Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I swore I'd never use them... until I realized I could sew them.

Yup, that's right, I started cloth diapering my 6 month old twins after "swearing" I'd never go to cloth. After doing the math over and over again, I felt like it was time to start saving money and the environment. (I admit that saving the environment is just a perk in this new adventure).

Reasons I resisted for so long:

1. Pocket diapers are expensive to buy. Eventhough you can save money in the long run, it's a huge investment up front, especially with twins.

2. I was (past tense) more interested in what would save me money rather than the environment which I thought wasn't reason enough to go through the "inconvenience" of cloth diapering.

3. Time. It does take more time and I probably couldn't have done it in the early months with twins and a 2 year old, but now that the twins are a little older and more independent, the little bit of extra time that it takes is manageable.

4. Gross factor. Cloth diapers...yuck. Don't they stink? That's what I thought. But really, it's not that gross and there is actually less odor with cloth than with disposable. Not a conclusion I would have come to without having tried it.

The big reason for switching to cloth for me, is definitely the moola factor. With a husband just about to graduate from law school and student loans coming due, I had to do something drastic (or what I thought was drastic). After crunching all the numbers, I figured I can save at least $1200 in 18 months. More if the twins wear them longer than that. (I included the costs of hot water, electricity, detergent etc). Not only that, but when the twins are done with them, I can turn around and sell them or pass them along to a friend or family member.

So, not only am I cloth diapering twins, but I also made the pocket diapers myself.

Here's what you need:

PUL (that's the waterproof fabric that comes in a variety of colors)
microfiber terry (the insert to absorb all the wet)
a snap press
a serger (helpful although not necessary)
a sewing machine
3/8 inch elastic (for the back of the diaper)
3/8 inch elastin (for the legs)

I already have a handy, dandy snap press that I've used since last summer to make baby items for my etsy shop, so the investment to make the diapers was minimal compared to what it costs to buy cool pocket diapers.

I bought the supplies at this on-line store. Not the best customer service, but the best stuff for making diapers.

So here's what a cloth diaper looks like. This is 11 of them. I made 25 and sent one to my little brother to try on his 5 1/2 month old.

and the outside finished product:

The inside:

and with two cute babies inside them:

Here's what the insert looks like. It just "inserts" right in the back of the diaper. No folding or fuss. I just cut out three layers and serged around them.

And what do I clean those cute little bums with?? Say good-bye to the baby wipes isle at Target! These are the way to go, baby! Environmentally friendly and friendly on the pocketbook. Sherpa, flannel and a serger make these puppies. Great for cleaning any mess big or small. I also use them on the babies in the bath.What about laundering you ask? How does one clean these things and have them look and smell so good?
1 cold rinse cycle
1 hot wash
a tiny bit of detergent, 1 tablespoon to be exact (I make my own using borax and washing soda).

Sometimes I throw in a downy ball filled with a little vinegar to really rinse out the detergent during the rinse cycle.
Special thanks to my friend, Jodi for her help in showing me how to make the diapers...and for converting me, finally. Also, thanks to my husband for putting all the snaps on and for cleaning the house, so I have more time to sew in the evenings. He's a keeper.
Stay tuned for my next post on sewing for kids with knits. Jodi is showing me how to make baby shirts with knits.


  1. Wahoo! You updated your blog! Awesome post... Modern cloth diapering at its best :) How are the knit shirts coming along?

  2. You are a super duper talented mama! Your kids are ADORABLE! I am hosting a diaper sewing contest on my cloth diaper site, you should totally enter with these!

  3. Wow! Those all look amazing. Do you have a pattern for them? I'm 15 weeks along and I have decided to go with cloth diapers. I've been searching the web for great patterns that are free or don't cost that much. I would love to get the pattern for yours. This is what I've been looking for. Where did you end up buying the PUL from? Thanks for this wonderful post it sure enlightened me. email: {}