30 June 2011

Handmade Gift and an Art lesson

A little person will turn 4 this weekend, and she is very special to our family. This might be the last birthday to celebrate with her together because they are moving away, so I knew this gift had to be extra special. Besides a special toy and a store-bought dress, she is also getting my homemade skirt.

The idea came to me when I was shopping at Walmart and saw these - what they call Fat Squares.  I loved the concept of mixing different colors in one skirt or dress - back then I was not sure yet what I was going to sew.

I kind of came up with my own pattern - working along and seeing how it turned out - not loosing the plan of how I expected it to look. These colors are just perfect for the recipient - green and brown for nature, like Mother Earth. It fits her character and interests perfectly.

In the picture above you only see three different fabric patterns - I added one more later - an afternoon trip to Joann's.

I cut each fat square into four pieces of the same size - but then I only used two if each and then an extra one to make the right size for an four year old. The top part has an elastic band, so it will be more adjustable in case she gets a growth spurt. The ruffles on the bottom are made of the pattern that I added later.

Here is the final product:

I think it turned out beautiful. She likes tight skirts of dresses, so this one turned out just right for her. Lucky me, the elastic was not a problem at all, even though it took me a while to investigate how to make it. And I am so glad that the bottom part turned out as nice as it did. It sure took alot of time to figure it out - because you know how much I like to follow directions... NOT! So I sat there, researched the internet and tried and it worked the first time. I am very happy with it.

And I also have a close-up from all the colors - which I love by the way. I also learned something new about colors. I mean I already know that colors have to go together, compliment each other. There is also a meaning behind every color - did you know that?
Brown is warm neutral color that supposedly can stimulate the appetite and represents wholesomeness and steadfastness - a fact that I find very interesting. It is used to bring out other colors and their richness.
Now brown paired with green is very special on many levels. Dark brown can actually replace what black is so famous for: sophistication. Together with green, it can appear as very earthy, like recycling. But green means life - it's the spring color that tells all of our brains that the long winter is over and new life will come in the near future. Green stands for growth, health, renewal and revival. But it also stands for jealousy and inexperience - something that I read online but that is not what green means to me. What I learned about colors, especially colored rooms, is that green is a calming color - contrary to red that is suppose to be aggressive. Then I rather agree with the saying that green has both a warming and a cooling effect, so it is representing balance and stability - a perfect partner for brown that is steadfast.

Whatever it is, it looks great together - if I may say so myself - so lovely.

29 June 2011

I need a break

I am sure, many of you know what I am talking about. I need a vacation!!! A break from everything.


I am so sick of this daily bla-bla.... so sick of it! I have no energy for my days, just the thought, when I get up, that I have to take care of these two rug-rats.... urgh! I feel like everything is getting on my nerves, the noise they are making, the spills they are having, all the endless questions they are asking with all their demands and wishes.... I need a break!

I don't want to clean the house. I don't want to cook dinner. I don't even want to eat it. I don't want to do the laundry. I don't want to wash dishes. I don't want to do anything in the house. If I could, I would just be out of the house all day long - I guess I am kind of sick of my own house..... I need a change of scenery.

I feel so burnt out. 

Where are you, vacation??? With servants and babysitters.... sounds too good!

27 June 2011

Quick update on the family

I have not been able to blog alot lately because there is alot of stuff happening. It's summer and we are doing stuff outside the house, for one. It's hot, so we are out in the mornings, and just stay inside for the afternoon.

Peanut has been talking up a storm these days - for the most part, I understand her, because I am around her all the time, but it is interesting that she is more making her own words, more so than Coqui ever did. He spoke well from the beginning, was and is complying when asked to repeat words or sentences, and just has a thing for languages. He can say a few words in German, and now is taking Spanish classes....

But here are a few things that Peanut us saying that I want to write down for my own memory. For some reason, she gets all the names right, like Mami, Daddy, and Coqui; Mema and Buelo, Oma and Opa. Even some of our friends names are not that hard and you can definitely understand whom she is referring to.But then there are words that even I, I have a hard time with:
[pita] = stands for princess
[alk] = for milk, walk, and work
[titas] = for Santitas, and if you don't live in the south, these are corn chips
[tilla] = tortilla
[ack] = snack
[pee pee] = is for both, number one and two
[oble] = table
[go-go] = train
[auto] = car
[Eule] = owl
[Mina] = Minnie Mouse
[highway] = stands for Cars, you know the Disney movie stuff
[hanny] = Handy Manny, another cartoon figure
and whatever she says for 'thank you' I can't even write it down, but I do recognize it when she says it. 'Please' is not a problem anymore, same for 'sorry'.

