Friday, June 8, 2012
Sewing Cloth Training Pants-- A Pattern Review (Of Sorts)
I did a little research on patterns for cloth trainers. There isn't a whole lot to choose from. I piddled around with a few freebies I found, and then decided I just wanted to buy a pattern. After looking them over, I decided I wanted the style that has a separate center panel like boys undies because I would be more likely to use PUL scraps than if the PUL covered the whole outer. I briefly had my heart set on the Tinkle Time Trainer Pattern , but I kept looking for a few days. I came across the Bella Bum Big Boy Trainers Pattern on Etsy and decided to go for that one. I liked how many options there are for the stages of potty training. They also have a girls' version. You never know until you actually look at and use the pattern how much you'll like it, so I held my breathe while I was waiting for the email with the download (which was only a couple hours). Verdict: I like it. The pattern is nicely organized and nothing is left unexplained (that I noticed). The pattern even explains how to measure for and choose the correct size, which is always helpful.
Let me say this, I would save myself a lot of "OOPS" if I would just read and follow instructions. But I have issues with this! After you've sewn a hundred different diaper patterns you tend to think, "I've got it down." Trouble is, not all patterns work the same, or why would there be different patterns! I made a couple of boo-boos but was able to make it come together nicely in the end. My biggest mistake was not clearly paying attention to the instructions on measuring the Fold-over Elastic. I ended up piecing my elastic after some misinformed cuts, and I never waste FOE! Oh, and I also forgot to prewash the FOE, which I might have ignored anyway because I was so eager to try the pattern. In the end, the back side pieces came out a little wider than the front side pieces and the snapping ends didn't line up exactly. I was later able to determine that this was my error in cutting out the pattern. I had chosen the Stage 1 style but cut out the stage 3 pattern (which basically just includes seam allowances because you don't use snaps on those edges), and this made the widths not line up correctly. When I was trying to figure it out I emailed the pattern maker and got a quick response from them, although I ended up figuring out my mistake as I was getting ready to take photos to send them for analysis. An "AHA" moment.
The assembly is pretty basic. You start with your soaker pad. I didn't make mine exactly like theirs with soaker layers and a booster layer because I was using two edge pieces of a prefold diaper sandwiched between a good diaper flannel and a repurposed white undershirt. I just zig-zagged around the prefold layers to keep them in place in the soaker, and serged around the outer layers' edges. The prefold layer is a little stiffer than I would prefer, but I have a bunch that I want to use up.
So, aside from a few deviations, which I can't seem to help doing, I followed the pattern and was able to complete a pair in a couple hours (printing pattern, measuring for size, cutting pattern, cutting fabrics, serging soaker, sewing body). Of course I had to put them on him immediately to see how they fit and I was very happy. I did notice when I took them off later that there were some little elastic marks on his thighs, so we will size up the elastic next time!