Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to seam your FOE for a professional finish

If you are like me then perhaps you simply folded the FOE tail end over towards the inside of the diaper and sewed that down.  I did all my FOE finishing like this for years and just really hated the way it looked but was not sure exactly how I wanted to finish it off to make it look better.  I mean function wise it works just great, not to mention it is easy and quick to do like that.  Look wise, not so professional.  So I set out to get this process down pat and done the easiest way I could.

If you are wanting to sell covers or diapers bound with FOE and do not seam your FOE yet, then this simple tutorial is for you!

Take a moment to look at the pattern you are using and determine where the best place to end your FOE is going to be.  If it is a front closing diaper/cover without front elastic then the tummy panel is the best place.  Otherwise on one of the back wings at least 3/4 of an inch prior to the back elastic mark on the left of the diaper (when the diaper is right side of the outer layer facing up) is best.

For this tutorial I am making a cover that has a flat front tummy and closes in the front so this is where I am going to seam my FOE.  I mark on the fabric where I want to start sewing the FOE down.  I want an inch and a half between my start and stop point so my seam will fall dead center between my start and stop at 3/4 of an inch.

Leave yourself a tail of FOE here at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches long.  I like to make a mark on the FOE that corresponds to the mark I made on the fabric.

Here I have marked 3/4 of an inch in from the edge.  This is the line you will sew on once you have FOE'd your diaper/cover.  I also mark 3/4 of an inch over to the right from that to match my start point.  

I'm a little OCD and like to mark that start point again on the top of my FOE.

Get your FOE lined up with the diaper/cover at your start mark.  Set your machine so that when it stops the needle rests in the down position.  Also, my preference is to sew FOE down with a wide 3 step zigzag but you can absolutely use a straight stitch here.  Just stitch slowly and keep the line of stitching 1/8th of an inch from the left edge of the FOE as you sew it to your diaper/cover.

I like to have my presser foot lined up at the first little line on the left side of the foot.  This places my stitching close to the left edge of the FOE and helps to keep the FOE from rolling up a little after washing.

Any time you need to stop and make adjustments to the FOE I find it is best to stop with your needle down in either the far left or far right position.  This will help you  maintain nice and even spacing with your stitch when using a wide 3 step zigzag and give your finished product a more polished look.

When I am getting close (like an inch away) to my stopping point I like to stop sewing and smooth the FOE around the edge of the diaper so I can mark on the FOE where I will sew the ends of the FOE together.  So for this cover that is 3/4 of an inch away from my stop line.  Little change up here, pictures from another cover only because I have more detailed images on this one than the one I made for the pattern instructions.

After you get to your stop point, lock your stitched and remove your cover from your machine.  Now you will turn the FOE so that the RIGHT SIDES touch and match up your lines you made on the FOE.  This is your seam sewing line.

I like to run a pin through the line to hold the FOE right where I want it and then pull it out as I start to sew the FOE together.  Be sure to lock your stitches at the start and end of stitching on this line.

Trim close to your stitching, like 1/4 of an inch away, angle in your corners.  Clip threads.

Open the seam and turn the FOE so the right side is facing up and the wrong side down.

Smooth the FOE down onto the diaper/cover and you are ready to sew the last part.

Put the cover/diaper back on the machine and line it up to where you start stitching at the stop line.  Sew across the FOE to the original start line to finish this up.  Lock stitches, remove from machine, clip threads and you are done!!

Now you have a diaper/cover that is bound in FOE and looks polished and professional!

♥ Krista

Monday, August 29, 2011

Adding sidewall gussets to any diaper or cover pattern, an easy how-to tutorial!

It is really easy to add gussets to ANY diaper or cover pattern that you have in your stash.  There are no fancy pattern pieces needed.  I am using pictures from my new cover pattern and these were taken while making an In A Snap Tuck-It-In style cover.

First you are going to take your ruler and measure from one elastic point on your pattern to the other.  Whatever that measurement is, add one inch.  Draw this on your scrap PUL or whatever fabric you are using for your gusset.  Find the center of this line and measure down 2 1/2 inches.  This determines the overall center height of your gusset.  I like 2 1/2 inches because once I have sewn the FOE on around the diaper my gusset is about 2 inches tall and that's perfect to me.  Now if you don't like FOE or your little one has allergies or sensitivities you can totally do this with a turned version of any diaper or cover pattern but I will get to that at the very end.

Now you will use a french curve, bowl or plate to make a curve that starts at one end, meets the measurement for height then goes to the other end.  You want to end up with a piece that looks like my paper piece in this picture.

Now once you have your template or shape drawn on your fabric you will mark in 1/2 of an inch from each end, these are your elastic points for the FOE along the top of the gusset to gather it nicely.  Cut out two gusset pieces.  The stretch of the fabric should be going side to side and not up and down.