To me, it's amazing that she can pronounce the same letter in one word, but not in the other. I mean the 'm' in Mami is perfectly clear, but she can't use it in milk.... Oh well, I am sure she will learn it eventually. It just seems that languages are not gonna be her strong interest. She doesn't like repeating things, in either language, or is she just stubborn!?! But it is cute to hear her talk to her Baby and take care of her....

25 June 2011


Peanut reading "Five Little Monkeys" to herself

20 June 2011

100 Reasons Why I Love My Husband

My blog friend Bethany had put together a list of 100 reasons why she loves her husband. And she is challenging all of us to find the same amount of reasons of why to love our husbands. Here is the link to her original blog post, and then here to the challenge, where you can leave your own link for her to read.

So without further ado I will try to find 100 reasons of why I love my husband - just in time for Father's Day.
  1. he is my best friend; he was made just for me, in a perfect way
  2. he loves me - the way I am, on my good days and my bad one
  3. he is such a down-to-earth man - I love that!
  4. he is handsome, utterly handsome
  5. he makes me feel beautiful, and sexy, and desirable
  6. he treats me like a lady every day
  7. I love to hear him talk, just talk, it doesn't really matter if it is about his day or plans he has - I just love to hear him talk to me
  8. he is always there for me, in good and in bad, in sickness and in health
  9. he stands up for what he believes
  10. he has courage
  11. he follows through with what he starts, he doesn't like to do things halfway, and I admire that in him
  12. he always comes up with ways to surprise me, all the time
  13. he wanted to learn German for me
  14. he loves his children and he loves to spend time with them
  15. he comes running home, to us, every day
  16. he has perseverance, which I adore and appreciate - at times, it seems to be stubbornness but then I see that it is rather endurance - he doesn't like to give up and always tries his hardest
  17. he makes me laugh
  18. and he laughs at my jokes
  19. he prays for me
  20. he cared for me through my sickness; he was there right next to me, holding my hand when I needed it, gave me hope and just poured love over me - I am forever grateful to have him
  21. he puts me in my place when I need it
  22. he never forgot to buy a card for Christmas or Mother's Day or my birthday (so far)
  23. he loves his job and it fulfills him, it is his true passion - and I am so proud of him and lucky to see him grow in his job
  24. I love that he is building things, actual things that help civilization, not just making money or something
  25. he supports my crazy ideas, no matter if they seem undo-able or take alot of time away from us as a family - he stands behind me
  26. and he stands right next to me when we encounter hard times - 'together-we-can-do-anything-kind-of-thing'
  27. he lets me hang out with my friends whenever I want to (or need it), and that is awesome
  28. he loves to hang out with the kids, wants to spend time with them, play with them, see them grow up and develop - he is an awesome dad
  29. he shares his dreams, goals, and thoughts with me
  30. he trusts me and I trust him, completely and without any hesitation
  31. I love to see his smile - it goes right to my heart and warms it - I know that he is happy (with me)
  32. we are a team, always; we talk and plan and try to work together to get where we need to go
  33. he has the same interests like me, so we work towards the same goals
  34. he has crazy ideas - really crazy at times, but I love them, and him for coming up with them
  35. he listens to me, even when I think he doesn't; later he surprises me with a comment that proves he was listening
  36. he knows me so well, sometimes better (or earlier) than I do; he knows when I am sad or mad, he brings me out of dark holes and back to happiness
  37. I love that he doesn't judge others at all, like so many of us do, me included
  38. he doesn't believe everything he sees or especially hears - he tries to see only the good in people
  39. I love him because he cares; he cares about me and the kids, our family, and his and mine extended family; but he also cares about others, our friends and acquaintances
  40. he doesn't get scared or shaken by circumstances - he takes life as it comes
  41. he gives me hope, when I don't see the light
  42. he teaches me about the bible and God, and I learned so much by just watching him
  43. I love that he has a green thumb, so much more than I do - I love to watch him when he is in the backyard 'playing' with his plants and how it calms him and relaxes him
  44. he gives the best kisses, and I can't imagine not to get a kiss for just one day
  45. he always thinks about the family, he works for the family, even though it is his passion, but it is all about the family, and how we benefit from it as a family
  46. I love that I can tell him anything and he listens, doesn't judge, and I will get an honest answer or advice if I want that from him, or not if I just want to share a story
  47. I love that he will watch a romantic movie with me, even though he'd rather watch a war movie
  48. he wants to make me happy and I appreciate that so much, because that is what I want for him, to be happy, to be happy with me and the family, with life
