Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wool-in-two training pants with FREE pattern

These instructions explain how to make a wool-in-two training pant. I really haven't seen anything like this out there so I was interested in coming up with something that would be fairly waterproof, not too bulky, 100% wool with a flannel soaker, and an elastic waist band so that they stay up by themselves (as opposed to wool soakers which need a snappi or fitted underneath to stay up). I put the snaps in the front as opposed to the back (as in regular diapers) since the location of the soaker in the front is the important part when you EC. You don't have to worry to much where the soaker is in the back although I did mark snap locations for back snaps on the pattern if you want to use them. Maybe this would be necessary for a toddler who is pulling their own pants up? (SEE UPDATE)

These fit my 9 month old who is 20lbs, however, they are fairly large. The wool interlock stretches a ton (although it is felted) and I'm pretty sure they will fit him until he doesn't need them anymore. If you make yours out of recycled sweaters the stretch might not be so much and you might need to make the pattern bigger (use a photocopier and increase by 5% until you get the size you want).

Link here. Some download times are long.

This is what the main pattern pieces look like all taped together:

Here are the pieces cut out.

I have used felted 100% wool interlock bought from the Covered caboose co-op, you can use recycled sweaters but make sure they are 100% wool (or close to it).

I used a serger to make these trainers, if you don't have one you can use a regular sewing machine with a wide and close together zig zag stitch. All seams have a 1/4" seam allowance.

Here you see the sides serged and the leg bands serged on. The waist is unfinished as of yet.
Check out the instructions for the nonwaterproof trainers to get you to this point.

Fold down the waist by 1/4" and then another 1" to form the elastic casing. Pin and sew all the way around and leave a gap to feed the elastic through. I used a small zig zag stitch since the fabric can stretch with the elastic and on its own as well.
Feed the 1/4" wide elastic through using a safety pin and zig zag the ends. I used a length of 1/4" width Stretchrite elastic the exact size of my son's waist and then overlapped it by about 1 1/4" when sewing it together. It is just tight enough not to fall down, nice and comfortable. Sew the hole in your casing up.

Hint: Pre-wash your elastic, it shrinks too.
Here is the finished trainer before adding snaps.
For the soaker I cut 4 layers of flannel and put the snaps through only two layers (so that they would be hidden and not resting against my son's skin.) I put the other two layers of flannel on top of the caps so that they are hidden. I serged this soaker, if you do not have a serger you can zig zag using a very wide and very close together stitch or you can add a 1/4" seam allowance and turn and topstitch.

Hint: To add a 1/4" seam allowance to a pattern, attach two pens together with an elastic and trace one pen along the pattern, the other pen will accurately mark a 1/4" all the way around on the outside.

Hint: if you are serging around your soaker keep the knife exactly along the edge of the fabric but don't cut it otherwise your serger will struggle and it will be hard to achieve the curved shape. This will also allow you to add more layers since the serger can sew through thicker material than it can cut.
Here is the finished soaker piece . You can see the snaps on one side.
But not on the other.
I didn't mark the snap placement on the pattern of the trainers because the interlock is so stretchy I wasn't sure if I'd get it right. Instead, I just placed the soaker inside and made sure it was high enough and centered by using my quilter's ruler. You can see the two dots I have drawn to indicate where the snaps go. You could do the same thing on the back if you wanted the soaker to snap in the front and back.

Hint: If you have snaps on the front and back you need to make sure that the soaker is lying flat on the trainer before you mark for the snaps otherwise when you place it in the trainer and your little one sits down the front snaps will pull down on the trainer and it won't sit straight (trust me on this!).

Reinforce your snaps with an extra piece of wool on the back to ensure the snaps don't pull through.

Hint: If you make a mistake with your snaps you can remove them with pliers. Make sure you reinforce with a scrap of fabric and zig zag over the spot or the new snap will pull through the old hole.
Here I'm showing how I folded the flannel 4 times and traced the soaker pattern as many times as could fit. You don't have to pin the flannel it sticks to itself pretty well. Just smooth out all the layers so their are no wrinkles, trace and cut away.

Hint: Pre-wash your flannel - it shrinks a lot!
Here is what the soaker looks like snapped into the trainer when the trainer is turned inside out.

I love these trainers! They are loose enough to be extremely comfortable but trim enough to fit under the correct size of pants (unlike some other wool diapers). The four layers of flannel can hold a substantial pee (I've even used them over naps sometimes).

