Sewing up a stash of diapers is a time consuming business (depending on the number you’re aiming at) – not a difficult one, per se, it trucks along like any other sewing project, but it can be – what’s a good word? – fatiguing?
If you’re anything like me, you get bored doing the same thing over and over or working through an entire diaper then pulling myself together to do the next one in line.
The process is a bit of a repetitive one and after you’ve set a couple of thousand snaps can become dull. But fear not! Here are a few strategies that can help keep things organized and stave off any diaper sewing fatigue.By getting all the bits and pieces fully prepared before diving into sewing up a large number of diapers, you save yourself a bit of possible boredom, shake up the variety of tasks and make the process of sewing them a faster, fun project.
1] Spread your PUL out on a large area of clean floor or table. Trace out all the fronts and mark the snap points. Cut and stack them
in a place where cats won’t sleep on them.2] Keep scraps from the front cutting and trace out the snap interfacing from PUL and stiff, sew-in interfacing.
3] To give your hands a break, take a comfortable seat and measure out the leg and back elastics. Pull out a length of elastic, measure, mark it with a fabric pen, measure again from the mark just made all the way along the elastic until you’ve got as many as you need.
Cut them, then slightly melt the ends and store them in a something that can hold them nicely until you need them.
4] Now that you’ve had a bit of a tracing rest, tackle the microfleece lining next. Spread it out on a large table or clean floor as before and either pin paper pattern or trace pattern outline onto fabric. I’ve had great success using a Prym Chalk Wheel Stick to trace the pattern and a white out pen for transferring the markings.
Keep the scraps – they are grand for making a stack of wipes.
5] Grab your awl, diaper fronts, interfacings and snap press or pliers. Settle down for a spot of snap setting.
Arrange your interfacing on the wrong side of diaper fronts, stab awl into the markings and poke a cap through. Do this for all the snap points on the front. Now take a handful of sockets and set all the snaps.Repeat for all the diaper fronts.
6] Get a start on the inserts by tracing the pattern onto flannel outer, towel and microfiber inner. Tracing them on turns out to be faster and optimizes the fabric space much better. To speed things up, the flannel can be carefully folded in half prior to tracing and pinned to prevent slippage. This way double the amount can be cut out at once.
Now that you’ve gotten all the parts of the diaper assembly prepared and organized, sewing them up is much easier. Not to mention faster. It’s so much simpler to grab what you need in the following steps of sewing, rather than having to prepare each bit as it’s required.
I personally find that doing the same step to each diaper makes things smoother: sewing all the fronts and backs together, trimming them, sewing the elastic channels, top stitching them all, sewing all the elastics in, etc.
By portioning the tasks into manageable segments and getting one step out of the way at time, making a large number of diapers at once becomes a faster, enjoyable affair.