  49. he loves to travel, something that we have in common, and we have seen many places together already - I can not wait what else there is for us to discover
  50. we are constantly on some kind of adventure together, some days it seems never-ending, but together we are tackling it
  51. he gives great advises
  52. he likes my friends and I love his friends; he lets me hang out with them, but he also takes time to hang out with my friends - not every man does that
  53. I love the relationship he has with his mom and how he treats her
  54. he keeps promises, even if they don't come true when I (!) want it, but when he thinks it's time for it
  55. he is thoughtful
  56. he can enjoy the simple things in life like a family walk or a cuddle in front of the TV, he can enjoy a view in the mountains or a walk through Central Park
  57. he faces life's trials like a 'rock in the surf', so one can be jealous of that, and I value that in him
  58. I love the way he plays with his daughter, so gentle, and yet he can discipline her in such a way that she just willing obeys him (more than me)
  59. he wrestles with the kids when he comes home from work, to spend time with them, to get his mind of work, but also to tough them up a bit.... they laugh so much together, it's awesome
  60. he respects what I have to say, respects my opinions, and listens to my reasoning - I love that I don't have to be afraid to say what I think
  61. I love that he could take care of himself if he needed to - I mean he can cook (better than me), he can do the wash, he can iron his own shirts, and he can everything else.... he is a great husband
  62. I love the way he smells
  63. he is very generous
  64. he doesn't get on my case when I didn't clean the house or cooked dinner (once in a while) - he still loves me and we cook dinner together 
  65. he is not afraid of telling me his opinions - and I will listen to him
  66. he is an optimist and has taught me how to look at life - it is true when they say that happiness is how we react to life's circumstances - with a smile. That's what he does!
  67. I love that he loves the city as much as I do, and whenever I want to go there, he will come with me
  68. he encourages me all the time, with whatever I do, cooking, sewing, my art work, anything.... I love him for that because I know he really means it
  69. he wrote me a poem when we were dating - a ballade just for me - nobody has ever done this before
  70. I love when he reads goodnight stories to the kids and then sings to them before they go to sleep
  71. he tells me that I am beautiful, and I know that I am in his eyes
  72. when I was sick, he came to every doctor's appointment I had! I liked that. 
  73. when I was pregnant, he also came to every doctor's appointment; that's how excited he was
  74. he wants to have more children with me and actually was the one to push for the next one - isn't that awesome?
  75. I love when we get to go on a date and he will hold my hand - it's almost like when we first fell in love with each other
  76. he works very hard, each and every day - I admire that in him
  77. he supports me in homeschooling the children, even though we both grew up in public school - he lets me try it and supports it completely 
  78. he will change a poopie diaper, even though that is not top on his daddy-to-do-list
  79. lately, he complements my food (so I must be getting better) - that is so encouraging
  80. I love to see him busy with his hobbies - it calms him so much
  81. he loves that we are making alot of homemade stuff lately, like my bread and the sewing and other things
  82. he loves when I check up on him during the day
  83. I love that he doesn't want to go angry to bed; he wants to talk it over and go to bed with peace, a smile and a kiss goodnight from me
  84. he has alot of patience, with everything, life, the kids, me, and everybody else
  85. even though we are both planers, I love when he is spontaneous - it feels good to live life by the fullest
  86. and he lives life to the fullest - something that I so love about him! 
  87. I love that we have the same idea or thought sometimes, it's like we can read each other's mind
  88. he loves who I am and where I come from - that is so refreshing
  89. he can comfort me when I really need it, I mean he can calm me down when I am excited or angry, he can just put me in his arms and I really feel it when he says that everything will be okay
  90. I love that I can fall into his arms and know that nothing matters but the two of us, right here together
  91. he has so much faith - faith that gives me hope, faith that gives me strength, faith that is contagious 
  92. he doesn't try to change me - he is patient to see what God is doing for me
  93. I love that when we are away from each other, he still wants to talk to me every day, and say good morning and good night on the phone or over skype
  94. I love when he encourages the kids and when he just loves everything they made, for him
  95. I love that he has pictures from us at his work, so we are always with him
  96. he tells me that he loves me all the time, and I believe it
  97. he always knows what to buy for a gift for me - I have gotten the most amazing things from him
  98. he is the best husband, friend and father that I could imagine
  99. I could not live without him
(101. my husband said, he wants to meet this guy! - I told you he is funny!)

