We put our gDiapers through the ringer. Since we’ve got two in diapers, they are washed constantly, during which time I hear the “cha-ching” of dollars saved singing to me from the laundry room. In our effort to be ever more Mustachian, we recently took on GroVia cloth wipes as well. Needless to say, the cloth as served us well, and we use a lot of it. And we must be real suckers for laundry. Up until recently, we’d been using the gDiapers disposable/flushable inserts at night, placed on top of a cloth insert. The flushies are insanely absorbent; and lets face it, absorbency is important for my sleeping girls to stay sleeping so mommy can stay sleeping. I wanted to reduce how many of these we were using, and bought some organic hemp fleece so that I could whip up some of my own handmade gDiapers soakers. And if I’m going to all that trouble, why not make them look cute? It also gave me a good opportunity to play with sharp curves on my serger – something I’d
been fearing put off learning for quite some time.
It’s a little hard to tell in this photo, but the fleece has two distinct sides. One side is a knit, and the other side looks like the inside of a sweatshirt. It’s totally your preference on which side you have as the outer side, but I chose to have the two knit sides facing, and the soft fuzzy side showing.
The fleece comes as a tube, 27″ wide, so when cut it is 54″ wide by whatever length you buy. I just started with one yard, and was able to get 10 double-layer soakers out of it. I started by cutting it open, then doing a wash and dry cycle a total of 3 times. The amazing quality to this stuff is that the more you wash and dry, the softer and more absorbent they become. Once washed it was about 31″ long, and so I planned to cut my pieces about 6″ x 13″ so I could have some wiggle room – I had a hunch that my not-so-incredible serger curve skills would shine through. (*this can totally be done with a sewing machine that has a zig-zag stitch, and would probably turn out prettier than my initial serger attempts! You can either go straight to zig-zagging around the entire piece, or you could start with a straight stitch around to secure all the layers, and then finish the edges with the zig-zag.*)
After cutting the washed piece in half, leaving me with a ~31″ x 27″ piece that was then folded in half. I cut that into 6 slices.
Then squared off the edges. Nothing exact here…
Then I went through my fabric scraps and picked a lot of cute larger pieces. Many that had been used for quilting hadn’t been washed yet, so I gave them a good steam and pressing. It surprised me to see how picky I was at picking fabrics to decorate pee reservoirs.
Next, I lined them up like little soldiers with their respective pretty front.
I learned the hard way – make sure when you construct these that you place them through the serger with the the decorative fabric on top. I had significantly less shifting of the print when I did this. I also learned another lesson the hard way – mark the rounded corners on the print. Even if you don’t mimic the curves exactly, you’ll be a lot*** closer to the shape you want then if you just eye-ball it like I did for the first few. Doh.
Once you’ve got the layers sewn together you’ll want to secure your serger strings. If you’ve gone with the zig-zag method you can either just backstitch a few times, or you could even tie your threads, and bury them like I did below. Or, you could just leave them as-is and try your luck :) I used a bodkin, threaded the strings through the eye, and tunneled them underneath the stitches – only like an inch or so, then snipped off the excess.
And here they are. I know, I know… the green one is missing. Its currently undergoing very strict quality testing. I did buy an additional two yards once these were made, as I knew that ten wouldn’t be quite enough, and for now it seems that the littlest one needs them in every diaper. I read that the Bamboo/Hemp Fleece may be more absorbent, so I’m eager to put that to the test. Have you made any of your own cloth diapering supplies? If so, what’s been your experience, and where do you shop?
***Finally, have a look at the difference between the marked and unmarked soakers: