Friday, January 29, 2010

Loss in My Family

I just wanted to let everyone know that we lost a close friend this past week--Chris was only 34 years old and had an amazing wife and two beautiful girls. His death came as a shock and we have been spending a lot of time with family and friends. I'll be back next week.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ella in her New Skirtie from the Katrina Soaker and Skirtie Pattern

Here are the pics of Ella that I promised in her new skirtie. I made her a medium because I wanted her to be able to wear it for a while. The rise would not have fit her in the small anyway.

They are a bit baggy--I only have her in a prefold. So If she has a blow out--there literally will be one. :) But if I put her in a fitted later they should be nicely filled out with fluffy goodness.

There are directions on how to add elastic to the legs and waist on Katrina's site and I may do a tutorial for that at a later time.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Katrina's Sew Quick Soaker and Skirtie

Two really great patterns. Relatively easy to print off and put together--the skirtie needs a little manipulation to get it to match up. The directions for the soaker are easy to follow and clear. The sizing seems right--plus it looks adorable on. :)

My Recommendations:

Make sure you cut out the pattern with the stretch going in the right direction. If you don't it will look ok--but not fit right.

Instead of lining up the leg seams with the body seams I would put them in the back. That way you don't have all that extra tension and bulk at such an important seam. Can I say the word seam again? :)

If you are using wool interlock instead of fleece be sure to use a 95/5 blend for the waist and leg bands so that you have enough stretch.

Use good fleece--at the very least the ant-pill from Joann's--you'll be sorry when your car seat cover is soaked.

Enjoy the tutorial and review!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to "Wednesday": Welted Pocket Tutorial

I know I know--it's late on Thursday night. But I think we have all had days like I have had, rude customer service people, interrupted internet service, cranky two year olds and clingy babies--with the frosting being total lack of initiative. :) Tomorrow has GOT to be better right? Back to the matter at hand!

Welted pockets are primarily used in diaper making as an option for making a fancy pocket opening for pocket diapers. It makes them look really pretty and they're functional at the same time. For example the KCK one size pocket diaper pattern calls for a welted pocket--review and tutorial to come in the future. :) Welted pockets are also used a lot for clothing and the like as well.

Enjoy the tutorial!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to Wednesday: Will Be How To Thursday This Week

I spent most of my morning dealing with Comcast--my internet provider and then taking care of my sick hubby this afternoon. :( So therefore How to Wednesday is going to be How to Thursday this week. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bummed about the Bum Sweater Longies Pattern

Easy pattern to follow--but with not so bumalicious results.

The longies were just not functional in the end--and they look kind of funky when they aren't on a baby. So no resale value here.

First of all I am terrible with getting the right measurements. I am a measure 4 or 5 times then cut my fabric person. I was especially careful when I measured for these longies since my sweater was so small--only use size medium and larger in the future. So I really doubt it was human error--especially when I made another pair using the same measurements and a different pattern, to be reviewed in the future, and they fit perfectly. Ella's little tush was almost completely hanging out of these.

I also don't like having the seams at the top of the legs. It looks like the legs were an after thought sewn onto a soaker pattern.

Things I would recommend trying would be:

+ To add a one or two inch waist band with elastic encased. So you make sure the waist fits snuggly enough.


I have seen and tried better patterns with much better results in the end. I won't be making another pair in the future using this pattern.

Watch my video tutorial and review!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Wednesday: How to Sew Elastic--Both Polybraid and Lastin

Today I'm focusing on elastic. The two best choices for making diapers are polybraid and lastin. 

Is rubber with a polyester braid encasing it. Many diaper makers use it. I recommend the 3/8 inch for thicker fabrics but some people use 1/4 inch as well. I think 3/8 inch is a little stretchier and lasts longer. 