So I guess I did it. It was much harder than I thought it would be, and it took me over two weeks to finish the entire list. But here it is, enjoy!

I am blessed with the best husband. For me. Happy Father's Day.

18 June 2011


I will start something new...

I don't have alot of time on the weekend, at least not in order to spend it in front of the screen, aka computer. So I thought, why not just pick a picture of that day and post it for the weekend. And then I will see you all back on Monday.

So here is the first one:
Yes, I did more sewing, this time an apron out of a kitchen towel. It's super easy, lots of fun, and so not my idea. So here is the link to the original - I was just a copy cat.

16 June 2011

I can not stop

After making the dresses (here and here), I went back to making diapers.

Okay, I admit it, it was just two quick ones - really quick and really easy! You know why? Because I made my first doll diapers. Peanut is constantly using her big diapers on her Baby and Dolly, that I just had to make them for her. Here is a picture of her diapering her Baby:

So I went to the internet and actually found a pattern and directions for making your own doll diapers here.
It's super easy, took me maybe an hour, where I needed the longest time finding and choosing the leftover fabric from her diapers. I didn't want to use the more expensive fleece, so I just used cotton and such.

Here is the picture of the doll diapers on my doll that is now 35 years old!

15 June 2011

The way I treat books

My best friend Beth and I share a hobby and that is reading. We love to read. We always exchange what kind of book we recently read and how it was - you know if it is worse reading it or not. It's almost like a very small book club.

But our ways of handling the books are very different, so we decided to each write about it and link it to the other one's post. So if you are interested in reading her story, here is the link, but I would like that you finish this one first and then go over to C.Beth (- she is the better writer, so you'll keep her writing style in mind longer than mine).

So yes, I love to read.
I read books in German, English and French, but understandably, I prefer to read in my native tongue. And if you ask if I even have the time to read - oh yes, I do! I make time. It is very important to me. It satisfies me to put my nose in a book and disappear into a different world for a little while. A while ago, I also decided that it is okay to read around the kids, because it is a good habit that I want them to copy one day. Read, read, read. Keep reading.

With new technologies coming out all the time, we also discussed electronic books and if we ever would buy one. Well, I don't.  I just couldn't, but she did and you can read about it here. Me, I prefer the actual book, with it's advantages and disadvantages. I am not so sure about the disadvantages of books, but I am sure some people will find them. Personally, I can only see advantages.

I love the feel of a book in my hands, I love to smell books, old or new, it doesn't matter. And I like to see the actual volume on my bookshelf. I want to see that bookshelf grow - even though the hubby is not that happy about it. And I have my parents and my aunt helping me with that - they are constantly sending German books to me - and the kids.

Books fascinate me - I think I inherited that from my family. My maternal grandfather collected books, he had shelves over shelves stocked with books, books of all different colors and shapes and languages. He had alot of books, some new, some were pretty old; he especially liked those about musicians. Both my parents love books as well, but I think my mother does more reading than my father. They have one whole room that is almost like a library in their house. They bought alot of books themselves over the years, but I know my mom also got a few books from her father, my grandfather.
My dream is my very own library in my house; one day... a room full of books. Where I can hide on rainy days and just sit, sip tea and read, read, read.... oh that sounds like heaven to me!

