Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baby Blue Recycled Wool Longies

The first time I made recycled wool diaper covers, I made "shorties" that fit like little shorts, or a more typical diaper cover. For that project, I bought several wool sweaters at Goodwill and followed a pattern I found online that basically consists of cutting a triangle out of the sweater, cutting off the sleeve cuffs and neck, and sewing it all together, using the sleeves for the leg holes and the neck for the waist. I can give more specific instructions if you'd like, just ask in comments, but unfortunately was unable to find the site that I originally got the pattern from. To size the sides of the triangle, measure your little one's waist and add a half inch. Katrina's Sew Quick blog has some great patterns for a variety of types of wool diaper covers.

Here is one of the first ones I made, clearly it is a little bit big at this point.

You can see another photo of my handiwork in the bottom photo of my "Diapering My Active Nine-Month-Old" post.

Sweet Pea has grown and the weather has gotten colder. So, this weekend I got my sewing supplies back out and made a pair of "longies" for Sweet Pea out of an old sweater of mine that shrank in the wash. It is high quality cashmere so this was the perfect way to re-purpose the fabric. It is free, soft, and I love the color! The only drawback is that it will probably get dirty because my little crawler likes to get into everything. They have an elastic waist, and I made them longer than needed for now, then whip-stitched the hem up to be the right length. As she grows I can let them out. I made the bottom hem of the sweater serve as the bottom hem of the longies, and cut them so that the pocket of the sweater is a left back pocket for her. I also added ribbons at the knees as just a fun detail.

Here is the uncut sweater. I know it's weird - a short sleeved cashmere shirt? But I used to wear this to work all the time.

And the completed longies! (before I stitched up the bottom hem)


I recently bought several more fitted diapers, which are the best companion (better than prefolds) for wool covers because they are so absorbent and they usually snap together. Wool is such a wonderful fabric because it is natural, breathable, and I think it is pretty! I am really excited to use my new fitteds with my new wool longies, keeping my little one warm and dry this winter. My mom is also knitting a pair for us, and I can't wait to see them! Wool covers can sometimes be quite expensive to buy new (as much as $75 for a hand-knitted pair, typically more like $30-$40), but they can last through multiple children, serve as pants so you don't need to worry about buying those, and only need to be washed once a month, unless they get poo on them. It is a naturally anti-microbial fiber and so breathable that it is the only thing that works for some babies who are extra sensitive to diaper rash. A more in-depth explanation of wool's great properties can be found at Llamajamas.

Some places to buy wool longies:
Cloth Diaper Superstore
Diaper Covers - Soakers for Night, Large  (Amazon)

Or how to make your own:
That's Kinda Cool
Bright Hub
Born to Love
the diaper hyena - this one has lots of link to patterns

And, instructions for caring for your woolies:
at Understanding Laura
at All About Cloth Diapers
at Green Mountain Diapers

If you have a site you'd like me to add, let me know in comments!


  1. I just started working on mine! Here is a site for a soaker:

    Here is a great one to show you how to lanolize your wool.

    I felted my sweater and it turned out so small. I am now making newborn longies! Can't wait to see how they turn out.

  2. Thanks, Melissa! I have added your links to my post, and a few others too. I'd love to see your newborn longies when they're finished!

  3. Sweet Pea is looking so big!

  4. Your daughter is beautiful, especially in those pretty longies! I love the ribbons... did you just cut slits to thread them through? Your shorties are too cute. I like the fact that the stripes are not matched. They look really cute & funky like that. Great blog post!

  5. These are so cute! Did you use a specific pattern for these? Or did you just make one up? I'm curious about the ribbons too, as the last comment asks, did you cut slits to thread them? Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks for the comments! I didn't use a specific pattern actually, I just laid out a pair of pants that fit her well and cut around them, leaving plenty of room for seams. If I did it again I would actually make the hips and crotch a little bigger. For the ribbon, I didn't cut slits in the fabric. I used a really large needle and threaded the ribbon on to that (it is narrow ribbon) and then passed the needle through the longies at regular intervals, with more of the ribbon showing on the top than being inside, if that makes sense. I would recommend sewing the bow to the pants at the end if you do this, because the ribbons come untied a lot for me. That was just a fun experimental detail!