I designed my own newborn diaper pattern over a year ago. I had tried some of the free patterns available, and even some of the paid ones, but I just didn’t like any of them.
1. Cut your peices
If you plan to do a solid piece of PUL with a printed accent piece, you’ll need to cut the accent piece first. Fold your pattern on the line marked, and cut only that area, as shown in the picture. If you are using printed PUL or want a solid colored diaper, you won’t need an accent peice.
Cut the entire pattern from your PUL.
Cut your inner material from the entire pattern.
2. Accent piece
If you are not using an accent piece, skip this step.
Lay the PUL piece out flat.
Lay the accent piece on top, lining it up with the PUL.
Pull it down, lining up the end of the accent piece at the 1/2 inch mark between two lines on the grid.
Flip the accent piece down as shown, but line it up an inch above where it had been lined up previously.
Pin it with one pin on either side.
Sew it on using a backstitch at the beginning and end, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Trim threads when you’ve sewn the accent piece on.
Flip the accent piece up, right side facing out.
Fold down the top part just barely and sew it down with your needle in the right position (1/8″ seam allowance). You want to sew it down as closely as you can. If you have an accent piece, do your best to line up the two layers. Don’t worry if it isn’t even everywhere, just make sure the edges are and sew it. This will prevent fraying around the casing when it is washed later on.
This is how it should look when you fold it over and sew it the first time.
Now you’re going to fold it down again, this time making the top even with the top of the wings. This is where your casing will be. I never pin it to sew it, just use my fingers, but I couldn’t get a photo without pinning it. Sew it with your needle in the left or right position, whichever puts it as close to the edge you just sewed as possible.
You will need to do the same to your inner piece. Fold it over, then sew it down with the needle in the right position, as close to the edge as possible.
Then fold it down again and sew it as close to the edge you just sewed as possible.
Lay your inner and the PUL right sides together and pin them, lining up the edges as you go. Start pinning on either side of the elastic casings you sewed, working evenly, alternating between the left and right, doing just a small section at a time. Once you get to the bottom (the furthest right part of the picture above) the inner layer may be uneven with the PUL. This is okay. Very carefully trim it with scissors to match the PUL and then pin it.
With the PUL facing down, and on the right side of the casing, sew all the way around the diaper until you reach the left side of the casing. DO NOT SEW THE CASING SHUT! Backstitch at the beginning and end and use 1/4″ seam allowance.
As marked on your pattern, tack a 3 1/2″ piece of 1/4″ elastic in the seam allowance on both sides of the diaper. Sew over this several times, back and forth to make sure the elastic is sewn down well.
Push a safety pin through the end of one 8 inch piece of 1/2″ elastic.
Beginning on the PUL side, push the pin through the casing you sewed.
Once you have reached the other side of the casing on the PUL side only, pin the non-safety pin end to the casing to prevent it from being pulled inside of the casing.
Moving the safety pin from the PUL side, push it through to the casing on the inner side and thread it through that casing.
Unpin the elastic on the PUL side of the casing, and remove the safety pin. Pull both ends away from the diaper, giving you room to layer the two ends of elastic and sew them as shown. Be sure to go over this seam several times. Once it’s sewn, pull the part of the elastic where it is sewn into the inner casing to hide the ends.
Your casing now looks like this. This is where you will turn the diaper right side out, and where you will stuff your inserts into the diaper.
6. Turn the diaper right side out
Putting your hand inside of the elastic hole, turn the diaper right side out.
Once the diaper is right side out, you should use something to turn the corners as well as you can. In my experience, a corner turner can puncture the fabrics. I have had better luck using the end of a non-flexible thermometer.
Your diaper is now turned right side out and almost done being sewn!
As you get closer to the elastic, start sewing slightly further to the left, pulling the elastic as tightly along the side as you can, making sure you don’t sew through it. You will want to sew slowly for this part until you get the hang of it, and constantly re-pull and re-check the elastic to make sure it’s lined up with the seam between the PUL and inner than you did before you turned it right side out.
You will see the elastic start to gather as you sew. You should be able to pull the fabric along the elastic when you are done and it move freely in these areas. If you can’t, it means you sewed through the elastic. If you sew through the elastic, the diaper is likely still usable, but may not be as well-fitting in the legs.
Once you’ve reached the end of the first piece of elastic, return to the 1/8″ seam allowance. Continue sewing, following the same procedure as you approach the second piece of elastic, and return as close to the edge as possible for a 1/8″ seam allowance after the elastic ends.
