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Friday, January 17, 2014

Family Cloth: The Down and Dirty part 2

I FINALLY got my system down for using family cloth. So far, it seems to be working pretty well with no smell.

It's pretty simple. I just wipe (still doing this for #1 only) and place in my newly made wet bag. Once a week, I simply wash the cloths with my laundry and place them back in my basket.

I chose to make my own wet bag so it would be just my style. If you enjoy sewing, I would recommend making your own bag. It's really not that difficult to do. Even the zipper wasn't horrible...just not that fun...especially without a zipper foot for my sewing machine. BUT, I will give you a few tips. I was going to give you a step by step tutorial, but my bag turned out terrible and I know I couldn't have explained it any better than Merrilee at the Dilley Dally Blog

Here's my tips:

1) DO NOT use a light satiny polyester fabric....okay, if you've worked with this type of fabric before and you know what you're doing, go ahead, but if not, just stay away from it. The fabric is beautiful, but it was a pain in the ass to cut as it slides around, and it frays like crazy. When I tried to cut two pieces at once using my rotary cutter, once piece was about two inches too small one way and an inch too small the other direction. It just isn't worth the hassle.

2) The Dilley Dally Blog doesn't give you dimensions for the bag (so you can determine the size you need), nor the seam allowance to use. I'm still not going to give you dimensions as it's really up to you how big you want your bag, but I will say that I made my bag 11" wide by 12" deep. I decided to use a half inch seam allowance, so I cut both the PUL and my outer satiny fabric 12"x13". Here's the thing...don't use a half inch seam allowance on your bunches up inside the bag. Keep it at 1/4" or less. The half inch allowance on my satiny fabric was probably a good idea since it frays so much, but on a heavier standard fabric that doesn't fray as much you'd be just fine with a 1/4" allowance. I'd also make the PUL just slightly smaller than my outer bag...maybe an 1/8" smaller. One more point on dimensions: the handle would be perfect for fitting around your wrist, but I'd prefer it a little shorter to hang on my TP roll holder...maybe 7-8 inches long rather than 12.

3) Try adding a top stitch around the three sides of the bag like they did in this tutorial. That way, the PUL inside doesn't slide around inside the outer fabric, but stays put where it's supposed to be. This isn't a necessary step, but would be nice.

Now, back to family cloths and possible systems. There are a few different systems you could use, if you don't like the thought of this simple wet bag system. Here are the ways you can set up something in your own home.

  • A wet/wet system: Using moistened cloths from a warming baby wipe holder to wipe and then placing them in a container of water and vinegar to soak and "disinfect" them before. Lots of extra work, unless you prefer it.
  • A wet/dry system: Using warmed moistened cloths, but placing the used cloths in a hamper or "wet bag" until washing. This can cause some stink from the wet cloths waiting to be washed unless you're washing them frequently.
  • A dry/wet system: Using dry cloths and placing them used in a container of water and vinegar. Tip: The water/vinegar solution can get really nasty in just a couple days; much more than a dry system.
  • A dry/dry system: This is my preference. Dry cloth toilet paper works perfectly and I've not seen a need for soaking before washing. 

Hope you give family cloth a try!

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