Is the industry standard in clear elastic. Proven against seawater, oil, urine, light acids, perspiration, cosmetics, and general solvents. Lastin® is ideal for diapers, sportswear, swimwear, lingerie, infant wear and bed sheets. Excellent fabric memory, over 300% stretch. Lastin® retains its ability to perform under extreme hot and cold temperatures. Will Not Tear, Can be stitched without tearing. Lastin® will not wear out, and will last for the life of the garment. Lastin® has 4 to 5 times the stretch of rubber elastic

Biggest Tips:  
Prewash and dry your polybraid--it will tighten up.

Prestretch your Lastin before use. This will also tighten up after being washed and dried.

Buy name brand Lastin.

Do not tack one end of Lastin down then stretch and tack the other end--you can do this with polybraid but NOT Lastin

Enjoy the tutorial!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Rita's Rump Fitted Pocket Pattern

So I am pretty impressed. It's the first one people recommend when you are getting started and now I see why! I don't know how I missed it!

This was a great pattern to work with. Easy instructions, easy pattern to put together, and easy materials to find. Can I say easy one more time? All you need is 2 22 x 20 inch flannel cuts, some 3/8 inch polybraid elastic or lastin and some polyester thread. It took me about 25 minutes to print, cut, construct, and trim.

Some things I might change:

+ I would probably recommend using a different inner material versus the flannel for wicking purposes, something like bamboo velour, cotton velour, or microfleece would be perfect.

+ The back does not have elastic--with my super pooper this is a necessity--simply make an elastic casing with the inner fabric when you fold it over to make the pocket opening and you've got it done.

+ I had some issues with wing droop as well--so maybe extend the elastic up the arms 2 inches or so to solve it.

Here are some pics of Ella wearing it stuffed with 2 microfiber towels. She is 3 months old and probably about 13 lbs or so.

This is a versatile pattern that you could easily sew a soaker into to make a nice pocket all-in-one hybrid or use PUL on the outside to make it waterproof or do both. This is definitely a pattern every cloth diaper maker should keep in their arsenal.

Checkout my video tutorial and review on youtube!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Why Cloth Diaper?

Our Story

My cousin had a baby about 7 months before I did. At her baby shower my Aunt asked me, “So—are you going to use disposables or cloth when you have a baby?” This followed a conversation between all of my Aunts and my mom about swishing dirty diapers in the toilet. With images of my hands covered in poop fresh in my mind—there was only one answer to give, “YUCK!!! Disposables, of course!” Disposables are soooo easy right? And I was scared enough of all the things that being a parent entailed.

Ethan was born in September and was automatically swathed in disposables. We were generally pretty happy with them—minus the huge blow outs he had every day and the extra bag of trash that we took out every week. We didn’t have any real extra cost at this point because we were given so many diapers and wipes as gifts. Things changed when I was laid-off at the end of November—which sounds awful but actually ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. I was the primary bread-winner for my family and penny-pinching was number one on my list of priorities.

At the end of December our diaper stash was running low and I had just started attending LatchOn Lenawee, a group that supports breastfeeding in Lenawee County. To my surprise every single woman in this group cloth diapered. EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!!! I thought they were crazy. Then they showed me how easy (and fashionable) it was, and gave me the environmental and health reasons to cloth diaper. They talked about how I could even make my own to save more money. I actually got kind of excited—maybe this WAS something I could do. I went home and did some more research. The points below detail some of the information that sealed the deal for us. Maybe they’ll help you too!

Cost Savings

Most babies wear diapers until they are between 2 and 3 years old sometimes later if they wear disposables—babies that wear cloth often times potty-train earlier because they can tell when they are wet. You use on average between 6-8 diapers a day which means that you will spend from $1,500-$3,500 and probably more with the increased cost of petroleum products every year. Cloth diapers involve a one time cost that ranges from $200-$1,000, depending on the diaper system that works for you.

The first things my husband asked me about is the additional costs from washing diapers. We have a top-loading machine and a gas dryer, although I dry my diapers outside in the summer, and I make my own laundry detergent—so I know for sure it doesn’t have any perfumes or additives. I wash diapers every three days…so on my side I figure the extra cost is about .08 cents per diaper. The authors of Diapers: Environmental Impacts and Lifecycle Analysis say that, “The water used to wash diapers at home amounts to flushing the toilet 5 or 6 times a day, unless you have a high efficiency washer.” So although there are some additional costs with washing your diapers, the cost benefits of cloth are definitely still there.

