Tiffany & Tot

Tips and Tricks related to cloth diapering and kids clothes, from an Atlantic Canadian perspective


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So many options! Underwear edition

There are four underwear patterns I have and love, all made by Stitch Upon A Time, and they ALL have options. Everything is available from XS-XXXL, and the brief cut and boxerwear are also available in kids sizing as small as 12 months.

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Brief cut, low rise, standard waistband and leg bands (with colour blocking).

If you want super simple straight forward ordering, that’s probably a brief cut, low rise, standard waistband and leg bands. But if you’re into looking for options? Oh my word, the options!

I’ll split the Scrundlewear, Thondlewear, Bunzies, and Boxerwear pattern options up according to the four questions I would ask if you’re looking for underwear:

  1. How much coverage would you like? (Minimal, medium, or a lot.)
  2. Low rise or high rise?
  3. Do you want a standard waistband, maternity waistband, or an extra wide waistband? (A maternity waistband cuts down below your belly, and an extra wide one can act as more coverage when you bend over, and it can help smooth out love handles.)
  4. Would you like bands for around the legs, or fold over elastic? (Many tend to find bands extra comfortable, but fold over elastic shifts around less – I prefer fold over elastic myself, and find them both comfortable.)

And again, if you want simple, a brief, low rise (or low rise plus), and leg bands is always a good fall back. 🙂

Coverage

In case you’re not sure what I mean, I’m talking about how much of your bum is covered. 🙂

For medium to lots of coverage…

More coverage.png

In the blue plaid is Full Coverage (low rise), Deadpool is the modified boyshort cut (low rise), and Mario is a brief cut (high rise).

The Brief cut is your best bet for medium coverage. It’s right around the middle, pretty standard.

There is the Boyshort cut for more coverage and a different feel (as the legs cut across parallel to the floor rather than curving up). Full Coverage has lots of coverage (it does have more coverage than the Boyshort in the back, while cutting up in the front like a brief), or Boxerwear for a boxer brief fit (available in a men’s or women’s fit).

I find the Boyshort cut isn’t quite as boyshorty as I like, and I’ve had some customers say the same thing, while others find the original fit perfect. I’ve adapted the pattern slightly for those looking for the little bit of extra length on the legs, so that they do stay parallel to the ground, and it’s this version featured in pictures. I’ve added 1-1.5″ down the outer edge of the legs depending on the person, and how much extra length they want.

boxerwear.jpg

Mens no fly (low rise), mens with a fly (low rise), and womens (high rise), all shorter legs.

I will warn you, in my opinion, especially when they’re not being worn, Full Coverage is the granniest of granny panties. It’s also AMAZINGLY comfortable. Seriously, the most comfortable version I’ve tried, and they’re all super comfy.

Boxerwear fits like a slim short or boxer briefs, it has a shorter or longer leg option (a difference of about 2″).

They’re super comfy, and in the mens cut can be sewn with or without a fly, whatever floats your boat.

Decorative touches can also be added to boxerwear, for example, the blue plaid pair has ruching in the back, shown below (near the end).

Less coverage

The cuts from left to right are Booty, Super Booty and Thondlewear.

And for minimal coverage…

There is, in order of most coverage to least coverage (using pattern names), Booty, Super Booty, and Thondlewear.

Booty hits between Super Booty and Brief, Super Booty has an identical front and back, and the Thondlewear pattern is a thong.

And as with all patterns, all options are fair game, from rise to waistband to legs to decorative touches.

To be perfectly honest, I was really surprised by how comfortable these options were (and that does include the thondlewear). Even though I’m absolutely in love with the boyshorts cut, I would still happily make more minimal coverage for myself.

I was most shocked by the thondlewear. I haven’t worn a thong in months, and it was STILL really comfortable, and barely felt like I was wearing anything at all! (Really actually. Which is NOT what I was expecting given that it’s a thong.)

So if you’re on the fence, you might be surprised by how much you actually like them.

Rise and Waistband

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From left to right, there is High Rise, Low Rise Plus, Low Rise, and on the bottom is the Maternity Rise.

Here we have low rise, low rise plus, or high. Personally, I don’t find the low rise to be super low, but I do find the high rise to be quite high.

The standard waistband is comfortable and works well with low or high rise, but I’m in love with the extra wide waistband, and I really think you’ll love it too! I call it low rise plus.

