Friday, August 17, 2012

Introduction to Sergers

Have you ever looked at the inside of your clothing and wondered what kind of machine makes that type of stitch?  Usually there are two lines of sewing plus thread that loops over the seam to keep it from fraying.  The machine that does all of that is called a serger.

When I first started making diapers I really didn't know what sergers were all about.  When I found out, my mind was blown!  A machine that sews, finishes hems AND cuts off excess fabric all at once?  Awesome... I was sold.

A serger is a valuable tool in cloth diaper making.  It can be used to make fitted diapers, soakers, doublers, and liners.  It comes in pretty handy when making clothing, giving your seams a professional look.  I also use my serger to finish the edges of woven fabrics before I prewash them so they don't fray.

When I was ready to purchase my first serger I did lots of research and decided on the Brother 1034D.  If you frequent any diaper sewing message boards, you'll see that this is a popular model for beginners and advanced sewists alike.

It is easy to thread and adjust and powers through fabrics like a champ.  With a price tag under $200, it really is a great investment if you are serious about sewing.

In future blog posts, I will show you how to thread the machine and also share some serging techniques to make your projects look more polished.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about sergers or how to use them and I'll try to address them in another post.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Converting Velcro/Aplix Diapers to Snaps

I love my bumGenius pocket diapers but the velcro gets old and ratty too quickly.  These are a one-size diaper and should last through at least one child, right?  But it's not cute when your toddler is running around with half her booty hanging out because she picked off the velcro on her diaper.  So when this happened to me, I decided to convert all my pocket diapers to snap closures. 

Now if you already have a snap press or even pliers, you can attempt to do this yourself.  It's very easy to remove the velcro with a seam ripper, just go slow because you don't want to snag the PUL (the outer material) and create holes or runs.  Then you need to mark where the snaps will go.  The easiest and most fool-proof way to do this is if you have a diaper with snaps, you can create a pattern from that.  Otherwise you have to measure and figure out where you want the snaps to go.  The most popular configuration is shown above, with two rows of snaps across and two snaps on each wing.  This is also the way bumGenius Elemental AIOs have their snaps applied.  See below.

Some people prefer to put only one row of sockets across with two studs on each wing, arranged horizontally.  This is a personal preference only.

As you've probably noticed from the pictures, you can have the snaps match the color of the diaper, or not.  That is also totally up to you.  KAMsnaps sells bumGenius color-matched snaps for a perfect match, if you choose.  Or you can have fun with it and choose complimentary colors or even use two different colored snaps on one diaper.  I'm a traditional type of gal, so all my diapers have matching snaps.  :)

Here is a helpful video if you plan on doing this yourself.

Now if you don't have access to a snap press or pliers or just want the ease of having someone else do the work for you, I highly recommend Heather at  Both times I sent my diapers out to her, I had them back in 10 days.  That includes shipping time both ways.  Her website describes prices for most popular brands of diapers, you choose the configuration and color of your snaps, and then you pay shipping both ways.  I did send my diapers in with the velcro already removed, so I'm not sure how much time that saved in the process as far as getting my diapers back quicker, so keep that in mind.  She does offer a discount if you choose to take care of this step on your own.

There are other diaper conversion sites out there, but I haven't used them, so I can't tell you what their turnaround time is or quality of work. 

I hope this post has given you a better idea of how to convert your diapers yourself or get them converted by someone else.  Happy Diapering!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I dream about cloth diapers...

I'm serious....I do.  I lay in bed at night and think about what I want to try next, what I should sell, what combinations of diapers and doublers would work literally consumes my mind.  I would even go so far as to say that cloth diapering, for me, is a hobby.  It's great to have a hobby, but when you're working and in Grad school, your hobby should fall to the wayside every once in a while...

But, it doesn't.  So I'm starting a blog so I can share everything I've learned along the way and hopefully try more new things and share about those also.  It's just fun and I love that I'm not creating my own private landfill full of stinky diapers!

My journey with cloth diapers started last summer when my daughter was about 7 months old.  Since then I've tried prefolds with covers, pockets, fitteds, PUL, fleece, wool, microfiber, bamboo, hemp...the list goes on.  In future posts I will explain each diapering system I've used along with Pros and Cons, and a few pictures for good measure.  I will also post tutorials on how to use different types of cloth diapers for those just starting out.  The options out there can be overwhelming and confusing!  And just when you thought you found the perfect diaper for your child, something will inevitably go wrong...diaper stink, repelling issues, etc.  I will address those as well.

So stay tuned, there's lots to come!

And thanks for joining me on this journey!