Monday, January 26, 2009

Cloth progress

Progress has been made. Actual items are ready to use. Yay! Clockwise from upper left, 2 postpartum pads, 1 menstrual pad, changing pad for baby, small wetbag for baby, large wetbag for baby (folded in half), 1st fitted diaper and 21 flannel wipes. To give you a sense of scale, the wipes are 5"x5". Not pictured are the 3 crib sheets and 3 blankets that are also done. I have tons more cut out or in various stages of completeness, but unlike the cutting, stitching stuff together takes larger blocks of time and is more location picky. For instance, yesterday I was babysitting my nephew while Becky worked on her bermed house. It was no problem to take a couple yards of diaper fabric and my cutting board. I got four more diapers cut out while the little one was napping. Taking my sewing machine would have been waaay too much packing/unpacking and general lugging about. :-P So, there's a bottleneck of things that are cut out but not yet sewn. But, nothing a couple of weekends of focus can't solve.

The really nice thing about making it all myself is I can make (usually) exactly what I want/need, and I know exactly what's going in them. The material that will be next to my skin or baby's skin is an organic bamboo velour. Now, my mother is cussing me out over this stuff, cause it's a pain to sew. :-D No arguments there, but it is also the softest stuff I have ever felt, crazily absorbent, with the benefits of being sustainably harvested. The inner absorbent layer(s) are an organic hemp terry cloth. Another sustainable crop, hemp uses far less water and far less pesticides than cotton, boasts a higher yield per acre, is more absorbent, is more durable, gets softer with use and it has natural antibacterial properties that make it resistant to molds. Of course, I had to order these fabrics online, since neither is made in America. (Don't even get me started on the idiocy that prevails in the agricultural policy making in the country.) But, the troubles of finding and ordering and shipping in bulk pale next to benefits of using these fabrics.

Besides the serious stuff, I get to do fun stuff like coordinate my diaper bag, changing pad and wetbag. :-D And pick fun fabrics like the poison dart frog print for the large wetbag. I also get to tweak things so the end result fits exactly what I need. I added the velcro ties onto the large wetbag so it can hang off the end of the changing table, it's also the perfect size for that space, because I made it so. :-D Since I despise most air fresheners I added a little 2" square tab of terry cloth to one of the inner side seams to put essential oils on. It won't work miracles, but I'm hoping it'll do a little to cut down on odors. The bag itself should keep most odors in, since it's waterproof.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I'm using free patterns for everything I'm making. The wetbags are actually an amalgamation of two different free patterns, plus my own tweaks thrown in for good measure. Waay too much fun. :-) Would I have gotten this much enjoyment from just buying all these things from Walmart? I doubt it. And this route may have been more in terms of upfront costs, but over the life of the items, I'm betting it'll be cheaper. Since they are made out of better materials and custom made, they'll last longer. That means that when we get done using them, I can take them apart and make something else with the components. Or they can be pressed into service doing something else. (If it works to hold dirty diapers I bet it'll work to hold soccer cleats.)

Anyway. I'm pretty happy with the progress. A shout out to my mom for sewing the first two diapers with me. :-) I'll leave you with more pretty pictures of my creations.
Here's the inside of the fitted diaper.

Here's a close up of the diaper all folded and fastened.

Here's the pretty bag I made with Mom that I'm going to use as the diaper bag. Dave assures me that it's "waaaay too small." But, I think if some restraint is exercised in terms of how much extraneous stuff gets lugged around for one little baby, the bag should be plenty large. The small wetbag and changing pad have dimensions chosen to easily fit in this bag. It'll easily hold two diapers, a diaper cover, a change of clothing, a few wipes, a toy or two and a sippy cup. What more could you possibly need to run errands or go out to a meal with a diminutive human? :-D

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