Wool covers work fantastically, especially at night. But they can be extremely expensive-fair enough, as most are hand-knit, but if you're like me and have multiple kids in night nappies they can be prohibitively expensive. New wool fabric is also quite expensive.
Using an old wool blanket gives you cheap way of covering their bums. They can be picked up cheaply at most op-shops, or from the back of your linen cupboard. They're easy to make too-you don't need any fancy skills. And here's the clincher-they'll be machine washable. Never again will you empty the washer to find a doll-sized cover that's snuck in there! I don't lanolise either, I find it's not necessary if they're being washed after every use. You can also dye them-I did these ones with food dye for my son.
Enough of the blather, let's begin!
First up, you'll need to wash your blanket a few times to felt it up nice and thickly. They need to be 100% wool, make sure you haven't picked up an acrylic imitation. Once it's finished shrinking, you're ready to cut. I use a bigger version of my Pepper OSFM day covers. Much bigger, as this one is for my four year olds. Or you can try the Chloe's Toes freebie pattern-I haven't used it, but by the looks of it it's quite good dimensions for a freebie.
You'll need one outer layer, then another layer for the wetzone.
Pin them together, making sure it's centred.
I use a triple zig-zag stitch to sew around the wet-zone layer to give it a nice gradient. However a standard zig-zag is fine, even straight stitch will do in a pinch. As long as it's on. All thread must be polyester-cotton is absorbent.
Next, get out your fold-over elastic. This is elastic with a specially woven part down the centre, allowing you to fold it in half. You can buy it online, from GBAU, Nappies Covered or Fairy Fabrics.
Mark the points that you need to stretch the elastic between-generally across most of the back and leg holes, and a little bit of the front.
You'll be sewing the FOE across the front and back, and around the legs. It's best done with three step zigzag, but again, if you don't have it regular zig-zag is fine. Make sure the cover is right up snugly to the fold in the elastic. Stretching as you sew can make you feel as if you need a few extra hands, but you'll get the hang of it soon enough :)
Finished leg opening, nicely gathered.
Now it's time to finish off the edges of the wings-I do this with suedecloth scraps, however any polyester fabric, like polar fleece, can be used. As long as it's not absorbent. Cut some strips the same width as the FOE.
Fold them over the edges of the wings to bind the raw edges of the wool and FOE, and stitch in place.
Finished, except for the fastenings.
If you have a snap machine I much prefer snaps-however quality hook and loop tape can be purchased from the same places as FOE.
Mark your snap placement, which is much easier with a template.
A finished wing.
Mark the front according to the snaps on the wings and snap.
And done! A super-duper, heavyweight, machine-washable wool cover.
Check out Ivy's Nest to see this tutorial put to use. If you've also tried it, let me know and i'll show you off too