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Cloth Diapers and Sergers
mommy2myboy
mommy2myboy
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Date: 6/2/12 10:45 AM

I'm new to this site and am loving it already!

I am looking to make cloth diapers for my baby due in Nov. I'm not sure where to even start. I would call myself a beginner with a desire to learn. How much fabric will I need per diaper and what kind of fabric? Recommendations for a pattern or tutorial? I am also looking to buy a serger within the next couple of months if the budget allows. What do you recommend? I can't spend $1,000, but I do want a good quality machine. Will the diapers need a coverstitch? Your help is greatly appreciated!

Ashley

SewPaula
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SewPaula  Friend of PR
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In reply to mommy2myboy <<
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Date: 6/2/12 11:29 AM

Welcome to PR!

I would start by reading all you can about cloth diapers. You might start with this site: Sew Your Own Diapers . Is this your first baby? You might want to wait on investing a lot of time and money on sewing fancy diapers until after your little one arrives and you find out if he is going to be long and thin, chubby or a mover and shaker.

For a newborn, I always started with prefolds and covers. Newborns don't poo or pee a lot at a time, but they do it often so you will want at least 2-3 dozen and 6-8 covers. The diapers make great wipes and burp cloths later, so the money spent on these is not wasted. I kept a two or three cute all-in-ones for outings and used prefolds and simple covers at home. That gives you time to experiment with different diapers and patterns.

There is no "best" pattern for diapers -- it all depends on what you like best and what fits your baby (and realize that different patterns will fit better at different times as your baby grows) and how often you want to wash. Many people love pocket diapers, but I've never cared for them. Personally, I've always liked the all-in-two diapers -- a terry lined cover and a lay-in trifolded soaker pad. I mostly used the Chloe's Toes pattern but it seems that she is now out of business. These were the easiest and quickest for me to sew, get the cleanest in the wash, and didn't require complicated folding. This all got to be very important by the time I had three kids under the age of five and again had two in diapers.

The site I mentioned will give you ideas for fabrics and the patterns should give the amount of fabric needed. I hesitate to say how much is needed because it depends on the pattern and how many layers you want to use.

As far as a serger, please take a look at the Brother 1034D reviews. I used the previous model to this one, the 929D for making dozens of diapers and it was a great machine. I passed it on to my sister-in-law and bought a Babylock Imagine some years ago. It is also a wonderful machine and has made many diapers but is not quite in your budget. There is also a Juki serger that I think many people like but I know nothing about that one -- again, read the reviews to see if it is something that you want to look at. You don't need a coverstitch machine to make diapers, but you will want a good sewing machine that can handle heavy fabrics and multiple layers.

I have just one more thing and then I will end this little book. Accept that there will be leaks. There are always leaks. I've used disposables cheap and expensive and many styles of cloth diapers both purchased and home sewn through my almost thirteen years of diapering (yes, I've diapered continuously for that long -- I am blessed have a special needs young lady in my life who will always need to be diapered) and there are always leaks. Just smile, keep a spare set of clothes handy and use bed pads to protect the beds and you'll be fine.

------
If I were a sewing machine, all I would have to do is lift up my foot and all my tension would be gone.

Sewing with my lovelies: Pfaff Ambition 1.5 Kenmore 385.19365, Babylock Imagine and BLCS, 4 Brothers (PE150, PE770, 1034D, 2340V), and a chorus of vintage Singers

GrandmaNewt
GrandmaNewt
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Date: 6/2/12 11:32 AM

When I made cloth diapers for my daughter I used this free online pattern Sprout Snap diaper pattern This pattern doesnt come with instructions, but you can find tons of how to sew diapers tutorials around the internet that will show you how to put them together.

Whether you need a serger or not to make diapers kind of depends on what style diaper/cover you are planning on making. I made my daugher PUL covers that were bound in fold over elastic on the edges so I didnt use a serger at all for those. The style I made for my daugher has snap in soaker pads like the Best Bottom brand of diapers. I had to draft my own soaker pad pattern, and found it was easier to finish the edges with a zig zag stitch than serge the edges because of the thickness.

If you are doing the type of cloth diapers that have a seperate cover, then serging the edges is the easiest way to do those.

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/2/12 11:55 AM

Nothing to do with diapers, but I'd like to second the recommendation for the Brother 1034D serger. It's inexpensive (only $200 on Amazon), sturdy, easy to use, problem free and did I mention CHEAP! :-)

There is a topic on here related to this serger as there are quite a few of us who bought this little gem - just do a search for Brother 1034D and you should find it. It has lots of tips & techniques.

I've heard good things about Juki as well, but that will be a lot more expensive, but within your budget. HOWEVER, I'd pay the $200 for the Brother and use the rest to buy another machine of some kind... either a coverstitch or new SM. But that's just the SMAD in me :-)

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

mommy2myboy
mommy2myboy
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Date: 6/2/12 2:12 PM

I will check out the links and machines. This is our second child, but I didn't cloth diaper much with my first and I sure didn't make them.
I don't think my sewing machine will do thick layers of fabric very well. If you were buying the brother and a coverstitch which one would you recommend? Space is also an issue.
Thanks for all your input! I appreciate it! Keep it coming. I am looking forward to learning from you all.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/2/12 3:35 PM

You might want to check out this forumcloth diaper forum
It has diaper pattern reviews, sewing machine reviews, where to buy fabrics, etc.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

mommy2myboy
mommy2myboy
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Date: 6/2/12 7:28 PM

Thanks, Diane! I went on over there and registered. Looking forward to taking a look at the site.

Thanks!

quathy
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quathy  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/2/12 8:18 PM

Congratulations! I started sewing when I was exactly one month pregnant (now a long time ago...) Unfortunately I didn't learn fast enough to tackle diapers in time for baby, but I did get to finally make some for a nephew. I like sewbaby.com - you'll find supplies, patterns, and advice there. However for all-in-one diaper, I prefer the Jalie diaper pattern, http://www.jalie.com/jalie2907-cloth-diaper-sewing-pattern.html. You don't need a serger for them, but it does make finishing the inside layers a lot faster.

mommy2myboy
mommy2myboy
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Date: 6/2/12 9:37 PM

Quathy- Thank You! I am a bit concerned I won't be able to catch on quick enough and have a stash on hand by the time Fall rolls around. I will check out the site and pattern.
Thanks!

quathy
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quathy  Friend of PR
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In reply to mommy2myboy <<
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Date: 6/2/12 11:52 PM

Don't worry if you don't get them made up before the birth. It turns out the old-fashioned diapers from 40 years ago still work and I've seen them in big box stores, so I guess they are becoming popular again. It's what I used for my DD. I preferred the diaper covers that velcro-closed snug enough that you don't have to pin the diapers, but I also had the old fashioned rubber pants (I think mine were actually plastic) but had to use pins with them.

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