cloth diapers

10 Things to Sew for Baby from a Flannel Sheet

We’re in full-on baby prep mode over here, and I always have a few projects I want to sew before baby arrives. So when Dana of Sew Thrifty invited me to be a part of her Thrifty Baby Celebration, it made perfect sense to participate! I love to upcycle, and baby clothes and accessories are PERFECT for this, because they’re so small.  So I’ve collected a list of 10 things you can sew from a flannel sheet.
10-things-to-sew-for-baby-from-a-flannel-sheet

Flannel is great for fall and winter babies, and flannel sheets are excellent for getting lots of yardage for little cost. Between thrift stores and clearance sales (and your linen closet!), you don’t have to spend a lot of money on flannel. Sewing for baby can be super inexpensive!

dscf3284

1. Prefold diapers – this is one of my most popular tutorials and one of my most-used baby items. Because babies use a lot of diapers. ;) I’ve sewn quite a few from flannel sheets as well as flannel remnants.

img_0800-2

2. Bandana drool bib – some babies are super drooly or spit up all the time, and these little drool bibs are so cute and perfect to catch the mess before it gets on their clothes.

dsc_0942

3. Cloth wipes and burp rags – if you’re cloth diapering, cloth wipes make total sense and are super cost-effective. If you aren’t using cloth diapers, these are the perfect size for wiping little baby noses or cleaning up after a meal. And of course, burp rags are a must-have for every household with a newborn!

changing-pad-cover

4. Changing pad cover – the vinyl changing pads (affiliate link to the one I personally own!) are great places to change baby’s diaper, but they aren’t super comfy. Especially with a fall/winter baby, I hate to put baby down on a chilly surface. This same concept could also be used to make flannel crib sheets!

baby-blankets-768x994

5. Easy baby blanket – of course, every baby needs blankets! The yardage that you get in a flannel sheet is perfect for making extra blankets for gifts or for when your baby spits up all over his blanket and you need a clean one.

piped-blanket-3

6. Baby blanket with piping – the piping adds an adorable accent to a flannel baby blanket!

ragged-baby-quilt-detail

7. Ragged baby blanket – how great would this blanket be to lay on the floor for baby to play on? Or to throw over the carseat when the weather is cold? It’s also perfect for the scraps leftover from all your flannel projects. ;)

dsc_0470

8. Flannel pants – While itty bitty babies probably aren’t going to use flannel pants as jammies, they’re still so cozy to wear on chilly fall and winter days. Plus, baby pants take so little time and fabric to sew!

img_6973

9. Seatbelt covers – since flannel is absorbent, these would do a great job at soaking up baby’s drool in the carseat. Not to mention how soft they are! Make sure these don’t interfere with the use of the chest clip, and use your own judgment as to whether or not adding this to your carseat is safe or not.

babybib6

10. Baby bibs – whether you’re soaking up drool or baby is venturing into the world of solid foods, bibs are a must-have. I’m pretty sure we have zero cloth bibs left in our house (because after four kids, they’ve all long since bitten the dust!), and I will be making a bunch of these from this free pattern.

10-projects-to-sew-for-baby-from-a-flannel-sheet

There are SEW many things you can make from a flannel sheet! Happy baby sewing. :)

Advertisements

Preparing for Baby: Portable Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial

We’re preparing for baby number five over here, and while we have most of the big things, there are a few things I’ve had on my to-make list. Somewhere along the line, I lost our portable diaper changing mat, and I really missed it with my fourth baby! And since you spend about thirty trillion hours changing a baby’s diapers, I had to make a new one.
Portable Changing Mat Tutorial

 

I just hit my third trimester, and I’m in full baby prep. I still have a ways to go before baby arrives, but you just never know when he will arrive! So I’m stocking up on everything we might need: clean onesies, pacifiers, nursing pads, and of course, DIAPERS! Walmart Neighborhood Market has everything we need for baby and more.

DSC_7881 copy

When it comes to a portable changing pad, I wanted to have something that I could grab from my diaper bag and have everything I need. I don’t always like to take the diaper bag everywhere, so having a pocket for diapers and wipes was very important to me.

