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Rachel’s first baby shower is tomorrow afternoon. She and Adam have decided to diaper their baby with cloth diapers. Tomorrow’s shower has been designated a “Diaper Shower”. I went shopping for diapers and was amazed by the variety of shapes and sizes and types and kinds and ……  whew! I did buy one type of diaper that Rachel had asked for (may I exclaim $7 for one diaper???!!!) and I looked at the other types on her list that were a little more reasonably priced at $22 for 6. The last item I looked at was something they call a “doubler”.  It’s a thickness of diaper material that you put in a diaper to increase the absorbency overnight. (we used to take an old fashioned diaper and fold it up and stick it in!)

 I cannot tell you what the difference is or why one is more desirable than another. I did do a little reading and I’ve learned that hemp is a desirable material in diapers. It seems to be more absorbent.

So, off to Mary Jo’s I went. I bought one yard of diaper flannel and one yard of hemp. Last night, I cut it all out and then this morning sewed up 6 diapers and 6 doublers. I think they turned out pretty well and thought you might enjoy seeing the process I used.

I cut the diaper flannel into rectangles 17″ x 25″.  I ironed a 1/4″ fold along one of the 17″ sides. Then I laid the flannel open and flat on my work surface with the folded edge to the left and the fold facing up.

Then I cut the hemp into strips 4 1/2″ x 16″.  I cut enough hemp so that each diaper had 3 layers of hemp for a center panel. I layered the three pieces of hemp and placed them just right of center of the diaper.  You’ll notice the hemp has a smooth surface and a textured surface.  I laid them together so the smooth side was touching the flannel thinking it would be a bit smoother on baby’s skin. 

I folded the right side over so that the raw edge covered the edge of the hemp by about a 1/4 inch.

 Then I folded the left side over so the folded edge covered the raw edge I folded in the step above. At that point, I double checked the size of the diaper. I wanted the diaper to be 12 inches across with the hemp strip being in the center 4 inches. I didn’t really care at this point whether the top or bottom edges were even.

I stitched a straight line on down the right side of the hemp, stitching all the layers of hemp and both layers of flannel. Then I stitched a straight line down the other side of the hemp, catching all those layers. I used a walking foot to do my stitching because 1. flannel likes to crawl and 2.  Five layers like to shift in the process of stitching.

Once that was done, I used my serger to sewn straight across the top and then the bottom of the diaper, catching all the layers of hemp and cotton flannel. I put a spot of Fray Check on all the corners and let them dry. Then cut the threads and the diapers were done.

They were sewn quickly – maybe 45 minutes for 6 diapers.

Then, I made the doublers. I cut 15 inch by 4 1/2 inch rectangles of flannel and hemp.

I layered them with the flannel on bottom, then 2 or 3  layers of hemp, smooth side out, then finished with flannel.  I trimmed the corners to curves – beauty isn’t important here! These are Diaper Liners!!!

I tried using my serger to do the stitching, but I had a lot of difficulty doing the curves. So I used my seam/overlock function on my sewing machine with my machine set for heavy material. Here is what the edge looks like:

Here are the finished diapers and doublers.

I stitched by hand with Perle cotton on the doublers.  2 ticks for 2 layers of hemp and 3 ticks for 3 layers of hemp. That way, Rachel and Adam will see with a glance which doubler they might want to use in a diaper change.

I had fun making these for my soon to be born granchild. They didn’t take long at all – I worked about 1 1/2 hours total.  I didn’t save a lot of money – I think I spent about $25  and if I had bought diapers in the store ready made, I would have spent about $30 – $35 depending on the brand.  Making these gave me pure joy!


About delanequilts

Full time wife, mother, grandmother; friend to many; crazy aunt to a few. Avid lover of reading; 'making something from nothing'; karate! (Tang Soo!); nature and gardening though trying to cut back on time spent pulling weeds! Lover of essential oils!

2 responses »

  1. How much was the hemp per yard? I wonder if it would work well in nursing pads, too… since it is absorbant. When I nursed, my mom made me pads from cotton flannel and I found they worked so much better than the purchased ones, although they were a bit lumpier! 🙂

  2. I believe I paid $13.69 a yard; it’s 54 inches wide, I believe. I thought about making nursing pads for her…. Maybe put some really pretty flannel on one side?


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