Archive for the ‘Raising Little Preppers’ Category

Survival – Safety Skills Every Child Should Know

Most of these are common sense but good reminders of basic things we need to make sure our children know. Prepping Partner for Life and I sometimes joke about dropping the kids off in the woods to see if they can find their way home. Amazingly, they do not suggest this as a tactic for teaching children navigation skills but I still don’t think it’s a terrible idea.

Just kidding. Sort of.

Reblogging this one from my personal blog with extra links at the bottom for other free diaper making tutorials. You can adapt any diaper pattern using recycled materials .The key is to use 100% cotton. Half of the diapers in my youngest kiddo’s diaper stash were made using both  flannel sheets and cotton jersey  that had seen better days as sheets.
There’s also links to diaper covers at the bottom, which is a whole other post that should be covered, along with cloth diapering basics. I’ll get to that in the near future. 

[Tutorial] Turn a Men’s T-shirt into a Newborn Cloth Diaper

This is a pretty typical way to make a newborn sized prefold but I’m demonstrating by recycling a Man’s T-shirt because the sizing works so perfectly, making for less fuss w/ measuring & cutting. It’s like they were made to be recycled into just this very thing.

STEP 1: Find a 100% Cotton  XL Man’s T-shirt in Need of Upcycling

The only set requirements is the tee be 100% cotton & size XL. Men’s or a gender-neutral tee works best, even though women’s size XL is roughly the same but sometimes the women’s tees are cut to be more form fitting & throws the sizing off a bit.

Since it has a little rip in the upper portion, this was perfect for diaper making, since mostly the lower part of the tee is what’s needed. T-shirts like this end up in my “Fabric Recycling” bin because, obviously , they have no resale value at a consignment shop & I personally won’t donate clothing items that are stained or damaged. Generally, stained clothing w/ rips are tossed out by the charity they’re donated to and I’d rather save them myself from the landfill. (Besides, it’s just bad form to assume that someone in need of clothing wants to wear stained & torn clothes. )These t-shirts find new life in a variety of forms – T-Shirt Yarn, cloth menstrual pads, diapers, rags … pretty much any project that needs 100% cotton.

Step 2Lay T-shirt Flat & Cut Off Bottom Hem

Yep, just cut it right off.

Step 3: Fold T-Shirt in Half, Making Sure Bottom & Side Edges are Even

After you fold it in half, you’ll notice that the bottom edge measures about 12 inches,perfectly. Nice, because  this is the width of a newborn cloth prefold. When you fold the shirt in half, you’ll now have 4 layers of cloth – also the typical number of layers in a cloth prefold.

Step 4:  Measure 13″ Up Along the Folded Edge & Cut.

This is what you’ll end up with…. a 12 x 13 rectangle, 4 layers thick.

Step 5: Cut  the Inner Soaker Layers

This is the center portion of the prefold, the thickest layer. Here I’m making a 4-8-4 prefold. What these numbers mean is this: The 4s refer to the number of layers on either side of the soaker. The 8 refers to the number of layers total in the center portion. This is what’s considered a diaper service quality prefold & you really don’t want to use anything w/ less layers. For people new to cloth diapering & not aware of the many places to buy nice cloth diapers, they often go to Target or Walmart  and pick up what they sell as “cloth diapers”. These are 2-4-2 prefolds that feel like gauze. After a day of using these as a diaper, most are pretty much done with their cloth diapering experience forever – or until they discover the real deal.

You can use upper unused portions of the same T-shirt of choose another 100% cotton source. Shirt sleeves & pants legs from children’s clothing work great for this. If you use sweatshirt sleeves or sweatpants legs, you might choose to only use 2 layers instead of 4 because they are thicker.

Here I used youngest son’s outgrown ( and very stained from playing outside in them) pajama pants.

The width should be about 5 inches wide and again, 13 inches long, just like the outer layers .

Step 6:  Make Your Soaker Sandwich

Unfold the t-shirt & insert your soaker layers ,about 3 1/2 inches from the outer edge. Fold outer layer back into place.

I’m sort of a haphazard crafter & never pin anything but it’s probably a good idea to pin at least the top & bottom to hold all the layers in place while you stitch everything.

Step 7: Stitch the Soaker into Place

Straight stitch inner layer into place. Afterward, you may need to trim up the outer edges to make everything even again.

Step 8: Sew Along Outer Edges

If you have a Serger, just serge along all the outside edges. If you don’t have a Serger, it’s not a big deal… you can just zigzag stitch the outer edges and still have the same quality of diaper. Sometimes, I’ll straight stitch the perimeter first and then zigzag for extra integrity but I’ve found that plain zigzag stitching works just fine.