I like to use 3/4 inch FOE on gusset tops but you can use 5/8, 7/8 and 1 inch FOE.  Now you take your FOE and fold one end in half and slip your gusset piece into it.  You will want to leave about 1-2 inches of FOE for a tail so you have something to grab onto when you sew the FOE down.  

Starting at the end of the gusset piece tack down your stitches and sew to your elastic mark.  Stop with your needle in the down position and pull the FOE firmly, stretching it down the length of the gusset piece.  

Hold securely and sew slowly using a wide 3 step zigzag stitch.  When you reach the elastic end point stop stretching the FOE and continue sewing the last half inch, tack stitches and repeat with the other side.

Now that your gussets are prepped you are ready to pin them to your cover layer.  Mark the center of each gusset and find the center between the leg elastic points and mark that.  Line up your centers and pin then pin at each end.  You will want to rotate the end of the gusset just a little so it tapers off the diaper here.  If you can see I have the gusset elastic mark lined up with the cover layer but it is turned a bit.  Pin down, do this on the other side.

Now you have three pins in place and can ease the gusset and diaper layer together and pin in a few more places.

Here is my gusset piece all pinned in.  You really don't need a lot of pins for this step.

When you go to sew your gusset and cover layer together, this is important, have your gusset layer facing DOWN.  Use the feed dogs to do all the work and ease the two layers together.  All you do is guide the fabric and the machine does all the work here.  Sew close to the edge, I like to sew about 1/8th of an inch from the edge for this step.

See how nice that looks?  No tucks or wrinkles or anything.  Perfectly eased in gusset to your cover layer.

Do that to each leg and trim the tails of FOE off that are sticking out and you are all ready to bind your cover in FOE!  Now wasn't that easy?  :)

If you are making a turned diaper or cover you will  sew your gusset piece to the inner layer.  Wrong side of gusset to right side of inner layer.   All other construction steps remain the same.  Sew your elastic into the seam allowance on either your inner or outer layer. When you turn your diaper or cover right side out your gussets will be facing the right way and once you case the leg elastic they will stand up nicely in the leg curve.

I hope that this helps out anyone that is struggling with how to add gussets to any pattern!  Please feel free to link to this blog post but do not copy my photos without my permission.  Thank you!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

The In A Snap OS Diaper Cover pattern has been released!

Man oh man am I happy with how this one turned out.  I ended up adding a couple of options to it at the very end of finalizing the pattern and I'm so glad I did.  I think they really add that little something that was missing when it was just a plain old cover pattern.

The pattern includes side wall gussets to help contain those messy blowouts and leaks from side sleepers as well as options to make it an In A Snap Tuck-It-In cover.  You can add snaps to the cover under the Tuck-It-In back flap and make yourself a very nice AI2 style cover/diaper.

Gussets!  They are SO easy to do.  I have full color step by step pictures of the process in the instructions!

This is the cover with the Tuck-It-In option and the gusset option.  

The pattern also includes full color photos on how to make your FOE seamed so it has a professional finished look to it.  It is really easy to do!

The pattern is currently listed on my Hyenacart store for $6.  It is a PDF file and I email out the download link as soon as I see the order.  My listing says you will get your link within 24 hours but that would be the rare instance.  I try to be really quick and send out links as soon as orders come in.

I also take custom orders for any of the products made with my patterns if you don't sew but see something you like!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rocket Bottoms Giveaway on The Tree Huggin' Momma blog is up!

If you would like a chance to win a TWIST diaper made by me take a moment and stop by The Tree Huggin' Momma blog.  I sent her a diaper to use on her little one and give a review on the product as it was a brand new design that hadn't seen much action outside of my testing groups.  She has instructions on the blog for how to enter the giveaway.  Stop by and show her some love!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New patterns coming soon and a giveaway for a Rocket Bottoms OS Fitted Diaper!

The Side Snapper is in testing right now and all that is going great!  This one should be ready around the first of September.  I am in the process of finalizing the In A Snap OS Cover pattern and should have that ready for the stores by the end of this week.

I will be making revisions to the 2 Step System pattern as soon as I get the two current pattern projects wrapped up.  As well and re-digitizing the OS Fitted in an attempt to streamline the files and cut down on pages to print.

If you would like to enter a giveaway featuring a OS Fitted made by me stop by Crazy 4 Fluff's blog here and read all about it!  http://networkedblogs.com/lNMTl This contest is open for entry through the 31st of August so hurry over and enter today!

I have diapers being reviewed on 3 other blogs at the moment and will post links to enter their giveaways as soon they are posted.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Photo sew-along using the TWIST pattern

While there are photos in the instructions of this pattern I had a few people ask for more pictures to follow along to when putting this pattern together.  So here you go!

