Which is the cheapest fabric store in Toronto?
June 15, 2006 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Diaper fabric wouldn't cost too much, would it?

We have a baby on the way, and in order to make his/her coming as environmentally friendly as possible, I'm sewing all of the diapers, bedding, and nursery decorations. We're moving to the "new toronto" southwest area, near Humber College.

Any locals know where I can get cheap 100% cotton, terry cloth, fleece, drapery fabric, and more cotton for bedding, for cheap? I've only ever done alterations on my clothes so my knowledge of how much stuff should cost is nil. A visit to MacFab downtown, as well as the surrounding queen w. stores, scared me off a bit with their high prices. I'm on a shoestring budget.

A bit of a headsup on how much I should be expecting to spend would help as well.
posted by Sallysings to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ask friends for wornout cotton clothing or towels, or buy it from Goodwill - they often sell rags made of old clothes. Worn cotton is very absorbent. If your baby has plaid flannel diapers, s/he will look soooo snazzy. Before disposables, many women made diapers from scrap fabric. Synthetics are non-absorbent, so make sure it's all-cotton.
posted by theora55 at 2:52 PM on June 15, 2006

My mom was going to make diapers for our son. She bought flannel on sale. After she made 8 diapers, she realized that it was still going to work out to about C$3 per diaper. We were not comfortable using second-hand material, since a baby's skin is sensitive and you don't know what has been used on that fabric (bleach, laundry soap, something weird, etc.).

Instead, I went to Sears and bought cloth diapers on sale during Baby Days. (Happens regularly -- ask them about next event.) This worked out to $4 per diaper. In fact, if you join the Sears Family Club for $25, you will get a $5 gift card and a 10% off your entire baby/children's purchase. If you are going to need a car seat or any other items from Sears, buy everything all at once. Buy during Baby Days and this should result in less than $4 per diaper.

We did not feel it was worth saving 75c per diaper. YMMV.
posted by acoutu at 3:08 PM on June 15, 2006

I'm sure Honest Ed's would probably have something cheap.
posted by fvox13 at 3:10 PM on June 15, 2006

I used to buy flat cotton diapers at a place on Queen st, but it's gone now. I think there may still be a place on Bloor near Jane that sells flat cotton diapers.

I think it's great to sew a bunch of stuff yourself, but flat diapers may not be worth the bother. They're pretty cheap to buy and I don't know if you can get cotton exactly like that in fabric stores. Having said that, any flannel cotton will probably do. Just fold it until it's thick enough.

Our diapers looked like this but we didn't have a service. We just bought them along with a half-dozen waterproof fitted covers.
posted by GuyZero at 3:12 PM on June 15, 2006

Upon re-reading your message, I should add that my mother has 40 years of sewing experience and has even made bridal dresses and my wedding dress. But she found making diapers really a pain.

She did make the sheets and blankets, though.
posted by acoutu at 3:16 PM on June 15, 2006

Before I run off to rehearsal (will check this thread again in a few hours), I'll just post the link to the diaper I'm planning to make. PooPockets.

I'm going to have pre-folds for the first few months, but most likely I'll end up with a bunch of fittedd diapers for the remainder of the diapering times. Thank you all for the replies so far!

acoutu/ were those fitted or chinese prefolds? On the sears.ca site it looks like they only have Kushies and they're around $10 per regularly.

While I'm at it, should I register at Babies'R'Us, the Bay, or Sears?
posted by Sallysings at 3:22 PM on June 15, 2006

Try looking for 100% cotton flannel sheets on deep discount from discount or online stores. My mom and aunt did this for clothing item that they are making and planning to sell online... the price was considerably cheaper than buying by the yard.
posted by kimdog at 3:24 PM on June 15, 2006

We made fitted diapers. I just bought the regular Sears brand fitted diapers, which are cheaper than the Kushies ones. They are still made by Kushies, but they don't have the waterproof outer layer. (When I switched to toddler diapers, I decided it was worth the extra money, since I didn't want to put my toddler in soaker pants. I had to use soaker pants when he was small because he had a bad reaction to diaper wraps.)

I say register at Sears and join the Family First Club. Seriously. You get a ton of coupons -- even for your own clothes, movies, 10% at the Sears cafe, Blockbuster Reward membership, etc. I've saved a ton just by spending $25 and I got a free parenting mag with it. I tell all my friends to join. Also, Sears stuff goes on sale more often, so you'll get more for your money than at The Bay or Babies R Us. (That being said, we've got a lot of stuff at Babies R Us over the past year or so.)

Try to get a good stroller if walking is your made mode of transport. Don't buy a stroller from Sears if you are going to be using it a lot. They cater more to suburbanites who use it at the mall, except when they have a shopping cart or mall stroller available. I bought a Peg Perego after ditching my Sears stroller.
posted by acoutu at 3:33 PM on June 15, 2006

If you spend any time on LiveJournal, there is a vibrant and info-filled community of cloth-users and cloth-makers who could answer your questions and more.
posted by Dreama at 5:44 PM on June 15, 2006

I am not in Toronto nor sewing diapers, but I did buy ten metres of 150 cm white diaper flannel recently. It cost about twelve dollars, and is easy to handle, if somewhat linty in the sewing machine.
posted by Sallyfur at 8:54 PM on June 15, 2006

I used cloth diapers for my second child, but I did start to wonder whether I was really helping the environment that much. Soiled diapers needed to be soaked in diaper solution until laundering. This solution has to be disposed of down the drain. Then, diapers needed to be washed and given an extra rinse to remove the diaper solution. Then diapers were dried in the dryer for two hours or more. Don't suggest skipping any of these steps as diapers are full of bacteria and need a special wash and must be thoroughly dry before use. I also found that my daughter had a lot of diaper rashes when using the cloth diapers. Consider a diaper service.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 12:44 PM on June 19, 2006

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