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Teacher, Photographer, Otaku, Amateur Seamstress, Wifey to B-chan, & Mommy to Monkey Z and Elven M.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hack: Gerber Trainers/ Babyville PUL (tutorial-ish)

This project is adapted from a tutorial I found in someone's blog to address absorbency, waterproof, and cost issues of trainers. They added a layer of PUL to the outside and boosted the absorbency of commercial trainers by adding layers of flannel.

For me, I want something that's not going to take forever to dry or cost a day's paycheck for 3, so I'm hacking the other instructions a bit by adding the extra absorbency with snaps. The trick is to apply the snaps before finishing the edge sewing.
This is a good option if you have a child who is fairly comfortable with using the toilet already but maybe needs a little insurance at nap times and for car rides. We, on the other hand, are not quite that far yet, but the monkey has outgrown his diapers' elastic abilities around the legs (read: elastic is stretched out). So this is also a good option if your little one is potty ready but bigger than the diapers.


Note: this tutorial assumes that you have some knowledge of sewing and acces to certain supplies like a sewing machine. You could always hand sew or ask a friend if you're not sure about something. Likewise, I would be happy to answer questions.

You will need supplies like the following:
Good fabric shears,
fabric for adding absorbency (flannel is great and cheap- make sure its <20% polyester so it can absorb quickly),
PUL (wool or fleece might work, too, but won't be waterproof),
pen for marking wax paper (Sharpie),
wax paper,
training pants

Prep your fabric by washing and pressing it first.
Get out your trainers and other supplies
Tear off a piece of wax paper long enough to fit over the absorbent middle section of the trainers
Pin the wax paper over the trainer
Trace the line of stitching onto wax paper to make a pattern
Cut out your wax paper pattern
Pin pattern to flannel (you decide how many layers, I used 6) and cut
I haven't yet decided whether or not to make the booster with snaps to attatch. So I have pinned it to the trainer just in case I decide to sew it in. At this point, you could just sew in the extra fabric and avoid the snaps altogether. You can refer to the other blog post for that.

6 hour break...

I decided to apply snaps to the trainers and booster. Follow the directions for your snaps. You'll need a setter, awl, and the snap parts. Also test your snaps on the same kind of fabric. I tested for both 2 and 4 layers and decided on 4 layers.

Once familiar with how the snaps work apply them to the trainers and soaker materials. Use the awl to mark all layers of fabric so they line up.

Next, use the same pattern to cut out a layer of PUL for the outer layer of the trainer.

You could opt to sew all the layers on at once, if you decide to sew in the booster. In that case, pin all layers to the trainers and get sewing.

The next day... (or so)

For my trainers, I am going to create the snap in booster by sewing the layers of fabric together horizontally.

Next, serge (or straight and zigzag stitch) the outer edge.

Pin the PUL to the outside of the trainers tucking the edges under.

Zig zag stitch around the outer edge of the PUL attaching it to the trainers.

Snap in the booster, and adorn your little one with his or her new duds.

Hope this helps.

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