Monday, July 1, 2013

Cloth Diaper Sewing Tutorial for Darling Diapers FREE Newborn Pattern

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I have been researching all the fabrics used in cloth diapering for some time now.  Since I am new at this I went to the professionals all of you stay at home moms (WAHMs) that have been where I am.  What I have learned is that there are lots of fabrics to work with, but unfortunately the area I live in has not gotten on board with stocking fabrics for cloth diapering.  So I found the next best thing Babyville Boutique cloth diapering kits and tools.  I combined what I learned from Babyville Boutique with the FREE newborn pattern from Darling Diapers. 

I chose to go with the Darling Diapers pattern over the Babyville Boutique pattern because they are designed for a smaller baby 5-10 pounds.  Currently I am 35 weeks and baby boy is 5.2 pounds!!  The best part about using the Darling Diapers Pattern is that selling diapers made from this pattern does not require a license. WAHMs may use this pattern to create diapers to sell and they do not need to identify the pattern as the free Darling Diapers newborn pattern.

The first thing you need to do is go to Darling Diapers to get your FREE patterns.  Next if you are unfortunate like me, go to Joann Fabric and Craft Store and check out their Babyville Boutique line. If you don’t have a Joann’s you can find them online.


What I purchased from Babyville Boutique:
·         Babyville Snap Pliers--$19.99
·         Babyville Book Cloth Diapers Made Easy--$9.99
·         Babyville Waterproof (PUL) Diaper Fabric Monkey & Hoot-3/pkg--$14.99
·         Babyville Snaps Yellow, Green & Orange--$7.99


Other Materials Needed:
·         1 yard of fleece for inside lining (they do have waterproof PUL)
·         100 % polyester thread or it will wick through and your diaper will leak
·         Quilting Batting—Nature’s Touch White Cotton with Scrim (remember I had to
           improvise some) for soakers.
·         ¼ ² polyester braid elastic (about 15² per diaper)
·         Singer water soluble disappearing ink for marking your snaps and elastic.





All the materials cost me about $100, but you must keep in mind that you would be paying at least $25 per diaper if you purchase from a retailer.  The diaper kit I bought was designed for one diaper per fabric sampling, but I was able to get nine diapers out of the kit!!  Woot!!  Woot!! 




 STEP 1:

If you do not want to buy your patterns go to Darling Diaper’s website to get your FREE newborn patterns.  You will need to print, cut, and tape the diapers together.  I used the RED pattern.

STEP 2:

You will need to pin your pattern to your fabric and begin cutting.  Each of the patterns have a soaker pattern within the diaper (just trace onto computer paper).  Once all your pieces have been cut (outside fabric, inside lining, and soaker) you are ready to begin. 

STEP 3:

You will need to attach the sockets to the outer (PUL) layer of fabric. Make sure to add a double layer for the snap area.  To do this you will need your Singer water soluble marker to draw on the fabric where the sockets should go.  Then use the awl and snap press to attach the sockets (all come in your snap pliers kit).  MAKE SURE YOUR SOCKETS are on the side of the fabric that will eventually face out and the caps are on the inside. 









STEP 4:

You will need to choose how many soaking layers to have.  I used two layers with the quilting batting.  First I added a double layer to my lining by placing it in the center.  Pin the soaker layers into place before you begin sewing. I zig zaged the soaker onto the lining, and then sewed a line down the middle to keep the soaker from bunching up.  I made additional soakers using the same pattern, but later had to cut a couple of inches off the original pattern to fit inside the diaper.  I plan to insert soakers by laying them inside the diaper.  At this stage the baby will be moving so little I don’t expect the soaker to move.

STEP 5:

Now the fun begins.  You will need to tack the elastic to the wrong side of the diaper fabric.  I went ahead and put both my layers together (as I have instructed you to do in STEP 6).  To tack your elastic you will need to sew forwards and backwards to properly secure it into place. Use your elastic guide on your pattern for the appropriate length for both the legs and the back of the diaper.



STEP 6:


Now you can pin your outer and inner layers together both facing inside out.  So both the sides you want to show are facing each other.  It is easier to sew the PUL fabric with the lining on the bottom (PUL wants to get stuck).  When you sew PUL, you always want the PUL to be against the feed dogs so it doesn't stick to your sewing foot. This is why I tacked my elastic to the PUL fabric. 


When you begin sewing start at the top where they snaps are attached (you need to be using a presser foot).  Unfortunately I used a zipper foot so I used the right point as a measurement for my seam allowance.  As you sew move the elastic out of your way continue sewing until you reach the opposite side of the snaps and stop.  The opening will be the length of the straight part of the top.   Remember to reinforce your starting/ending points by sewing forwards and backwards.






Now you will begin to see your final product by turning the diaper right side out. 





STEP 7:
Now you can pin your elastic into place to begin top stitching your diaper. This is how you create your encasing for your elastic. MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT SEW YOUR ELASTIC.  That’s why you pin it out of the way.  Unfortunately when I used the RED pattern I didn’t have room to top stitch the top of the diaper.  I added an extra snap at the very top to use for the umbilical cord to heal (first instead of waiting until the end).  This way you snap it down out of the way.  So I had to turn the fabric down and sew by hand (this is the last step).  You could add this snap last and top stitch the top of the diaper too. 
I began sewing beside the snaps (in the curve), and continued until I reached the same point on the other side.  While you are sewing at the elastic points make sure you feel to be sure the elastic is pushed out of the way of your presser foot.  You will be making an encasing for your elastic.  As you sew the areas with elastic make sure you are pulling/stretching the elastic to complete the enclosure. 

  






STEP 8:
The final step is to attach the studs to the diaper.  Lay the diaper onto the pattern again to mark how far apart to space the studs.  Then use the awl to pierce the fabric for the studs. 

Now you have completed your first cloth diaper.  Remember this was my first time too.  You live and learn.  Now I have to wait the arrival of my little guy to test these babies out!!  The next post I write will be about my first experience with cloth diapers.  I can’t wait!! 

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