A while back, disposable diapers were introduced in the market. These quickly gained a lot of popularity, with most parents doing away with cloth diapers and adopting the new disposable diapers. Today, however, cloth diapers are once again gaining popularity in the market. Why is that so?
Research conducted shows that the average baby uses a total of 6,000 diapers, from their birth to the time that they begin their potty training. Buying all these disposable diapers is no doubt very expensive, and can cause a great financial toll on families. On the other hand, fabric diapers are reusable, which makes them much cheaper than disposable diapers. This is why most families today prefer cloth diapers to disposable diapers.
More so, cloth diapers offer more advantages than just being cheap and affordable. For instance, with a cloth diaper, a person can choose to sew the designs of their choosing. The key to sewing such cheap, yet classic cloth diapers, is to use a high-quality sewing machine. This article discusses the best sewing machine for cloth diapers, as well as any other essential information you need to know for successful sewing.
Comparison Table – Best Sewing Machine for Cloth Diapers
|SINGER Start 1304
Note: Includes 6 Built-in Stitches, 1 decorative stitch.
|Janome Pink Sorbet
Note: Includes 15 Built-In Stitches, 3-Piece Feed dog.
Note: Includes 27 Built-In Stitches, 800 stitches per minute.
Varmax Mini Sewing Machine
Note: Includes lamp and thread cutter with multi-power supply option.
Household Beginner Sewing Machine
|Color: Purple white
Note: Includes 12 different stitches.
The following are the 5 top recommended sewing machines for making cloth diapers;
1. SINGER Start 1304
SINGER Start 1304 has a very basic and simple mechanical design, which makes it very easy to use. It is, therefore, one of the best cloth-making machines that you can use to make diapers. The sewing machine features 6 in-built stitches, each having a preset stitch length and width. Other included features are; a presser foot lifter, a free arm, and several tension settings that can be easily adjusted. The SINGER Start 1304 sewing machine package comes with a 25-year warranty.
2. Janome Pink Sorbet Easy-to-Use Sewing Machine
The Janome is a vibrant sewing machine that comes with 4 presser feet, a presser foot lifter that has extra height, as well as several other beginner accessories. It offers users plenty of fun color options to choose from, making it an ideal sewing machine for mothers who love experimenting with colors. The sewing machine also features a front-loading bobbin system and a buttonhole with 4 steps. Similar to the SINGER light sewing machine, the Janome machine offers a 25-year limited warranty.
3. Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine
This is an ideal sewing machine for several daily sewing projects. Its lightweight design and user-friendliness make it convenient for all types of sewers, whether beginners or advanced. The Brother XM2701 sewing machine features 27 built-in stitches. Among these 27 stitches are quilting stitches, decorative stitches, and blind hem. The sewing machine package comes with a blind stitch, zipper, and 6 sewing feet that are easily adjustable.
4. Varmax Mini Sewing Machine with Extension Table
If you live in an apartment that is tight in space, then the Varmax machine would be the most ideal sewing machine for you to get. This mini sewing machine takes up very little space and can be used in even the most compact spaces. Despite its small design, Varmax sewing machine has a highly advanced and elaborate design, which is responsible for its relatively high price.
5. Sewing Machine Household Beginner Sewing Machine
This household sewing machine is a good choice for beginners in making clothes. It features several types of sewing. For instance, it allows users to change sewing operations when sewing projects, as well as buttonholes sewing. The household sewing machine package comes with a single foot pedal, 1 buttonhole presser foot, 2 spools, one needle, 2 bobbins, and one adapter.
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Factors to Consider When Choosing First Sewing Machine for Cloth Diaper
When you go to the market, you will come across many types of sewing machines being sold. These sewing machines have varying features, sizes, designs, colors, among many other aspects. So, how can you ensure that you buy the best beginners’ sewing machine for making diapers? If you are purchasing the sewing machine for the first time, you need to consider the following 5 factors first;
1.) Sturdiness of the Machine
This is an especially important factor to consider if you intend to use the sewing machine frequently. Regular use of the sewing machine will require you to purchase one that is sturdy and is built with a metal frame inside. Buying such a machine would be a wise investment to make.
2.) Noise Produced
This may sound like just a petty factor to consider, but it is very important. Noisy sewing machines can have a great impact on how often you use the machine. The best sewing machine for cloth diapers is those that work quietly, promoting a relaxing sewing experience.
3.) Easy Threading
Sewing machines that have easy threading are much easier to use than those without. Therefore, the best sewing machine for beginners making clothes is those that are designed with numbers or diagrams on the machine to assist with the threading. However, note that, as a beginner, you may find threading a sewing machine a bit more complicated at first.
4.) Smooth Sewing
Before you buy a sewing machine for making diapers, it is highly recommended that you first try it out. Does the sewing machine make the table shake hard? Or, does it make your teeth rattle? Sewing machines that display such characteristics are not ideal, as fabric cannot be fed smoothly through these. Therefore, look for a sewing machine that doesn’t shake or produce any grinding sounds when sewing.
5.) Even Sewing
The best sewing machine for making cloth diapers is those that produce stitches of the same length. On the other hand, you should avoid sewing machines that skip stitches when sewing, such that some stitches produced have double the length of the others.
