Sunday, November 24, 2013

Replacing Velcro on a Freetime

The just-over-a-year-old BumGenius Freetime had reached its limits, causing my son to drop trou unexpectedly and recurrently.  First I stopped sending it to daycare.  Then I stopped using it altogether.  I emailed BumGenius and discovered that while they have a refresher kit containing velcro, it is only the kind located on the tabs.  My issue was with the velcro across the front.
The BumGenius Freestyle's pitiful velcro

A Tots Bots Easyfit that is both older and used more frequently, for comparison
I was fortunate that Candace, a WAHM who knows more about cloth diapers than anyone I know; makes adorable cloth diapers; and is the reason for my unpaper towel obsession, had some velcro I could use, and some tips for the process.  Seriously, go check out her store, The Sassy Monkey.  With my newfound knowledge and velcro, I procrastinated for about 3 months forged ahead.

My cast of characters included a seam ripper, white thread, the replacement velcro, and scissors (which played a very minor role).  Yes, I completed this task on my bed. It's autumn. I have flannel sheets. Where else would I do such a thing?!

I started by carefully ripping the seams around the velcro/aplix.  I'd like to take this moment to point out that I had never heard the term "aplix" before researching cloth diapers.  From what I've gathered, aplix is to velcro as tissue is to Kleenex.  I guess that's why spellcheck and autocorrect always want me to type "Velcro".
It was really hard for me to get my phone to focus properly for this picture, and many would argue that I still failed

I removed about every other/every third stitch, and soon the poor FreeTime looked naked.
I feel like I should blur out part of the diaper
Then I sloppily stiched the new piece of velcro on the front, making sure to avoid going all the way through the multiple layers of fabric.  I just wanted to sew it on to the front-most fabric.  My stitches looked horrible, but the velcro feels like it's on securely.

I then, per Candace's advice, defied the laws of cloth diapering and put the diaper in the dryer on high to seal the PUL - the waterproof material.  Et voila, a diaper that may not look pretty, but at least now it's functional again.  I failed miserably trying to get a picture of it on C, and unfortunately, he required a change out of it before I could tell how everything is holding up.

I have a few take homes from this ordeal.  When I first set out cloth diapering, I avoided snap diapers.  I figured they would be much harder than velcro.  They really aren't, although I still primarily send velcro diapers in to daycare.  To me, a velcro diaper seemed the closest to a disposable diaper.  Velcro, however, seems to have a shorter lifespan than snaps.  That being said, there is a major quality difference among diaper manufacturers.  I will not buy another velcro BumGenius until they change their velcro.  BumGenius is not my favorite brand overall, but their Flip is my favorite cover, and I like the FreeTime.  This diaper isn't my only BumGenius diaper that has pitiful velcro - just the one that stopped working altogether first.  My Tots Bots Easyfits, however, function as well as they did when I first got them - nearly 2 years ago.  If I could go back, I'd only buy snap BumGenius diapers, but now I have experience fixing velcro ones if need be.  Cue the "the more you know" jingle.

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