I think I’ve taken this whole hippie thing to a new level with this. I mean, I did it out of necessity (see here for more info on that), but man, I never thought I would see the day where I was sewing my own diaper covers.
These are definitely not my finest sewing moments, but right now I’m just looking for functional, not cute. Once we get functional down, I’ll go for cute. I was thinking of sewing a bright green guitar on the butt of one of the gray ones. . . And I mean, somewhere in Austin’s thrift stores there have to be some fun stripey sweaters, right? For now, I’m sticking to boring colors. Mainly, gray. It seems to be the most readily available.
So here we go, I’m going to give you the run down on all I’ve learned about making wool diaper covers. First off, I thrifted three 100% wool sweaters and then ran them through the washer on hot to shrink and felt them. Shrink and felting bulks the fabric up so that it can better repel water. Then it’s time to sew.
My first attempt was to make a wrap cover, what I’m most used to with the Bum Genius 3.0 and the Bummis Whisper Wraps. I drafted my own pattern and looked at a bunch of tutorials and came up with something that seems to work. It needs some tweaking but it’s heading the right direction. I made all three in one nap time, so they aren’t too time intensive to make.
Next up, I tried the triangle method of making pull up style covers. The top of the pull up is the ribbed waistband of the sweater, and the leg holes are the ribbing from the waistband on the part of the sweater I didn’t use. Very quick to make.
And then I make two pairs of longies (you only see one in the picture because Jude is currently sleeping in the other pair). These are apparently great for sleeping in at night and nap times. These were made from the leftover sleeves of a sweater. It’s nice to use all parts of the sweater.
Once everything is sewn, you have to lanolize the covers. Lanolin is a natural water repellent. You dissolve it in hot water and the diapers soak for a while. Then air dry and they’re ready to go. You use them just like you would use any waterproof diaper cover – with the prefolds or fitted absorbents underneath. The wool is natural antibacterial and allows for airflow.
I think once I’ve figured out what works best, I’ll share a tutorial with you guys on how to make my favorite item. It really is very cheap to do diapering this way!