More Maryland fun

It was an innocent stop.  Really.  We just needed some Velcro to fix one of the cloth diapers Ellen has been using for Nathaniel.  And while we were there I could look for yarn suitable to make doll hair.  We looked at yarn – no suitable choices.  We looked at beads and crochet cotton just because.  I picked up some variegated thread for my crocheted river stones.  We ended up in the notions aisle for the Velcro… which also happened to have a display of Babyville Boutique items.

Now when my children were little, I used cloth diapers for a good amount of the time.  They were flat fold or the newer prefolded kind with plastic pants to keep clothes dry.  I guess some mom’s still use those, but cloth diapers today are amazingly sophisticated.  They are expandable using a series of snaps, they have a pocket for the absorbing part, and of course use Velcro closures to fit the waist (that’s the part we had to fix in the first place).  You can buy these units, but they are pretty pricey.  Even used ones go for a goodly sum.  But now, thanks to Babyville Boutique you can make your own.  They have books and patterns; they carry the PUL fabric (it’s breathable but waterproof); they carry the suede cloth used for the lining; they carry the snaps and the special tool to apply them, special elastic, fancy design labels and embroidered patches.  The PUL fabric comes in fetching prints and lovely solids and is sold as yardage or as pieces in a kit.  This fabric was our downfall.  Ellen fell in love with the cute little aliens fabric that was in a kit pack with a solid and a sweet dino print.

We checked out with our packet of Velcro for the repair and my crochet thread.  After all, making these diapers was going to be a lot of work, not to mention the amount of money one could spend for all the coordinated goodies.  And don’t forget the $20 tool for the snaps. Could she use more diapers?  Probably, but she was doing ok with the number she had.  But Ellen couldn’t forget those aliens. So after a day of deliberation and counting the cost of $$ and labor, we headed back to Joann’s to check it out.

First we read through the book to see how they recommended one used their products.  The fabric kits came with 3 pieces each, so we figured we would make 3 diapers.  We bought the snaps but thought we would try to do without the tool.  We decided we didn’t need the fancy, top-stitch elastic but did buy the wide Velcro for the front.  We decided not to buy the book either, but rather use one of the diapers Ellen had at home as a pattern.  We bought yardage of suede cloth, poly thread and thin elastic for the casings and headed home.

Now the work began: to make a pattern and engineer the construction based on what I had read.  After test driving the snaps, we decided we needed the special tool.  The thing that made this realization less painful was that I would be able to get 6 diapers out of the kit fabrics by piecing the back tabs – a little tedious but so much more satisfying than throwing out all that extra fabric (thanks, mom) and cutting our costs in half.  Ellen was the snap champ thanks to that special tool and I managed to get the first diaper together with several adjustments along the way.  We made absorbers out of an old towel – several layers of terry with snaps to lengthen and shorten as needed, just like the covers.

The plan was to teach Ellen how to make them and we made them in stages.  She did every part of the process except cutting out the patterns.  She ended up finishing the last ones all by herself after we left for home.  She did a good job, don’t you think?


2 Responses to “More Maryland fun”

  1. 1 sue November 9, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    And to think that when I heard of cloth diapers, I thought of what I used !! How unique these are and how smart of the two of you to figure it out and save a bundle. What a cutie he is !!

  2. 2 Norma November 11, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I admire your resourcefulness and tenacity! I’m sure I would never have gone to that much trouble. But they sure do look cute and what a good job you both did. Of course the baby is absolutely adorable!

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