Sunday, March 30, 2014
Okay, Okay... one last sewing project for now... A sweet diaper stacker
Way, way back in 1995, when I was in my 20's and expecting my first baby, I made a diaper stacker. It matched the baby bumpers I made for the crib, the dust ruffle for the crib, the wall hanging on the wall, a little quilt, and every other thing I could possibly sew for the baby's nursery. Truth is... I had the nursery ready by the time I was five months pregnant. Yes, I was excited!
I remember being particularly proud of the diaper stacker. I don't remember it being particularly challenging to make, I just remember being proud of it. It was just a really neat thing to make for yourself. I put a rigid piece of fabric covered foam in the base of the diaper stacker so it wouldn't droop when stacked full of diapers.
The other day, a gal at work, Mrs. M, had a going away party. I brought her a blanket I had made for her. She's a new mom. She's moving from Colorado to Minnesota. I made her what I called a "travel blanket". It was sort of long and narrow (fleece on one side and flannel on the other side and I added ribbons so she can roll up and tie the blanket in the shape of a yoga mat). I was envisioning her on her move half way across the country and needing a nice clean changing pad in places like public restrooms or on hotel beds where they don't launder the bedspreads (ick!). Mrs. M loved the blanket and Mrs. K (who is due to have her baby any day now... I mean... any minute now!) liked it too. We all got to chatting about sewing baby things and Mrs. K said she really wanted a diaper stacker!
"A diaper stacker! I can make you one!"
I had Mrs. K look at a website (www.firststitches.com). My local quilt shop called "First Stitches" has all of their fabric pictured on line and it comes in handy since I am doing a lot of sewing for others. Mrs. K found fabric she liked on the store's website and I made up the diaper stacker. I did go out and buy a pattern... I imagine I threw out my nearly 20 year old diaper stacker pattern long ago but am bummed that I did. I wasn't confident enough to try to wing it with out a pattern.
The new pattern is from "Simplicity". Without going into a lot of details, I would like to say that the person who made up this design and instructions should be shot! There were so many steps that were confusing and I kept telling myself, "there has got to be a better way to do this!?" I was a little nervous about making the diaper stacker for Mrs. K. I had a bunch of fabric at home so I decided to make a practice diaper stacker out of fabric that someone might like in a nursery before I tried to make the project with the more expensive fabric Mrs. K had selected ($10.50 per yard). I am very glad I worked out the bugs on the practice project. I modified the pattern on the second go around and it was a much more pleasant experience!
Here she is:
I love the gentle pleats on the side...
Nice fabric, right? The background is white or the palest of blue. The design is a soft blue grey.
My modifications to the pattern were not huge. I added a bit of fabric to the front panels so I could sew nice hems at the front openings (left and right) so there would be no raw edges. The pattern did not allow enough fabric for a hem where you could fold it over two times.
The one seam in the diaper stacker body is in the very back and you can see that seam through the opening in the front of the diaper stacker. This seam had raw edges too. I added extra fabric to the seam allowance and made a "French Seam" so the loose ends are encased and it has a nice, clean, finished look (My mom will be so proud when she reads this! Fancy French seams!)
Also, the pattern called for cutting two bases for the diaper stacker and then sewing them together, wrong sides together, with a layer of batting sandwiched in between. The edges stay unfinished and that bothers me. I took a piece of rigid foam, cut it to the size of the base, and made a fabric pillow case for foam rectangle. I stitched the pillow case closed so the foam is hidden inside. The fabric covered foam rests in the bottom of the diaper stacker; this will also help the diaper stacker keep it's shape when it's filled with little diapers and it also covered up some of those raw edges in the base which bother me.
My biggest modification to the project was the top portion. The pattern instructed that some arches shaped fleece pieces should be stitched to the top of the diaper stacker. Then the arch shaped fabric cover should be dropped down over that and then hand stitched down. No way, Jose! I fused the arch shaped pieces of fabric to matching arch shaped pieces of Pellon Fusible Fleece and then stitched them together. Then I attached the arched portion to the base portion. Much easier. Ways of modifying this pattern to make it easier to make and more cleanly finished on the inside continue to rattle around in my head. I like the challenge of "building a better mouse trap!"
I can't wait to give Mrs. K her diaper stacker. I am really happy with how it turned out!