I was taught to bestow a certain respect for books - I believe more for the reason of the value of the book rather than seeing it as a possession. Books cost money, yes, but books also have value, the older the better. I think it is very German to take care of things, to treat all our possessions like treasures! I mean treat them nicely and don't scratch it. (That goes for the German with their cars and with most other of their belongings.) At least that's how I grew up. Getting older, I threw some of those 'values' out the window, but I guess some just really stuck with me. Today, I have my own reasons why I like to regard my books with the utmost care. I don't like to write in them, on them; I don't like when people eat or drink around my books; I don't like folded corners - use a bookmark! I don't lend my books to other people! Not even my best friend....

I am trying to teach my kids to do the same with their books. It makes me so angry when they don't treat the books nicely. I understand that they are kids and one or two books won't make it over the years. Coqui seems to have inherited the love for books and the understanding to treat them with care. Unfortunately, it seems (so far) that Peanut could care less and rips pages, folds corners and - so far - is not allowed to handle paper books. If she keeps going like this, she will never hold a paper book in her hand until she leaves my house!!! (just kidding!)

There is also the small reason that trees had to be cut down for those precious books, and I don't want to waste a tree in dishonoring the final product, the book. Maybe it is because in the GDR, we didn't have things in overflow, some things were just hard to get. When I read stories about the middle ages and how people were not able to read and the possession of a book was such a privilege, I feel blessed that I can read, in multiple languages, and that I own a 'few' books. I can't imagine life without books.

Books, not magazines, not newspapers, but books. Books with stories so fantastic that it takes your breath away. Books can be so much; it can be a time window into history in order to better understand it or just simply learn about it; it can be a refuge into a better world or simply a different world that we will never encounter in our own life; it can be a teaching tool for our children and for us as adults; it can be hope for a future. I can still remember some books from my childhood. Books that I want to pass along to my children.

So there you go, I am nuts about books, and how I honor them! Thanks for reading. And don't forget to check out what Beth is thinking about books.....

13 June 2011

Another Dress

On my day off from all electronic devices, I made another dress. Well, kind of, anyways. I got the idea from another blog, of course.... here is her link, her stuff is amazing and so inspiring.
So I went to work yesterday, going through Peanut's clothes that I had put away already because they were too small. It seems that she didn't get to wear much of her 18-months clothes.... I found a t-shirt that was way too short, but not too small yet. It also had a stain on the tummy area - perfect to be cut and remodeled into a dress. So I cut it up a bit, made a skirt by scratch, even with pleas - can you tell that I am proud of myself!?! And then I sewed them both together, added a ribbon and voila:
 And here is my model, in a much happier mood today. She saw the shirt-dress this morning and actually wanted to wear it right away. So I let her, even though the skirt material was not washed yet... argh!

11 June 2011

More sewing - a dress this time

After making all those diapers, I needed something else..... so I made a dress for Peanut.

Amazingly, I made it in about two hours or less. When I saw the fabric, I knew what I wanted to do with it. I think it turned out really nice. I can't wait to make another one for her. 

Unfortunately, she wasn't in model mood today, so only a side shot, so you won't see her tears...

10 June 2011

Friday thoughts

Today is Friday - have you noticed?

I have. My week was crazy. I don't mean crazy as in crazy busy, I mean crazy as to the emotions our family has been through this week. Some weeks just pass by and nothing really happens (besides daily craziness in a house with two young-ems) , and some weeks seem to provide us with an abundance of action and emotion. This was one of those weeks.

We started a co-op on Monday. So from now on, Coqui is taking place in a Spanish class, and starting next week also an Art class. It's done in the same house, by the same teacher. We are only about four families that come to this co-op, but we all have  little ones, so it will be crazy enough. This is very exciting for me... as I have been looking for a support group and/or co-op for a while.

Tuesday we went on a pool adventure, but it turned out to be disastrous. It was too hot, for me, no shade, the big pool too scary for my little girl, and the little opened late; it was dirty and the kids just didn't behave as desired. By the time we got back home, I was just done with my day.... unfortunately the day was not over. Coqui gave me a hard time with school, he didn't listen and both kids did NOT take a nap. The kids kept complaining about everything, were all whiny, and it was just not pretty.
By Wednesday, I felt so unappreciated that I was ready for a vacation. Thank goodness for friends, who talked to me. They invited us for play dates and it was much easier to deal with the kids that way. They could have fun and run around crazy, getting rid of some of their energy which leads to less bottled-up emotions for them. I went running and could release some of my emotions that way. I even went running two days in a row, because I felt like that helps me to energize myself for the day, but also liberates some of my frustrations.
Today I feel much better, have more energy to face the rest of the week.

