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
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
Courtney is a mom living in Woodlawn.
See more of Courtney's stories here.
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