Step 9: Just Add Baby

Here’s the finished diaper. I’ll add the baby soon.

Oh..and save your t-shirt “shavings” for other projects! I plan on  making  a T-Shirt Shag Rug with my saved bits.

[via ]
*Sew Your Own Diapers–how tos for sewing “Quick-Dry” AIOs, Fitted, Fitted with Velcro, Fitted Front Snap, Fitted Side Snap, AIO, Pre-Fold, Pre-Fold to Fitted diapers, Ultrex/PUL with Snaps Cover, Fleece with Snaps cover, plus measurements of popular fitted diapers, FAQs, and approximate costs of materials to sew your own diapers*Cloth Diaper Sew-along by Kayla of Kayla’s Cloth Kits–awesome directions and pictures

*Swim-diaper Sew-along, also by Kayla of Kayla’s Cloth Kits. Great instructions!

*How-to-sew-elastic tutorials as Quicktime videos, pocket diaper information, and answers to common diaper-sewing questions from Amber of Diaperkit. If you’re having trouble with elastic and you’re a visual learner, these are great!

*How to Sew a FuzziBunz-type Pocket Diaper

*How to Sew a FuzziBunz-style Pocket Diaper with an envelope opening

*How to Sew a Fitted Diaper

*How to Sew a Fleece Diaper Cover

*Diaper Sewing ‘N More Tutorials–Fitted Diaper, Contour Diaper with Elastic Legs, Fleece AI2 (snap-in soaker), PUL/Fleece/Wool Cover, Fleece Side Snap Cover, Doublers, plus Mama Pad directions

*Make Your Own Diaper Insets–for pocket diapers, would also work as lay-ins with a cover or as doublers

*How to Make Contour Diapers from Prefolds

*The Famous Fortune Cookie Tri-Fold Insert–using microfiber towel

*Sewing Diapers from Recycled Materials–how to make Flatfolds, Prefolds and Fitted diapers from stuff around the house

*How to Make Fitteds From T-Shirts

*How To Sew a Wool Cover

*How to Sew “Sweaterpants”

*How to sew a prefold “the real way”

*Instructions on making a prefold either by using padding for the center or using a single piece of cloth

*How to make your own prefolds in 7 easy steps

*How to Add Leg Gussets to a Diaper

*Pic Tutorial on How to Get Fleece to Roll In Easy–for leg elastic on pocket diapers

*How to Make a Pull-On Wool/Fleece Newborn Cover–like the Luxe cover

*How to Make Pull-On Trainers From a Pair of Underwear

*A Comparison of 3 Popular Free Diaper Patterns–Wee Weka, Mamabird, and Ottobre

*How to Make A Zippered Wet Bag

*How to sew different diaper styles from the Very Baby pattern (these methods can be applied to *any* diaper pattern) as well as tutorials on FOE, repairing elastic, and more

*How to modify a drill press for use as a snap press

FREE DIAPER PATTERNS:…fitted2008.pdf *Newly available on the internet again! Darling Diapers (aka Diapers Sew Darling) newborn size serged fitted diaper.
*Rita’s Rump Pocket–One-Size-Fits-Most Fitted Pocket Diaper–PDF pattern, as well as a new one-size-fits-most H&L “granny tab” diaper cover! Designed by our own amberthesugarcat!
*Mama Bird Diapers–the very popular Mama Bird diaper patterns–if you get the data transfer limit error from Geocities, try again later! Patterns for Fitted, AIO, and Pocket diapers. This pattern runs small!
*Wee Weka diaper patterns, plus tutorials on how to sew pocket diapers, pocket diapers with gussets, elastic casing, and fitteds
*Fitted Diaper Pattern–3 sizes. The directions for assembly are here and in Dutch  but there are pictures!…%20comment.htm
*Patterns for fitted diapers and covers. The entire site is in French. PM me if you need help figuring this one out, I speak some French and would be happy to translate (and the Google apps translator doesn’t do a very good job  )
*MatNap fitted diaper pattern for use with a Snappi–looks like you could easily add hook-and-loop or snaps to close, or use with pins–her instructions use a large beach towel & say you can get 3 diapers out of one towel
*How to make a PUL pocket diaper with fleece waistband that fastens in the back
*How to Draft Your Own Fitted Diaper Pattern
*How to Draft Your Own Diaper Cover Pattern
*One-Size Fitted Diaper…tructions.html
*Comfy T-shaped Diaper Pattern (not printable, but very easy to draw yourself!)
*Ottobre Fitted Diaper Pattern–this pattern runs large!…r_cover_en.pdf
*Ottobre Knitted Wool Diaper Cover Pattern
*Fern and Faerie’s Hand-Knit Soaker Pattern
*Lion Brand “Day-to-Night Felted Soaker” knitting pattern. You will need to register to view the pattern, but it is free!…apercover.html
*Miala Diaper Cover Pattern (size medium only), soft baby shoe pattern, plus links to a variety of other free patterns
*Free Side-Snapping Diaper Cover Pattern from Chloe Toes…at egory%3D11
*AIO Pattern (size medium only, other sizes available to purchase)
*”No Elastic Fleece Pull-Up Cover”–would probably work with wool too…r-pattern.html
*Quick sew pull-on soaker (for wool or fleece).
*Side-snapping Waterproof Training Pants
*How to Make Your Own “Bum Sweater”–longies from a wool sweater
*How to Make Your Own “Bum Sweater”–soaker from a wool sweater…botty%20jumper
*How to Make Your Own “Bum Sweater”–soaker from a wool sweater…s/longies2.gif
*A drawing showing how to cut longies from a sweater sleeve–no sewing instructions, though…?topic=71285.0
*Tutorial for making “baby pants” from the sleeves of a sweater. You have to join the site to view the pics
*Patterns and How-Tos for Flatfold Diapers, Gusseted Diapers, Covers, Knit Soakers, Training Pants and more…et_longies.htm
*Crochet Longies pattern…ern/index.html
*Tiny Birds Free Knit Soaker Pattern