Low rise plus is an extra wide waistband that has a double layer of fabric around your upper hips and waist, which is extra comfortable, helps smooth everything out, and keeps you from wondering if you’re covered when you bend over.

Plus, because it’s combined with a low rise, if you do bend over or stretch and it can be seen above your pants, the band can just look like you have a camisole tucked in and won’t automatically look like underwear. (Unless maybe if you’re wearing ultra low rise pants.)

The maternity rise cuts down lower in the front into a v so it sits comfortably under your belly, and can be applied to any cut of underwear. It’s still comfortable even if you’re not pregnant, so they wouldn’t be useless after the baby is born. If you’ve had a c section however, it will likely hit at the same spot as your scar, or at least it does for me. So in the even of a section I’d personally stay away from maternity rise for a while, depending on what is most comfortable for you.

Leg Bands or Fold Over Elastic (FOE)

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Both pairs are modified Boyshorts (with extra length down the sides of the legs), Low Rise Plus, on the left the legs are done with FOE and on the right with bands. (The other difference is on the right there is ruching in the back which makes it sit a little different, explored below.)

For the underwear patterns, these can have bands or fold over elastic around the legs. I really like both, though I’ll choose either over the other depending on a couple factors.

I most reach for bands when I want ultra comfort (because I can’t feel the bands in place at all), or when I’m wearing something looser or thicker like jeans. Bands show a little more of an underwear line than fold over elastic, and then can shift slightly as you wear them.

For me, this in minimal, and only for underwear that is medium to lots of coverage – Booty, Super Booty and Thondlewear don’t shift at all with bands. I also have some customers who rave about the bands for any amount of coverage and who don’t experience any shifting at all, so everyone is different.

I go for fold over elastic when I’m wearing snugger pants and want to hide an underwear line, or when I’m wearing a pad (because bands can create some bulk if a pad has to go around the underwear as well as the bands). Also, if the fold over elastic will sit under your bum (boyshorts or full coverage), it can create some, erm, definition lets say, under your bum.

I’ve heard some say they find the bands more comfortable, however I find both options quite comfortable, and FOE may be my personal favourite (though I’ve been falling back in love with bands again since trying them more). That said, I’m not super sensitive to tags and seams in clothing, so if you are quite sensitive in that way, bands are probably your best bet.

Keep in mind though, everyone is different, and my own personal preferences may or may not match yours. 🙂

Decorative or functional “bits/perks”

Warning – this section might make some people uncomfortable. But we’re talking about underwear, panties, or skivvies, if you will, so keep that in mind, and follow your heart in reading or not, whatever floats your boat.

decorative-touches.jpgSo the tamest one is a bit of colour blocking on the front. Pretty simple, but it can snazz things up a bit. Similarly, a strip of fabric or lace could be added along that line to add a bit of something something. Or you could have a faux drawstring, but the drawstring would probably be visible under snug clothing, so it might be better saved for bathing suits or sleep shorts, etc. I’m also a big fan of a faux fly.

Another option is a strip of thin ruching elastic that goes up the back. This makes your cheeks look more, umm, defined? from each other (while not becoming floss). This is one way to jazz up underwear, especially the full coverage underwear, and feel awesome about yourself. Finally, it keeps everything extra snug, which holds pads extra close, particularly overnight. It’s also still just as comfortable as underwear without ruching (at least in my opinion).

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On the bottom is the dart shown on the boxerwear pattern, and above it’s applied to an underwear pattern.

The final one I’m going to mention is about gender and underwear, and fair warning, I’m going to say the “p” and “v” words. The underwear patterns were all designed for the proud owners of vaginas. Not having a penis myself, I can’t speak to how easily one would fit into underwear that didn’t have it in mind, so maybe it’s not something that needs to be accommodated. But I’ve spent some time looking at the two boxerwear patterns, and by looking at the little dart (I mean, generous and manly dart) on the men’s boxerwear pattern, I’ve figured out how to add it to the patterns designed for vaginas.

I’m also open to custom situations, so if you’re looking to suit a specific need, I’ve honestly probably seen it mentioned in one of the millions of sewing groups I’m in, even if it’s super personal or involving sexy times. At any rate, I’m happy to talk with you honestly about whether it’s something I think I can accommodate, and if I don’t think I can sew it well, I’ll tell you. 🙂

Any comments or questions? You can let me know in the comments below, or use the contact form, which also includes my Facebook and Instagram information.


