Fitted Diaper Tutorial

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  When I first heard the phrase, I thought that a “fitted diaper” was a diaper that was a certain size. Like a “small” or a “large”. That makes sense, right? WRONG! The truth is that a “fitted diaper” is  just a cloth diaper that has no waterproof layer. I have no idea why it is named that way, but I fell in love with the little guy.

This is how I make my fitted diapers.. usually.

You must start with a diaper pattern. You can print a pattern off of the interwebs, but if you are lame like me, and don’t have a printer (or the interweb), you can make your own pattern.

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I used a PUL diaper cover and stretched it out, then pinned it onto flannel fabric. Then I traced the diaper with a marker. Then I cut the diaper outline out. THEN, I took the cut-out diaper pattern, folded it in half, and traced it onto a really thick piece of paper (this is a folder). This way, I will have the pattern for future diapers.

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I also cut out a soaker pattern. I used my eyeballs to measure what I thought would fit well into the center of the diaper. Look at this picture, and you will see what I mean. (The soaker is also folded in half.)

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Now that you have stiff patterns, lay out some flannel fabric. I like to use old bed sheets. They are cheap, and offer some cool designs. Make sure you fold the fabric at the fold of the diaper. I wrote “fold” on my pattern, just so I could remember.

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Now cut out the first layer of flannel. You can first trace with a marker so the pattern doesn’t move during cutting, and also so you do not alter the shape of the pattern. I am lazy and I just cut. (Having a rotary cutter makes any project faster and makes the cuts cleaner. If you do not have one, and ever want to sew anything ever again, I suggest you purchase one. You will also need a mat to cut on top of.)

You will need 3 layers of flannel for this project. I use the ugliest one in the middle, a decent solid color on the inside of the diaper, and the coolest looking one for the outside. (If you want to get super fancy about it, you can use a bamboo on the inside, and a fleece as the hidden layer.) 

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Cut the other layers the same way as the first.

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Now the third layer. You want to make sure you are cutting them as similar as possible. I do not have a serger, so I use a fancy zigzag type of stitch at the edge. The edges need to be really even with each other.

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Now cut out pieces for the soaker. I like to use old burp cloths because they are pretty absorbent. You need at least 3 layers (depending on the thickness of your fabric).

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Now pin the soaker pieces on top of the WRONG SIDE of the ugly diaper piece.

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Sew all the way around. I just used a normal stitch.

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Lay all of your layers on top of each other, in the order which you want them to be. Smooth them all out and trim off any access fabric (you could even IRON them, Mr. Fancy-pants). They need to line up as perfect as possible.

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Pin all 3 layers to each other. I use A LOT of pins for this project. You will be moving them around a little bit too.

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Now, take some elastic and measure from the top curve to the bottom curve of the diaper. Stretch out the elastic as far as it will stretch. You can mark this length onto the inside diaper if you wish. Cut the elastic strip times 2 (one for each thigh).

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Now measure a strip of elastic for the back side of the diaper. (This is the side with the wider tabs on my pattern.) The elastic should stretch from one thigh curve to the next. (The skinniest points on the pattern.) Mark these points as well.

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I like to put on the snaps now. (You can also use Velcro, if you prefer.) I don’t like the snaps to touch Babybot’s skin, so I only put them through 2 layers, the pretty OUTSIDE layer, and the not-as-pretty hidden layer.

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I followed the pattern of some diapers that I already had, as a guide to know where to put the snaps. If you want it straight and nice looking, I suggest using some sort of measuring device. I did not do that, and my snaps are VERY uneven! (Silly Wifebot!)

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I use Babyville Boutique™ brand snap pliers and snaps. I did a review and tutorial that you can find here.

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Now, we will start putting the elastic inside the diaper. I like to attach the elastic to the 2 inner layers. This way, the outer “pretty” layer stays “pretty”. Start at one side of the curve and move those pins inward. I like to put the pins into the edge of the soaker. That way, I do not put the elastic too far towards the center of the diaper. I like the elastic to fall between the edge of the diaper and the soaker.

