Tuesday 14 October 2008

the last post about nappies for awhile (i promise)

homemade nappy

here mae is modeling one of the first nappies off the line, in uninspiring white pul. it looks huge but the pattern i'm using (that i made myself by altering the shape of a nappy i bought) is meant to fit until toilet training and fits nice and snug around the waist and legs so i'm happy with it. no messy leaks or explosions so far...

my biggest challenge with this cloth nappy making adventure has been finding material in colours and patterns that i actually want my kid to be seen in. i know, they are only diapers, but the designer in me just can't not care about these types of things. i searched and searched online and just couldn't find any patterned pul from australian retailers that i liked. i finally settled on ordering some white and yellow pul and cream microfleece from Bubba Earth, as their prices are great and i've ordered from them before. when the fabric arrived, however, it was a huge disappointment - the white has a discoy sheen to it that screams "synthetic" (again, i know, it IS synthetic but it doesn't have to be so obvious *pout*), the yellow is without said disco sheen but is dayglo bright, not the soft buttery yellow i was expecting and the "cream" microfleece is undoubtedly a pale peach, absolutely horrid when paired with the yellow and only mildy acceptable with the white. it was fine to make my first few nappies with but i knew i'd need to search further if i wanted to make more. the other shops i found online in australia were more expensive and most only offered nappy cuts (a 50 x 50cm cut), not the meterage that i wanted and still didn't have colours that i liked. finally, i had two breakthroughs: i saw a cloth nappy on flickr that someone had made using amy butler fabric and it just clicked - use a layer of whatever gorgeous patterned fabric i want layered over top of the pul. i got busy during naptime the other day and used up the last bit of disco white to make this:

another cloth nappy

it's a revelation, i tells ya. i can make cute diapers using whatever fabric i want (i chose the peachy polka dots 'cause it helped me use up the peach microfleece for the inside). i've already picked out some patterns to use to cover up that god awful bright yellow...

the other breakthrough was ordering more pul from GreenBeans in new zealand. shipping was a bit pricey but the fabric prices were great so it kind of evened out plus my order arrived today and the colours (peach, celery and seaspray, which is a soft turquoise) are exactly as looked on the website and no disco to be seen. such a relief.

anyway, i really, REALLY encourage anyone else thinking about making their own nappies to give it a go. it really is so easy (and this is coming from someone who HATED sewing with elastic before making these), quick and satisfying. there are patterns available all over the internet, i was hoping to provide links as i think i'm going to try a couple of other patterns as well but i hear maesey stirring - i'm out of time! a quick google search should give you plenty of options, anyway : )


  1. Hehe, I'm no where near ready for babies but have found these posts really interesting! I had no idea what pul was though and googled it.

    It would be cool though if you could somehow actually make your own pul... with some sort of iron on waterproof laminate stuff. Probably doesn't exist tho :)

    Nice work though with the cover idea :)

  2. I have to warn you, though. Layering a cotton print over PUL can be risky. If the pattern you've worked out has the waterproof PUL rolling towards the insides on the legs, the cotton print can come in contact with wetness and "wick" or leak moisture to the outside in a hurry.

    Layering cute fabrics over blah, functional PUL is done all the time, but it's best if it's done over a diaper or cover that is either bound on the edges or serged... to keep that cotton on the outside from becoming damp.

    Does that make sense?

    To the commenter above me, you can't make your own iron on PUL, but you can find Yahoo Groups where ladies send cute fabrics into a professional joint to get waterproofed. It's a long wait though and print PUL is kind of stiff.

    The best way to get a cute print on the outside is to use a plain non-waterproof diaper with a cute cover over it. It's much easier to layer pretty fabric over a single layer of PUL and bind the edges with foldover elastic and have it not leak than it is to try to make a cute All in One... though there are ways. I'll quit jamming up your comments section, but you can email if you want any further info ;o)

  3. Very cute. I agree with the previous commenter about wicking risk though. although mmy sewing is nowhere near as good as yours. I settled for bloomer type over pants with my two.

    Cloth nappies are so addictive. Having said that, I don't miss the nappy days at all!

  4. Basically what Jessica said! She's a wealth of knowledge!

    There are some fibres that work better being layered over PUL than others - though the ones that are less likely to wick are also a bit thicker so it makes the nappy a bit bulkier.

    Wigglebums offers a good selection of print PUL in their DIY store. But again, the fabric isn't quite as flexi as plain colour PUL. Though I haven't used Poly print PUL so I could be wrong!

    Some of the prints aren't my thing but there are a few gems hidden away in there.


  5. Oh yeah, and I'll ask on TNN about DIY laminating. There was a lady who was setting up in Oz but I don't know if she went through with it. I'll find out.

  6. Anonymous10:36 pm

    i've thought about making nappies, too, but realistically, i haven't sewn anything even half as complicated in ages... i'm also feeling very negative about using disposable nappies, at the same time, if we're going to have a hard time with the baby, washing nappies might be just that little bit too much? plus we don't have the melbourne climate here in ireland, so getting them dry is going to be tricky! i've got muslin cloth squares, which i might try though, they would dry really quickly, just the cover would be tricky, there are cute patterns for knitted wool ones, but i'm not sure i'd trust them to really work... do you think you might make PUL covers for the etsy shop?

  7. thanks for all the feedback, folks! i settled on just making enough fabric covered ones to use up the god awful yellow pul, so i think i have four now. due to your alerting me of the wicking risk, i only use them for short daytime changes and haven't had any problems with them yet.

    péitseoga, the nappies REALLY aren't that complicated, i'm usre you could whip some up but, yes, drying them in the irish climate might be a bit of a struggle. i haven't found the actual washing of them much work because there is always so much other stuff to wash anyway - clothes that have been spit up on, blankets that have been peed on, etc. and i don't think i'll be selling any cloth nappy products. they were fun for me to make but i'd get too bored making them over and over again. i'm sure there are many other great ones available on etsy though!


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