DIY Longies and covers – How to draft your soaker pattern

Wool soaker on baby

Draft a pattern for this wool soaker

Hi, and welcome back to my series on making your own custom longies, shorties and covers in wool and fleece for your baby. If you missed the first post, check it out here.

Warning: this post turned out longer and not as clear as I’d have liked, so sorry and please feel free to ask as many questions as you would like.

This post is a how-to on drafting a pattern for the soaker in the picture above.

There are two very popular free patterns on the net:  The Katrinas Quick Sew Soaker Pattern, and the Baby Bumsweaters Pattern. These are both awesome patterns offered for free, which is a great resource. Each of the patterns has things I really like about it and things I don’t like so much. I will admit that this pattern is a bit of a combination of the two – the best of both worlds I hope.

You can see some gorgeous examples of the Katrina’s pattern here at Scrimplythrifty’s Blog, here at Cleanin’ Up, and here at Sew 4 Bub (this is a fleece one). After much research on the net and trying the pattern myself I have gathered the following feedback on the Katrina’s soaker pattern: These tend to be short-ish in the rise, so if your kiddo is longer in the rise it is best to cut the rise setting for the next size up. This is also said to be a better pattern for wool than fleece because fleece does not have as much stretch and there may not be enough space in the behind of this pattern for all that nappy if it is made in fleece. And lastly, a lot of people seem to cut different pieces of different sizes to get the perfect fit for their little one, for instance, the small size with the medium rise, or the large but with the medium leg and waist measurements etc.

Some lovely examples of the Baby Bum Sweaters pattern can be found here at Life in a Shoe, here at Of Babies, Bikes and Owls, and here in GentlyMades shop on Etsy. I have made this pattern in both wool and fleece, with short legs and with long and every time it has been a fantastic fit and has offered great coverage for the nappy. The major drawback of this pattern is the look, not the shape so much but the placement of the seams makes this cover look a bit cobbled together and a little amateurish. It is also difficult to add a double thickness portion to the wet zone without adding more crazy seams. lastly, because this is made from a triangle, you cannot adjust the waist and rise measurement independently of each other (very easily).

So without further ado I will show you how to draft this pattern which hopefully combines the fantastic modern look of the Katrina’s pattern with the fit of the bumsweater.

Firstly you will need to be armed with:

1. A piece of paper A3 or larger

2. A pen and a ruler/measuring tape

3. Your babies measurements (from the last post here)

Shorties Pattern

The basic shape, I thought I would put the pic in first so that you knew what I was talking about.

First draw a T-shape. The width of the top of the T is equal to half of your baby’s waist measurement. The length of the bottom part of the T is equal to the whole rise measurement.

Next draw a line across the bottom of the T equal to the one at the top and a line across the middle that is equal to half of your baby’s hip measurement.

Then join up the sides as shown.

Shorties Soaker Pattern 2

The yellow part will become the front of your soaker.

The yellow shaded part of the picture above will become the front of your soaker and the white part the back.

The next thing is to draw a diagonal line on each side (as shown at 5) that will become the leg holes. Each line should be half your baby’s leg measurement less 1/2cm (to accommodate seam allowance) The dotted lines in the picture above are just guidelines to show the angle that you are after.

Shorties Pattern 3

A double portion in the wet zone

If you need a double portion in the wet zone, rule two lines parallel to the centre line, each 1cm in from the end of the leg hole.

You will also need to draw 3 rectangles for the waist and leg cuffs. The waist rectangle should be a couple of cm shorter than your baby’s waist measurement and between 6 and 10cm wide depending on how wide you want your waist band. Your leg cuff rectangles should be your baby’s leg measurement long and between 6 and 10 cm wide, again depending on how wide you want your cuffs.

and then you have your pattern.  All sewn up it will look like this:

Hatchlings Wool Soaker free pattern

Hatchlings Free wool soaker pattern all sewn up.

Wool Shorties soaker

Another action shot

Stay tuned for the next post on how to sew it all together.

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DIY Longies and covers – How to measure Bubs

Up-cycled wool longies and cover

Up-cycled wool longies and cover

Hi, and welcome to my first post in a series on making your own custom longies, shorties and covers in wool and fleece for your baby. Check out the second post.

These types of covers are really easy, and are a great beginner sewing project, but it can be pretty frustrating to sew up a gorgeous cover to find that it is not quite long enough in the rise, or the legs won’t go around those chubby little thighs. So, although it is a bit mean, I am not going to post on how to make them today, but how to measure bubs correctly so that when you do come to make your covers all your effort is not wasted.

First thing to do is put on the nappy that your cover needs to go over. If  you use cloth nappies you will be well aware that nappies can be vastly different in size and bulk, so make sure you are measuring bubs in the nappy that you want the cover to fit over.

Then it is just a matter of taking a few measurements that you can then transfer onto your pattern to make it a great custom fit.

Where to measure baby for your custom wool or fleece covers

Where to measure for your custom wool or fleece covers

Ok, so let me apologise for the bad drawing, clearly completed in my office with items from my stationary cupboard, but I am sure you get the drift.

