Friday, January 17, 2014

Sewing with PUL

I've recently been working a lot with PUL fabric to make baby things.  I'm primarily using BabyVille  Boutique PUL fabric as it's available a my local fabric store and the prints are super cute.

What is PUL?

Polyurethane laminate.  It is similar to laminated cotton or oil cloth in terms of being water proof but the fabric is stretchy, breathable and soft.  It is traditionally used for making diapers but I found other uses for this waterproof fabric! 

BabyVille Boutique also offers matching fold over elastic (FOE) and snap buttons, which were on clearance (99 cents per package!) so I bought a bunch as well. Again, although traditionally used for diapers, I found FOE to be a useful alternative to bias tape and the snap buttons an alternative to zippers/button  and button holes.

So far, I've made the following with PUL:

1) Diaper Change Station (using the free pattern here)
I have made 2 - one following the exact pattern for a baby shower and now one for myself (shown above).  For mine, I made the following modifications:
  • Avoided all ribbons and replaced with snap buttons
  • Omitted the handle and replaced with snap-on elastic handle
I love the end product!

2) Bibs

There are so many free bib patterns online! 
Some of my favourites include

3) Burp Cloth (using free pattern from Smalldreamfactory)

4) Wet Bags (from Lotta Jansdotter's book)

This is a great project to use up random rectangular leftover pieces of PUL and the velcro provides easy access.

5) Boppy Pillow Cover

There are several tutorials and patterns online on how to make a cover (or even the entire nursing pillow!) but I already had a pillow and a store-bought cover.  The only problem with the existing pillow cover was that it was made out of thin cotton.  Since nursing seems to be quite messy, I wanted to make a waterproof cover and used the existing cover as a template.  I did make some changes, such as replacing the zipper with snap buttons.   I also used fold over elastic to finish the snap button opening. 

I love it!  And the owls make me happy. 

Next on my to-do list is to use PUL for:
  • car seat/stroller protector pad
  • potty training underwear
  • more wet bags
  • more bibs
  • nursing pads (to use up scraps)
Pros about PUL

As mentioned above, PUL is breathable, stretchy, soft and comes in many cute prints. 

Cons about PUL

The only complaint I have is that the fabric has a plastic coating, which is great for water resistance but makes it difficult to sew as it sticks to the needle/presser foot.  I've googled around and found the following tips :
1) Use ballpoint needle
2) For zig zag stitch, use the one that looks like a dotted zig zag stitch (three-step zig zag stitch)
3) For straight stitch, if sewing 2 fabrics together, make sure PUL is on the bottom (near feed dogs).  If sewing 2 pieces of PUL together, adding a layer of tissue or tissue paper helps prevent sticking!

The final thing is that I don't know how stable the plastic coating is with supreme heat.  Thus, I have limited my projects to baby items and AVOIDED traditional oil cloth projects such as lunch bag, placemats, and table cloths.

Hope this helps!

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