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How to fold Grow With Me cuffs and bands

In the pattern for the Bunny Bottoms by Apple Tree Sewing, the last page is just a little magical, and shows a very trim way to fold the leg cuffs on the pants.

Now that said, seriously, whatever floats you and/or your kid’s boat. Most days, my son’s cuffs are all the way stretched out and he specifically says “Don’t roll them Mommy!” (Which is why most of these pictures aren’t modeled!)

And on most of the remaining days, I quickly fold them up once, as far as I need to for them to stay above his feet (which is less and less every single day!). Usually I can finish this before he starts squirming because he feels ticklish. Or, if I’ve already had my coffee and actually think before I dress him, I fold them this way BEFORE putting them on him, and they stay in place.

A look at cuffs rolled up the fancy trim way while they're being worn.

Proof my son cooperates from time to time

But on a couple of rare occasions, he has been very patient, and somehow not felt tickled, and let me roll them the fancy trim way! Now unfortunately, the fancy trim way can’t be done in advance – their hands or feet will push out all your hard work.

To fold the fancy trim way (and while it’s not specifically mentioned in the pattern, I’m pretty sure that’s the technical term for this fold…), first fold the cuff inside, so that the edge of the cuff is touching their skin, and is at least as far as the cuff seam. Then, roll up the cuff once (the standard way) on the outside, making sure that you don’t roll it up too far. (I’ve wracked my brain for how to describe it, but if you hit it, you’ll know!) VoilĂ ! A trim, fancy cuff! (For argument’s sake, on the left as “normal roll” is what happens when you roll it up once to the seam where the cuffs meet the pants, then up again, which is what is a “normal” roll in my head, whatever that means.)

Rolling Grow With Me cuffs or bands in the fancy trim way (that looks nice and is quite trim).

Rolling cuffs the “fancy trim” way

This is great for cuffs around the wrists or ankles, for any grow with me patterns that feature cuffs. (Truth be told, for me personally, the fancy trim way is reserved just for pictures, because my kid is on the ticklish side of things and likes to do things himself, which I encourage. But I think it looks fantastic.)

Rolling the waistband on grow with me pantsFor the waistband, on grow with me pants they’re often longer to accommodate kids at the upper limit of sizing. So far I always fold my son’s waistband down, even when he’s at the upper sizing, but every kid is different. So if you like leaving it up, or if your kid is super styling and likes to dress themself and pull the waistband all the way up, go for it! Whatever floats your boat and creates the least amount of stress.

And on grow with me shirts, I find the waistband usually tucks itself under the shirt just from putting it on. It can sit hidden up there, or be pulled down, whichever you prefer.

Bottom line, whatever gets the job done! But it doesn’t hurt to have something fancy up your sleeve! (BAHA! I just actually laughed out loud. Yep, I’m pretty much the coolest.)


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So many options! Bunny Bottoms edition

wp-image--374654270.As either shorts or pants, these are adorable AND grow with your kid! The sizing is 3-12 months, 12 months-3 years, and 3 years to 6 years, plus they’re designed by Apple Tree Sewing, a Canadian pattern company! (I’ll try to tame down the exclamation marks – I’m a total Apple Tree Sewing fangirl, and you can find her facebook group here.)

The Bunny Bottoms can be made with or without pockets (and there are 3 different pocket options btw), pants or shorts (and there are 3 different takes on the shorts), and a partridge in a pear tree (aka. an optional faux drawstring).

wp-image--257397578.Side note: This basically means it’s easy to justify owning a gazillion pairs, as if I needed a reason!

They all have lots of room for a cloth diaper, and my son always picks his Bunny Bottoms before he picks any other pants, so I’m pretty sure they’re extra comfy.

While my son wears them just about everyday, my favourite use for them is in the diaper bag – no more worrying about whether he’s outgrown what’s in there! To see how they compare to some other grow with me pants options, take a look at this post, and for help on how to fold the cuffs, check here.

Pockets

We have peek-a-boo pockets, the kangaroo pocket, slit pockets, or no pockets at all. They’re all fully functional, though they do have different strengths. Bottom line, I’d go with whichever you like the look of best.

Peek-a-boo Pockets

wp-image--272635283.These are super cute and can be a way to use up a very small amount of fabric (just in case there is hardly any of your favourite print left). The pocket fabric peeks out the sides a bit, so you do see it (or at least you would if my business card wasn’t in the way in this picture!).

