Monday, December 1, 2008

homemade flannel diapers--a labor of love

A few weeks ago Christina wrote a post about her distress about her homemade diapers disintegrating, and her happy solution for stopping the damage. At that time, someone asked for the directions for how I make the diapers. Hence this post.

Here is the pattern I use. Please kindly excuse my lack of artistic ability. : ) For each diaper, I cut two of the pattern out of cotton flannel. I have made some with the same fabric on the inside as on the outside, but with these I chose to use yellow on the inside to minimize the bright stains that newborns will make.

I would also note that these diapers are a bit large for newborns. An alternative is just to make the diapers smaller--I also made a few that were 12 inches in length and in width, which were still a bit large for a 7-8 pound newborn. At first we folded the top or bottom a bit in order to adjust the length to his size; still, he soon outgrew the smaller diapers even without them being folded.

I lay them out on the fabric like this to make the most of the fabric.

After cutting out the front and back of all the diapers, I attach about 4 inches of narrow elastic to the wrong side of the outside piece of the diaper. After backstitching at one end, I pull the elastic taut and zigzag over the elastic about 3/4 of an inch from the curve of the leg. The picture should give you an idea of where the elastic goes.

For the absorbent padding, I used four layers of cotton quilt batting cut to approximately 4 inches by 15 inches. These are sewn to the wrong side of the inside piece (the lining) of the diaper.

When the elastic is on the outer piece, and the padding is attached to the inner piece, they are ready to be lined up, wrong sides together, and topstitched together. For these diapers, I topstitched around at about 1/2 inch, and then zigzag stitched the edge. If you have a serger, I think you could combine the the topstitching and zigzagging. I also take one topstitching line through the middle of the diaper from top to bottom (or from bottom to top) in order to secure the batting.

Here is a finished diaper. When I first started this last batch of diapers, each one took about half an hour to assemble and complete. By the time I had made a few dozen, I could complete one in 20 minutes. It is a labor of love that I don't think I could ever do for money.


Christina said...

You can see why I was SO sad when I had to throw a bunch away!

His Handmaiden Laura said...

These look SO much easier than the others I have seen, I had a question when reading through it earlier, but now I forgot..... I think I'll think of it later!

Thanks for taking the time to post it!

Blogging Molly said...

oh how i wish i had made these for my babies! great job :)