I wax crafty: Wool soakers and fitted diapers

I’m a day late and a dollar short, but I do have a contribution to Mother Hen’s Homemade Thursday.

I’m not really a crafty person, but I do enjoy tackling a small project now and then.  Yesterday, I stitched up a super soft lambswool soaker from a thrift-store sweater.  I used the free pattern for Katrina’s Sew Quick Soaker.  It would have been a very simple project but I just couldn’t bring myself to trust the thin fabric so I doubled it.

Just for fun, I changed the instructions to create a reversible soaker with all the seams completely hidden.  I’m not sure why this was important since it looks exactly the same inside and out, but my poor brain needs all the exercise it can get and this was real exercise.  At least one of my children insists that the fact that it’s reversible and identical inside and out earns this post a place in the “Mom is neurotic” category.

Outside:

soaker

Other outside:

soaker2

See?  No inside out.  Perfect for addle-brains and people in a rush.

I also whipped up another wool soaker from these super-easy instructions, though we left the drawstring out of both of ours.  I just love the way the legs stick out.  It makes me smile every time I look.

easy-soaker

Our first wool soaker, made from the same instructions by Kaitlyn several weeks ago, has even longer and funnier legs.  You won’t see any poop leaking through these legs:

first-soaker

While I was at it, I decided to try out a brilliant idea that Kaitlyn and I hatched, only to find out that somebody else already thought of it and created a photo tutorial.  Yes, you can turn a regular prefold diaper into a snazzy fitted one.  See?

I glanced quickly through the tutorial photos and blasted full speed ahead.  My elastic didn’t work out, probably because I was too excited to read all the directions and thought it would oh-so-much-easier to reinvent the wheel.   I ripped the elastic out and called it done, so my prototype will need be followed up by an older and wiser version.  At any rate,  here’s the first:

diaper

Note the nifty pocket: increased absorbency right in the center, where it’s most needed, plus the option to slide in a doubler if your baby is a real soaker.  For my next trick, I will trim the edges of the soaker and turn them under to create a smoother surface for Bethany’s bottom.  I will also figure out a way to make elastic work.  The fabric was just too bulky and stiff the first time so the elastic didn’t stand a chance.  Next time we’re snipping some of the extra layers out before inserting elastic.  Sorry if that doesn’t make sense to you, but it does to me.  🙂

I still have 2 unwanted fleece sweatshirts which I plan to use soon for some fleece soakers.  These will be much cuter since fleece comes in far more COLORS than the wool sweaters at the thrift stores I frequent.

What have you made lately? Where did you get the idea?  Were you happy with the results, or are you already working on Plan B?

More diaper questions

Wow!  Thanks for all the great suggestions and info!  I’m totally ready to do cloth diapers; I’m just utterly torn about which kind to use.
I did buy some inexpensive prefolds locally along with (gasp) a package of pins until my snappies arrive.  I’m looking seriously at the coolababy diapers on ebay recommended by Christina, as well as snugglebottoms recommended by another reader (who was that???).  We’re also planning to make some diapers of our own – maybe all-in-ones, probably with snaps as opposed to velcro, though we might try a little of everything while we’re getting started.

My biggest questions now are about covers: whether to use them instead of all-in-one diapers, and which type to use.

NO COVERS: We don’t currently have an electric dryer; we are hanging out all of our laundry.  This means I won’t accidentally destroy anything that can’t take the heat, but I guess it also means that all-in-ones will take an insanely long time to dry.  Am I insane to consider them convenient under these circumstances?

WOOL COVERS: I hear a lot of praises about wool.  Does it take a lot of special care? How do you lanolize a wool cover?  How often?  Do you really only wash it every couple of weeks, even if it’s getting peed daily?  Do you need special detergent or none at all?

ALTERNATIVES: What other covers do you use?  What do you love? What do you hate?  Does anyone recommend the 6/$6 vinyl covers that our mothers used?  Do you really get what you pay for, or is there a perfectly good inexpensive choice out there?

Cloth diapers: your input needed

I posted this question over at the Frugal Hacks Forum, but I’m betting you all have diapered a lot of bottoms so I want your input.  You could answer here or at the forum.  I’m watching both.

Here’s the question:

OK.  After trying my sister’s Kushies on our baby, I’m ready to take the plunge.  Kushies are $38/5 at WalMart.com.  I’m willing to pay that much if necessary, but does anyone know a better source or brand?

Here’s what I liked about Kushies and hope to find in a cloth diaper:

  • All-in-one, i.e. no need for plastic pants over top of the diaper
  • Velcro closures.  I would consider other types, but they have to be kid-friendly.  No pins, please.
  • Easy cleaning.  These Kushies have a handy sewn-in flap that dangles into the toilet so I can swirl and flush the dirtiest part to my heart’s content without ever dipping my hand or the rest of the diaper.  I like that feature!
  • Plenty of absorbency.  We didn’t have to change her twice as often just because she was in cloth.

I don’t like that they come in two sizes, so I can’t use the same incredibly expensive diapers for 2 1/2 years on the same child.

Is there a better option?  Is there a less expensive option that provides comparable features?