This pocket style shows stitching where the pocket attaches to the pants, so if you don’t like seeing stitching, the slit pocket may be a better option for you.

I think this style is my personal favourite, but I like them all. They’re sewn in similar to how I’ve seen pockets sewn on yoga pants.

Kangaroo Pocket

wp-image--1756115713.This has a very similar look to the peek-a-boo pockets, the difference being it’s connected through the middle like a kangaroo pocket on a hoodie. If the same fabric is used for the pants and the pockets, the only visual difference would be the stitching. In the peek-a-boo pockets, there is stitching following where the pocket attaches to the pants up through almost the middle. With the kangaroo pocket, the stitching is across the bottom of the pocket.

The kangaroo pocket is a great way to show off two different fabrics, or to show contrasting fabrics as shown above. And if the item is for an older baby or toddler, they may have fun sneaking there hand in one side and out through the other – at least this is a game my son likes to play!

Slit Pockets

wp-image--733087453.These pockets are inset in a different way, with less stitching to the pants. They are slightly bulkier than the other two options (because there are two layers of fabric making up the pocket rather than just one), but there’s lots of room in the Bunny Bottoms anyway, so they don’t look bulky when they’re worn.

There is still a little peeking going on with the pocket fabric (if you use a contrasting fabric), but not quite as much as the other two. These are sewn in like most jeans front pockets are attached.

Shorts vs. Shorts vs. Shorts vs. Pants

The shorts have two different band options (they can be snugger or looser), and the legs can also be hemmed if you prefer that over bands. The pants have long cuffs on the legs that can be folded up or down to accommodate the kid’s height.

Shorts – Cuffed (Looser or Tighter)

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The cuffed shorts are super cute. The looser ones allow the shorts to hang a bit, but it depends on how chunky the legs are. The tighter cuffs would be more snug to the legs.

Shown to the side is the looser cuff, size 3 years to 6 years, on a 3T or 4T sized kid with legs that are pretty much average, maybe slightly skinny, and you can see that there’s some room between the cuffs and his legs. Also, the difference in length between the looser and tighter cuff is about an inch.

Shorts – Hemmed

SONY DSC Hemmed is pretty cute too, where the shorts fall straight down the legs. They also work out to be a little shorter than a pair with bands (because they don’t have the extra length of the cuffs). Shown here is size 3 years to 6 years, on my 3-4T sized kid.

Personally, I feel hemmed is better suited to stiffer fabrics than fabrics that have lots of drape (and would float around a bit more), but it depends on the look you’re going for. If you’re unsure or have any questions, please let me know – I’d love to talk with you about it.

Pants

wp-image--2106052176Ahhh, the pants (my favourite). Shown to the side is size 3-6 years on both my 3 or 4T sized little monster, and my friend’s 6 or 7 sized kid. On the left you can see the cuffs are almost all the way rolled up on my son, but they’re still long enough on the right for the 6 or 7 sized kid too.

Even though my son is at the lower end of sizing, the bottom cuffs are just snug enough that they will pretty much stay above his feet when my son refuses to let me roll up the cuffs *cough cough* I mean, when he likes to do things himself and insert his independence… so they don’t quickly slide over his heels. (It will slowly happen over time, but not quickly, and that’s with him at the lower end of the size.) And you can see from the picture that they’re still comfortable for kids at the larger end of sizing.

For help with how to roll up the cuffs, check here.

Faux Drawstring

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This is a little detail that looks great, and has won me over (even though I was a little hesitant at first for some reason I can’t remember anymore). Since trying a drawstring now I need a drawstring on everything, which is why there’s a drawstring in just about all my pictures! It’s a faux drawstring, so just for show, but I’ve found my son likes trying to to tie it up, so it might buy you a couple minutes to make a coffee too! 🙂


So what are your favourite options for the Bunny Bottoms? I think mine are the peek-a-boo pockets on pants, but my son seems to like the slit pockets on shorts the best. I’d love to hear about your favourites in the comments below, or you can tell me here!

 

Tiffany and Tot assorted cloth pads


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Cloth Pad General Information

A Variety Cloth Pad Set sewn by Tiffany and Tot

I seriously feel like I could go on for days and days about how amazing cloth pads are, but I won’t. If you’d like to hear me ramble some more, please contact me – I’d love to chat about them! The short version, though…

Benefits and Downsides

I honestly feel the downsides are minimal and are virtually insignificant compared to the benefits, but everyone is different. Cloth pads do cost more up front than disposables, but they save TONS of money over time. My smaller (but workable) stash paid for itself in less than 4 months, and I am factoring in full price.

