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I thin Hemp is a good idea too start with. I wouldn't want a very bulkie diaper.
I would want one that is not sizelimited. And one that doesn't take a lot of space. In case I have to get on the move. I think I agree that. I wouldn't want prefold!

Isn't there Awahm out there who can help you out witch the best stitches.. There are so many women on the net making diapers.


P.S. Of all the beuatifull posts you do I decide to delurk to talk about diapers!


Would a diaper service be able to help you out? Perhaps they could give a bulk discount if you wanted to buy from them, rather than "rent".

Also, since I've used the prefolds as burp cloths (Hannah's reflux sent me searching for the most absorbent) I wanted to tell you that the "birdseye" weave is much more absorbent right off the bat than the heavier, stiff ones you were talking about, which have to be washed a million times before they work worth a damn.

I wish I knew more. I think this is a fabulous project.


No sew fleece would make the sewing nothing just cut to size and softer than some hemp but not help with bulk and drying time. I have a prefold size that I carry in the diaper bag to using on public changing tables. In a pinch it is an extra diaper.


Granted, I don't know where these things will be shipped, I just wanted to throw the idea that people in hot climates/developing countries may not actually use diapers on their kids. When we were in cambodia, toddlers and babies just wore shirts, no pants. When they had to go, they went. If they were pooping, their parents would hold them over the gutter, if one was handy.

Of course, I know you didn't design the layettes, so someone who knows more must think there is a need for diapers. I would also second contacting a diaper service. When we used one (briefly) they offered their used diapers for sale at very discounted prices. The quality of diaper service diapers seemed really good to me.

Sarah Gesiakowski

With the details you have given flats are definately a better option. Consider this idea. A simple one-size pocket diaper like Wonderoos with flats as inserts. The Wonderoos would allow anything including a rag to be used as the absorption layer. They are one-size to fit most every baby. The Wonderoos are also made out of PUL which is a breathable fabric, definately a plus in hot climates. Flat diapers would wash easiest with minimal water if they were made out of birdseye gauze like old fashioned diapers. Consider that more than likely the diapers would only be washed if poopy like in the olden days on the wagon trains west - poopies get washed, peed dipes get aired and dryed. Diapers could be cut and hemmed like a hankie. However, it might be more economical just to buy in bulk or at co-op.

Hope this helps your quest,
Sarah Gesiakowski


I like the idea of contacting a diaper service as well.

However, when my mom and I made a couple dozen diapers as "back-up" to the posh ones I bought we used birds-eye fabric. Don't sew them too thick because then they take longer to dry. You just want a nice day-time diaper that could be doubled for night time use. If you make a 'premium' size diaper, it can be folded down for a smaller baby, too.

The hemp is nice, of course, but you would get less for your money. And, by the by, where do you find hemp terry fabric for sale? Maybe it's just because I live in MN, but I'm pretty sure Jo-Ann fabric doesn't carry it!


Diapers I'm familiar with. Fabric I'm not. Birds eye? No idea.
But you've made me wish I could sew.

Lisa C.

I'd go with plain old cotton flats. Hemp can be hard to wash (at least my hemp CD products can be), and I guess they would be washing by hand. They're also multi-use, so if they won't be used as diapers, at least the recipients will get some use out of them. Just my 2 cents.


Ask Jessica Wiseman at, she runs a home based sew-your-own diaper shop that sells every possible kind of diaper fabric, patterns, you-name-it. Wonderful and funny blogger too. As for me, we liked the diaper service quality Chinese prefolds used with pro-wrap covers, they held up well through 3 kids in all seasons. I would definitely inlude a waterproof cover or 2 if your budget has room for it.

Linda B

Hmm, seeing as though I have no experience with cloth diapers, I would imagine the flat ones would be easier to clean and dry.

Jessica ( actually owns a company that sells cloth diapers - you could ask her, I bet she would have good suggestions.


I have no opinion or knowledge of any kind. But I wanted to acknowledge your awesomeness.

You are, you know.


I added an update with info about what we can and can't send.

Very Mom

I wrote you too but wanted to add that I think serging the edges would be the fastest and neatest way to go if you end up making prefolds or flats. But also say with the birdseye flats, the raw edges can be turned twice and hemmed ;)


That is a great idea that you and your church do each time around Christmas. I am definitely going to bring this up to our church since I am on the activity's board. This would be an excellent project. Thank you, and thank you for being such a pro-active person.



The babies I knew in Africa almost never wore diapers, and not because the family was destitute or anything like that--it just wasn't the usual way. But a nice soft cloth probably has lots of potential uses.


Your update confirms for me that these diapers 100% need to be flats. Even if the diapers are not being used as diapers, flat diapers are hugely useful as mats, towels, bedding, what have you.

I like the hemp idea as it resists mildew - a problem in hot climates. However, IIRC, the hemp you buy to sew diapers is not prewashed, so the whole "you have to wash it a bunch of times to soften it up" problem still exists.

Whether you buy hemp flats or buy hemp fabric to sew them from, I'd strongly recommend doing the prewashing before you bundle them up to send, since fresh water to do multiple washings is often scarce.


I have aboslutely nothing of value to add but rock.


Wow. I cloth diaper my boys and we have, oh I don't know, thirty six diapers--and to get by with only four. That seems both difficult and unfair. I hate to think of moms and babies going without.

That being said, I would guess that you could get away with a plain zig-zag stitch on the seams and edging, as long as it was good and durable.

BTW, I love your blog. I found it via Cecily's, and I must say that I have been waiting to find a Christian who avoided buzz-words such as "encouraged" and "convicted" when speaking about matters of faith. I used to belong to an on-campus church group where everyone spoke like that--it was as if they were trying to outdo each other.

But I digress.

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