I have started using all those wool sweaters I got at the thrift store! I am trying two patterns for the soakers (diaper covers) and made two of each pattern one in new born and one in small. The photo only shows one of the triangle style pattern (in grey and black stripes) using this pattern as I still have to sew legs onto the small sized ones but both of the other pattern are shown in new born and small in the brown. You cant really tell in this photo but the grey/black one actually has a little bit of a point to it in the front which in the new born size which I think will work out actually as I am going to either pin or sew the point down to create a bit of an indentation along the waste band to keep it from rubbing on the umbilical cord stump. I am not sure exactly why the point happened, maybe its because I cut it so that I was using the bottom of the sweater as the waste band and it did not shrink the same way as the rest of the sweater when I was felting it.
I had a few issues with the other pattern but they were all my own issues and not with the pattern. On the newborn one which is on the bottom I was trying to be clever and again use the bottom of the sweater as the waste band but because it is cut from all one piece I ended up with a regular cut edge at the back which needed to have some kind of waste band so I just stuck one on it and it looks kind of silly but I think it will get the job done. For the small one which is on the top I sewed it as directed and used a strip of the bottom of the sweater to make the waste band which I sewed on last. My only issue with this pattern that may or may not be the fault of the pattern was sewing the legs on. I used the neck of the sweater and had a hard time getting the length the pattern called for to stretch enough to fill the space allowed for the leg holes in the main body of the pattern (I hope this makes since to some of you!) Any way I ended up sewing the leg holes closed a little more than the pattern calls for so hopefully we don’t have a baby with chunky thighs!
My plan is to use both of these for a while and see which I prefer. I think the pattern with the triangle (grey/black) is quicker to make but I may not be able to get as many out of each sweater. I have a feeling thought that the pattern that I made in brown will actually function better. As a side note the grey/black one is using a sweater that felted to be much thicker than the brown one which I why I opted to add the extra layer in the crotch on the brown.
I also made some wool pants that will also function as diaper covers (these are referred to as longies in the cloth diapering circles). These are nice because cloth diapering can create a bulky bottom and this cuts down on a layer of clothing that is not needed. Plus they are wool which is pretty awesome.
I used the directions I found after looking at several and I really liked it for several reasons, one the way they have you sew the legs together I think is pretty smart and I found to be very easy, but I liked this one because it was the only one that suggested using drawstring instead of elastic. Since Baby George is still cooking and I have no idea how big its waist will be I dont know how much elastic to put it the pants so I was a big fan of this option. As a friend pointed out however you have to be careful with string and babies so when I did put the drawstring in the pants (not shown in this photo) I made sure to put in a few stitches at the back of the waist band to keep it from being pulled out. I also left the drawstring longer than I think it will need to be since I dont know for sure how big our little one will be, when the time comes to use these pants I will trim them to the proper length and retie a knot in the ends to keep them from coming unraveled.
Again since I dont have a baby to measure to decide how big to make the pants I pulled out a few pairs of baby pants in a few different sizes to get an idea of length.
The grey pants are new born, the striped are 0-3 months, and the white christmas pants are 3-6 months. When I was deciding which sweaters to cut into first I looked for the narrowest sleeves to make the smallest pants and in the case of the newborn and 0-3 months pants I decided to add a little extra length that could be folded up into a cuff if needed, that way if we have a long baby they will still fit. For the 3-6 month pants the sleeve while much wider (and I actually took them in a little) was not long enough to allow me to have extra length to cuff so hopefully they will work out. I have to say that these were super easy to make and I think will work really well, of course I am going to have to wait for a little longer to give them a try! I still need to lanolize all of these (to make them actually work as diaper covers) but I am going to make a few more wool things first and do them all in one big batch in the bath tub so I am holding off on that for the moment.