On the left wing, with the PUL side facing you, mark three dots, half an inch between each. On the right wing, mark two, one inch apart. Make sure they are approximately the same distance from the top of the wing.
Apply male snaps to all of the dots you just marked EXCEPT the middle one on the wing with three dots. The male side of the snap should be on the inner of the fabric. Then, apply a female snap to the middle dot on the wing with three marks, making sure the female side of the snap is facing the outside of the diaper.
Using the first seven inches of your ruler, line it up evenly on the front of the diaper. If the diaper extends slightly more than seven inches, make sure about the same amount of fabric extends past the 7 and past the end of your ruler. Mark a dot at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Apply a female snap to these dots, with the female side facing out.
Your diaper now has all the snaps it needs.
Now stuff your diapers with the insert of your choice (I recommend premie size indian prefolds for newborn pockets) and you’re ready to go!
I didn’t discover how amazing babywearing was until I had Danny. With Maddi, I had one of those stupid crotch-dangler baby carriers, but I never really used it. It was painful and uncomfortable for me (and probably her too). Unfortunately, I didn’t discover good baby carriers until my second child. But once I did, I fell in love.
When I had Danny, babywearing became a necessity. The first time I went to the grocery store, I didn’t anticipate the problem I would have. Maddi was too little to walk in the store, so she had to sit in the cart. If I had her sitting in the seat, then I had to either carry Danny (which made pushing the cart difficult) or put him in the basket part of the cart in his car seat (which left me little room for groceries). Just getting groceries turned into an extremely stressful ordeal for me.
Unfortunately for me, I was pretty broke at the time. My husband and I were living in my soon-to-be-ex-step-dad’s house in his spare bedroom with our two-year-old and our newborn. It wasn’t the ideal situation and we were struggling. Finding a baby carrier wasn’t easy. My grandma helped me make a simple pouch sling, which worked for a while, but once he got heavier (which he did quickly) it was too uncomfortable for me and it was too much strain for me, especially considering the pain I have from my sacral deformation in my spine.
This is how I learned to sew.
Sewing is a big part of my life. I do it often, and I really enjoy it. I have been told that I’m an amazing seamstress and have an incredible talent, but most people don’t know that sewing didn’t come naturally to me. When I was a kid, I always wanted to sew with my grandma, but I refused to follow patterns and ruined a lot of fabric. My poor grandma would get so frustrated with me and lecture me about how I have to use a pattern and follow instructions, and that if I didn’t, she wasn’t going to help me. I must have frustrated her so much. Then in middle school home economics, I flunked the sewing module. Somehow I managed to screw my projects up in ways my teacher couldn’t imagine.
I found a beautiful baby carrier that I fell in love with. I was just head over heels for this carrier… until I saw the price tag. This carrier was everything I could ever want, but unfortunately, at just shy of $200, it wasn’t an option for us. I decided that I was going to make one and enlisted my grandmother’s help. Of course, I couldn’t find a pattern for one, so my grandma was anxious and doubtful, telling me I couldn’t make one without a pattern, but I was determined. Fortunately this determination paid off. I managed to scrounge up a bit of cash and bought some fabric that was on clearance and gave it my best shot.
This was the very first baby carrier I made. Of course, it doesn’t look nearly as nice (or symmetrical for that matter) as the ones I make now. But, even in it’s lopsided state, it turned out pretty well, considering I had no pattern and drew it out on brown paper bags. Even my grandmother was impressed. She told me that she would have given me a B- if I made that in a home economics class and she was the teacher. I was proud, especially hearing that from my grandmother who had told me it wouldn’t turn out right. Even so, it still wasn’t good enough.
After a few more trial runs and tweaking my pattern a bit, I finally got my carriers to a point at which I was satisfied. At this point, I had a couple for myself, and soon, I started to sell them. I had many women stop me in public, asking about my carrier and I made quite a bit of sales this way.
A new baby on the way
By the time I found out that we were expecting our third child (Averly), I had three carriers that I had made, as well as a Moby wrap. I was very excited about the idea of trying out even more baby carriers with the new baby. By this point, I had made several dozen baby carriers and was quite experienced with it by this point.
While I was pregnant with Ava, I planned to make her a new carrier. All the carriers I had were boy carriers and I knew I wanted something girly and unique. I had two blue swirl carriers that I absolutely adored. I wish I still had these ones.
I actually made three carriers in this design. I sold one and planned to keep the other two. One of them, I gave to a friend who had to move out of state suddenly and needed one for the plane trip, and the other was stolen from me by someone I trusted (and who doesn’t even have children, go figure). These two were my favorite, but even so, I still really wanted a girly carrier for Ava.