DSC_7899 copy

One side of the changing mat is waterproof PUL (I also used that when making this wet bag), the other is cotton, with a layer of fleece in between.

Supplies:

  • 1 piece of cotton, fleece, and PUL fabric, each cut about 29x12in. (You can change this to suit your needs, of course)
  • 1/2in wide double fold bias tape, approx. 66in.
  • 1 small lingerie bag
  • KAM snaps
  • 1 button
  • 1 small piece of 1/8in. elastic
  • pins or Wonder Clips

1. Cut your three pieces of fabric to about 29x12in. My PUL was not long enough, so I pieced it together to get my desired length.

DSC_7801 copy

2. Stack all three layers together. The fleece should be sandwiched between the cotton and PUL. The wrong sides of the PUL and cotton should be facing the fleece. Fold the fabrics in thirds as shown:

DSC_7802 copy

3. Decide where you want your snaps to go – these will hold your mat closed. Unfold one third and mark where you’ll place your snaps.

DSC_7810 copy

4. Apply your snaps. The snap in the PUL layer should ONLY go through the PUL. The snap on the cotton should ONLY go through cotton and fleece.

DSC_7816 copy

5. Round out the four corners of ALL layers.

DSC_7823 copy

6. Clip or pin the layers together.

DSC_7827 copy

7. Take your lingerie bag and cut a few inches off the bottom (this will depend on how long your bag is and how large you’d like your pocket – you want it to be no bigger than 1/3 of your changing mat)

DSC_7822 copy

8. Lay the lingerie bag down on top of the cotton side of your mat – the end WITHOUT the snap. Cut around the edges to round it to the same shape. You will cut off a small bit of the zipper on each side, so make sure your zipper is open slightly.

DSC_7834 copy

9. Sew a small loop of elastic to the center of your lingerie bag (don’t sew onto your changing mat fabric, though!!)

DSC_7872 copy

10. Hand sew one button onto the cotton/fleece fabrics. Do NOT sew through to the PUL.

DSC_7875 copy

11. Now begin sewing on the bias tape around the edges. The bias tape and the mat should be right sides together. Fold 1/4in of your bias tape back as shown, and begin stitching it down along the first fold.

DSC_7848 copy

12. Sew all the way around, taking care to sew the edges of the lingerie bag too, until the ends of the bias tape overlap 1/4-1/2in.

DSC_7854 copy

13. Now fold the bias tape over the raw edge of the mat, clipping or pinning it together. Stitch it down carefully.

DSC_7860 copy

Now you have a changing mat with two pockets, ready to be stuffed!

DSC_7936 copy

Here it is, folded up and stuffed to the max with Huggies diapers, Huggies wipes, and anything else we might need.

DSC_7896 copy

Over the years, we’ve used just about every type of Huggies diaper there is – we currently have kids wearing Good Nites to bed and one nearly-completely-but-not-entirely potty trained kiddo using the occasional Pull-Ups. And in a few months, we’ll be adding a newborn to the mix. Goodness…. so. many. diapers. I’m so thankful for diaper coupons!!

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 10.03.48 PM

Your Walmart Neighborhood Market has coupons for Huggies Diapers and Wipes, because with as many diapers as these babies use, we could all use a few coupons! But Walmart Neighborhood Markets have great prices to begin with, so the coupons are a bonus.

Huggies diapers and wipes

I forgot how teeny baby diapers are! Eek!!

DSC_7906 copy

Is it weird to be excited about changing diapers again?? Probably. ;)

DSC_7890 copy

I’m so glad I have a portable changing mat again! It will be perfect for throwing in the diaper bag or stroller and giving me a nice clean, soft surface to change baby wherever we are.

DSC_7914 copy

I love that I can stock up on all our baby diapering needs at Walmart Neighborhood Market, grab GoodNites for our bigger boys, and find whatever else we might need for all the kiddos – all at the same spot. One stop shopping is a busy mama’s dream!

Portable Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial

Before I know it, there will be a real baby lying on that mat!

