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Where to start? Any tips appreciated!

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March 22nd, 2011, 05:50 PM
BoysOfSummer's Avatar Happily Crazy :)
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Bohemian Grove
Posts: 208
I am BRAND new to sewing, when I say brand new I mean I'm buying my sewing machine this week and my first goal is to try making fitteds or converting prefolds to fitteds. Any tips would be appreciated on a cheap(preferably under $100) machine and an amount of fabric/elastic/snaps or aplix to buy. I'm wanting to make some size small or large, maybe a few newborns.

What is the easiest way to go and where can I buy patterns?

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March 22nd, 2011, 06:33 PM
*~~Shannon~~*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 8,744
First of all, prepare to get addicted! One thing to keep in mind is that the prep for sewing often takes as long or longer than the actual sewing. A lot of novice sewers seem to get frustrated there.

As far as a sewing machine, if you're on a budget, keep it simple. Look for a big name brand (Singer, Brother, Janome, etc). Don't expect a lot of bells and whistles. All you really need is a straight stitch and a zigzag. Read reviews, but take them with a grain of salt (people are more likely to complain than praise!).

Go to Walmart (if your local one has fabric) or wherever and get the cheapest basic fabric you can find (or just use scrap fabric like old shirts from around your house). Now, go online, like youtube, and search for sewing tutorials. It sounds cheesy, but it really is a great way to learn.

Now you're ready to start sewing diapers. When I first started sewing diapers, I started with this site. Its got some good tips for working with a budget. Rita's Rump has some patterns that make good starting points too. If you're looking for anything else, google it and you'll probably find it. There's lots of us addicts out there! I don't have a ton of input on patterns, because I've mostly just made my own.

Fabric. There's a million ways to go with this. My first diapers were made from a set of king sized flannel sheets I bought for $4 at a thrift store. I've bought flannel from JoAnn and Walmart, fleece from JoAnn, and most of my other fabrics (microfiber, suedecloth and PUL) from here. I buy my aplix from them too. Snaps take a fair amount of investment, so I would just start with aplix.

I'm happy to answer any other questions you may have, so ask away and good luck!

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March 22nd, 2011, 06:57 PM
BoysOfSummer's Avatar Happily Crazy :)
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: The Bohemian Grove
Posts: 208
Thank you! I'm not good at math but the site with the materials listed has some cute ooga booga Christmas fabric for cheap, how much would you buy of that if you wanted to make a diaper, its pretty cute!

What about aplix? How much of the hook&loop would I need to buy for starting out?

I am on a budget, my husband hinks I'll start and quit after Investing a lot so I'm trying to start out for hopefully under $200.
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March 22nd, 2011, 07:48 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,652
Like I posted in another thread, I have a Brothers sewing machine from Walmart that was $80 and works perfect for diapers. I would probably but some super cheap fabric and just practice. Maybe even buy the velcro, elastic, etc from Walmart in case you hate sewing diapers. It's not for everyone and you would hate to invest a lot of money into something you don't like.
*Natural Birthing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, baby wearing momma to 2 amazing children, Micah (5-22-09) and Reagan (4-21-11)
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March 22nd, 2011, 08:48 PM
*~~Shannon~~*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 8,744
The Velcro you'll find in stores is a lot stiffer and scratchier than the stuff you can order online. That being said, if you want to buy a little to practice with, you could grab it anywhere. When you are ready to order it, you can get the two parts (hook and loop) seperately. Get 3-4 times as much of the loop as you'll be using a lot more of that.

I've never bought special elastic. I've always just used the stuff from Walmart or JoAnn.

Honestly, I would start by making a couple of fitteds out of either flannel or found materials. Get an idea for how much work they take before you commit to a lot of supplies. If you really want to try out some things like PUL, you can usually order what are called diaper cuts. It's a piece of PUL or whatever fabric just big enough for one diaper (be sure to check the dimensions of your pattern and the cut first!). Depending on the size and style of the diaper I'm making, I can get 6-8 diapers out of a yard of PUL.

You could easily get a machine for $80 and get enough supplies to make a few practice diapers for $40 or so. That first link I posted in my previous response had some great suggestions for cheap supplies. If you end up loving it, then go buy the expensive stuff.

In the long run, it would be cheaper to make fitteds and a few covers than to make them all pockets and use PUL on all of them.

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