Another consideration is laundry, as they will be something else that needs to be washed, however they can be easily washed with other laundry (and there are details in the washing section below).

For benefits, they’re cheaper, can be customized to suit you perfectly, can be washed with other clothes (so very little extra work cleaning), they’re really comfy and adorable or trendy or whatever look you’re going for. And these are just the superficial benefits off the top of my head. I didn’t even go into environmental benefits, or how some people (myself included) are actually allergic to disposable menstrual products, but don’t even realize it because it’s the only method they’ve ever known.

Prepping new pads

A Variety Pack of cloth pads sewn by Tiffany and Tot

If they’re made with bamboo (and all mine are), they should be washed approx. 5 times before they will reach max. absorbency. If they’re used before they’re fully prepped then they won’t absorb as quickly or effectively, but they will still function (you’ll just need to change them a bit sooner). For prepping, they can be washed with normal loads you’re already doing.

If you’re impatient (like I am) and want to use them right away, I would definitely recommend washing once as this will partially prep them, then just keep an extra close eye on when they need to be changed.

Washing

This depends on your washer, detergent, water, and personal biology. I’d start by washing normally with regular laundry and see how it goes. If this isn’t quite enough, you could try a heavier wash cycle, or a quick prewash with a small amount of detergent before adding your other laundry. Staining can be avoided by rinsing immediately, and/or washing frequently (within 48 hours), but they will come clean even if you don’t rinse and wait a few days. Hot water is a toss up. Some people find it cleans more effectively, but it also tends to set stains. Definitely avoid fabric softeners like the plague though as they can negatively affect absorbency.


Various Cloth Pad patterns sewn by Tiffany and TotIf you have any questions at all, whether about my pads or reusable menstrual products in general, please don’t hesitate to let me know because I’m happy to answer what I can, whether in the comments below, or more privately – you can find all my contact info here. This isn’t a topic we tend to talk about easily, so if you’d rather not talk publicly, believe me, I completely understand.

All four Apple Tree Drool Bib Styles, sewn by Tiffany and Tot


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So many options! Drool bibs edition

Options can be overwhelming, both for you as a customer of items, and for me as a sewist trying to decide what to offer! The next few posts will continue to break down the different options within patterns or pattern types.

I’ve already looked at the pros and cons of different diaper styles and insert options, as well as some different grow with me pants patterns. Today we’re on to bibs!

The Apple Tree Drool Bib Set is my go-to for bibs. 4 options, good sizing range, love the pattern, and the designer is Canadian. Win win win all around! Here are my specific thoughts on the different options.

Full disclosure – I *might* have tried on all 4 bib types myself while my toddler model was sleeping. So when I talk about sizing in each I’ll mention the sizing according to the pattern, how they fit on my 3T sized model, and how they would *cough* hypothetically fit an adult. And there are 3 different snap settings on the bibs, so there is some wiggle room in there.

I sew all except the double bandana bib with a water resistant heavy fleece back, so it will take a LOT more drool (or whatever) before the baby’s clothes will actually get wet. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sewing when my son was going through his terrifyingly-acidic-teething-drool stage, so he constantly had an unhappy rash down his chin and onto his chest whenever he was teething no matter how often I changed his bibs. So I’ve made what I know would have helped him, just in case it helps you too. 🙂

Side Snap Bandana Bib

Side Snap Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Side Snap Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

This one is awesome for babies/tots with long hair because the snaps are on the side. However, the sizing for this pattern is the smallest of all four, otherwise it would be my personal favourite.

Fit according to the pattern: Newborn – 2 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: A little snugger than I’m comfortable with personally, but still mostly fit. (My recommendation is to keep this one for newborns and babies rather than toddler as well, but it of course depends on the kid.)

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Didn’t fit.

Slouchy Bandana Bib

Slouchy Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Slouchy Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

This one is a fairly popular style right now, and while the pattern has it as up to 2 years, I found it fit my 3T sized model comfortably. This pattern isn’t quite as slouchy as some other patterns I’ve tried, but it’s also much less bulky, and lays flat – this mean it can be packed easily, mails well, and you’re not forever trying to figure out how to get creases out of a slouchy item you can’t really iron.

