Thursday, July 17, 2008

Diaper tutorial for Mel!

I'm going to attempt to show Melanie how easy it can be, even when the sewing isn't perfect and there are 4 kids and a bunch of pets running around. This fitted diaper was made with the Very Baby pattern, size small, a woven outer print, microfleece inner, and microfiber soaker.

Because it's a turned and top stitched diaper, a 1/4" or so should be added to the pattern. I use a half-pattern to make cutting easier and symmetry more reliable. Notice I said more reliable.

Ooh, look at that! The picture worked!

Good people would iron the print first, but whatever. All cut, and "wa la!"

Because this was a quick diaper, I sewed the soaker right to the microfleece. To keep the stitching from showing, you could sew it to an additional body layer. The microfiber piece I used here was about 11x12", folded in thirds. The Very Baby pattern calls for a shaped soaker, but that requires more cutting time, and I'm lazy.

Ta da!

Pin your pieces together, inside out. If you do happen to sew your soaker into another body layer, sit there and stare for a while. For some reason, working with 3 layers confuses me. It takes me a good 15 minutes of staring time before my mind can formulate the proper combination of right-sides and wrong-sides to make everything come out right when you turn the diaper. I don't know why. I'll just blame it on the kids.
See? Soaker facing up, back side of the print facing down.

Straight stitch around, leaving an opening to turn the diaper. I always leave my opening on the front panel. Don't forget to back stitch.

Next, add your elastic. Most people mark elastic positions before doing any sewing. I almost never remember to do that, so this is when I did. The Very Baby pattern calls for zig zagging down the entire length of elastic, but I don't like to do that. I just tack the ends down really well. In this diaper, I did use the elastic positioning that the pattern calls for, but I've decided that I'm not a fan of it. I prefer to place it closer to the edge. When I use the pattern I made for C, I put the elastic right at the edge. And I use a 3-step zig zag for the ends. For this diaper, I used 6" in each leg, and 5" in the back.

Now you get to turn everything inside out. Er, inside in. Whatever. Make sure to run your hand through and poke out all of the little curves.

Once you're all turned around, fold the edges of your opening in, and start your sewing there.
When you get to the beginning of your elastic, be sure to pull it taught (while your needle is sunk in, of course) to avoid stitching through it. You'll want to double check that every inch or so.

In the end, you should wind up with a sweet little gather.

Once you get all the way around, all that's left to do is your closure. If you're using a knit fabric (that you don't mind possibly putting little holes in), you really could just use a Snappi. Or, if you're using a snug cover, you could go without any closure. For this one, I used 1 1/2" width Touchtape. 1" would probably be more reasonable for a size small, but the only 1" I have right now is beige. Blech.
I put a 6" lenght of loop on the front panel for maximum size range, and used a 2 step zig zag stitch.
Because this diaper is for a boy, I have the soaker going almost all of the way up the front, so it's pretty thick where the Touchtape is sewn on. If the soaker had been any thicker (or if I had planned better), I would probably have sewn the Touchtape onto the print (with some scrap fabric backing, to give more stability) before I sewed the two layers together. But I didn't.

Next, a simple square of hook on the tabs.

And a simple square of loop. Now there's less chance of tangled up laundry.

Looking at the diaper, I felt like the legs were unusually wide, so I compared it to one of my size medium Thirstie fitteds.
Yeah, it's kind of wide. If this doesn't fit very well, I'd suggest using shorter elastic in the legs.

But here's the end result.

I started this diaper around 11:30 yesterday, and it was finished by 1:45. That includes realizing that the kids needed lunch, and dealing with a fussy baby who must have realized I had a different baby on my mind. Actual construction time was probably about an hour, and that is with having to refill my thread (once for the bottom, once for the top) becuase I don't plan well, and having my machine throw up on me while sewing one of the tabs, necessitating a whole bunch of stitch ripping and re-sewing.

This one isn't a work of art, but it's cute and it's functional. And I'm determined to get it in the mail before that rear end is off to college. Or at least before he's potty trained!

1 comment:

kwr221 said...

It's so cute it almost make me wish I had another baby.