First step is to cut out all your pieces.  I like to put my inner pieces grouped together and my outer pieces grouped together as each set needs something done to them before sewing the inner and outer layers together.

 Now that my pieces are all grouped I like to serge the bottom of the loop fabric for the tummy panel.  You don't have to do this as this edge will not unravel.  I think it looks more finished this way.
 On the back leak guard piece you will sew on your laundry tabs if you are making the diaper hook and loop like I am in this example.  Use a zigzag stitch or a straight stitch.  I prefer a zigzag because I feel it holds up better in the long run from repeated use.
 Next you will pin and sew the leak guards to the inner poly layer.  The seam allowance is 3/8th of an inch here just like on the rest of the diaper.
 You can leave the edges unfinished, pink them with pinking shears or use a serger to finish them.  I serge them.
 If you serge the edges here trim off about an 1/8th of an inch.
 This is an optional step as well but I really like how it looks when this part is top-stitched.
Now this part you have some wiggle room with placement.  You can have your opening a bit lower than mine but I like to have the top edge of my welt pocket piece 3/4 of an inch below the top edge of the leak guard.
 To make the welt pocket opening you will stitch a narrow rectangle on your piece.  Mark in a half inch on each short edge of the pocket piece.  These marks are where the short sides of your opening will be.  Starting at one side of the piece stitch along the folded up edge.  When you reach the second mark, pivot your layer making sure that your needle is in the down position, stitch two stitches and pivot again.  Continue stitching straight across the piece until you reach the first mark.  Pivot, stitch two stitches, pivot again and stitch two or three stitches on top of the starting stitches then lock your stitches.
 What it looks like from the back side.  My rectangle got a touch out of shape.  If you stitch slowly and keep everything lined up your rectangle will be more perfect.

 Fold the layer in half and snip in the center of the rectangle all the way to each edge.  Take care not to snip the threads on the short ends.

 Now you tuck in the top part of the piece down into the opening.  Fold in the edges and pin to secure.
 On the back side make sure the ends are nice and neat, pin to secure.
 Stitch the folded edges.  Make sure that you stitch down far enough to catch the folded edges on the back side.

 If you are making this diaper to sell you will need to add your CPSIA compliant label.  I like to sew mine in right at the back edge of this pocket.  I tuck the raw ends of the label under the seam at the PUL and the microfleece and stitch down with a zigzag stitch.
 Repeat the above steps with the back pocket opening only come down further, more like 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches from the edge.
 Once your back pocket opening is complete pin along your marks for the gusset casing.
 Stitch 3/8th of an inch from the folded edge to create your casings.  Leave both ends open so you can thread in your elastic later.
 Now that your inner layer is complete it is time to finish the outer layer.  Sew your loop fabric or loop tape to the front of the diaper now.  If using loop tape leave 1/2 an inch on each side so you can turn and top-stitch without loop tape in the seam.  If you are applying snaps do this now and be sure to re-enforce your snaps with a scrap of PUL.
 Add your rise snaps if you are making a OS and now it's time to pin the pieces together.  To keep the gusset casings out of the way I like to pin it down in the center.
 Now you are all pinned together and ready to sew it up.
 Since you have two pocket openings to turn the diaper through you do not need to leave an opening.  Stitching PUL to PUL can be tricky so use a walking foot, Teflon foot, tissue paper, or wax paper if you need to.  I do not have a walking foot or a Teflon foot and I dislike sewing on paper and having to gently pull it off so I lengthen my stitch length and go slow pulling gently on the fabric so the machine is not easing my bottom layer and creating ripples and tucks in the top layer.  Make sure your needle will stop in the down position so you can easily readjust as need be!
 Once you have it all sewn up add in your elastic and you are almost done!  Make sure to trim all curves and corners.  Turn right side out and top-stitch the entire diaper making sure to stitch around the elastic areas to case them.
 You will take your gusset elastic and put a safety pin on one end and thread it through a pocket opening.

 I like to put a straight pin at the mark on the end with the point up so when I pull it through it will stop at the end of the casing stitches.
 When I hit the end I push the pin up to mark where I need to tack down the elastic.
 Both ends are now secure with straight pins and ready to be tacked down.
 Elastic securely tacked down.
 If you are using hook and loop I like to tack the edges together on my tabs prior to sewing them on to keep them from slipping around.
 Sew your hook and loop tabs on to the diaper.  You don't have to have them extended.  I make them this way because I like how it looks.  You could even just use squares of hook and loop on the wings to create your crossover tabs if you don't want extended tabs.
 All done!  Toss it in the wash to rinse off our sewing marker and dry it on hot to seal the holes in the PUL then stuff and put on your baby!