I’ve been keeping a secret for a while now, and am ready to share it with you. For those of you who are wondering whether Dirty Diaper Laundry’s next cloth diaper reviewer will be a boy or a girl, I finally have an answer for you. I’m very excited to tell you late this October Harper is going to meet her sweet new little sister! Having two girls with birthdays so close together (Harper was born mid-October) comes in very handy when it comes to all the clothes I saved. Even seasonally specific items, like her Thanksgiving dress and her Christmas pajamas will likely be a perfect fit (assuming the new baby is petite like her sister or even average size). Nonetheless, there are plenty of things I still need before I’ll feel ready to welcome another member to our family. With Harper, I thought I could manage with the disposable diapers friends passed on to us that their babies had outgrown without using, and that within a short time she would fit into her one size diaper stash. I never anticipated my perfect little elf of a baby would be so tiny that she wouldn’t fit into her diapers for over three months. I hated the disposables and spent many nursing sessions staring longingly at her baskets of colorful cloth diapers. A friend passed on some tiny covers and prefolds, but the covers were still swimming on her and my inept beginner skills regarding diapering led to many leaks and messes. I eventually purchased a few newborn size diapers (four or five, it was all I could afford at the time) and compromised by cloth diapering until they needed a wash, then making do with the disposables until I could use the cloth again.
This year I am making sure I have a good sized stash of newborn sized diapers for my baby, so she can enjoy a fluffy butt from the very start. When Babyville Boutique confided in me they are introducing a new line of fabrics, ribbons, fold over elastic, labels, and patches, as well as premade soakers (two to a pack, perfect for completing your DIY diapers and a lifesaver considering many fabric stores don’t carry the materials needed to make the most efficient and absorbent soakers) I was thrilled to dust off my sewing machine.
The package of fabrics I was sent included a classic white, a black with bright pink mod flowers, and a fantastic graphic black and white chevron. I also received fun fold over elastics in pink and in white with delicate eyelet detailing, as well as a pair of pink and black patches, a package of pink and black boutique labels, and a roll of three kinds of ribbon in shades of black and pink. I poured through the pattern books they sent me and started brainstorming what I could create with these wonderful modern and whimsical prints.
I decided to start with a newborn diaper to get back into the swing of diaper making. The instructions in the Babyville Boutique book make it very simple and allow a lot of customization options, so it wasn’t long before I was comfortable stitching elastic in place and turning seams. I used the floral print and the pink elastic to make a simple pocket diaper, lined with a charcoal grey microfleece I had on hand, and fitted with a single row of six pink snaps which are also made by Babyville Boutique. The snaps feature roses etched into the face, and are strong and easy to manage.
Next I decided it would be fun to make a pair of matching diapers for the girls, one newborn size and one medium size. I taped a couple sheets of copy paper together, and easily traced the pattern I wanted to use from the Babyville pattern foldout. Then it was a simple matter of cut and sew, and the included microfiber inserts were perfect for tucking inside the pocket diapers to finish them off. This time I used Babyville Easy Adjust Tape, a generously sized hook and loop tape that can be purchased in strips or in precut tabs. I used a combination of the two to create sized diapers that offer a wide range of sizing options, something I’ll really appreciate when I have a rapidly growing little one. A strip of the soft tape extends across the entire front of the diaper and two of the sticky tabs sewn to the back of the flaps allows for easy fastening, even with wiggly or fussy babies.
With my PUL sewing skills fully warmed up, I decided to try something just for me. After Harper’s birth I had postpartum bleeding for six long weeks, and I found store bought disposable pads to be insufferable, sticky, and faulty. This time around I plan on using mama cloth, reusable washable pads made with cloth and fastened with a single snap where the wings meet. I researched some various types and styles and decided to create my own design, tracing the outline of a pair of my unders than adding to the outline to create the wings and ensure the design was to my liking. I cut out my pattern and made a layer of PUL, followed by a wingless “core” layer of thick terry cloth, and two full layers of soft flannel. I stitched them together and added the Babyville snap to fasten them. The strong but thin and flexible PUL Babyville makes will allow any liquid that seeps through the layers of flannel and terry to spread rather than soaking immediately through, so the pads will last much longer. And the styles make for a fun pop of color, too.
I looked over the Babyville Boutique labels and decided the Keep Calm and Carry On label was begging to be added to a babywearing accessory. Harper is very excited about being a big sister, and had been play acting with her doll to practice. I scrounged up some soft pink floral cotton and stitched up a doll sized baby sling she could wear, and stitching on the label took only seconds to do. Instantly my slapped together sling looked professional and well made, like something you would buy in a boutique.
It occurred to me her doll would probably like a proper diaper of her own. The tissue thin cotton diaper that came with the doll left something to be desired, as it really didn’t look anything like a proper diaper, and especially not like Harper’s beautiful diapers. I used the bright floral print and those gorgeous pink snaps, and added a “Too Cute” label to the back, and the diaper is perfectly sized and ready for Harper to practice diaper changes on.
I still had some of the bright floral print remaining, as well as that charming matching ribbon, so I made a generously sized bib for Harper, complete with a pocket for catching whatever food doesn’t quite reach her mouth. The PUL is so well made I was able to just cut a single layer and turn and hem the edges, and I know it will rinse off easily and keep even her favorite meal (black beans) from soaking through to her shirt.
It was so much fun making these bright and girly accessories for myself and my daughters, and I love the freedom Babyville Boutique materials provides me with. I’m able to make absolutely anything I can think of, and if I get stuck I can review any number of clever projects detailed in their line of well written instruction books. While I do have a lot of sewing experience, I believe anyone with a sewing machine can work out how to make these fun projects, perfect for a rainy day to relax or if you’re looking to save some money and make something really special and one-of-a-kind.
Babyville has also expanded to cover ALL Babies, the fur babies, the older babies, and even the real babies. You can find some great project ideas on their blog!