So what brought me to write this all down?
Well, feeling overwhelmed like I did this week, I also felt very far away from God. I KNOW that God is all around me, walks me through the day and only gives me trials that I can deal with. I know that. But I just did not feel it this week. I am sure you know what I mean.We walk in God's presence but we are not really aware of it, or rather Him. So today, I want to conscientiously return to His presence; I want to make the deliberate choice of focusing on Him and simply converse with Him.

08 June 2011

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life (Proverbs 10:11)

This has been bugging me for some time, and I had to think about how to post this. I do not want to put anybody against the wall, I am just trying to stir some thoughts and a change in ALL our behavior.

Acts 4:32 says that "all believers were one in heart and mind" which means that we are suppose to share everything. And wouldn't it be nice if that is the case in all life's circumstances.
But no, we are all in different seasons in our life, at different points in the relationship with God. As human beings, we are all different from each other, and that is good. We react to trials in different ways, we fight different fights, and we share success in very different ways with each other.

We should honor where each and everyone is in it's own life, NOT where we are not!

I hate to see when someone is being discouraged because that person is not where the friend wants it to be. Don't we all feel so good when we are encouraged by someone? Why then, I ask you, are we talking behind backs? Because when those discouraging words reach the person - it can destroy everything. Yes, it sounds dramatic, but it could be. In most cases, it is just simply obstructing that person from its growth.

Accomplish God's purpose!
Yes, but everybody has a different purpose. So we should speak inspiring words, words that pour out Jesus' love and the love we (should) have for one another. Don't give up on someone, that person might be in the middle of a huge change, and when we crush that, that person might never get up again.

Pastor said, a few weeks ago, that 'people need to decrease so that God can increase in our life' - isn't that beautiful? Give hope! Not despair. Give life! Give a promise! Give love!

I am not writing this because I am a saint - I am doing things wrong and have to constantly remind myself of doing good instead of hurt, to forgive and to spread love. Do right, don't try to be right. Honor each other. It is not easy. But it becomes clear when one was the recipient of such distrust.

It is a miracle that I am where I am today! Born into an Atheist family in an Atheist country, then set free and was born again. I did not grow up with God's word and love around me. Sorry. But does that make me a less good person? I believe strongly what our old pastor once said: that God is happier about a person that came from way down to Him, then a person who was there all their life trying to be good. Because when you see some of the "evil" of this world, it seems, one can be so much more passionate about God. Because I know I don't want to ever go back.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

05 June 2011

Tutorial for sewing your own cloth diapers

This post is a work of progress, I've been wanting to put it up for such a long time. Now I finally finished it. This is a tutorial about sewing my own cloth diapers. This is what worked for me.

When I started to cloth diaper, I was able to borrow all the necessary diapers from my lovely neighbor. Her child had just potty trained, and the second one was not made yet ;) So I am thankful that I was able to try it out without any costs for me. It took some time to get used to it, when you come from the convenient way of diapering with very absorbent Huggies. But I loved the idea of being more environmental friendly - being green is the key! Eventually, I started buying some Fuzzy Bunz and loved them. Then when her baby number two was on the way, my neighbor needed her diapers back.

Once you started cloth diapers, it is hard to get back to the old wasteful way.... it is! So I figured (and had read on some blogs) that I could try to make my own diapers. I did some research and found some websites that provided a tutorial for making your own. The once that I did like were just way too complicated. When I found the right page, I printed the pattern, bought all the necessary materials, and started sewing. Then I tried it on, but it seemed way too big. I was a bit disappointed, to be honest. So I read some more and tried a few more diapers, until I came up with my own pattern.

Here is it in pictures:
After doing a few of those diapers, I have more like an assembly line now where I make a few diapers at the same time. It seems to go faster this way. I don't know why.

