Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Newborn/Small Fitted Tutorial!

I recently made some newborn/small fitteds for my little squish due next month, and had so many requests for a tutorial! So, here it is. :)

Materials I used:
-Flour sack towels (FSTs)
-3/8" braided elastic
-Washable marker
-Dylon dye (optional!)

First, you want to trace your pattern onto the FST (or the "wrong" side of your fabric if you're using a different fabric). I made my own pattern, and when I can figure out how to upload a printable version for that onto here, I will. But similar patterns would be this one (but without the snaps) for the newborn/small size, or if you want a bigger "one size" pattern, this would also be the same concept (but instead of the pocket opening in the back, I'd put elastic there). Make sure to mark where your elastic goes!

You could just trace this pattern twice onto the FST, but I take the lazier route. I cut out the first one I traced (make sure to leave a seam allowance!), pin it to the next area that I'd trace (if you're using a fabric with a "right" and "wrong" side, you're going to want to flip it over), and then cut around it. 

Once your two pieces are cut out, pin around the edges. 

Now, time to sew! Using a straight stitch, stitch around the edge of the diaper, leaving an opening at the top of the diaper (aka NOT the side the elastic is going to go). Don't forget to back stitch at the beginning and end! I used white thread, so I marked on this one where my opening was so you could see better. 

Quick note: if you're getting a lot of bunching/puckering in the fabric as you sew, try reducing the tension and the stitch length. My personal sweet spot to prevent this was the tension set at 1 and a 1.5 stitch length. Every machine is different though, so you might have to play around with yours! 

Once the diaper is all sewn together, trim your seam allowance, except for the opening. 

Now it's time to sew on the elastic. If you've never done it before, it might sound intimidating, but it's actually really easy! I prefer to use a zigzag stitch all the way down the length of my elastic, so that's the method I'll show you. 

First, place your elastic where it's marked to begin. I used a wide zig zag stitch (I set my stitch width to 4) for this. Set your stitch length to zero and stitch back and fourth a few times to tack the elastic down. 

Next, set your stitch length to whatever you want it to be (I set mine to 2) and, making sure the needle is in the elastic, pull the elastic taut. 

While keeping the elastic stretched, sew down the length of the elastic until you've reached the end marker. Once you have, set the stitch length back to zero and do a few more stitches to tack the end down. Snip the end of the elastic. 

I found it was easiest to do both of the legs and then the back. :) This is how it should look after all the elastic is added. 

Almost done! Now, turn the diaper right side out, making sure to push the seams out well. Pin the opening of the diaper shut. 

Top stitch around the diaper. I prefer the leg elastics to not be encased so they can roll in, but if you prefer them to be encased, then go ahead and do it! To encase the elastic, just basically sew around it while stretching it out, making sure to not catch any of the elastic this time. 

Now, if you want to leave them white, you're done! These will need an insert to be the actual absorbent part. Here's what they look like with a preemie prefold for an example. 

To size them to fit your baby, just fold down the front to whatever height you need and wrap the wings around. Depending on the insert, you may have to fold that down too. I have them modeled on a little bear, since my newborn hasn't made it earth side yet!

If you want to dye them, go ahead and do it now! I used the Dylon brand dye and I was very please with the results! I just followed the instructions on the package. I ended up doing seven violet, seven blue (I think they called it Bahama blue), and then left six of them white, for a total of twenty diapers. Now he just needs to get here to test them out!


fromholytoledotoyou said...

love it! going to give it a shot!

Salek. said...

Thanks for posting. I used Arfy's newborn/small fitted diaper pattern to make a diaper similar to yours. Would you be able to walk me through the steps on using the dylon dye? I have some being sent from Joann fabrics. Did your fitteds bleed in the wash?

Sheila Kelly said...

Hi! The package had directions, but basically you just dissolve the powdered dye in some warm water (stirring it), fill the sink (or where ever you plan to do the dyeing) with enough warm water to allow the fabric to move around freely along with 4 Tbsp salt (stir to dissolve), mix in the dye, and add the diapers. Then you stir it for 15 min and let sit another 45 minutes just stirring occasionally (so 1 hr total). After that, you rinse the diapers with cool water until it runs clear. I just washed the blue and purple diapers together after dyeing them, and they didn't run onto each other! The first initial wash I just did them alone, but then threw them into the diaper laundry to give them another wash for good measure, and they didn't bleed into anything. :)

Oliverd21 said...

Where did you buy your flour sack towels? Will you be putting a waterproof cover over these ? How will they stay secure without snaps? Could you add them?

Sheila Kelly said...

The towels I got were from Target, but you can also get them from Walmart! They're in the kitchen aisle, near the dish towels. And yes, these definitely need a cover over them! I've been using mostly wool covers, but occasionally PUL covers as well. I made these snapless so that I could get a really custom fit each time, so I use either a Snappi, Boingo, or pins to fasten them. You could use snaps though! The newborn/small pattern I linked to that's similar has placements for snaps if you wanted to go that route.

McKenzie Banman said...

How many flour sack towels did you use to make 20 fitteds? This looks like a great tutorial btw, I can't wait to try it!!

Sheila Kelly said...

Thanks! For these small fitteds, I could get both pieces from one flour sack towel, so 20 towels total! There's some left over after both sides, but not enough for a whole other side. I hope you try it, they were really easy to make and worked great!

McKenzie Banman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McKenzie Banman said...

I was wondering if you've gotten your pattern uploaded yet for folks to use?