Going Green: Cloth Diaper Update

We’ve been using cloth diapers on Liv for a little over 6 months now and I thought I’d share a little update.

First, while it’s a bit more work than the conventional, we really love it. It’s environmentally friendly (reduces our waste by about 2,500+ disposable diapers), tush friendly (no diaper rash to date) and wallet friendly (to the tune of about $1500 over Liv’s first two years). Plus, they look great with a little dress. Sometimes I even color coordinate Liv’s outfits based on her diaper colors for the day ;).

Liv’s crawling! I can’t believe it. Shortly after she turned 6 months old she began the unsteady rock, and then two weeks later, zoom – she can now follow us from room to room.

Back to CDing… As you might recall,  I tried out quite a few of the cloth diapers currently on the market hoping to find that ‘perfect fit’ (in terms of type, sizing, material, etc). Here’s more on CD testing/reviewing 1, 2 and the initial results. In the end I found pros and cons to all of the different brands and styles. The biggest lesson? It’s all about personal preference and what works best with your little one.

So… now that Liv is rounding 17lbs we’re getting ready to size up. Maybe half of my diapers are actually ‘sized’ diapers rather that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ diaper. The sized diapers we use now are extra small and small, and we’ll need to move to size medium soon.

We don’t use all OS (one-size) diapers because I actually really prefer the sized versions. They fit Liv more snugly and without as much bulk. That aside, the benefit of OS diapers is that you can invest in just one stash from about 8-35lbs (so economically it is the smartest solution).

In about a month here, I’ll be retiring maybe 12 small diapers and investing in 12 mediums to rotate into the mix. Which one am I ordering? Of all of the versions that are in my stash, I always reach for the BumGenius 3.0 all-in-one sized diaper first. (Though I must say, my stash of mini/small Happy Heinys is a close second!)

I had mentioned before that Liv is a little bit of a soaker, so I love that this AIO (that’s CD speak for all-in-one) has a built-in liner AND a pocket. I stuff that pocket with an extra insert and we’re golden. The fit is great, the velcro is a huge plus (easy to fasten on a super squirmy baby) and the design is leak-proof for us.

I know, I know – the one thought on everyone’s mind. What about the poop? Breastmilk poop is 100% water soluble so diapers from 0 to 6 months are tossed right into the diaper pail which is emptied right into the wash (yep, the same machine that gets sweaty athletic equipment, dirt-covered construction t-shirts and towels covered in sand from the beach clean does an awesome job on diapers). Just like not having to do a rinse cycle between loads of whites using bleach and regular clothes, your washing machine keeps itself really clean making it so easy.

Now that we’re  to solid foods it’s a bit different… but happy to say, a much appreciated change. Solid food poop – pardon my French – plops itself right into the toilet. I occasionally use a flushable liner or gDiaper disposable (but still biodegradable) insert on top of the cloth diaper by laying one end under the above pocket flap and leaving the rest exposed. Then everything is contained and thrown into the toilet or trash (if I have a biodegradable bag in the trashcan). When our new bathroom is finished, I’ll probably connect one of these.

The bummer? BumGenius sized diapers are discontinued. I don’t know why, but this brilliant little bum hugger is no longer on the market. The plus? I’ve purchased nearly all of my BumGenius stash at a discounted rate through online and local suppliers. (Google them, they’re still out there!)

UPDATE: I have since had several smaller retail shops contact me about these specific diapers – if you’re looking to purchase sized AIO BumGenius 3.0 diapers, please shoot me an email and I’ll get you in touch with the sellers! All are willing to match the Cotton Babies discount price :): morgan@pepperdesignblog.com.

Here’s a great blog to subscribe to if you’re new to or interested in CDing: All About Cloth Diapers, a reader recommended blog: Dirty Diaper Laundry (check out the cloth diaper finder!), and a reader’s blog: Cotton Bottom Mama.

That adorable dress is from Tea Collection, which was just recently featured over at HauteLook at 50% off.

So we’ve used cloth diapers for 6 months now and I hope to use them until Liv is potty trained, and then to use the same cloth diapers on our next baby. But admittedly there are times when a disposable diaper is WAY more convenient, and I’ll be back to share our favorite way to diaper while traveling.

Don’t worry, if you’re not loving all of the dirty talk around here, our office/guestroom is really coming along and it’s just about ready for an update!

Living Room Update: New ‘Invisible Zipper’ Cushions

So the sun has been shining with full force and the weather has been warm! and then just like that the switch was flipped and this morning we have grey skies here in San Diego. Oh funny weather…

A way while back I had mentioned finishing up a couple of sewing projects that involved zippers, one being new throw pillows for the living room. And these aren’t just any zippers, they’re the infamous invisible zippers! I accidentally purchased a ton of these for a few new projects around the house, and then realizing my mistake (and being a bit stubborn) I set out to tackle the invisible zipper rather than return for the regular version.

