Frequently asked questions


.:pattern questions:.

what’s the story on your peculiar pattern names?
Ticklepenny Corner was named after a place in the book Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. It’s a hilarious, character rich story filled with a lot of strange localized British dialect. These slang terms are quirky and amusing. With the exception of Fresh Bum, the patterns are named using these oddment words because it’s fun!

can I sell things made from Ticklepenny Corner patterns?
At this time, the only pattern that can be made to sell is our Fresh Bum cloth diaper.
Please see the licensing section for more information.

.:Fresh Bum Questions:.

is it hard to make a cloth diaper?
Not at all! Ticklepenny Corner’s Fresh Bum diaper pattern is comprehensive with detailed instructions and lots of graphics that make the process easy. Once you’ve got the feel of a couple, the rest are a snap.

are specific tools needed to make cloth diapers?
KAM snap pliers are the only tool required that might not be lurking in everyone’s sewing supplies. KAM snaps are very handy things and can be used on many other garments and accessories. Those trusty pliers will get a work out on your diaper supply but will serve many other projects besides.

Other tools that make the process easier include an awl (for making snap holes) and a walking foot for your sewing machine.

do I need a serger?
Nope! While it is very handy at finishing inserts, a serger isn’t needed to make Fresh Bum diapers. Instructions are given for making inserts by sewing machine as well as serger.

what materials are needed to make Fresh Bum(s)?
You’ll need PUL and microfleece (not polar fleece which is thicker and designed for active outerwear) to make the diaper.

The inserts are made of 100% cotton towels, microfiber towels and flannel sheets. You mean bath towels? Yep. Microfiber towels? The sort you dust with?? Yes, that’s right – by repurposing materials you’re not only being environmentally friendly but saving a heap in fabric costs. Check your local thrift shops to find what you need. These inserts work stupendously!

If your personal preference is to use new fabric, go for it! There are many choice hemps, bamboos, and specialty cottons designed for the purpose.
For the full list of materials and notions please see here.

why do two kinds of insert have to be made?
The reason for having a towel insert and a microfiber one is because their absorbing characteristics work very well together, extending time between changes. 100% cotton towel absorbs wet quickly. Microfiber takes longer and is able to hold up to 6 times it’s weight in liquids. Together they direct moisture and hold it very effectively. Each insert is covered in a layer of flannel which not only adds absorbing power, but prevents lint, hairs etc. from getting embedded in the inner fabrics.

why do I need to make a bristol board or cardboard template?

The board template is easier to trace than a floppy piece of paper and much hardier. It will hold up throughout the dozens of tracingings required to make your diaper supply. Tracing is sensible when it comes to PUL as pinholes compromise its moisture barrier.

why is it necessary to mark snap points with permanent marker?

Fabric marker fades over a short period of time – which is exactly what its designed to do. If
multiple fronts are cut and marked at once, by the time a couple of diapers are finished, the
remaining fronts will have lost their markings. By using permanent marker, dozens of fronts can be cut, marked and shelved without this happening. None of the marks are visible on the finished piece.

where can I get diaper making materials?
If local fabric shops don’t have the required material, there are online sources that have a wide variety of diaper supplies.
Wazoodle (a personal favourite)
Diaper Sewing Supplies
Both of these suppliers also carry any notions you might need: snaps, pliers, elastic etc.

.:Cloth diapering questions:.

is it expensive to cloth diaper?
The short answer is cloth diapering is definitely the cheapest alternative. There is no contest in comparing disposable costs to cloth costs. Keep in mind that there are many accessories and gadgety things often cried up to be necessary to cloth diaper effectively or ‘more painlessly’ that can unnecessarily drive costs up. Specialty diaper pails, sprayers, disposable liners, totes etc. aren’t necessary things to have. Don’t be afraid to do without them.

how many will I need?
This is personal preference. The more you have, the less wear there will be on any one diaper. It’s a nice, safe feeling to know that there is a pile of them available should there be a particularly ‘eventful’ day. Having approximately 25-30 is a decent ball park.

how long will they last?
If well taken care of, cloth diapers can last years and serve multiple children. Some even sell their stash of diapers after their baby is toilet trained. Whether handmade or purchased, the longevity of cloth diapers make them an excellent investment. Pretty great, eh?

