Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Further Notes on Sewing up Daddy Flats...

Earlier this week I was in Joann's Fabric (yet again) and I was perusing the flannel aisle (yet again) when out of the corner of my eye I saw this gorgeous green color beckoning me. If you are wondering if I get paid to mention Joann's--I do not! I really have a love/hate relationship with the place. Everything there is so overpriced that you have to either buy on sale or use a coupon. I buy most of my diaper materials online from small mama-run businesses, but there is something to be said for touching and feeling a fabric before you buy it and getting to take it right home and use it. I digress...

To say I'm not a fan of green, other than the natural kind you find outside, is an understatement. After yellow, green is my least favorite color for almost anything. However, I try to participate in Etsy Cloth Diaper Team's monthly themes for shop items and I had already bought some green doggy flannel to make up some Daddy Flats. I was going to line them with plain diaper flannel, but then I saw this apple green cotton terry. At $9.99/yard, it was no steal, but I had a 50% off coupon (of course). I decided to try it out because I had read several blog posts about using cotton terry for fitted diapers, so why not Daddy Flats?

BUYING FABRIC I bought 1 1/2 yards of the green terry. I was able to get six Medium Daddy Flat cuts out of that piece (which is 3 diapers if using two layers, or 6 diapers if layering with another fabric as I was doing). It is good to know the dimensions of your pattern before you go to the fabric store, just in case you make a spur of the moment fabric purchase, so that you buy no more or no less than you can use. Once you have your Daddy Flat pattern printed in the size you want, take a measurement of the general rectangular shape. Then at the fabric store you can figure out how many DFs can fit across the width of your fabric and how much length you need for the number you want.

MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME-- And this was after I was all grown up...ALWAYS prewash your fabrics. I just said how fun it was to be able to rush home and use your fabric. Well, really I rush home and throw it in the washer. For cloth diaper fabrics I run a really short hot wash cycle to preshrink and a short hot dry cycle. Ready in 1 hour! OH, and then you should give it a little press so the pattern can lay flat when you pin it to cut out your diapers.

COTTON TERRY has a few benefits for these diapers. One--it is "snappiable." Someone had commented on a blog post about snappiable fabrics for these diapers. If you use terry on the outside, you can use a Snappi with it. Another advantage is that it is a slightly thicker fabric to use for absorbency that isn't super stretchy like velour or other knits (and as I mentioned in my previous post these diapers do better with stable fabrics). One last advantage I saw was that the flannel and terry sewed up very nicely together. Oh, and I almost forgot, terry (like true diaper flannel) is double sided, so it won't matter which direction you cut out your Daytime Daddy Flat--big bonus for forgetful gals like me!

ABOUT PINNING, If your pins don't want to poke through the fabric, or they are all bent, or they catch and pull, it's time for new ones! I'm preaching to myself here. As soon as the "notions" wall goes on sale again, I'm getting some new pins. It's often the little things that can make sewing projects more enjoyable.

PINNING LAYERS--If you didn't lay your two fabrics together to cut, they probably won't be exactly the same size. I mentioned before how important it is to get the edges of this pattern lined up because you only get 1/4" seam allowance. If you make it bigger you are taking away from your diaper. So line your fabric up as best you can, smooth the layers as much as possible (without stretching the fabric if you are using a stretchy fabric) and pin, pin, pin. Then flip it over and see how the back looks. Sometimes you can smooth the back fabric more, which means unpinning and repinning. You MUST get the edges lined up because if they are off and you sew 1/4" seam you may not catch the underside fabric at all! This may sound tedious for a pattern that I boast is easy to sew, but really I am just being tedious! My advice to new sewers--use two layers of non-stretchy fabric to start, it will be easy!

CORNER TIP-- I like to backstitch at the corners where I will be clipping to make it less likely they will come undone, especially since you don't top-stitch these diapers.

I decided to pair the last two green terry cuts with this red mushroom knit print for the shop--kinda bright, huh?

Wiggly bodies DO NOT take good pictures!
I forgot to mention something about choosing prints for cloth diapers. Try to choose prints that run both ways. Uni-directional prints only run in one direction, which means that when you fold the diaper up, either the front or the back will be upside down. If you choose a pattern that runs either way it won't matter. If you accidentally choose a unidirectional print (and it bothers you) you can always piece the diaper with a solid so that the print is not upside down. I may blog about that later.


  1. I have ALWAYS topstitched my daddy flats, it helps keep the edges from doing too much rolling and keeps the whole thing looking neater, Imo.

    1. I have also discovered after a lot of wear that the Daddy Flats benefit from topstitching, and it's really very little effort!