Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Side Snap Odyssey Part 1

I thought this might be interesting for anyone who is thinking about designing something to sell. This won't necessarily translate into other areas, but it will give you an idea of the fiddling that is required. Or that is required if you are picky and change your mind a lot.

One of the things you have to identify is your point of difference - what is it that will make people want to buy your product? This doesn't have to be a feature of the design, it might be your availability, your price, your service, or something else. For me, I only got into nappy making in the quest to find something to suit my girls, so the design is paramount. We generally only wear nappies and a t-shirt, so I'm after a particular look that to me is cute.

To fit my girls' thighs it has to be side snap. I can't stand the idea of them growing out of a nappy rather than wearing it out so it has to be a one-size (OSFM, I hate the OSFA label with a passion). I like a nice little triangle bum shape, a trim fit and cute fabrics.

Bear in mind these are all 'working' nappies, they are a bit worn for nice pictures! Plus I trial sewing techniques as well as patterns, so some of them are funny shapes because I've tried out a different way of putting it together.

First attempt, too wide in the crotch, short in the rise, generally too small.
2. Pretty frill effect on the legs, trying out the fabric, didn't wear well at all.

3. Crotch much trimmer, still a bit short but very useable. Still trying to get the pocket opening easier to sew, I keep ending up with a raw edge.

4. Christmas nappy. Nice shape but a bit baggy, each wing is a different snap width to compare them. I quite often do that on experiments - make each side different so I can see which one works better. There was a fairly large break in here while I trialled them and decided whether to continue.

5. I love this fabric. Settling into a design I like, but I don't like the way the wings are pulling.

6. The front runner at the time. There was a lot of fiddling with the front wings to try to get one large enough, this is the first that comfortably fit my eldest, now 3 1/2.

At this point I didn't do any more sewing for about 3 weeks to give all of them a workout. There are many more to come!

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