I have been cloth diapering all of my babies since our first baby was born over 15 years ago. I have used a few different types of diapers, most of them made by me. In fact, a number of years ago, I had a diaper business, Sweet Bambino Diapers and Accessories, in which I made fitted premium diapers and covers for sale. I loved my diaper business, but it just got too busy for me and I was sewing all the time, so I decided to end it.
When we were expecting baby guy (who is now 16 months), I realized our diapers were in a sorry state. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so after some investigation, we chose to give prefolds a try. I immediately loved them — their simplicity, their absorbency and their price! The only thing I really didn’t like was their bulk. I have tried folding them different ways, using a Snappi or not using a Snappi and using different covers. Nothing really helped. I loved the diapers, but did miss the old days of my nice thin, fitted diapers that could fit under any pants!
Recently, I came across an article entitled, “Trimming Prefolds” about a mama who (gasp!) cut her prefolds to shorten the rise. She was very pleased with the results, so yesterday I cut two of mine to give them a try. Perfect!
When baby guy went down for his nap today, I took the scissors and sewing machine to mine and shortened them all to a 14″ length. I didn’t sew the end into the middle as Karen did. I just zig-zagged the end closed. If you are considering doing this, I do have a couple of recommendations.
First of all, I wouldn’t bother trying to use your serger. Sergers are actually more finicky than sewing machines and while mine is a very good serger, it was not at all impressed with my attempt to use it to shorten prefolds. Prefolds that have been washed and dried already are thickened significantly and are probably too bulky for most sergers. I suppose if you were to do this to brand new prefolds, you might get away with it on the serger, but I’m not sure how you’d know where to cut for length to account for shrinking in the wash.
Second, you will need to use at least a 16/100 universal needle. If you are able to get a 18/110 (which is a denim needle), that would probably be better. Make sure your needle is new and a good brand and toss it out after you finish sewing your diapers. Good needles are essential to your sewing machine functioning as you want it to.
I thought some nice new diaper covers were in order to go along with our ‘new’ diapers. I made up four, assembly-line style, also during baby guy’s nap. (Good thing he is such a terrific napper!) The pattern I use for making my covers is called Diaper Cover Deluxe. It is a fabulous pattern. The covers I made this time are the ‘Quick Wrap’ style. I shortened the rise a little, about a 1/2″ each at the front and back. Mine are made out of PUL and trimmed with Fold-Over Elastic.
I took a few pictures of baby guy. He wasn’t too impressed, but hopefully these will give you an overall idea of the difference.
I don’t know if you can see a difference under pants in these pictures, but it is definitely obvious in real life. I think I’m going to like these. :)