Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Wool-in-two training pants with FREE pattern
These instructions explain how to make a wool-in-two training pant. I really haven't seen anything like this out there so I was interested in coming up with something that would be fairly waterproof, not too bulky, 100% wool with a flannel soaker, and an elastic waist band so that they stay up by themselves (as opposed to wool soakers which need a snappi or fitted underneath to stay up). I put the snaps in the front as opposed to the back (as in regular diapers) since the location of the soaker in the front is the important part when you EC. You don't have to worry to much where the soaker is in the back although I did mark snap locations for back snaps on the pattern if you want to use them. Maybe this would be necessary for a toddler who is pulling their own pants up? (SEE UPDATE)
These fit my 9 month old who is 20lbs, however, they are fairly large. The wool interlock stretches a ton (although it is felted) and I'm pretty sure they will fit him until he doesn't need them anymore. If you make yours out of recycled sweaters the stretch might not be so much and you might need to make the pattern bigger (use a photocopier and increase by 5% until you get the size you want).
Link here. Some download times are long.
This is what the main pattern pieces look like all taped together:
Here are the pieces cut out.
I have used felted 100% wool interlock bought from the Covered caboose co-op, you can use recycled sweaters but make sure they are 100% wool (or close to it).
I used a serger to make these trainers, if you don't have one you can use a regular sewing machine with a wide and close together zig zag stitch. All seams have a 1/4" seam allowance.
Here you see the sides serged and the leg bands serged on. The waist is unfinished as of yet.
Check out the instructions for the nonwaterproof trainers to get you to this point.
Fold down the waist by 1/4" and then another 1" to form the elastic casing. Pin and sew all the way around and leave a gap to feed the elastic through. I used a small zig zag stitch since the fabric can stretch with the elastic and on its own as well.
Feed the 1/4" wide elastic through using a safety pin and zig zag the ends. I used a length of 1/4" width Stretchrite elastic the exact size of my son's waist and then overlapped it by about 1 1/4" when sewing it together. It is just tight enough not to fall down, nice and comfortable. Sew the hole in your casing up.
Hint: Pre-wash your elastic, it shrinks too.
Here is the finished trainer before adding snaps.
For the soaker I cut 4 layers of flannel and put the snaps through only two layers (so that they would be hidden and not resting against my son's skin.) I put the other two layers of flannel on top of the caps so that they are hidden. I serged this soaker, if you do not have a serger you can zig zag using a very wide and very close together stitch or you can add a 1/4" seam allowance and turn and topstitch.
Hint: To add a 1/4" seam allowance to a pattern, attach two pens together with an elastic and trace one pen along the pattern, the other pen will accurately mark a 1/4" all the way around on the outside.
Hint: if you are serging around your soaker keep the knife exactly along the edge of the fabric but don't cut it otherwise your serger will struggle and it will be hard to achieve the curved shape. This will also allow you to add more layers since the serger can sew through thicker material than it can cut.
Here is the finished soaker piece . You can see the snaps on one side.
But not on the other.
I didn't mark the snap placement on the pattern of the trainers because the interlock is so stretchy I wasn't sure if I'd get it right. Instead, I just placed the soaker inside and made sure it was high enough and centered by using my quilter's ruler. You can see the two dots I have drawn to indicate where the snaps go. You could do the same thing on the back if you wanted the soaker to snap in the front and back.
Hint: If you have snaps on the front and back you need to make sure that the soaker is lying flat on the trainer before you mark for the snaps otherwise when you place it in the trainer and your little one sits down the front snaps will pull down on the trainer and it won't sit straight (trust me on this!).
Reinforce your snaps with an extra piece of wool on the back to ensure the snaps don't pull through.
Hint: If you make a mistake with your snaps you can remove them with pliers. Make sure you reinforce with a scrap of fabric and zig zag over the spot or the new snap will pull through the old hole.
Here I'm showing how I folded the flannel 4 times and traced the soaker pattern as many times as could fit. You don't have to pin the flannel it sticks to itself pretty well. Just smooth out all the layers so their are no wrinkles, trace and cut away.
Hint: Pre-wash your flannel - it shrinks a lot!
Here is what the soaker looks like snapped into the trainer when the trainer is turned inside out.
I love these trainers! They are loose enough to be extremely comfortable but trim enough to fit under the correct size of pants (unlike some other wool diapers). The four layers of flannel can hold a substantial pee (I've even used them over naps sometimes).
I made 4 pairs of trainers and 13 (I miss counted, was aiming for 12!) soakers and this was plenty so that I could wash the soakers whenever I did regular laundry and relanolize the trainers about every two weeks.
I'm thinking about dying them will Kool aid.....
I've been using these trainers almost exclusively for 2 months and I finally broke down and added the back snaps to the flannel soaker. The soaker just kept shifting when I'd pull the pants up and down and it was getting a little frustrating. Now that the back snaps are in, it is a breeze to pull them up and down. I was a little concerned that the combination of the back and front snaps would be irritating to Jonah but I realize now that he doesn't even notice them!
Here are the instructions to add the back snaps after the fact. (If you are making these for the first time I strongly suggest adding the back snaps in the first place!)
To add the back snaps I first put them in using the placement from the pattern, then I cut a rectangle of flannel (3" x 1 1/2") and pinned it over top of the caps so that the caps would not be against my baby's skin.
I sewed around the edges of the rectangle using a wide and close together zig zag (like aplique), this will secure the rectangle and prevent the edges from fraying all at once.
To add the snaps to the wool trainer follow the instructions for adding the front snaps. Make sure the flannel soaker is laying flat against the wool, push it down in the crotch area before you measure to add the back snaps, to ensure that when your little one sits the front snaps won't be pulled forward.