Alright, this has been a long time coming! You may remember the diaper shower that I helped throw and the cloth diapers that I whipped up for the mama to be! I promised you guys a tutorial, and a tutorial you will have. There are many reasons to make your own diapers – cute fabrics, custom fits and we averaged our cost per diaper to be about $7 a diaper – much cheaper than what pocket diapers typically sell for!
Here are the materials you need:
- ~25″ of 1/4″ wide swimsuit elastic cut into two 6″ pieces and two 4.5″ pieces
- 18″ x 20″ butter suede cloth (we found this at Hancocks for $5.99 a yard), there are option options that you could use, but we found that this was the cheapest and most widely available
- 18″ x 20″ PUL Fabric
- 1.5″ wide Aplix Hook and Loop Tape (Velcro is not a good option – it won’t stand up to the wear and tear like aplix): 14″ Loop tape and 4″ of hook tape, if you will be making lots of diapers, you could invest in plastic snaps and a snap setter, but it is a tad pricey.
- Coordinating Polyester Thread
- Printable Pattern (pdf) – this pattern is approximately a small/medium size diaper so I think it would fit a 6 month old up to a thin 2 year old – Jude still fits in his!
I modified the pattern because the rise seems too long and the front tab didn’t seem wide enough to me. . . Our diaper cuts ended up being a little narrow, so I modified the tabs to be a bit shorter as well. Ideally, I would have left the width on the tabs. You could also trace a cloth diaper you already have.
Using the modified pattern on the fold, trace and cut the pattern on the PUL and the butter suede.
Center 7.5″ of the loop side of the Aplix (the soft side) on the front of the PUL. Edge stitch in place.
The pattern has marks showing where to tack the elastic, I moved the elastic up just a bit on the front of the diaper. The 6″ pieces are for the legs and the 4.5″ is for the pocket opening on the back. Using a satin stitch or a tight zig zag stitch, tack the elastic onto the wrong side of the suede cloth as shown on the pattern and this photo:
On the PUL, tack one 4.5″ piece of elastic on the back (if you are making a pocket diaper – if you are making a diaper cover, there is no need to double up the elastic or have the extra flap on the PUL).
I used quilting clips to clip the PUL and the butter suede right sides together.
Make sure to sew with the butter suede on top otherwise the PUL will stretch (you could use a teflon or walking foot if you want to sew with PUL side up). You want to start the stitching at the edge of the pocket opening – stitching around the whole diaper leaving the pocket open. So, with the suede facing up, starting at the right side of the pocket, stitch as close to the edge as possible – making sure that you are going through both layers of fabric. Be careful not to catch the elastic in your stitching.
Here’s what the diaper will look like:
Trim any excess fabric, especially around the curves.
Now you have to create the tubing that the elastic will sit in around the pocket. I started with the elastic around the pocket on the PUL side. Fold over the PUL using the existing stitching to guide the depth of the fold.
With the needle in the down position, stitch down the short side to the corner and turn. Often, I would make sure to stitch over the elastic once more to secure it even further.
Carefully stitch the long side, making sure not to catch the elastic in your stitching.
It helps to pull the fabric tight as you stitch, allowing the fabric behind the foot to bunch.
This is what it will look like once you have encased the elastic.
Do the same for the butter suede!
Turn right side out – it’s starting to look like a diaper now, isn’t it!
Now it’s time to edge stitch the diaper and encase the elastic around the leg holes. With the butter suede on top, starting at the right side of the pocket, edge stitch.
You should be able to see the tack you make to secure the leg elastic, so edge stitch until you get to the tack. Make sure the needle is in the down position. Turn and stitch about 3/8″ away from the edge. You want it to be far enough away for the elastic to have plenty of room in the casing.
Turn again to stitch parallel about 3/8″ from the edge for the length of the elastic. You will stop once you get to the second elastic tack mark. Turn and stitch the 3/8″ back to the edge.
The stitching around the elastic casing will look like this:
Complete the edge stitching, creating another casing around the other leg hole. Here is what the completed edge stitched diaper will look like.
Now it’s time to add the remaining aplix to the tabs. I included ‘washing’ tabs to fold the hook side down during washing to prevent snagging. These pieces around about 1.5″ wide. I rounded the corners of the pieces that will be on the ends of the tabs for aesthetics. It’s not necessary if you don’t want to create the curve.
Edge stitch the hook portion on the interior tabs of the diaper. Follow with the loop part of the aplix. Repeat on the other side.
I included a loop piece of the aplix on the exterior of one side of the diaper to allow for crossover securing of the diaper. This isn’t necessary, but I find it nice to have.
Here is the completed front of the diaper:
And here is the back!
There is definitely a learning curve in making these diapers, but after you complete one, you’ll find a rhythm! I could make about four in two hours.
As far as what to insert in the diapers for absorbency, you can use 4-6 layers of flannel or hemp sewn together with a zigzag stitch. Really any absorbant material will work – layers of old towels, cotton . . . Or you can just buy inserts!
Have fun making diapers with this tutorial! And let me know if you have any questions!
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