As usual, I got really busy when I was pregnant with Ava. Considering I had to travel for her birth, and move all sorts of mountains to have a VBA2C, it wasn’t a typical pregnancy or birth experience. I had planned to make her a carrier while I was pregnant, but I didn’t want to make one until I found out the gender. Well, by the time I found out the gender, things got super busy and I kept procrastinating making the carrier. I was struggling just to get the diapers sewn up before she was born!
Unfortunately for Ava, I never got around to making her carrier before she was born. I did, however, use the Moby wrap with her a lot as a newborn. I love using Moby wraps with brand new babies.
I did try my hand at a beautiful mei-tai designed to look like the Chanel Cambon bags. I absolutely love how it turned out and I used it quite a bit… Unfortunately, it also went missing. I wouldn’t doubt it if the person who stole the blue swirl carrier stole my mei-tai too. It was pretty while it lasted, and instead of the Chanel double C’s, I made overlapping V’s for Van Vleet on it.
I did still have a camo baby carrier from when Danny was a baby. I used it, but I was never crazy for the camo print in the first place (it had been left over from a custom carrier). There wasn’t anything wrong with it, I just wasn’t a big fan of camo prints, especially for a little girl!
I used the camo carrier for a little bit, but like I said, I just wasn’t too crazy for it. I usually ended up putting Ava in the Moby wrap when we were out, but eventually, she got too big for the Moby wrap. You can supposedly use the Moby wrap up to 35lbs, but for me, I found myself uncomfortable using beyond the baby turning six months. You could use it, but once baby got heavier, it was harder on my back. She was also much more active and moving around a lot more, so it didn’t feel as safe for her, since the fabric was stretchier. I love Moby wraps for little babies, but once they get older, heavier and become more active, they aren’t my carrier of choice.
Since she had outgrown the Moby, I sold two of my Moby wraps and then I gave one to one of the women who donated milk to Ava. Then, a few months ago, I sold the camo carrier too. I hadn’t used it in a few weeks, and I really wanted to make a new, girly one for Ava. Of course, I sold it thinking I’d make a new carrier pretty soon, but I ended up procrastinating the task for almost six months. Oops. My bad.
The perfect carrier
When I chose fabrics for the carriers before, I usually just got whatever fabric was cheap or on sale. I either bought cheaper fabric, or fabric that the customer had chosen for their custom carrier. Sure, I liked some of them (like the blue swirl carrier) but they were never the fabric of my dreams. Recently, I decided I was going to search high and low until I found the perfect fabric for my baby carrier. This is the fabric I fell in love with.
I paid a lot more for this fabric than I normally pay for fabric, but it was worth it. It came all the way from Japan. When I got it, I was surprised to discover that I was able to get four carrier pieces out of it. Normally, I can only get two out of a yard, so this was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t cut four though. I cut three carriers, and saved the last of the fabric to make a diaper or two.
It was different making these carriers though. I wasn’t just making one for myself. I was making one to donate to Cloth Cooperative for their fundraiser in September and I was also making one for my little sister, who is pregnant and due to have her baby any day now. Before, I always made my carriers one at a time, but this time, I did it assembly line style, repeating the same step for each carrier, one right after another. It was different. It made it seem like it took forever, especially since I have to go over most of the seams three times! The carriers slowly but surely came together, bit by bit.
I worked on the carriers in the same order for each step. I did Becky’s carrier first, then the one for the auction and then mine. I did mine last for each step because I was the most excited for mine. I figured if mine was last in line, then it would motivate me to finish the other two as well. The carriers all look the same at first glance, but upon further inspection, different parts of the print are upright in each carrier. On my carrier, the little ghost looking things are upright.
Adding the waistband (once it’s assembled) is a relatively quick step (especially in comparison to how long all of the triple x-box stitches take) but it can be frustrating, and usually takes me a while. I finished Becky’s carrier first, then the one for the auction yesterday, and then mine today, just in time to use it while I was Maddi’s parent-teacher conference.
And somehow, despite having spent so much time slaving away over these three carriers this week, I have an urge to make a few more. I’m making one for Alinda that I’ll take to her when we fly in for the holidays. I’m using this fabric and have considering making Ava one in this print too.
And of course, I was so excited after I finished the first carrier (Becky’s) that I had to snap a million photos.
Becky is pretty excited that she’s getting a baby carrier too. Of course, once I finished my carrier, I just had to make a matching diaper. Thankfully I had some black PUL on hand.
