Friday, August 5, 2011

QSFW – Regular & Short-wing versions, size Newborn

About the pattern:
This is a free pattern available in four sizes (NB, S, M and L).  This pattern was designed by the same mama as the EZDipe pattern that I previously reviewed!  This pattern is unique, in that the soaker pieces are attached, but in a way that still allows the diaper to dry quickly.  The overall pattern shape is like a large rectangle, with wings that fold in to make the soaker.  There are two versions of this pattern, the regular version and the short wing version; which have slightly different shape and wing length.  This pattern is intended to only be used as a fitted diaper because the outside layer must be absorbent, since that folds in to make the soaker wings.  The pattern can be made with snaps or hook & loop; or it can just be left closureless.   There are no elastic markings on this pattern because it is meant to be like a flat diaper; however, many mamas add elastic to this diaper to make it more like a fitted.  There are very brief instructions included with the pattern, but the pattern maker also created a nice photo tutorial; which I included a link to at the end of this post.

My test diapers:
I used this pattern to make a newborn size fitted diaper in each of the variations (regular and short wing), with snap closures.  I used three layers so that the wings would have enough absorbent fabric in them to make up the soakers.  I added elastic to my test diapers because I think elasticized diapers are best for newborns.  There are several ways to add elastic to the diaper; I will show some of the elastic techniques after these pics!

Here are pics of the diapers on the smallest settings and on the largest settings (the blue diaper is the regular version and the yellow diaper is the short wing version:

The waist and thighs of the short wing version are smaller than the regular version:

The back of the diapers are very similar:

Here are pics of the soaker flaps folded in:

Here are the diapers opened up:

Elastic options:
1 – Add elastic only to the back wing area (either cased or tacked down with three-step zig-zag):  This method results in no elastic on the front of the leg; only in the back.  This is a very easy method and should work fine to contain messes.
-On your pattern, mark your first elastic point at the base of the wing and your second elastic point right above the “U” shape by the soaker wing.
-Put your pieces right sides together and stitch your diaper together as you normally would
-Either sew your elastic down using a 3-step zig-zag stitch, or if you prefer to tack it, lay your elastic on your pattern and stretch it between your two elastic marks to see how long of a piece you need to cut; add a quarter inch on each end to give you room to tack it down.  Then tack the elastic down at each end.
-Turn the diaper right side out.  If you sewed the elastic down with a 3-step zig-zag, the elastic is finished.  If you tacked the ends, then sew a casing around the elastic when you are topstitching your diaper.

Here are some pictures of what the elastic looks like using this method:

2 – Add exposed elastic only through the leg area:  This method looks kind of sloppy because the elastic is exposed; however, if you sewed up the QSFW without elastic and want to go back and add it in later, this method is very easy.  With this method, you only want to run your elastic through the part of the diaper where the soaker wing will cover it up.  That means you won’t have any elastic through the back of the thigh (where you need it most), so I don’t think this method is ideal.
-Completely sew your diaper together, without any elastic added.
-Sew your elastic down with a 3-step zig-zag, starting just below the “U” shape by the soaker wing, and continuing toward the front of the diaper (stopping the elastic about 2” from the front of the diaper).  That’s it, all done!

I don’t have any pictures of this method because I have never actually used this method.

3 – Add elastic through the entire length of the back wing and the leg area.  This method puts elastic everywhere that you need it, just like a fitted diaper.  It can be done blind or cased. 
-Sew your diaper layers together and then turn them right side out. 
-For blind elastic, mark where you want to sew the elastic down, or for cased elastic mark where you want to sew the casing.  I sewed my test diapers using blind elastic; here is how my diaper looked when I had it marked for elastic:

-For blind elastic, reach through your turning hole to place the elastic and then use a three-step zig-zag stitch to sew down the elastic through all layers of the diaper.  For cased elastic, sew your casing and then attach a safety pin to each end of the elastic and reach through your turning hole and fish the elastic through the casing.  Tack down the ends and remove the safety pins.