Prefold Cloth Diapers – a Tutorial!

We are a cloth diapering family.  There are lots of reasons for this [any of which I could happily discuss with you if you are curious!] … I love not filling landfills with poopy diapers, I love putting cloth on my baby’s bum versus a disposable, and I absolutely L.O.V.E. not having to shell out all that money each month for diapers.

And seriously, how cute is that?

But I’ll be honest, my budget doesn’t allow for me to buy lots of “fancy” cloth diapers – the kind that go on just like a disposable.  And if you haven’t guessed by now reading my blog, I am uber-cheap.  So when my second son was born (and I had two in dipes!), I made a set of prefold diapers.  If you’re not familiar with the term, these would be like the “old school” diapers that our parents or grandparents would have used.

How to make your own Prefold DiapersPrefold diapers are perfect for anyone who wants to try cloth diapering, especially if you are on a budget, because they are SO inexpensive to make yourself.

Here’s what you’ll need:

flannel (the amount you need will depend on how many diapers you want to make)
microfiber towels for absorbent insert (you could also use terry cloth)*
sewing supplies

*I use microfiber towels that I buy at Sam’s Club.  They come in a 24 pack for less than $10, I think.  You can also find these in the automotive section of many stores.

1. Prewash your fabric – this is especially important for the microfiber towels.  I’ve found that some of these towels will bleed color, so I always wash them several times on hot.

2. Cut your flannel.  These are the sizes that I found to work for me, but you can easily adjust the sizes to meet your needs.

  • Small (Infant-sized) Prefold: 12.5in. x 21in. — when folded, it should be about 12.5 x 10.5in.
  • Medium Prefold: 14.5in. x 27in. — when folded, it should be about 14.5 x 13.5in.
  • Large Prefold: 16in. x 29in. — when folded, it should be about 16 x 14.5in. [This is the perfect size for my 19 mo. old, until he grows even a little bit]

*There really isn’t a huge difference between the medium and large sizes, so it may not be that important to you to make both sizes.  If you make only the larger size, you can always fold down the front a little.  I like having them be a little more trim and not have too much bulk – especially for the newborn size.  Plus, my microfiber towels are only 16in. long, so my prefolds can’t be longer than that.

You want to make sure that when you fold your fabric, the folded edge is the longer side.

3. Cut the microfiber towels for the absorbent panel.

These inserts should be the length of the folded edge, for example:

  • Large size prefold: 16 x 4.5in. — I use three of these in the large size
  • Medium size prefold: 14 x 4.5 in. — I use three of these in the medium size
  • Small size prefold: 12 x 4in. — I use two of these in the small size

4. Fold the flannel (as shown above), with right sides together.  Sew the longer side together. (I used a serger, but you could also zig-zag with a regular machine)

 5. You will have created a tube – turn that right side out, with the seam in the center.

5. Stack the microfiber pieces together and place them inside the flannel – centered in the middle 

6. Zig-zag stitch along either side of the microfiber.

It will look like this:

7. Serge or zig-zag the short edges, trimming the microfiber insert if necessary.

8. Now go put your baby in your new prefold!

(This is the newborn size… obviously I don’t have a newborn yet, so this baby doll was the next best thing! :)

Note: prefold diapers need a cover. The covers that I used when E was a baby were so good that I didn’t need to use pins or anything. If your cover doesn’t seem to get your prefold tight enough, try a Snappi fastener (affiliate link)

Here’s the newborn sized prefold compared to a newborn disposable diaper, just to give you an idea of the size. [When you put it on your baby, it can be tighter and more fitted than this picture looks]

Happy cloth diapering!

If you liked this post, you might also like my tutorial on how to convert velcro diapers to snaps.

Convert Velcro Diapers to Snaps Tutorial

To cover your baby’s fluffy bum, sew up a pair of Bottoms Up Pants – an instant download PDF pattern!

 Buy Now

bottoms-up-pants-title-page1

 

*If you are looking for the different ways to fold a prefold diaper, visit this site for a good resource.*

Linking up to these parties!