So, that’s it. If you made it through this far, congrats on reading all about my excessive love of baby carriers. <3
In April of 2011 I started a little side project to help provide struggling families with cloth diapers. Since then, we have helped to provide nearly 500 diapers to families in need. The Cloth Cooperative has grown more than we ever anticipated it would and we need your help.
We are taking the steps necessary to become a 501c3 non-profit corporation. After great deliberation, we decided that non-profit status was the best decision that we could make for our organization and that obtaining this status would help us to better assist that families we serve.
We are currently trying to raise the money we need to cover the fees associated with becoming a non-profit. We will be having an auction on Cloth Cooperative’s Facebook page and we are reaching out to both businesses and individuals to donate items to be auctioned off to benefit Cloth Cooperative. We are also looking for monetary donations and will be offering ad space on our website to businesses who wish to make a monetary donation.
If you can help in any way, please let us know.
After Dan’s four day weekend he went back to work today, which means one thing… I have to try to get all this painting done without him around. Not fun. I’m horrible about getting anything done when I’m all alone… It’s just so boring, and it SUCKS!
Thankfully I have an awesome little friend willing to help me.
Every time I move the paint roller on the wall, she laughs hysterically. What a doof! Gotta love her though. She’s “helping” mommy by brushing a clean brush on the walls over and over… Laughing every time. <3
She’s gotten pretty skilled with using her hands. She can pick tiny things up between her thumb and finger and can even drink out of a cup now (even though she dumps half of it down her chest in her excitement to have a drink). Maybe I’ll let her try her hand at a juicebox later.
I have been waiting for almost three years and finally, the day is almost here.
We can sell our house in 47 days.
When we bought our house in 2009, we got a tax credit, but one of the stipulations of that credit was that we must keep the house as our primary residence for 36 months. Our 36 months is over on August 18th and that date is quickly approaching. I’m excited to sell the house, but at the same time it’s rather stressful too.
The house was in shambles when we bought it. Honestly spreaking, I didn’t want to live in it. I hated this house for a long time, but slowly, as we worked, it got better and better. Now that the final repairs and improvements are being done, I have to admit, it’s going to be quite nice. These repairs and improvements are a lot of work, but with each and every one the house looks better and better. I’m quite surprised with how nicely it’s coming along.
Take for example the kitchen.
This was the kitchen when we first moved into the house. Excuse the mess. Like I said, we had just moved in when this photo was taken. I should have taken more photos, but I just didn’t think of it at the time. I was just too busy, moving into a new place and taking care of a two-year-old and a four-month-old.
And here is a photo of the kitchen after we installed new flooring and refinished all of the cabinets. This photo is still a little old, but we’re continuing to work on improvements in the kitchen. Currently, I am adding another coat of paint to the cabinets (I got lazy last fall when I had started them and just didn’t feel like working on them anymore) and we’re going to be installing trim as well. We also have to drywall the hole above the sink where the kitchen window used to be before we added another bedroom to the house. Even if the picture is older, you can still see the difference! We’re also replacing all of the appliances as well.
We’ve also been working on more minor and silly repairs. We painted the front steps. I don’t know why it never occured to me to do this before, but it just dawned on me a couple days ago.
These are the front steps. They look like crap and when we first moved in, we talked about building a nicer porch/stairs but we just never got around to doing it.
This is a terrible picture, but we only have one entrance to the house so when I started painting, I started at the bottom step and worked my way up, effectively painting myself in. I could have taken a photo today (we painted the steps two days ago) but I was elbow-deep in white paint all day today and I forgot. Maybe tomorrow I will.
The steps do look much better painted, however, the old ugly ones made for a good setting for Ava’s baby pictures, so maybe it was a good thing that painting them didn’t occur to me until just a few days ago.
I love this photo of her. I actually used it in her birth announcements. I’m not a photographer by any means, but this is probably one of the best photos I have ever done. I’m really proud of it.
So even though I have been busting my butt on the house for a couple weeks now, it is just now starting to look better. It’s so much work! I’ve only ever moved twice, but those moves didn’t seem nearly as difficult as this one is! I can’t imagine having three kids makes it any easier. My kids do however, love that the living room is completely empty. They come up to me, breathing all fast and excited, “Mommy! Mommy! Can we run in CIRCLES?!?!?!” I’m not kidding. They will ask permission to run in circles and then do it for an hour, laughing and giggling with every lap around the living room.