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Now make a few stitches to hold the elastic into place. I use a zigzag and go back and forth a few times, to make sure the elastic doesn’t rip out of place. camera2012 013

After you sew one side of the elastic, sew the other side at the place you marked earlier. Zigzag back and forth again.

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Repeat this process to sew the other piece of elastic to the other curve of the diaper. 

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Pin the edges of the diaper layers back together.

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Now we move to the back of the diaper, and move those pins inward towards the edge of the soaker. 

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Sew the elastic here, where you made your marks earlier. (It should stretch from one curve to the other.)

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Make sure to sew the other end of the elastic as well. 

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Re-pin the edge of the diaper layers in the back.

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Now we can sew! I like to start at one edge of the backside of the diaper. 

If you have a serger machine, than GOOD FOR YOU! You are one lucky person. I do not..yet.. and so I make-shift with my crappy sewing machine.

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I use this stitch here, #15. You want the needle to fall OFF of the fabric on the right side. I hear that you want to make the stitches as close together as possible, and as wide as possible. (Did I mention that my sewing machine is CRAP? Well, it is. It breaks, in one way or another, every time I use it. Therefore, I will be making MY stitches as far away from each other as possible. This way, I might be able to make it through this project without having to “fix” my sewing machine with a chainsaw.) 

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Sew, anyway.. (See what I did there?) Sew all the way around the diaper. Either with your awesome serger machine, or with your 5 year old, crappy sewing machine. 

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I wanted to give my fitted diaper some extra soaking options, so I put some more Babyville Boutique™ snaps (they really should be paying me for this) on the inside of the diaper. Right near the top of the back side. Once again, I did not want the snaps to show on the OUTSIDE of the pretty diaper, so I only snapped them on the inside 2 layers.

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Then finish sewing up the diaper.

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Now you want to sew on the inside of the elastic. Try to make your stitches directly inside of the elastic, but DO NOT hit the elastic! I just use a straight stitch here. Make sure you do both curves.
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Now do the same for the back elastic.

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We need to put more snaps onto the flaps of the diaper. Make sure you use the male pieces here, if you used the female pieces before.

You might be done here! Unless you want to make an extra snap-in-soaker for the diaper.

Use the same pattern as the hidden soaker. Make at least 3 more layers. (I used bamboo on the top, flannel in the middle, and fleece on the bottom.)

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Cut them together, to make sure they are all even-Steven.

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Sew them all together. (Once again, I used my #15 stitch.)

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I still do not like snaps to touch Babybot, so I put the snaps on the inner 2 layers. (Make sure you use the male snaps on the insert, and the female directly on the diaper. This way, the male parts aren’t poking the baby when you do not use an insert.)

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You are all done!

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Here is the view from the back!

Thanks for reading this tutorial. Have you checked out my other tutorials, or reviews? Well you should! (Then tell the Ratings Man that there was another person in the room with you.) If you like it, let it know. There are enough suicidal blogs wandering about WordPress.

Baby-legs Tutorial

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Now that the season is changing, it is getting a little too cold for Babybot to go outside wearing nothing but a diaper. In addition to this, he has grown out of some of his “newborn” clothing. I have found a way to make use of the old clothing, while still being able to show off those adorable cloth diapers. I call them “baby-legs”, and they are super simple to make.

This is the tutorial..

What you will need:

long-sleeved onesie

scissors or rotary cutter

elastic

needle and thread or sewing machine

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Take that onsie and cut off the sleeves, right before the seam.

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Measure Babybot’s chunky ‘lil thigh with some elastic. You want to make sure the elastic is not too tight, but snug enough to hold up the leg.

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Cut 2 pieces of that measured elastic.

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Stretch out that measured, cut elastic and mark the length onto some stretchy fabric. (I used fleece here, but you can just use the body of the onesie.)

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Cut 2 pieces of that measured stretchy fabric. I made these 2 inches thick.

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Sew the ends of the elastic onto that stretchy fabric. We are going to be folding the fabric “hot dog style”, so make sure you sew the elastic near the center of the future fold, but not on that fold. I sewed the elastic about ½ in from the edge of the long side of the stretchy fabric. (Repeat for the other guy too.)

