Now, if you know me well enough you realize that this same thought gets me in a lot of trouble all of the time. After all, I don’t have nearly the hours in a day that are required for all of the projects I figure I can do myself instead of buying. If you don’t believe me I can show you my sewing room mess… it’s shudder-worthy.
I figured burp rags, bibs and baby mittens would be easy. Those are relatively simple projects. What I really wanted to do, though, was to try my hand at making a cloth diaper. Just like the one on the cousin’s list. My thought is that if she likes them well enough, and actually sticks with the cloth diapers, there might be an opportunity for me to make some money. On the other hand, if she hates all of the hand made gifts then I won’t have to worry about being invited to another shower of any sort.
So I went shopping for some flannel fabric and had to resuscitate myself yet again when I saw the price of flannel by the yard. Have I mentioned that I’m a bit cheap? Jo-Ann’s was supposedly having a sale, but I don’t think that 30% off of $9/yd is a great deal. So I went over to Hobby Lobby. Their flannel was also 30% off, but at $6/yd it was slightly more doable. I was only going to buy one yard so I was trying to decide between puppy dogs and clouds. I know that it’s going to be a boy, so I was trying to pick some cuter boy patterns. I went with the dogs, which was the right choice.
Wait, there’s cloud fabric there, too! Yes, let me tell you how this came to be… So after I was horrified with the price of fabric I decided to head over to Salvation Army to see what I could find there. What did I happen upon but a KING SIZE flat bed sheet for $4! It was almost the EXACT SAME pattern as the clouds at Hobby Lobby. I figure it will work for some cute burp rags. You can see the dogs that I picked up. Then the other night I had to run back over to Jo-Ann’s and found the hockey guys and Star Wars on clearance. And my mom had the duckies and light blue piece on the right.
The dark blue fabric in the background, though, is the PUL fabric that is used for the outside of a diaper. Yes, I went and bought materials for that through a website called diapersewingsupplies.com. I had read about PUL a year ago or so, but it was used for a backpack. I’ve been intrigued and have wanted to get some, but I never really had a good reason. Until now. So, keep in mind that this is my first attempt at a cloth diaper.
I think that it sucks and I’m not happy with it at all. You can tell that it’s home made. Also, it just doesn’t seem like it would fit well. I wish that Brandon was here so that I could at least try it on him. I made that comment earlier to Jay and he looked at me like I was insane. Jay thought I meant the choir director at church. LOL. Apparently I’d never mentioned my newborn baby doll that I had growing up who was anatomically correct. His name was Brandon and he’s currently packed away in my parents’ attic. Brandon is the same size as a newborn baby and so it would be nice to try it on him to see what it looks like. I’m tempted to run up there and grab him later this week. We’ll have to see…
The directions seemed really complicated at first, but I took a few hours the other night to sit and pour over them. Once I had broken them down into tiny little pieces and re-read them a million times, it didn’t seem so hard. And really, it wasn’t. The biggest issue that I found was my stupid walking foot on my sewing machine. It’s supposed to help guide the top layer of cloth so that it doesn’t stretch as you sew. Except, the top layer STRETCHED!!! I’m wondering if I should try a teflon foot.
The other issue I had was trying to get everything cut out perfectly. I had large pieces of fabric and a limited work space and wrists that don’t rotate around 360 degrees. So my pieces weren’t perfectly cut out and thus I had to fudge it a little as I pieced them together. It doesn’t help that my sewing room is a sauna so it was exhausting just standing over the cutting table, trying not to sweet or pass out.
The absorbent part of this diaper is the lining made of three layers of bamboo terry. The top layer, which sits against the baby’s rump, is a microfleece terry. It is so soft that Jay wants me to make a pair of underwear for him! The inner piece was where I really cursed my walking foot. *sigh* It probably would have helped if I hadn’t had a certain gray cat insisting to be fed at 3:30 when he knows that supper time isn’t until 5! I love Bob to pieces, but there are times when he needs a time out!
Actually, I think that I need a time out. A time out here…