*Free patterns list at the WAHM Mall…atterns%20free
*Free Knit/Crochet/Sewn diapering patterns
*Collection of Knit/Crochet and recycled wool diaper cover patterns

Yes, I know there’s a typo and apocalypse is misspelled  but I love this anyway. Are we really going to care about typos and grammatical errors if we have zombies trying to eat our babies? No,we are not.

If you’re a pregnant Prepper, you no doubt have considered the breastmilk or formula question already. Do you extreme coupon every offer for formula and stockpile now or do you just use what nature gave you and breastfeed?

To  simplify the decision making process for you,I’ll tell you the answer: breastfeed.  Or, as it will become known in a post-apocalyptic world :just plain  feeding or good old fashioned “nursing”There will be no need to distinguish the means to feed a baby. Breastfeeding will be the societal norm. Artificial formula will not be a widely viable feeding option if safe water becomes scarce. Ready-made formula will eventually expire and no longer be safe to feed to your baby.  In nations where safe drinking water is not readily available or the formula itself is in short supply (usually due to economics), 4,000 babies die everyday because they are not breastfeed. This photo of a twins in Pakistan provide startling visualization of the difference breastfeeding can make:

“Use my picture if it will help” said this mother. The children are twins, the bottle-fed child is a girl who died the day after this photograph was taken by UNICEF in Islamabad, Pakistan. Her brother was breastfed and thrived. The mother was incorrectly told she could not breastfeed both children. This horrific picture demonstrates the risk of artificial infant feeding, particularly where water supplies are unsafe. The expense of formula can lead to parents over-diluting it to make it last longer or using unsuitable milk powders or animal milks. In all countries breastfeeding provides immunity against infections.

You’re going to have to put your milk-making equipment to work or  your post-apo baby isn’t ever going to grow up  to become prime overlord of the new world. Yes, there are a few natural alternatives to formula that will be very important for those women who absolutely cannot breastfeed  (goats milk, for one) but there’s quite a bit of security in making the milk yourself. Women in poverty and women who have experienced natural disasters that upheaved the infrastructure credit breastfeeding as one thing that helped feel a certain sense of safety for their child.

Besides, who wants to have to deal with sterilizing bottles and prepping formula in the midst of survival when you have milk on tap? Not I.

The convenience and practicality of breastfeeding aside, breast milk is the most perfectly designed food by nature for infants and in an undeveloped world, would provide many essential benefits to give an infant the best chance to thrive.

There are 101 reasons to breastfeed and it is true that a very small percentage of women cannot , even if they actually want to and think all 101 reasons sound great (we’ll talk about that some other time,I promise). The primary reasons many women  who CAN breastfed but don’t or try to but don’t continue to is lack of education and support.Some of the reluctance to try has to do with having faith in your body in a current society that constantly tells us in many ways that we can have better living through science. Human biology is remarkable. ‘


Here are books I would strongly recommend adding to your post-apocalyptic bookshelf  . All cover the fundamental basics (like how to latch on properly. VERY IMPORTANT! Your whole breastfeeding experience can be affected entirely by this one simple thing), problem solving, dietary needs, drug safety ,and more.

The Nursing Mother’s Companion

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

Bestfeeding: How to Breastfeed Your Baby

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers: The Most Comprehensive Problem-Solving Guide to Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers