Thursday, May 3, 2012

diaper clutch

 When we were little, we had a Commodore 64. My mom used to write computer games for us. She wrote several that we loved. I still remember them, and wish there were some way to convert them to current technology. Unfortunately, they were on a floppy disk. I can't even remember the last computer I had with a floppy disk. Anyway, when I saw this fabric,

I had to buy some, because it reminded me of one of her games. The object was to cross the screen without getting stomped by elephants. It was sort of like a simple Frogger. The elephants went both directions in a line and randomly had holes in the lines to cross. I was quite awful at it, but it was fun. It's just been hanging out, waiting to be used. I finally found the perfect thing.

I don't really even remember how I got onto the diaper clutch idea again the other day. I've been wanting one for the last 3 years, but never found one that matched my ideals- either bought or made. I even went so far as to try to design one, but with no where to start, it was overly complicated and I never actually made it. For a while we stuffed everything in a small bag that was inside our larger diaper bag, but that got cumbersome. For the last year or so, we've just been wrapping our changing pad around the pink wipe case I decorated and some diapers. It worked, but the clutch was never far from my mind. I think someone posted a tutorial on Facebook yesterday and that's how I started looking around again. Well, after much ruminating and searching, I cobbled together the following. I had to really think about what it was I wanted. Easy access to wipes was first. I am constantly wiping faces and hands. A changing pad was second, because I never know where I will change diapers. And something that would be self-contained was third. At this stage, for a precious few months anyway, I often get away with leaving the house with just a few extra diapers. So I want something I can grab and go with.

These are my inspiration sites: here- changing pad and back pocket idea. My changing pad ended up being smaller (conservation of fabric being the reason), but I used her general idea for the pad and put a pocket on the back of my clutch to hold it. (Shown in that top picture.) I debated using a lining or padding. I have some thin batting, but really, the point of the changing pad is to keep baby clean and keep changing surface clean, right? And I hate how bulky the changing pad is that came with our diaper bag. So I went with what she said and just used some fusible interfacing. It's thin, but it should do the job.

here- I saw this Etsy shop and LOVED the idea. So simple! Just create an extra window and pocket for the wipes, separate from the diapers. This has always been my big hangup with the clutches- everything is together, so I have to open it up and try to pull the wipes out without getting the diapers out or smushing them on the way back in. So this was genius. You can just see the pocket separation in the pouch.

and here- This is the general pattern and tutorial I used to get started.Using this pattern, I also created the additional pocket at the front to hold the wipes separate from the diapers, the window panel to allow access to the wipes, and the back pocket to hold the changing pad. It actually wasn't that hard to adjust to meet my needs. Then I followed the tutorial for putting it together. I only have two complaints- 1) I didn't take into account the turning and topstitching for the top of the window panel, so the window is actually about 1/2" bigger than I would like. I don't think the wipes will fall out, but it isn't as secure and tidy as I would prefer. I could rip it apart again and reposition it, but I just don't want to do that. (See the above picture. See how big the opening looks? I don't like it. Also, I need to wash my wipe case. Ew.)  2) The whole thing seems about 1" too long. If I pull the flap down securely before velcroing, it pulls the window part all wonky. If I just velcro it, I feel like the diapers are sliding around. But that may just be my perfectionist brain wanting everything to sit just so. I may appreciate the size when I switch back to tiny diapers or need to stuff two sizes in there. If I was going to make another, I would either use a bigger seam allowance all around or cut a bit of the pattern out of the middle.

Oh, and as I was taking pictures, I realized that due to fabric choice, the elephants are upside down on the flap. I could have cut the flap separately and pieced it together so that they were correct, but whatever. It's just for us. I'm not that concerned.

 My only other complaint comes from the fact that I screwed it up the first time I layered it all together. Basically, I put the back pocket inside the bag. Not what I wanted. So I had to rip it out. I decided to just rip it out where the pocket was. I was being impatient because it was late and I wanted to finish it and instead of using my seam ripper like I should have, I just tried to pull the fabrics apart, and ended up ripping my main back piece. So I had to call it a night and go to bed. The next day, I cut a new back piece, removed the first one entirely, and realized I had the top part of the window on upside down, so my elephants were marching on the ceiling. So I guess it was worth it after all. I relayered everything, then stitched it all together. Overall, I like it. It holds two size 5 diapers and a small hard case of wipes. I could probably fit another diaper in there too if I needed. I just put two in last night. I rarely carry more than 1 anyway. I have a stash in the car that I can use in an emergency and he is at the point where he doesn't need so many diaper changes anyway. (Fingers crossed he potty trains soon. He has been wanting to wear undies today. I have a big problem calling them that. I usually slip and say panties. Yikes. Poor boy. If #3 is really the last one, he will forever be fighting a mama who forgets sometimes that she has a boy.)

Overall, I really like it. I like that it could be girly or not. I was going to use pink binding, but didn't have any pink PUL. This was totally made from stash, so I started by grabbing the bias tapes that I had enough of to go around the changing pad. I can make bias tape, but I'm not sold on making it yet. I will if I need to or want something specific, but I'm not that great at it, so I usually still buy some. And when I buy, I make sure I have enough. So anyway, I grabbed bias tape and headed downstairs to the basement to raid my fabric stash. I've moved all of my fabrics that are not specifically for a current project downstairs as part of cleaning up my office. I went through my cotton box and found the elephants and knew I wanted to use that. I actually came upstairs with the elephants and something else, then went back down and grabbed a different liner fabric. It's blue with little white flowers on it. Then I found the blue PUL and used that for the changing pad. And honestly, I'm just glad to mentally cross off a project that has been bugging my for so long.

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