My attempt at homemade cloth diapersMonday, April 04, 2011
I occasionally convince myself that being clumsy and prone to injury should not stand in the way of becoming a crafty mama. After all, this is what stay-at-home moms do, right? Scrapbooking, knitting, baking, sewing...as soon as you quit you day jobs ladies, you too can become Martha Stewart!
Except it doesn't actually work that way. I'm a novice scrapbook-er, a knitting school drop-out, and a if-it-involves-a-double-boiler-I'm-out baker. This left sewing as a possible source of amazing untapped potential in my quest to impress my other mommy friends with my crafting abilities. Recently one of my MeetUp.com groups, Chicago Moms Network, posted the perfect opportunity to test out my sewing ability: a class on making your very own cloth diaper!
For the unindoctrinated, the world of cloth diapers is one in which many women have traded in their love of high heels and fancy purses for debates on Velcro vs. snaps, single vs. double gussets, and prefolds vs. all-in-ones. Cloth diapers are collected and traded like Beanie Babies...pictures of a mom's "stash" can earn her accolades from other cloth diapering mamas far more enthusiastic than the best performance review you've ever received. And this, my friends, is only the beginning. (If you're really curious, I suggest you start here)
I consider myself an experienced amateur at the cloth diapering game. We do exclusively use cloth diapers for my son, with the exception of vacations. We have evolved from using a diaper service (Bottoms Up Diaper Service based in Waukegean) to now laundering our diapers at home. We've used many types, settled on our favorite (GroVias!) and really don't think too much more about it. However, the opportunity to make my own diaper? That's something to get excited about! Now all of those late-night message board debates are feeling very relevant...how can I get the perfect combination of blow-out stopping, dry-feel, easy wash and dry awesomeness?
I'll tell you how: by using Superman fabric.
I kid you not. As soon as I saw the Superman fabric, I knew this was going to be the Best. Diaper. Ever. My son agreed, although he still may have preferred a combination of Elmo and Superman, but since he can't talk yet, I was able to out-vote him.
So I take my awesome fabric, drive across town to the welcoming arms and sewing machine of one of the MeetUp mamas, and I plant myself for 4 hours. Yeah, that's right. I spent four hours making something my kid is going to intentionally poop in. That's dedication.
There was some cutting, there was some measuring, there was some pinning and then cutting again. If there was a sped-up video of my crash course in diaper-making, you would see much grimacing (from me and the mama teaching), several instances of me obsessively cutting tiny threads from my project, and a brief incident where I thought I broke the sewing machine for good. At the end, though, in a moment accompanied by a crescendo of glorious singing...there was an actual, usable diaper in my hands.
A diaper that my son has so far refused to wear. Oh Elmo has worn it, and mama has pulled the Best. Diaper. Ever. from the drawer on several occasions in the last week with the intention of strapping that Velcro goodness on my little naked kiddo...but he always runs off. So much for my new career as a diaper sewing goddess.