Fit according to the pattern: Newborn – 2 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: Fit well.

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Snug, but fit.

Double Bandana Bib

Double Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Double Bandana Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

This one isn’t backed with water resistant fleece, but there are 4 layers between the drool and the clothing, so it’s pretty generous for absorbency as far as bibs go. It’s also reversible, so if you can’t choose between two prints, this is the way to go! It also seemed the largest for sizing of all four.

Fit according to the pattern: 6 months – 3 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: Fit well.

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Snug, but fit, seemed the largest of the 4 styles.

Scarf Bib

Scarf Bib sewn by Tiffany and Tot

Scarf Bib sewn by Tiffany & Tot

I think this is my personal favourite, though I’m not entirely sure why I like it over the other styles. (Just personal preference I guess.) The sizing is somewhere in the middle, so it would fit early and was still a very comfortable fit for my 3T sized model. It also fits very nicely under coats without being bulky, so I used this style for an actual scarf under a winter coat for my son. The fleece back kept him nice and warm for playing out in the snow. (That said, the Slouchy Bandana Bib and Side Snapped Bandana Bib would likely work just as well, I just didn’t make any of that style for my son.)

Fit according to the pattern: Newborn – 2 years

Fit on a 3T sized model: Fit well.

Hypothetical *cough* fit on an adult: Snug, but fit.


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My Grow With Me Pants Options

Did I have you sold from my last post about how grow with me options are awesome? You can find it here if you missed out.

Today I’ll be explaining the 3  different grow with me pants options that I sell, and like everything, there are pros and cons flying around everywhere! 🙂

Personally I prefer the Apple Tree Bunny Bottoms pattern (looked at in this post). Super cute, biggest size range, a gusset for easier movement, can also be shorts, lots of decorative options, and Apple Tree Sewing Patterns is a Canadian small business! Plus, if you go with the smallest size, even though they would be large at birth, they would last much longer (12 months) than the other pants (6 months).

Everyone is different however, and the other patterns do have their benefits. All are cloth diaper friendly except for a single option of the Monster Bunz pattern (because that one technically has 4 fit options). Pros and cons of each design below, and check here for help on rolling up the cuffs.

Bunny Bottoms (pattern by Apple Tree Sewing)

Slim(ish) harem pants, fit similar to jogging pants.

Pros:

  • biggest size range, up to size 6 (3-12 months, 9 months – 3T, and 3T-6)
  • added gusset for extra movement (so less stress on the seams, and it drapes nicely)
  • pants or shorts (shorts can be cuffed or be hemmed)
  • 3 pocket options (slit, peek-a-boo or kangaroo)
  • faux drawstring option

Cons:

  • more expensive – the gusset, pockets and drawstring take more time and increase the price appropriately

For an in-depth look at all the options, and lots of pictures, check out this post.

Monster Bunz (pattern by Opulent Monsters)

These fit more similar to leggings, though depending on the option chosen they may be snug or slightly looser as shown above. The options mostly decide themselves depending on if you want a “bum circle” (which acts like a gusset and creates more room for a cloth diaper), and if you want them to be more on the snug side or on the  slightly looser side.

Pros:

  • 4 fit options, from leggings to fairly fitted jogging pants
  • can be sewn with or without a “bum circle” (with it creates a better fit over cloth diapers, without it reduces the cost of the pants)
  • smaller sizes available (preemie, tiny newborn, and newborn)
  • sizes up to 4 years (0-6 months, 3-18 months, 1-4 years)
  • there is a size starting at birth

Cons:

  • slimmer through the hips, so while possible, pockets wouldn’t be recommended (and are not possible with 3 of the 4 styles)

P is for Pirate Harem Pants (pattern by Hatchlings Patterns)

These are a very quick sew, so less expensive, and they do have a fair bit of room for a cloth diaper. Good for a newborn, especially if they’re a slow gainer.  You’ll see in the “cons”, that I have limited sizing in there, though there is a larger size available that’s 6 months-4T. I debated getting it, but I’m so in love with the Bunny Bottoms that I didn’t want to buy another harem pants pattern needlessly. While I haven’t compared them personally (since I don’t have the larger size of this one), I worry that there might be too much stress on the crotch seam too with this one, since there isn’t a gusset to allow for more movement (like the Bunny Bottoms). But I do still think this would be my pick if looking for pants for a preemie or newborn (keeping in mind that they likely would grow out of them very quickly).