For those of you that want some real concrete numbers—I know you’re out there—I wish I had the web smarts to put together a really cool calculator that would provide that information for you—unfortunately, I don’t. Diaper Pin does have a really great calculator though…check it out.

The Environmental Impact

Let me first say that my husband and I never thought we would consider ourselves environmentalists. Sure we cared about the earth, we didn’t litter, I used to bike to work and road public transit when we lived in Chicago, and we grow a garden. But in the past year I would whole heartedly say things have changed. I think that starting to cloth diaper was a large part of that. Once you realize how much you can impact the earth by making small changes…it’s easy to continue to do that in other parts of your life as well.

Based on a report from the Women's Environmental Network, The Real Diaper Association:

+ Disposable diapers are the third most common consumer product in landfills today.

+ A disposable diaper may take up to 500 years to decompose.

+ One baby in disposable diapers will contribute at least 1 ton of waste to your local landfill.

And that doesn’t even include the additional environmental impact of the materials used to make, package and ship them to your local grocery store. According to “Diapers: Environmental Impacts and Lifecycle Analysis” the materials used to make disposable diaper for one baby each year include:

+ Over 300 pounds of wood

+ 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks—doesn’t that sound awful?

+ 20 pounds of chlorine

So here we are in the middle of an environmental crisis—don’t cloth diapers make sense? You not only are helping to save petroleum, energy and trees, you’re also saving the earth from the additional impact of millions of diapers sitting in landfills for 500 years.

Your Baby’s Health

A baby can be sensitive to the ingredients used in diapers.

From Kimberly Clark's 2005 Annual Report:

"Superabsorbent materials are important components in disposable diapers, training and youth pants and incontinence care products. Polypropylene and other synthetics and chemicals are the primary raw materials for manufacturing nonwoven fabrics, which are used in disposable diapers, training and youth pants, wet wipes, feminine pads, incontinence and health care products, and away-from-home wipers." This superabsorbent material becomes a gel like substance when wet. In other words have you seen weird gel like material on your baby’s bottom when you change them after wearing a disposable diaper? Does that seem like something that shouldn’t be there? The authors of Whitewash: Exposing the Health and Environmental Dangers of Women's Sanitary Products and Disposable Diapers, What You Can Do About It. contend that “a similar substance had been used in super-absorbancy tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome.”

Another issue frequently brought up in cloth diapering circles is dioxin exposure. According to a Mothering Magazine article, entitled "The Joy of Cloth Diapers" "Dioxin, which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases, is a by-product of the paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers, and trace quantities may exist in the diapers themselves."

To Wrap it Up

We will never go back to disposables--we know that the cost of them is to much for both our babies and the environment. I hope this article helps you make that choice for yourself, your baby, and your world.

An Introduction

I am the momma behind Cheeky Diapers! I started cloth diapering my son, Ethan when he was 3 months old and have cloth diapered my daughter, Ella, from birth. We switched because: I was laid-off and we couldn't afford sposies, it is healthier for your baby, and we wanted to do what was right for the environment. My next blog will be about why you should cloth diaper and have a lot more details. :) I started off with a hand full of prefolds and some second hand covers from diaperswappers and we haven't looked back. Before I knew it I was teaching myself to sew, then developing my own designs, and Cheeky Diapers was born.

I am starting this blog because I want to spread the cloth diapering love and sewing is a TON of fun. I plan to:

+ Blog about the free patterns and for purchase patterns that are on the web, which will include step-by-step videos, pictures and reviews.

+ Blog about cloth diapering in general.

+ Host Sew-Alongs and Swaps.

+ Post Free Sewing Tutorials.

+ Be a resource for diaper sewing notions and materials.

"Sew" enjoy! Let the sewing begin!