So today we started the horrifying task of painting. If I haven’t told you already, I absolutelyhatepainting. I especially hate painting this house. The living room and master bedroom have a one-direction vaulted ceiling, meaning I have to stick the paint roller on a rod and then climb up a ladder just to paint the ceiling. I remember when we moved in, painting those damn ceilings hurt my arms and shoulders. I can’t imagine how bad it’s going to hurt now, especially with my shoulder still being injured from my car accident. I did start painting though. I got one wall in the living room done and half of another before I gave up. I’ll start working on it again tomorrow.
We also had a man come out and take measurements for our carpeting quote. We’re supposed to get the carpeting installed sometime after the 11th. I have to have the two bedrooms and the living room painted by then. I’m actually really excited about the carpeting. Once the carpeting is put in, this place is going to look great! I’m very excited about that.
So, on the agenda for tomorrow… More painting… More drywalling… More packing. Sounds like a blast, huh?
It might suck doing all the work, but I get to spend the day talking to this little angel, so I guess it’s not all bad. <3
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Today was scary.
I was headed to the high school to pick up my sister like usual. There’s a pretty steep hill on the way, and there was a truck in front of me with a flatbed trailer behind it filled with logs and sections of trees. Some were just pieces of brush. Others were 2 or 3 foot sections of tree trunk. I was a couple cars distance behind him and next thing I know, as he starts up the hill, a bunch of the logs and tree pieces start flying off the trailer. I tried to hit the brakes, but my car didn’t stop fast enough and some of the logs were under the car and we were jolting everywhere. The logs were rolling and the car was moving really sharp and sudden and the brakes weren’t helping… I hit my head on the wheel when I slammed the brakes and then the window after a really hard jolt from the logs moving under us. We were on a section of the road that was over a marsh… A miniature bridge almost. I remember being so scared that I’d hit the guardrail and end up int he swamp. I was panicking terrified of how I would get the kids out… I didn’t know how deep the water was or how fast the car would sink…
Thankfully we were okay. The car was surprisingly okay too, but we had to put a jack under it to get the logs and tree pieces out because they were so big… The scariest part was the kids… as soon as the car stopped moving I asked “are you guys okay?!?!” and tried to unbuckle and check them and they were all quiet for two seconds… That was the longest two seconds of my life. Then Maddi started crying and Danny did too and Miss Ava was just asleep and yawned at me when I started touching her…. I was so worried about them… We got lucky that no one was hurt… and that none of the logs went through the windshield or got on the hood.
Now, I’m just sore as hell. My entire body feels like a giant muscle cramp.
My sister and I went to Wasilla on Friday for her ultrasound. She didn’t have to go to Wasilla, but I told her she should. There’s an ultrasound clinic up there that’s absolutely amazing. They did my ultrasound when I was pregnant with Ava and it was a million times better than the ultrasounds they do down here on the peninsula. Here, they have you on the table for ten minutes, throw a picture or two at you and send you out the door. The clinic in Wasilla gives you a million pictures and a recorded DVD of the entire scan.
Anyway, we found out what her baby is. Well, I found out. She didn’t.
We are going to have a babyshower for her at the end of this month and at the shower, everything will be gender neutral. We are dying the inside of the cake pink or blue and when she cuts the cake, she’ll discover what her baby is and everyone will get to see her reaction.
She wants a boy, so we’ll see if her intuition is right. 😉 But I won’t tell. Not even here, because she probably reads this.
My daughter cut her hair today.
It was a terrible, horrible mess.
She cried so hard. She knew she did something wrong. She knew she couldn’t fix it and she was devastated. And I knew exactly how she felt. My mom cut my hair short, like a boy’s when I was five. But I also had a group of adult stangers scream and argue in front of me about whether or not to shave my head… and one even sat on me while the other prepared to do it… And just recalling how scary that was… how panicked I felt… my hair had already been cut short… but to have it shaved off by strangers I didn’t know? My heart jumped up in my throat when I saw my daughter crying over her hair.
So I did the only thing I could think of to fix it and stop that pain. Call it shallow. Call it vain. Call it whatever you want to. Maddi made a mistake, but it doesn’t mean she has to be punished day after day for it… Reminded every day about her short hair. No, short hair isn’t ugly, but it isn’t what she wants. She didn’t understand that cutting hair is permanent (at least until it grows out). My heart just broke for her.
Yes. I got my four-year-old hair extensions. No, I don’t think I’m being shallow or vain. The poor girl cried, sobbed and shook in a way I have never seen her do when she was faced with the possibility of her hair having to be cut short or left messed up. I felt bad for her. I took pity on her. The same way that strange woman took pity on me and told them not to shave my head.