Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 3: What do I do with those flats?

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!  
Flats are something else.  I was initially intimidated by the concept of all the folding that goes into flats and prefolds so I opted for flapped and fold-to-fit inserts that we could lay in covers when we started cloth diapering.  These also have the bonus of being easy for anyone to use.  I did padfold some flats for the hubs to use in the gDiapers today since I spent most of the day hiding in my study hole.  I didn't even expect him to use the flats today, so I hadn't showed him any fancy folds.

I have tried the origami fold on my son with the 'square' flats I made and after I jelly-roll the legs it works quite well.  I think I like the looks of the anteater fold so I might try that tomorrow.

The t-shirt flats I made don't really lend themselves to any particular fold.  When I searched online for tips on making t-shirt flats I didn't find much besides the suggestion that I use XL and larger shirts.  I was aiming for a 30"x30" square for my 25lb 34" 15mo old son and even the one XL shirt I had didn't really lend itself to those dimensions, although I went ahead and cut off the sleeves, then cut the shirt in half.  I've been using that one padfolded in a cover.  I was also working with one large and one medium size shirt and decided I wanted to try something different.  I know its not square, but its one layer and easy to make.

1.  I cut the t-shirts up the sides and across the shoulders to make two 'flats'

2. I folded one side in so that the center of the shirt was about halfway between the edge of the fold and the sleeve seam

3.  I folded that side back so that the fold I just created lined up with the center of the shirt

4. I then did the same on the other side

5.  I folded down the top to thin out the 'wings' formed by the sleeves

6. I folded the center up to achieve the appropriate rise for my son

7. I folded the center up and the wings over, then snappied!

One happily cloth diapered bum!  This is my Great Cloth Diaper Change tee from last year.  I bet our sponsors never thought they'd be getting this kind of publicity!  I folded this shirt so that the graphic on the back would be centered, but it could also be folded in thirds if you don't care.

My kids found plenty of other ways to use our flats.  They had a blast burning off energy before bed!  

I've grown fond of all our flats, though I've noticed the medium t-shirts don't have quite the right rise if I fold down enough to get plenty of absorbent layers for a change.  Large seems to work the best right now.

 If you are taking the challenge, how are you using your flats?  Are you enjoying them?

1 comment:

  1. What a cool idea to use the sleeves of the shirt as wings! I know it's a fairly straightforward idea, but it never occurred to me ;) How did you find the absorbency of it compared to a traditional birdseye flat?