Overall opinion:
I like that the soaker pieces are attached to the diaper so that you don’t have to fish for inserts when folding the laundry.  I also like the overall size of this diaper.  However, I think that it is a little easier to put on a regular fitted diaper because I find myself having to tug at the front of the QSFW to get the wings tucked in properly and the front smoothed out.  I definitely prefer the QSFW with elastic added because I think that would do a much better job at containing newborn messes!  I like both the regular and short-wing version; for a skinny baby I would go with short-wing, and for a chubby baby I would go with the regular version.

Fit update:
Before umbilical cord falls off:
The regular version of the QSFW fit my son nicely at 8.5 lbs, but he was on the largest setting, so the max weight is probably around 9 lbs or less.  The rise was just a touch too high so I had to try to tuck it down to keep it away from the umbilical cord...a slight scoop would have been perfect.

The short-wing version is a similar fit except the waist is a little snugger and the rise is a little shorter.  At 8lbs 10oz, my son was on the largest setting, and it was a little difficult to get it snapped; so I would say the max fit range for the short wing version is somewhere close to 9 lbs.

Action shot of regular version:

4 weeks old, 11 pounds:
The regular version fits on the largest setting, but will not fit much longer at all because there isn't much room in the waist and the rise is getting short as well.  I would consider the maximum weight to be around 11 or 12 pounds.  My son has already outgrown the short-wing version; that one probably fit him up to around 10 pounds.

Action shots of regular version (it is a nice snug fit on the legs; it looks funny from the side view because of the ruffled elastic technique that I used):

Get the pattern:

Photo tutorial and instructions are here:  You need to be a member of Diaper Sewing Divas to view this, but it is a great cloth diaper sewing community, so I would highly recommend joining (it is free to join)!

Thank you very much to the mama who provided these free patterns! 

Please feel free to comment about your experience with the QSFW or SWQSFW patterns or with any questions about my review!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bramblestitches - Newborn

About the pattern:
This is a free pattern available in five sizes (premie – large).  The magazine article that accompanies this pattern has good instructions as well as a few pictures of the sewing steps.  The pattern is for a front-closing hook & loop diaper.

My test diaper:
I used this pattern to make a newborn size fitted diaper.  The pattern notes that the newborn size will fit approximately 6-12 pounds.  This is a very full coverage diaper.  Here are some pics!

Despite seeming large in comparison to the other newborn patterns I have tried, the elastic placement allows for the leg openings to be small enough that they should fit little newborn legs:

Overall opinion:
I will admit, when I printed up this pattern, I didn’t think I was going to like it.  Turns out, I do actually like it, but for covers rather than fitteds.  I think that this pattern would work great for covers because it is such full coverage.  To illustrate, here is a pic of a Shar's newborn diaper, laid inside the Bramblestitches diaper…if this was a cover, I think it would be a great combo!

With all that said, this full coverage fitted will still definitely work well in my stash because I prefer to use soakers & longies rather than wrap style covers; so I won’t have to worry about trying to cram a full coverage fitted into a narrow cover!

Fit update:
4 weeks old, 11 pounds:
I like this diaper a lot more than I thought I would!  It is a good fit around the legs and there is plenty of room to double-stuff it for nighttime.  It is definitely hard to fit it under a wrap-style cover though.  The diaper is on nearly the smallest setting at this size, so I would say the diaper would start fitting around 9 or 10 pounds, and has plenty of growing room.

Action shots:

2 months old - 14lbs,10oz:
This is a nice fit, but despite the full coverage and extra room in the waist, I don't think this will fit much longer because there is not much growing room left in the thighs.  I like this diaper much more than I though I would though.

Get the pattern:

And the instructions as well as some pictures are included in the magazine article here:

Thank you very much to the mama who provided this free pattern! 

Please feel free to comment about your experience with the Bramblestitches pattern or with any questions about my review!