1. Measure around your baby’s waist at the top of the nappy for the waist measurement

2. Measure around the widest part of the hips/bum

3. Measure the distence around the chubbiest bit of thigh

4. Measure the rise from the centre front of the nappy waistband, down between the legs and up the back to the centre back of the nappy waistband (I also take note of the distence from the centre front of the waistband to the centre crotch so that I can adjust for a longer rise at the back later)

Ok, so that’s it, you have all the measurements you need for making custom longies, shorties and nappy covers for bubs. I will be back shortly with how to draft a custom pattern.

Cheers

Liz xx

DIY Nappy Sprayer or Diaper sprayer

Hi everyone – welcome to our new blog!

I am going to start the Hatchlings Cloth Nappies blog with a blog post I meant to write over 12 months ago, that is right, I did the research, purchased all the materials and even had a trial run, but as we were having our bathroom re-tiled I thought I would wait till that was done as the pics would be better. Well our bathroom was finished Feb 2012 and I am just getting to it now, well better late than never right?

I shall start the post proper by saying that it is unbelievable that it took me so long to discover the joys of a nappy sprayer. I never bothered to get one when our first daughter was little because our laundry was in our bathroom and it seemed a bit of overkill but now that our laundry is downstairs under the house I needed to make other arrangements. Having tried the nappy sprayer I have nothing to say but OMG where have you been all my life. A nappy sprayer makes dealing with number 2’s so much easier, and you can clean the loo with it too! For those of you who have not seen one, a nappy sprayer is a hose that comes from the back of your toilet that you can use to spray the poop off your nappies directly into the loo – leaving them ready to pop into your nappy bucket or wet bag.

Nappy sprayers are of course available commercially, but the price is getting up there (from $50 to $90 plus postage) and a lot of cloth nappy parents are using cloth nappies to save money so I thought I would have a crack at a more affordable DIY option ($29.28 in materials). Here are the results:

Toilet with nappy sprayer installed

The nappy sprayer is the white hose – you use it to hose the poop off your nappies directly into the toilet.

Pretty neat with all the extra pipes and things tucked around the back.

If you want to have a go at your own DIY nappy sprayer, it does not require any special skills or knowledge, and it does not involve using anything that you can’t get from your local hardware but be warned, I am not a plumber, and this is not meant as professional advice. If you are not confident that you can tackle this project, consult a plumber or purchase one of the many great commercial products available.

Ok, warning done, we can get on with the instructions

What you will need:

Tools

  • a shifting spanner (shifter/monkey wrench)
  • something to catch water (a plastic take away container or towel)

Materials

I purchased all of my materials at my local Bunnings warehouse and have included the prices I paid for your reference. I have also provided a pic – all be it a bad mobile one – of what everything looks like in the shop so that it will be easy to find.

Trigger Sink Sprayer20130406_15453620130406_15463820130406_15461920130408_111317

  • 1 Trigger Sink Spray $17.98
  • 1 Mini Cistern Cock $4.10
  • 3 CP Brass Nipple Hexagon $2.40 ea
  • 1 CP Brass Tee $4.30
  • 1 225 ml flexible water connector $3.90
  • Teflon tape (that’s the white plumbers tape) I got 5 rolls for $3

Method

1. First get everything out and lay it out like the picture below:

Nappy Sprayer layout

Nappy Sprayer layout

There are parts included in the Trigger sink spray that you don’t need – you only need the hose with the threaded connection(you can see this at the bottom of the picture above).

2. Next wrap all the threaded joints with teflon tape – you just wrap it round 5 or more times – I found that it paid to be generous here, preventing leaks later.

3. Screw together the cistern cock, the nipple connectors, and the tee and tighten them up firmly with the shifter.

4. Next go to your toilet and locate the cistern cock already installed that controls the water that fills your toilet cistern –  picture below.

Our existing cistern cock

Our existing cistern cock – before installation

5. Turn this cistern cock all the way off (to the right) and then flush the toilet. Next put your plastic container under the area and you can undo the hose that connects to the existing cistern cock (you might need your shifter) see picture below:

Undo the existing hose

Undo the existing hose

6. Remove the old teflon tape on the existing tap, replace with fresh tape and then connect the flexible water connector(new hose).

7. Connect the other end of the flexible water connector(new hose) to the tee end of the parts you put together at step 3 and the old hose to the other end of the tee.

8. Connect the Trigger hose spray to the cistern cock end of the parts you put together at step 3 and it should look like the picture below:

Nappy Sprayer installed

Nappy Sprayer installed

9. Make sure everything is tight and then your ready to test it out. Slowly turn your cistern tap on, your cistern should start to fill. Once your cistern is full you can turn on the new cistern cock that you installed and test out your spray (into the toilet bowl of course).

10. Make sure you have no leaks then your ready to go. I recommend keeping the cistern cock you installed (not the original one) turned off when your sprayer is not in use, to prevent flooding should the hose fail in any way. It also prevents toddlers from using your sprayer which could be very messy.

We also installed a 3m hook on the side of the toilet to hang the sprayer on when not in use.

Nappy Sprayer installed

Nappy Sprayer installed

Nappy Sprayer Installed

Nappy Sprayer Installed

So there you have it your very own DIY nappy sprayer. If you have a go at this project we would love to hear how you go so please comment below.

Cheers

Liz