Pros:

  • less expensive
  • there is a size starting at birth
  • a baggy harem means room for a cloth diaper

Cons:

  • only one size, 0-6 months

 

And that’s that! My pick is definitely the Bunny Bottoms. What do you think? Did I miss any pros or cons?


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Diaper Inserts, and Other (Better!) Absorbent Options

Not all diaper styles require inserts, but most do require something absorbent to be added. Personally, I’m proudly sewing in New Brunswick, Canada, and let me tell you, absorbent fabric is very expensive in Canada. If I were to sell inserts for the same price as what you can find mass produced, I wouldn’t even be covering the cost of the fabric, let alone accounting for time and other materials! And while I did lovethe inserts I made for my son, they were just not cost effective.

With my son I used a mixture of inserts (both my own and purchased), flour sack towels, and receiving blankets, and honestly, from a consumer standpoint, the flour sack towels win and are always my top recommendation.

The Short Version

In order of most absorbent to least absorbent:

  1. receiving blanket
  2. flour sack towel/my inserts
  3. mass produced inserts

And in order of what I would personally used and would recommend and why:

  1. flour sack towel – trim, absorbent, cheap
  2. my inserts – trim, absorbent
  3. receiving blanket – absorbent, cheap
  4. mass produced inserts – cheap, somewhat trim

The Long Version

Flour Sack Towels (FSTs)

Commonly called FSTs in the diapering world, these can be found in many department stores in the kitchen section. In Canada, so far the best price I’ve found is about $8 to buy a pack of 5 in Walmart in store (I haven’t been able to find them online). Anywhere else I’ve looked (other department stores and Amazon) have them at a starting price of $4 each. They’re a larger piece of 100% cotton that you can fold in a couple different ways, depending on where you want extra absorbency.

Pros:

  • the cheapest option to purchase, it’s roughly $8 CAD for 5 fsts from in store at Wal-Mart
  • fairly trim when folded well
  • more absorbent than a standard mass produced insert
  • come clean very easily
  • dry very quickly
  • 100% cotton, unlikely baby would be allergic if they’re directly against the skin

Cons:

  • need to be unfolded before going on the wash, and refolded after drying
  • not topped with a stay dry fabric, so the wetness could cause irritation to some if it’s against the skin

Inserts – my own

I give things quite a bit of thought before I go full steam ahead, particularly when it comes to sewing with expensive fabric! These I made to suit a very heavy wetting little boy, and they absolutely did handle the situation, but were also expensive to make.

Pros:

  • trim
  • very absorbent
  • don’t need to be folded
  • customizable fabrics, so can be natural or stay dry depending on the needs of the baby

Cons:

  • the most expensive option
  • take a long time to dry (natural fibers)

Receiving Blankets

That’s right, normal receiving blankets work too! They’re very absorbent, but they’re also a little bulky. But considering you may already have some you’re not using, they’re definitely worth trying. These need to be folded, which can take a little trial and error figuring out the best way to make them fit well, but they may already be sitting unused in your house.

Pros:

  • possibly free, if you have a bunch lying around
  • the most absorbent option
  • come clean very easily
  • dry fairly quickly
  • 100% cotton, unlikely baby would be allergic

Cons:

  • the bulkiest option (but if you only need one, a single one, it could be the same or less bulky than 2 standard inserts)
  • need to be unfolded before washing and recorded after drying
  • not topped with a stay dry fabric, so the wetness could cause irritation to some if it’s against the skin

Inserts – purchased elsewhere

I’ve a number of different styles made from different fabrics, some of which could go directly against the skin, others of which need to be hidden in a pocket (looking at you microfiber!). From what I’ve tried, no single mass produced insert was as absorbent as a single insert I made, and they also weren’t trimmer to make up the difference. Perhaps there are some out there that would be at least as absorbent as what I’ve made, but I haven’t found them.

Pros:

  • can be very cheap if you buy mass produced
  • can be trim depending on what you buy (but you’re more likely to need to use more than one at a time, which could be more bulky)
  • don’t need to be folded
  • could buy to suit needs of the baby (whether there is an allergy or if the baby is irritated by wetness)

Cons:

  • the least absorbent option – I found a single FST was almost as absorbent as 2 mass produced inserts
  • some cannot go directly against the skin (microfiber)