are they really bulky?
Really bulky, no. A bit bulky, yes. By their nature, cloth diapers are going to be bulkier than disposables due to the fabric and insert thickness. It just adds a bit of cushion and roundness. They usually don’t present an impediment to dressing. If trousers/pants feel a bit tight or don’t provide enough bum room, try a size up.

how long between changes
The quality of the insert material is probably the biggest factor in determining the length of time a diaper will last on a baby – how well it absorbs, distributes and holds the wet. The frequency of changes is also dependent on the age of a baby. One can expect (on average) to change infants 10ish times per day, toddlers ~6 times.
A general rule of thumb is to anticipate changing a cloth diaper every 2.5 to 3 hours. A good sniff check never goes amiss!

do they leak? what about blow-outs?
A well adjusted, properly washed cloth diaper shouldn’t leak. If it does, this could mean one of a couple of things: it isn’t adjusted properly, the inserts aren’t arranged correctly or there is build up on the surface of the diaper causing it to repel moisture. Using commercial detergents and not prepping diapers adequately prior to washing is the culprit for build up.

Cloth diapers are pretty amazing at containing blow-outs. They happen very rarely. In the 2+ years we’ve been cloth diapering there hasn’t been a single one. Hurrah.

how are they best cleaned?
With an equal mix of washing soda and borax added to a wash. If you’re thinking ‘I beg your pardon?’ please see this page. For detailed information about washing methods see here.

can diaper cream be used with cloth diapers?
It’s not advisable to use diaper cream when cloth diapering. The cream by its nature is water repellent. By being rubbed into the fibers of the diaper it creates a thick build up that will cause the diaper to repell moisture and cause leakages.

If your baby develops diaper rash there are a couple of things to try/consider. Irritations are usually caused by either sitting in pee for too long or a diaper that hasn’t been adequately rinsed during a wash. Detergents and any sort of additive to laundry have the ability to cause skin irritations. Rinsing well could solve the problem. Try changing more frequently. Give your baby out of diaper time to get plenty of air around the affected region.
If you’ve got an older baby that’s eating solids remember that acidic foods can also cause a bum rash.

why do my baby’s diapers stink even though they’ve been washed?
If diapers smell post washing, consider your washing routine. Be sure to rinse both diapers and inserts out before each wash. Not doing this leaves the diapers to percolate in excrement for a few days, not a pretty smelling thing to begin with, right?
Wash diapers every 2-3 days. Wash them without detergent. For more information on this practice and why please see here.

Consider how poop is dealt with. Scrubbing it out prior to washing is really the best way to ensure a completely clean, fresh smelling diaper. It’s a very good practice.
Use a stain fighting soap (cold process laundry soap is excellent for this) on the diaper lining once poop has been flushed and rinsed. Hand wash or better yet, use a wash board to scrub into a nice lather. Rinse out well and wash along with other diapers as usual.

what else do I need to cloth diaper?
Cloth wipes are very often used in conjunction with cloth diapering. Any scraps of cotton or flannel can be fashioned into wipes easily. The same goes for microfleece – it washes out wonderfully well.
They can also be purchased at multitudes of shops all over the web and at virtually every baby store.

A wet bag is another handy thing for cloth diapering parents to have for outings. They hold soiled diapers and wipes until you’re home and they can be dealt with.
Other than these two useful things, there isn’t anything absolutely required to be able to get the job done.

.:washing questions:.

where can I find washing soda?
In the States it appears that washing soda can be bought easily at large supermarkets. In Canada it seems to be slightly more difficult to come by. has a couple of brands to choose from. They also have great shipping service.
[Canadian brethren, if you have information on other spots where washing soda can be found please let us know!]

where can I find borax?
Borax can be found in the laundry sections of virtually every supermarket.

where can I buy a washboard?
Tracking down a proper, usable washboard these days can be a bit tricky. More often than not the ones kicking around are meant to be played rather than used.
Yard sales, flea markets, kijiji or craigslist could yield some good finds. If these avenues don’t scare anything up or you fancy a new one, the The Columbus Washboard Company makes some excellent ones.
If you’re in Canada, Columbus Washboards can be found at Claudia’s Choices.

where can I get a WonderWash?
We refer to it as a wash pod, but yes, it is a actually called a WonderWash. They are available at The Laundry Alternative.


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