Sewing Cloth Diapers Part II: Creating the Prototypes

My First Homemade Cloth Diapers

Left: Newborn diaper made with Darling Diapers free newborn pattern. Right: One-Size-Fits-Most cloth diaper made with the pattern found in Jennifer C. Berry’s book.

I spent a good chunk of today creating my first cloth diapers (pictured above). Here’s how it went:

  • I taught myself how to use the sewing machine a day or two ago. It involved sitting down and reading the instruction booklet. I’ve worked with sewing machines before, but only with an experienced seamstress looking over my shoulder, and only on the machines of others, so if anything happened (machine got stuck, needle bent, etc.), I could always go running to my master. This time I was all on my own.
  • The hardest part was winding the bobbin. The instructions on this were somewhat confusing and it took me a few tries to get it winding around the spool instead of winding around part of the machine. But once I got it, it was easy.
  • I only had a few actual hang-ups when using the machine today (for example, my thread broke once). The machine was able to go through the thickest multiple layers of fabric without any problem. I was pleased.
  • I made lots of small errors in craftsmanship which I’m sure I’ll get better at as I practice this, but none was significant enough to ruin my diapers. They should be functional.
  • I started out by making the one-size-fits-most diaper found in Jennifer C. Berry’s book, then applied that method to the Darling Diapers free newborn pattern to make the newborn diaper.

I have a friend with a 7 month-old and a classmate with a newborn. I’m going to ask them to test these diapers on their daughters. I’d especially like to know how well they hold up overnight. If they report that they worked well and had no trouble with leaks, I’ll go ahead and start making the other 43 diapers, assembly-line style.

Here they are laid out.

Here they are laid out.

Diapers on their smallest settings.

Diapers on their smallest settings.

Diapers on their largest settings.

Diapers on their largest settings.

Newborn diaper w/ umbilical snap in action

Newborn diaper w/ umbilical snap in action.

In the meantime, I have a few pairs of maternity jeans that need modification, so those will be my sewing project while the diapers are being tested.

Sewing Cloth Diapers Part I: Patterns, Cost & Supplies
Sewing Cloth Diapers Part III: Mint-Colored Diapers
Sewing Cloth Diapers Part IV: Dark Green Diapers
Sewing Cloth Diapers Part V: Newborn Diapers

Categories: Babies, Cloth Diapers | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Sewing Cloth Diapers Part II: Creating the Prototypes

  1. Pingback: Sewing Cloth Diapers Part 1: Patterns, Cost & Supplies | Journey to a Better Birth

  2. That is damn smart to ask them to actually test them out before you kill yourself making 43 more!!

  3. Thank you. I can’t take credit for the idea though. A friend with considerable experience making cloth diapers told me to do that. (I just gave her the link to this blog; maybe she’ll show up!)

  4. Magree

    I LOVE the darling Diapers Pattern. So glad you found it. I’m interested in knowing how the hook and loop does on it, especially if you still did the snap down umbilical cord part. Too cute. Hope they work out.

    Glad to help any time.


  5. Hi Misty! Glad you made it over here.

    I updated the post with more pictures of the diapers. The umbilical snap actually wasn’t done when I took the first picture because I don’t have a press and I had to visit my tailor to put the final, upper “male” snap on. (It’s kind of annoying because the lower, “female” snap has to go on before the diaper is assembled. so I have to visit him twice.)

  6. Magree

    The newborn one is adorable. I may have to try that hook and loop version next time I make some, though the snaps version worked well for us too.

  7. I’m going crazy. I wanted to get started on these diapers, but the guy who took my newborn diaper to test didn’t show up for class on Wednesday. I sent him an e-mail and he hasn’t responded yet. Review my damn diaper, mister!!!!

    Hopefully the couple that is testing the one-size-fits-most for me will report back on church on Sunday.

  8. Cheri Crawford

    This is SO COOL that you are making your own diapers! I love the umbilical snap, very smart!

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