Thursday, August 11, 2011

blanket into nappy covers

I have been spending quite a lot of time this week in my sewing room. Sewing of the necessity sort. You see, I realized recently that we were getting quite low on cloth nappy covers. Over the past eight months I have experimented with many kinds. I started off with a mixture of new and second hand PUL covers, a stash of plastic pilchers that were given to me and some lovely hand knitted woolen soakers.

With this growing baby of mine, most of the PUL and wool covers are now too small. The huge stash of plastic pilchers are almost all completely worn and thrown out. I could have bought more, but I thought this was a good opportunity to be thrifty, and to use what I had. Besides, I didn't really want to buy any more plastic.

So after seeing this idea here, I thought I might try my own version. I had a woolen blanket that had already felted, so I had none of my usual cutting-up-woolen-blanket-guilt.

I used the Chloe toes side snapping cover template, available as a free printable multi-sized pattern. I used the medium size for Violet and found it quite generous.

Definitely not my finest sewing hour. It was more sewing of the experimental, practical kind. Some of them I zig zagged and hemmed, while others had polar fleeced binding attached (cut off one of Daniel's old vests. Hoping he doesn't notice it's absence!)

An extra layer was also added to the inside. Though they would ideally be fitted with snap press studs, I  didn't have any, so velcro was used instead.

And I must say that the trial run over the past few days has been most successful. Still dry on the outside of the cover in the morning. They have really surprised me with their performance.

I do love using breathable natural fibres far more than synthetic ones. Being felted already they are also machine washable. I will lanolize them in the future, but for now they are working remarkably well.

I usually lanolize nappy soakers weekly, by adding special lanoline wool soap or a teaspoon of lanoline to a warm sink of water. I usually soak them for about ten minutes before gently squeezing excess water with a towel. The lanoline helps to repel wetness. I am looking forward to trying the spray on lanoline, which should save quite a bit of time.

Violet in her Sustainable hemp products nappy cover - sadly too small now

Here is an informative article on the benefits and care of wool soakers.

Sustainable Hemp Products is an excellent resource for wool soakers. You can purchase hand knitted ones as well as wool washing products and lanoline spray.

The Byron Life also has a great tutorial for making pull on soakers from a wool jumper.


  1. What a great project! Several of my friends have just had babies or soon will be and are using cloth diapers. Its such a neat idea, and really lets you be crafty with something once considered a bit mundane. They do grow fast though! Mine is four now and its hard to believe she was ever that tiny!~

  2. Oh how I wish I had been a crafter and blog reader when mine were all in nappies! I love this thrifty idea. And how lucky your felted blanket was a cute colour :-) When my eldest was little the only major breakthrough in cloth nappies I was aware of was the Snappy fastener clip. Lanolin spray now even - that sounds like a brilliant idea.

  3. What a brilliant way to upcycle and it's such a practical project too.

    All ours were in cloth naps and I knitted all their soakers...though 18 years ago it wasn't really the done thing and they certainly weren't as trendy as they are nowadays. With our fifth we brought some MCN's and flats and again I knitted soakers but once he hit the 6mth mark I became lazy and fed up with the amount of watching a family of seven create that I turned to disposables.
    Number six will be a clothed nappy bub!!

  4. very clever indeed! way to re-purpose something into something you really need. x

  5. I had a good laugh as I read your very informative post, Tania. It reminded me of many years ago when I had my first babies, my super frugal mum made me some wool soakers out of an old maroon jumper. She used up the whole jumper and made several, and oh boy, the results looked hilarious!!
    Now it's my turn to make some for my daughters coming babe and I am very thankful for the links! Hopefully my endeavours don't end up giving us a fit of the giggles!!

  6. I love using wool or fleece soakers on my little one too, but I'm no way hear as creative and clever as you. They look wonderful and sound like they're working perfectly.

    You blog looks great by the way, I'll be sure to have a good look around.

  7. what a cute nappy cover! Clever!


  8. I love this post, thank you for writing it.

  9. Thanks for linking to my tutorial, i'm glad you found use for it! That post gets so many hits but this is the first finished project i've seen photographed-gorgeous.

    Kelly from Pepper Place.


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