So, I decided buying flat diapers was not nearly as appealing as making them. (Apparently I’m insane and enjoy making my already packed schedule tighter.) Buying them limited me to mostly white or unbleached, possibly a few, very limited prints from some of the more expensive sources. But making them! Now I was only limited to what cotton flannel I could find, which isn’t very limiting at all.
First I ordered a bunch of animal prints (think cute little turtles, not leopard skin) from an online retailer who was having a sale. 12 yards, free shipping, oh yeah, baby! Then I did the math: I wanted 30″x30″ squares, after shrinkage. 1 yard is 36″ long, by however wide the fabric is, usually 44/45″ (or something close) for cotton flannel. And that’s before shrinkage. Which meant I was getting just ONE flat from each yard, plus enough material to make a decent soaker to lay in for nighttime and my older child. (I’m crazy enough to try this challenge for both of my diapered children. While moving. Did I mention I was moving?) So I’d just spent about $50 on a dozen diapers. That’s roughly $4.17 per diaper. This is still much cheaper than the pockets we were buying — the cheapest one I really like was the Kawaii, which is about $10, and my all-time fave pocket is Fuzzibunz One-Size, which is somewhere around $20. But for flats this seemed way overpriced. I looked around at flats on the web and I found I could get a dozen similarly sized birdseye flats, shipped, for about $2.96/diaper. Eeek. I realize flannel flats are usually a bit more than birdseye, but it still made me wince. I had way overpaid for something I then had to cut and finish the edges of. But it was done and at least the fabric was cuter than cute.
I knew I’d need at a minimum one more dozen flats, and I still wanted to pick my fabric. The designs on the flannel flats I’d seen were ok, but there was so little to choose from compared to the myriad different designs of flannel off the bolt. So I looked around online, but barring a good sale and no shipping which I might not have the time to wait for, it just wasn’t going to be cheap. I went to JoAnn Fabric nearby, but their flannel was no better. $5.99/yard! And the salespeople said it wasn’t due to go on sale anytime soon that they knew of. *sigh* As a last-ditch effort, I went to our local Wal-Mart, which does have a fabric section, however small. They had really cute flannel, 100% cotton… but it was still $4-5/yard. I despaired of even being able to do the challenge anymore. If I couldn’t diaper at least the youngest for a full day, there was no way to do it at all. I can’t wash and dry twice a day. The only local shop that sells cloth diapers didn’t have flats. (Heck, we’re lucky to have any local resource for cloth dipes at all!)
Then I saw clearance tags on the bottom shelf. $3/yard. The first few fabrics didn’t have quite a yard on the bolt, then a few were other fabrics that got put in the wrong place (or maybe that was the designated clearance section?), but then I saw a few. Just a few. They were cute, they were cheap… and they were 100% cotton. Hallelujah! I snatched them up like a starving man would food and stood guard over them at the cutting table. *giggle* I got 12 more yards from those three fabrics. Actually I think I got a little more… one of them had just slightly over 2 yards left on the bolt and he gave me all of it, but only charged me for 2. I think I got an extra soaker for free!
So for $38.16, or $3.18/diaper, I got an extra dozen, which means I’ll be able to diaper Mari for certain and possibly Raven during the challenge. Yay! When I actually manage to shrink, cut, and finish them all, I’ll post pictures. I’m so excited!