This is the pattern for a fitted diaper. You will need a cover for this.
So the fabric you need is the following:
   1 layer of flannel
   2 layers of anything you can find in your house, I use cotton alot
   1 layer of fleece

I did not go out buying all new, I used all old at first and only started buying later. I used old blankets out of fleece and old baby receiving blankets out of flannel.
The flannel is for the outer part, the cotton as soaking fabric for the inside, not visible after the diaper is all done, and the fleece for the part that touches baby's skin - the part that is the most sensitive. Fleece has the characteristic to let the fluid right through it without soaking it, so baby's skin is not sitting in wet cloth. 

This is my assembly line. I made five diapers at once, because I needed the room for our coming guests.
I cut all the fabric out first and then put them together, so I know if I have enough. I also tried to only use three layers of patterns but it seems to soak through too fast, so I still would use four.

In the middle of those four layers, you need to sew the soaker pad. The picture below shows that I make my own.

I use a few layers of leftover fabric, some cotton, some flannel and even fleece if I have it. Fleece seems to be the most expensive fabric, so I try to only use it for the inner part of the diaper where it touches baby's skin. 

I also bought wash gloves at Walmart, just simple, white ones. Adding to those wash gloves, I sew in a few pieces of my leftover fabric to make it a bit thicker in order to soak up the fluids.

I then sew the soaker on the inside layer of the diaper, so the stitches are not visible afterwards.Make sure it's right in the middle and more to the front than to the back.
The next step is sew on the Velcro. I sew the Velcro loops onto the outer piece of the diaper, both outer layers by the way. It seems to work best for me. It is also easier to do this now, through only two layers, then later through four.

Hint: Buy Velcro that is not self-adhesive. My first diapers, I didn't know that they existed, so I used the ones with the sticky stuff on it and it ruined a few needles of mine. Bummer.

The Velcro hooks go on the two inner layers. Here I cut the edges away, so they won't hurt the baby. Once again, I had to make the experience of NOT using the sticky kind.... "Practice makes perfect."
The next step is to sew in the elastics. You cut two pieces of the same lengths, maybe four inches, that go along the seam on the legs. The other one go on the back part of the diaper, so it's a bit elastic in the back. You can cut it any size, I measure around three to four inches.
I try to stretch it out to where I want it to be and sew it to the diaper, to the two outer layers, a few times back and forth. You sew it with a very small straight stitch. In order to sew the elastic on, you need to hold it all stretched out, pulling it through the machine.
Do the same for both leg pieces and then the back part.
We are almost done, now we have to sew the four layers together. The way to do it, you take the two outer layers and the two inner layers and face them wrong sides to each other, so that the soaker part is visible. So the fleece and the flannel are touching each other and the two cotton pieces are outside.

Then you sew it together, leaving the entire bottom part, the part that goes on the belly, open. Sew it with a straight stitch all around the diaper.

Once that is done, you turn it right side out. Then you can fold down the front part of the diaper, and pin it, or not, and then sew it shut. 

The next step is optional, I don't do it, but I read about it. You could do a straight stitch next to the elastic on the legs and on the back, but I have never done it.

But what I do is a zigzag stitch around the part that gets touched the most, the front part with the Velcro loops. It gives it a stronger feeling, and on diapers where I hadn't done it, I sewed it on afterwards for a tougher hold.

This is how my very first diaper looked like. I still like it. You can see that I zigzagged all the way around the entire diaper, that is not necessary, and especially not on the leg part where it rubs baby's skin constantly.
These are my first five diapers. They are all a bit different in shape and size and stuff I did do and didn't do with them. Some I had to alternate after a few uses when I saw how it doesn't work, at least for me and my baby.
These are all my 17 diapers. I have finally found my own pattern and what works best for us. I use them every day. I love how they all have different colors and fabric. And my daughter has a few favorites of her own.

It is so much fun to make these.

A few hints for washing them: I use the same detergent I have been using since day one: Biokleen. It works great, it gets all the stains out and I love the smell... oh wait a minute, what stains and what smell??? Well, there is no smell to it, which means it is better for baby and environment. And stains? Well, one other great advantage of the fleece is that it doesn't get stained from Number Two! Believe me, she has done some not so pretty things, and it all comes out! Everything. I wash them in a cold cycle, like a prewash, and then a full cycle on warm, and then a rinse cycle, and it all comes out, there is no smell and there are no stains.

I love it.