Long, long ago (well, it feels like it), when Maxi Mister was small and Mini hadn’t arrived, I decided to make some of the things I knew I needed for when Mini did pop out. Maxi had been cloth-nappied until potty training, so we had also used washable changing mats. By washable, I mean bung in the washing machine with the nappies or towels, not just a wipe-down one. I have an issue with not being able to clean things properly unless they have been machine-washed, so I chuck in loads of things that shouldn’t go in there. Most survive!
Anyway, I digress. The change mats we had for Maxi were great, but they were quite small, and, although they were nice colours, were a bit boring. Having already made some crib storage pockets out of some amazing Riley Blake fabric, I went hunting for some equally lovely fabric that would work for a change mat. To be honest, making a final choice was the hardest part of making these mats.
Having settled on 2 more Riley Blake fabrics, I decided to use Plush cuddle for the lining (it was used in quite a few of Maxi’s nappies, so I thought why not?!), and put a waterproof PUL layer in the middle. This was before I had started quilting, so I didn’t even know such a thing as a walking foot existed, let alone have one. You can imagine the shifting of fabric despite pinning (and yes it does leave tiny holes in the PUL layer, but since I iron the mats after drying, that usually helps with closing them up). It was a good job I had plenty of each fabric! I made one for my sister-in-law a few months later, and adapted Crazy Little Project’s Diaper Clutch pattern to make a Wipe Pouch to match.
Fast forward 2 years, and one of my oldest friends was about to become a grandma (she had her kids early, I had mine late). Despite not seeing them very often, I really wanted to make something for the baby, so I resurrected my Change Mat and Wipe Pouch plans, and set to work. This blog covers the Change Mat, and Part 2 shows how to make the Wipe Pouch.
Washable Change Mat
You will need:
• Approx. 1m of 100% cotton fabric
• ¾m plain PUL – check the roll width is more than a metre (I usually get mine from Plush Addict, but there are other suppliers)
• 1m Plush cuddle fabric (or you could use cotton with polyester wadding quilted to it – whatever you use needs to be soft and a bit padded)
• 1.5m of 15mm grosgrain ribbon (or the liking for turning thin strips of sewn fabric the right way out for ties – I did this for my first 2 and swore never again!)
• Co-ordinating Gutermann Sew-All thread (or whatever you prefer)
• Lots and lots of binding clips (or pins if you don’t mind tiny holes in the inner layer)
• Spray glue
• A walking foot for your machine
Apologies for the lack of pictures for the instructions. I thought I had taken more than I had. If you need further clarification, please contact me.
1. Wash the outer cotton first, to preshrink it. Once it is dry, starch and press it. You need to cut one piece which is 70X100cm, checking that any directional prints run from top to bottom on the longer sides. If you are making ties, cut the fabric for these now. My original ones ended up about 1/4in wide, but I would now aim for 1/2in because I prefer the look.
2. Cut a piece of PUL the same size your cotton, and then stick it to the reverse of the cotton using spray glue. I had no idea spray glue existed when I made the first mats, but now I do, I wouldn’t make something with PUL without it. It doesn’t matter which way up the PUL goes, but I always put the knit side to the cotton and the plastic side to the plush cuddle.
3. Cut a piece of ribbon approximately 1.5m long (or make ties from the same fabric as the outer). Fold this in half, pin and then baste to the outer on one of the long sides. You should have the folded end sticking out over the edge of the cotton and the rest of the ribbon lying on the middle of the mat. Where you place it on the long edge, will dictate how the mat is folded and rolled afterwards – if you want to fold into 3 and then rolled, pin the ribbon about a quarter of the way down; if you want to fold into 4 and then roll it, pin half way down.
4. If you are using plush cuddle for the lining, either cut a piece several centimetres larger than the outer, or do what I did and just lay the cotton/PUL onto the whole piece of plush cuddle and cut once it is sewn. If you are using a quilted piece of cotton or something else, you can cut it the same size as the cotton, as it will not shift like the plush cuddle does. You need to make sure that you put the cotton and plush cuddle/quilted piece right sides together, and then pin or binding clip together.
5. Sew slowly and carefully round the outside of the cotton, using a 1/4in seam allowance (apologies for switching back to imperial), making sure that you leave a gap in the bottom seam to turn the mat the right way out. Stitch over the ribbon several times to make sure that it is secure.
6. Trim the plush cuddle to the same size as the cotton and PUL and clip the corners.
7. Turn the whole thing the right way out and give it a good pressing. Press and pin the opening closed, and then top stitch at 3/8in round the whole of the mat. You should find that it feeds through the machine OK, but if you do find that the lining layer is shifting still, use binding clips to hold it in place, and sew slowly. Give it a final press.
And there you have a Washable Changing Mat!
Check out Part 2 of this post to find out about the matching Wipe Pouch.