Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Making hemp/bamboo diaper inserts

I finally got a couple of my diaper inserts made!  I only ordered the fabric MONTHS ago!  My little one (lo) is currently 1 year old and a very heavy wetter, so I'm trying to get away from the microfiber inserts and go to natural materials which hold more liquid and aren't as bulky.  I thought that I'm handy enough to make them myself (albeit they may not be pretty!) so my friend and I got some cheap fabric, and I thought I'd give it a try.  I don't have a serger otherwise these would be way prettier!  But they go inside a diaper anyway and on my baby's butt so what does it really matter what they end up looking like, right?  

First I decided that I like using the Hemp Babies insert that I currently have so I thought I'd use it as a pattern.  It's a good size that I can fold it in half to stuff it in and it's nice because that would make 4 layers and it would still dry as fast as if it were 2.  

I started out by laying the Hemp Babies insert on top of my hemp material, and I just cut around it roughly.

Once I got that cut out, I pinned the hemp fabric to my bamboo fabric that I'm using as the 2nd layer.  I've never used bamboo but it is a softer fabric than hemp, so I decided to put it on one side in case I ever decided to use it as an insert in a cover sometime because then it would be softer against her bum.  It's also still supposed to be as absorbent as hemp so hopefully this works out for me!  You could also do two layers of hemp though or two layer of bamboo or whatever you feel will suit your needs!  Hemp is also soft and would be perfectly fine against baby's skin but the bamboo is just softer, so why not?!?

Here you can see the softer bamboo on the outside (whiter fabric) and then hemp on the other side. These are the sides off the fabric I decided to keep facing outwards because: 
for the bamboo: it was smoother than the other side so I thought it would get cleaner and help decrease on pilling &
for the hemp: because that's the side that was outward in the hemp inserts that I purchased so I took my hint from the pros. :)

I cut my bamboo layer out around my already cut hemp layer - like I said I did not do this in a technical manner.  I laid the fabric down and cut around it.  It is not perfectly square but I think it will work (and it was a lot faster than measuring everything out perfectly!)  I then pinned all the way around because that's what I have to do. :)

Then I took my machine and did a zigzag stitch all the way around to fasten the two layers together.  Again - NOT perfect in any way but it will work....and voila you're done!

My first finished hemp/bamboo insert.  I discovered that I needed to adjust my tension after the fact - you can see that it sort of curls on the sides, but hopefully I'll get better as I go.  

My two finished inserts!  The bottom one is bamboo side up and the back one is hemp side up.  I started out making 2 because I want to try them out before I use up all my fabric in case they don't work quite as well as planned.  I think I am going to make a few that are 3 layers and also a few that are just 1 layer to add in as a doubler.  That way, when baby #2 arrives, it doesn't have to use the 3 layers & extra bulk if it doesn't need it.

SO....try it yourself!  Order some fabric and try it out - as you can see, mine are nowhere close to perfect but they'll work to stuff in a diaper.  And think of the money you'll save!  I'll update this when I use up all my fabric and let you know how many inserts I made and what the comparable price would have been if I had purchased them all pre made.  But with the small Hemp Babies at $6 a piece, I'm pretty sure I'm going to come out ahead!  :)

Let me know if you have any tips or tricks on how I can make mine better or what works best for you.  

I had one momma tell me that she made hers in a long skinny insert that she folds up twice instead of in half  - the way she bought her fabric was in a tube so she didn't even have to sew the ends of it!  That way she ends up with 6 layers of absorbency for her lo's.  That sounds pretty slick too! :)

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