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Now, take the wider part of the sleeve you chopped, and fold the stretchy fabric evenly over the edge.

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You can now sew that end of the stretchy fabric onto that end of the sleeve. I just made a few stitches here, only to hold the ends in place. Fold the other end of the stretchy fabric over the stitches and sew that in place too. (Sorry that this sounds confusing. The pictures should help explain things better than words.)

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See what I mean? It should look similar to this.

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Now you are going to sew the stretchy fabric onto the sleeve. (I used a zigzag stitch.) You want to stretch the elastic out while sewing, to make sure it is getting as long as possible. You need to check while sewing to make sure that you are not sewing the elastic, and that the sleeve is at least ¼ inch inside of the stretchy, folded fabric. I went slowly, and checked every couple inches to make sure that I wasn’t sewing the sleeves shut as well.

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Repeat this process for the other sleeve/stretchy fabric combo.

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Voila! Baby-legs!

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Hope I didn’t confuse you too much with my professional jargon.

I also make fleece diaper covers (tutorial coming soon), and I use them to help hold up my baby-legs. I put some snaps on the outside of the baby-legs and on the inside of the fleece covers. That way, I can snap them together, and the legs don’t ever fall down!

OK, bye!

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Babyville Snap Pliers Review AND Conversion Tutorial

Right before Babybot was born, my sister-in-law gave us her entire stash of cloth diapers. There were a dozen bumGenius pockets that she had used through two babies. Although we were extremely grateful, there was a slight problem. (No, not that half of them were pink and Babybot is a boy. Our baby is very comfortable with his masculinity.) The Velcro had crapped-out. They would not stay hooked, nor looped. One day, we went to Joann Fabrics and saw that everything “Babyville Boutique™” was 50% off! I also had a combinable coupon for an extra 20% off! I went a little nuts-o and bought every style of snaps and the Snap Pliers. I went home and began converting all of these diapers from crap-o Velcro to wonderful snaps. (I also started making my own fitteds, but that’s another story.)

I will start with a tutorial on how I converted these diapers, with pretty step-by-step photos, then I will follow-up with a review of the Babyville Boutique™ pliers.

This is how my diapers looked before the conversion process began.

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These are all of the tools you will need for this project:
Babyville Boutique™ Snap pliers
seam ripper
pokey thing (the jargon is “awl”, but I like “pokey thing”)
snaps (caps, studs, and sockets)
diaper

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First thing is first (duh). Take that seam ripper, and rip out the seams. Be careful not to rip the PUL layer. This could cause leaks and ugliness.

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Don’t forget to rip out the velcro on the tabs too.

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Now your diaper looks something like this. Amazing how clean it looks under the Velcro, huh?

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Before we add the snaps, we need to make holes. Take your hole-making tool and poke a hole in each of the tabs. You can use a measuring device for this, or you can just eye it.

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Now place your sharp snap piece into the hole, with the flat part (cap) showing in the front of the diaper. If there is a picture on the cap, turn it until the image is correctly positioned.

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Place a stud snap piece (male) on the opposite side of the tab. Sliding the sharp, pokey end of the cap into the hole.

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Position the flat cap into the black rubber cup of the pliers. The stud end of the snap will fit into the clear rubbery part of the pliers.

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Check both sides to insure that they are fitting perfectly into the rubber cups. Slowly squeeze the pliers as hard as you can. (I give a few extra hard squeezes.)

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Repeat those steps on the other tab of the diaper. Then continue to the front of the diaper, this time using sockets instead of studs. The flat part of the cap should be on the inside of the diaper.

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*IMPORTANT: make sure to use the other pieces for the front. You need sockets and studs. (It doesn’t really matter too much where you use the sockets or studs. Usually the socket, or female part, will be on the front of the diaper, and the stud, or male part, will be on the tabs.)

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When you are done, the diaper shall look like this! (Yes, changing the tabs will change the color of the diaper. But only if you are a magical robot.)