I made 4 pairs of trainers and 13 (I miss counted, was aiming for 12!) soakers and this was plenty so that I could wash the soakers whenever I did regular laundry and relanolize the trainers about every two weeks.

I'm thinking about dying them will Kool aid.....


I've been using these trainers almost exclusively for 2 months and I finally broke down and added the back snaps to the flannel soaker. The soaker just kept shifting when I'd pull the pants up and down and it was getting a little frustrating. Now that the back snaps are in, it is a breeze to pull them up and down. I was a little concerned that the combination of the back and front snaps would be irritating to Jonah but I realize now that he doesn't even notice them!

Here are the instructions to add the back snaps after the fact. (If you are making these for the first time I strongly suggest adding the back snaps in the first place!)

To add the back snaps I first put them in using the placement from the pattern, then I cut a rectangle of flannel (3" x 1 1/2") and pinned it over top of the caps so that the caps would not be against my baby's skin.

I sewed around the edges of the rectangle using a wide and close together zig zag (like aplique), this will secure the rectangle and prevent the edges from fraying all at once.

To add the snaps to the wool trainer follow the instructions for adding the front snaps. Make sure the flannel soaker is laying flat against the wool, push it down in the crotch area before you measure to add the back snaps, to ensure that when your little one sits the front snaps won't be pulled forward.


Sheila said...

Thanks for this! I'm linking to you from my blog - mainly so I can remember where to find you!
I have a baby and a toddler in cloth diapers and the toddler, who'll be two next month is taking off her own cloth diaper - she may be done with it soon and so I need to make these trainers NOW to be ready!

Green Momma said...

Thanks for the link!

I'm so glad I can be of help.
I'd love to see pictures when you are done with them.

I have been using these trainers for about 2 months and I finally added the back snaps to the flannel soaker. I'm adding the instructions how to ADD the snaps after the fact but if you haven't started yet, it will be much easier to pull them up and down (with no shifting of the flannel soaker) with the back snaps. Good luck:)

Anonymous said...

I love this idea...but I can't get your multi-sized pattern to open right :(

Green Momma said...

Thanks for letting me know. It should be fixed now! Let me know if you have more problems. Happy sewing.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited to try these! What a great concept!

Anonymous said...

I am so looking forward to making these! My daughter is 7 months and we have been Ecing since the beginning....but summer months were easy just to have her bare bottom and I'm finding it more of a challenge in the winter. I have been thinking training pants is what we need since they are easy to pull down. Quick question - do you felt the recycled sweaters or wool interlock first?? I'm guessing yes? thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I don't have access to a snap press, so could I use velcro? I am contemplating making these for my 2 yr old.


Green Momma said...

Velcro would certainly work but the velcro can pull badly on the wool. You could try one and see how you like it. You could also use sew on snaps, buttons (with button holes), or even a large diaper safety pin. Hope that helps!!

Amelia said...

How do you find the snap-in soaker works for pulling up and down? I'm a bit worried that it would slide off to the side, flop into the potty, or whatever. Should the fit through the rise be fairly tight or relatively loose?

I'm thinking about making these (or something similar) but I'm used to using pocket trainers which I made for my daughter a few years ago. They're wearing out, and I think I want to do something a bit different for my son (now a very skinny 18-month-old, just starting to occasionally go to the potty himself but using diapers 90% of the time or more).


Green Momma said...

As long as you do the snaps in the front and the back then it doesn't slide too much. When using 100% wool interlock the fit is a bit more baggy because the wool is so stretchy! If you used felted wool sweater or wool blend the fit would be a bit more trim. The rise is designed to be fairly short to fit under regular sized pants.

Keep up the good work with your ds!

mama2maxwell said...

My LO is allergic to wool. Do you think this pattern could be adapted to fleece as the outer (we use fleece soakers now)?

Anonymous said...

hello i am having trouble with the pattern. i don't know how to join Wittp #1,#2,and #3. please help.


beginner sewer

Green Momma said...

I added a picture of all three taped together. I hope that helps you! Have fun sewing!!

Julie said...

Do you make these for other people who are sewing challenged?
Will you email me a response?

AdventureSteph said...

I am with Julie...i really reallu think you have awesome talent..and you reaaly think things thru to a T !!!
WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ABOUT ....HOW you might help us,outcwith winter EC HEREin chilly Wisconsin!!...
Could/Would we hire u 2 sew couple EC outfits??!!