You’ll find invisible zippers on most store bought cushions and pieces of clothing, they’re great because when applied correctly, the zipper literally disappears within your fabric.

The new bathroom project is hiding there in the background. We’ve had to pause that guy temporarily while we wait on permits and Kevin works on summer school.

I found a few clearance napkins at West Elm that fit with my color scheme and I knew they’d be perfect for the project at just $4 a pop. That plus left over fabric from my favorite nursery glider makeover (that awesome tan ikat) left me with three new pillows that were quick and easy to sew up.

I researched a few slipcover pillow ideas but settled on adding a zipper because I knew that I wanted these pillows to really stand the test of time. Plus, I was dying to experiment with zippers, something I haven’t tried in ages. The first pillow was a challenge (think twisted, inside out fabric and thread), but as soon as I had the ‘invisible zipper’ down, the other two were easy peasy. It looks difficult, but I promise that if you go that extra step to hide your zippers, you’ll love the results.

For stuffing, I usually cover up an existing throw pillow. You can also purchase bags of filler at your local fabric shop for a few dollars. If you go that route, I recommend making an insert for your pillow as well so that you’re not constantly fighting clumps and wisps of filler material as you zip and unzip your covers.


Sewing Throw Pillows with an Invisible Zipper

Materials: 2 19×19″ squares of fabric for one 18″ pillow OR a set of cloth napkins, an invisible zipper (two inches shorter than one side of your pillow, though you can always shorten a longer zipper by sewing across the zipper, too), zipper footer for your sewing machine, complimenting thread, threaded bobbin, pins, scissors, pillow stuffing/inserts

1. To sew an 18″ pillow, cut your fabric into two 19×19″ pieces. This should allow a 1/2 hem on all edges. Remove one set tags if you’re using a napkin – I like to keep one set hidden inside with washing instructions for the future. Baby + dog + dinner parties = definite spots :). Cloth napkins are great because they’re already hemmed and provide a clean finish on the underside of your new pillows. Plus, they’re the perfect size!

2. Pin the fabric/napkins together at the corners with the top sides facing each other (we’re going to do this first step with the pillows inside out).

3. Add a pin roughly half way between each corner.

4. Sew three sides of your pillow together, leaving just the edge for your invisible zipper open.

5. Now comes the tricky part. The easiest way to add your invisible zipper is to pin it in place as you imagine it functioning. Go ahead and pin your zipper in a couple of inches from the edge so that you leave yourself a little working space. We’ll close that up at the end.

6. Then flip your pillow right side out and try it. If the zipper opens and closes correctly without twisting any fabric, great job – you nailed it on the first try. It took me a couple of times of pinning, flipping, repinning to get this just right. Note: if you’d like, you can iron your invisible zipper flat before pinning to help you get as close of a stitch to the zipper part as possible.

7. Add your zipper foot to the sewing machine. It usually comes with your machine in that little parts bag below the main compartment, but you can also pick a plastic one up from the store for a few dollars. Sew your zipper edges to the fabric running that little zipper foot right up against your zipper.

8. If you flip your pillow inside out now, you’ll notice that your zipper closes (yay!) and that your fabric edges are hidden.

9. This picture illustrates the end of the zipper which has been left open – that’s the extra ‘working space’ we left from step 5.

10. Lifting the zipper out of the way, pin together the two loose ends of the pillow.

11. Now sew the two pinned pieces together, don’t forget to repeat on the other side (don’t worry about the loose zipper portion, it’s hidden inside your pillow).

12. Flip the entire pillow inside out and you should have a clean, finished end and an invisible zipper!

Stuff your insert in your cover and your throw pillow is done!

Love how the new pillows look, the added patterns were just what the space needed.

Cheery Pastels for an August Celebration

It’s starting to get a little hot. Okay, a lot hot. Some call these the Dog Days of Summer and I have a feeling we’re in for a good one.

But right now all I can think about is pretty pastel fabric blowing in the breeze, as in this beautiful outdoor celebration that would make for an ideal excuse to throw a whimsical summer soiree.

Summer + cherry pie + vintage = favorite reason to throw an afternoon party. Lawn games, anyone?

Designed by Suzanne of She Paperie, this outdoor party was recently featured here at HWTM.com.

I’m especially loving the torn fabric garland, it makes the perfect backdrop for the dessert table and would look so pretty strung around any outdoor event.

Bring on the sunshine!

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