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When Babybot wears the diaper, it shall look like this! (Yes, wearing the diaper COMPLETELY changes the color.)

*What are those awesome pieces of cloth, covering those chunky thighs, you ask? Those are baby-legs, and I made them from old long-sleeved onsies. Tutorial coming soon!

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One more thing. If I happen to put a male piece where a female should be, or find some other reason that I need to rip off a snap, I use a pipe cutter. You can also use wire cutters. Just slip the cutter under the front of the snap and make sure it is positioned perfectly underneath the cap. Squeeze gently, but firmly.

That is how you use the Babyville Boutique™ Pliers, now let me tell you how I feel about them.

Right after I purchased the pliers, I went online and read reviews. (I do realize that is backwards, thank you.) The majority of people hated them, and gave them one to zero stars. I was disappointed that I didn’t read these reviews BEFORE the purchase, and contemplated returning the whole shebang to Joann. Then my laziness kicked in, I realized the drive was too far, plus I would have had to put on pants. I gave those pliers a chance, and I loved them! They do their job and they are easy to use. What more can you ask from a pair of pliers?

People complained of them breaking, and hurting their hand, and other whiny BS. I say “Boo Who, ya big baby. Don’t write reviews if you can’t follow instructions.”

OK, sorry, that was a little harsh..

Maybe Babyville redesigned the pliers, or maybe people were not placing the pieces perfectly into the hole. I am not sure of the problem, but do not be swayed! I have now used the pliers HUNDREDS of times, and they are still going strong.

Pros: The pliers come with replacement parts in case you have a crazy night of snap-conversion, and the spring pops out. The tool is lightweight, and small enough to shove into your purse. The other tools (such as the awl) are brightly colored and easy to find. You don’t need to squeeze very hard to attach a snap, therefore a young child can join in on the fun. With a coupon, I paid $10 for the pliers. That is pretty cheap, even for me (“El Cheap-o Robot-o”).

Cons: The snaps don’t get as tight as they would with one of those giant snap press machines. I am worried that I might rip a snap right off the diaper while unsnapping. If you do 100 snaps in a row, and are a 90 year-old lady with arthritis, these might hurt your hand. The pliers are made of some cheap, fake-metal, hollow-plastic sort-a material. They do feel like they might break if you were to drop them off of a 40 story building. They do not come in a container, and you will need one. Also, the snaps hurt going down, if you accidentally swallow one. (They hurt coming out too.)

Recap: Go ahead and BUY! They work great for what they are intended to do.

Thanks for reading! Reading is good.

Social media

I am well on my way to being upgrayedded to a Wifebot 4000. Twitter and Google+ have just been added to my list of unlocked achievements.

Also, I am attempting to familiarize myself with a program known as “publicize”. This means that when I post HERE, it will also show up THERE. Let’s see if it worked.

Welcome to Blogville, me!

Hello, and welcome me to the blogging world.

This is my first attempt at blogging, and it is very slow going. For days now I have been trying to create a product review blog. I started by picking something I knew enough about to review (cloth diapers), next I wrote down an outline (yes, WROTE, like with a real pencil, and a real piece of paper), then I took a bunch of pretty pictures. That was the easy part. It was also quite fun.

Once I had my bright idea, I had to upload the pictures and type up a post. This can be quite difficult when you don’t pay for the internet, and rely on siphoning stray waves from sky. I started making a post, then realized that I would rather have my first review under a “review” tab on my main page. So I quit my post and started working on a page. After days of creating a page on a crappy laptop with stolen interwebs, I finally finished the page. But now when I look at my HOME page, it says “NOTHING FOUND”. It looks really sad. In addition to this, the tabs at the top of my page are very confused. Or maybe I am the confused one..

So now I am posting a post. My page will no longer be sad.

I will continue to try and figure out how the hell to make a blog right. I will continue to make reviews and posts and notes about nothing. I will someday have enough reviews to look impressive and receive free stuff to review. Then I shall help you receive free stuff too. This is my vow to you.

Thanks for coming, and welcome..to me.