How to Make Cloth Diapers: Tips for Sewing Homemade Fabric Diapers
The process of making diapers can be divided into 4 main parts, as discussed in the steps below;
Part 1: Create Inserts for the Cloth Diapers
The very first step to making cloth diapers is to gather all the materials required. The must-have items that you will require for making cloth diapers are;
- Flannel material
- Cutting mat
- A knife
- Towels (made of microfiber)
- A sewing machine
Cut the flannel material, such that it acquires the same dimensions as those of the microfiber towels. Since you will require 2 pieces of the flannel to attach to the outside of the towels, cut out 2 separate pieces of the flannel. Next, layer 3 microfiber towels over a single piece of flannel. Lay the other piece of flannel over the 3 towels, pinning them down to form a fabric sandwich.
Sew across these layers slowly. Then, using the knife and cutting mat, cut the outer edges of the fabric sandwich off. Using a ruler, measure the squares, dividing them into 4-inch strips. Cut these strips, such that you create 3 strips for every square. The strips you create will be used in diaper inserts.
Part 2: Cut and Pin Fabric
The main purpose of this part is to create fitted diaper covers. For this process, choose a soft fabric for both the outside and the inside. The most recommended soft material is flannel. Alternatively, you can choose terry or cotton blend materials.
Find a pattern of your choice, then print it. If you like, you can even buy a diaper pattern that resembles a large spool of hourglass/thread. Using a fabric marker, trace this pattern on the cloth then cut it out. Since you need a piece of fabric for both the outside and inside the diaper, repeat this process to produce 2 shapes.
Attach one of the strips (inserts) to the middle of the 2 pieces. Ensure that all the edges are aligned and pin them together.
Part 3: Sew the Pieces Together
Using your sewing machine, sew a straight stitch at the pad’s outer edges. This will help to secure the pad in place. Then, sew a stitch of 0.6 to 1.3 cm at the outside of the diaper, backstitching the ends.
Pin the elastic on the lines you have just marked. The elastic will need to be even with the straight stitch that you just made on the legs and backside of the diaper. Next, sew a small straight stitch on the elastic, at the very top end. To ensure that the elastic stays in place, go over it a couple of times, tugging it in the process.
Stitch the inside of the legs, specifically at the outer edges. Then, cover the elastic by sewing a third diaper cutout on the inside part of the diaper. This helps to ensure that the elastic does not go right up against the skin of the baby, irritating. Also, remember to pin the lined fabric into place.
Part 4: Add the Velcro
Cut out Velcro pieces of 3.8 cm width. On the opposite side of the Velcro (also referred to as the hook side), cut out 2 relatively small squares. To ensure that the Velcro piece does not come into contact with the skin of the baby, make the hook side as the longer piece.
Align the strip of Velcro into place, then pin it onto the outside edge of the diaper. This will make the front of the diaper. Next, sew this Velcro strip into place using a zigzag stitch. Backstitch it several times to keep it in place.
Pin the 2 squares of Velcro onto the diaper’s inside edges. Secure these squares using zigzag stitches or overlock stitches. As you sew, remember to remove the pins. Also, backstitch the squares several times to keep the Velcro in place.
Once done with the above 4 parts, you will have successfully created your first diaper! Then, the next time your baby needs a diaper change, you can confidently use your new high-quality cloth diaper.
What Fabric Should I Use to Make Cloth Diapers?
The best fabric materials that you can use for making diapers are those that are soft and highly absorbent. The highly recommended fabric to use are; cotton, fleece, modal, bamboo, polyester, organic cotton, fabrics that are known to ‘stay dry, and also hemp materials. Some of these light fabric materials can even be combined and used together to make cloth diapers.
Can you Use Flannel for Cloth Diapers?
Yes, you can use flannel, and any other similar wool fabrics, for making diapers and covers. However, if you choose to use suiting material, remember to preshrink it to make it more water-resistant and thicker.
What is the Most Absorbent Fabric for Cloth Diapers?
Of all the above-recommended light fabrics, the top leading fabric is hemp. Hemp is the best fabric to use for making cloth diapers, as it offers antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties. Also, hemp is a highly porous fiber material, hence effectively absorbs and wicks moisture away from the skin. This leaves the baby drier and cooler, as compared to other fabric materials.
Other fabric materials that come close to hemp are bamboo, microfiber, and cotton. While hemp is the most absorbent, it is closely followed by bamboo. This is why bamboo and hemp inserts are the most ideal fabric materials to use for older babies overnight.
What is the Most Reliable Sewing Machine for Making Cloth Diapers?
The best sewing machine for beginners making clothes is the Janome sewing machine. However, you should ensure that the Janome model you go for features the 3-step zigzag. This is the ideal machine for sewing cloth diapers.
Without any doubt, cloth diapers are way much better than disposable diapers. They are not only easy to use but also cheaper, environmental-friendly, and safe for the baby. The benefits of cloth diapers are simply too many to count. So, the next time you are planning to change your baby’s diaper, or even go to that baby shower, bring with you a high-quality cloth diaper sewn using any best sewing machine for cloth diapers discussed above!