Monday, June 21, 2010

Review: Sprightly Soaker Pattern by Little Comet Tails

Today I finally got out my Sprightly Soaker Pattern. I absolutely LOVE Little Comet Tails Patterns, for their fit, their ease of sewing, the fact that the pattern is actually PAPER instead of the tissue/pattern paper crap that I always tear (especially when I use it alot with pins!) and because every one I have used has fit my kids (both of them- and they are built SO differently!) exceptionally well. The mamma that runs the show over there is also very nice, and I have purchased home sew labels from her, which I can attach to the items that I sew for my kids, and add size tags also. This eliminates a lot of guesswork as to which ones are which, and whose are whose, and it's important when you have more than one in diapers.

I have made both the Little Comet Tails Stellar Transitions Trainers, and the Little Comet Tails Crescent Moon Yoga Pants (although I don't do the crescent bum, but the standard pants variation) The ONLY downside I have found to any of the patterns, is that I personally MUST have an internal soaker in the wetzone for any covers I have out of fleece, and the pattern does not include a cutout or suggestion for a soaker. However, with a little creativity and common sense, it's quite simple to fashion something. (for me that is) and I think that if you have sewing ability or experience, you could get along easy enough.

For the pants, I have also converted them to board shorties and also added leg bands for contrast (my own design) and I add an internal pant soaker that is sewn in just at the waistband and allows for extra protection to prevent compression wicking (sitting on grandma's lap, buckled in the carseat or stroller) and also makes them suitable for naptime and nighttime over a good fitted.

For the Sprightly soaker, I cut out a soaker that is in the traditional curved hourglass shape, and used a stretch zig-zag stitch to attach it permanently to the wet-zone of the soaker body BEFORE sewing anything else. These steps are so easy that I have to say it would be a simple and amazing addition to her regular Little Comet Tails Patterns.

When I bought the sprightly soaker, I have to admit I was wary. I have made soakers in the past, and to be quite honest, I really suck at them. For some reason, the leg bands give me LOTS of problems. In fact, I won't even sew a newborn or small soaker for that exact reason. The legband opening is sooooo tiny that it frustrates me and is difficult to stretch and serge while catching all three layers. I long ago gave up on serging them, and started to just sew them. I was still having issues here and there, and so I pretty much purchased all my soakers after that. I had preferred the fit of a Inspiration Cover, especially those made by Michelle at the Pea Chic Nest. But after Ardyn, I had some Gender Neutral covers left, but usually the kids fit different sizes in opposite seasons, so all those cute boyish longies won't do me a bit of good in the summer. And then, because I loved those covers so much, I kinda left her in a medium for too long and stretched them out, so they don't have their original shape anymore.

Of course, Marek's bum seems just as, if not more sensitive than Ardyn's, so I have him in wool and fleece as often as possible and now most definitely at night time in the summer. Even with the air on... because the kid sleeps for 10-12 hours consistently overnight, and I hate the red raw bum that comes from tooooo long in PUL covers or PUL Pockets.

So when I saw this pattern, and had been delighted in just how well her other patterns have worked for me, I thought "why not?"

And then I didn't get to it. FOREVER. I have have the fleece sitting there and today I was inspired when I saw Natures Fabrics post some new instock interlocks on their facebook page. Why oh Why had I never considered sewing my own interlock covers? Seriously? They cost a fortune! I love babyology covers (but I buy them from Canada to get them cheaper), and I have two for Marek right now for nighttime, but I had never once considered sewing my own interlock. Perhaps that's because I had so many problems getting a good fit with previous soaker patterns (Katrina's Soaker Pattern must be made for someone else's kids, or someone else's DIAPER?!) and I had been so frustrated with leg bands in soakers that I just gave up. Why would I ever consider screwing up a cover made of EXPENSIVE interlock wool fabric if I couldn't even get a cheap fleece one right?

Well, I thought I had better give this another try.

I had a hard time deciding on size. Marek can still wear the board shorties and pants in a size Medium, but with a bulky fitted, I am thinking it would be wiser to get him in a large.... except that he is SO skinny and long, that he might not be able to keep them up. So I traced and cut out a medium, and fashioned a medium hourglass soaker, and got to sewing.

Now, I am not going to lie. The legbands were making me cranky. For a moment, I thought WHY am I DOING this to myself again. But the pattern was pretty cool. The legbands are more narrow than any I have made before (which means you have less room to screw up by serging and re-serging while trying to catch all three layers) But I have to say that it actually worked out well enough that I made an entire soaker on the serger (a new serger makes a whole lot of difference - especially since I went from a $200 Singer "nicknamed Satan" to a $1200 Janome model) with the exception of zig zag stitching the soaker in.

When I finished, I finally saw a soaker that looked like UNDERWEAR! In fact, I could get it (the same Medium fleece soaker) on the 30 pound 2 year old (not in a diaper) and think I will try making her something that might work for her as panties or even as an overnight cover, although I will try a large for her.

I was in awe that a fleece soaker could be so TRIM. It's beautiful and it looks GREAT on the skinny lil man. Now, I did decide that while it fits well over a prefold, it would be a stretch over a goodmama fitted. SO I have decided to upsize to a large for him.... for room to grow and room for bulkier fitteds. He kept smiling when I put it on him.... and walking around all goofy and proud. Too cute. Now I have two more to make for him and try to perfect the soaker legs and be confident that I can sew some out of interlock.... because you just don't want to mess up $25 a yard fabric!




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UPDATED: Made a Size Large. The second time around was much better and legs and waistband were even easier. The Large is a little baggier on him, but would fit well over a bulky or heavy wetter fitted, and gives him room to grow without being so large that it falls off. I adore it!
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1 comment:

Hayna said...

Thanks for this review! I just took the jump into interlock soakers and love the stretch compared to fleece. Also, we get far far less wicking/leaking with Malden Mills fleece than with anti-pill stuff from Joann's, with or without a double layer in the wetzone. Here is an add-on for the soaker: http://makingitlittlebylittle.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/add-on-for-the-sprightly-soaker-pattern/

You can also attach the legbands to the body of the soaker before serging the sides of the body, then serge the sides of the legbands and body all at once. Makes newborn/XS/Small soakers go a LOT quicker.

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