I love cloth diapering my children. Not only is it better for them and the environment, but cloth diapers are also a money saver and just plain adorable! I mean, who doesn’t just love this?
And would you believe that I made this myself? This is called a pocket diaper. The reason being that it has a pocket in the back, that you can stuff with inserts or prefolds. This makes for easier and faster cleaning/drying. If you have even a little bit of sewing ability, you can make one of these. Here’s a quick tutorial of how to make one.
2 choices of fabric – I used PUL (polyurethane laminate – waterproof fabric) for the outer material, and a no-pill fleece for the inner fabric. I use fleece because it keeps the baby dry. You want to use a no-pill fleece versus just a regular fleece from Walmart, because it will hold up better in washes.
You will also need a sewing machine, scissors, elastic, a glue stick, washable pen/pencil, velcro, and a pocket pattern. There are lots of free patterns here, here and here. This site is my all-time favorite for making your own cloth diaper on the cheap! If you’re not comfortable making your own pattern from the links I just gave you, there are plenty that you can purchase. Just do a google search and you will find a plethora of options.
So here are the steps. Be sure to back-stitch two or three stitches at the beginning and end of each sewing step.
Step 1: Place your pattern on your fabric, making sure that the stretchy part of the fabric goes width-wise on your pattern. Trace the pattern onto your fabric and then cut it out. Do this on both of your fabrics. Be sure to leave the top tabs that will be in the back for the pocket. Here are my two pieces cut out.
Step 2: Sew the soft loop velcro onto the outside front of what will be your outside piece. I just did a straight-stitch, but other people like doing a zig-zag. It’s really up to you.
Step 3: Since I don’t like to use pins on PUL fabric (they could affect the function), I use a glue stick to keep my two pieces together while sewing. Just do a tiny bit of glue stick around the outside edges of the PUL fabric and press the fleece so that the two pieces are attached. You want what will be the outside fabrics to face each other. After it is sewn, the diaper will be turned inside out, so just make sure the good sides face in during this step. Don’t use a lot of glue; it will only take a little bit. This is just to keep the fabric together like pins would so that you can sew.
Step 4: Do a straight-stitch, sewing the two pieces together. Be sure to leave the back pocket area open. As an option, you can straight-stitch over it a second time for added durability.
Step 5: Fold the diaper in half lengthwise and mark on both sides where you want the leg elastic to start and stop. That way it can be even on both sides. Then do a zig-zag stitch while stretching the elastic as tightly as you can while sewing. Do this on both sides.
Step 6: Now it’s time to work on the pocket area. Sew the elastic on the inside back PUL fabric, below the tabbed piece of fabric. Do a zig-zag and stretch the elastic as much as you can while sewing. Once you have done this, fold over the tab and do a straight stitch, making sure NOT to sew on the elastic.
Step 7: Next you can do the same thing to your fleece fabric. Add the elastic just like you did on the piece of PUL fabric. This is not absolutely necessary, but it does make the diaper a little nicer. I ran out of elastic, so I just folded the fleece tab over and did a straight-stitch. Now it’s time to turn the diaper right-side out.
Step 8: Now finish up by adding the velcro to those little arms that wrap around the top. Cut your velcro pieces the same size, and be sure to include both hook and loop pieces, so that you can fold over the hook part of the velcro when washing. These are called laundry tabs. You want to make them, so that your velcro doesn’t ruin things while in the wash.
Place the hook velcro towards the outer edge, and the loop towards the inner. Straight stitch all around. Some people like to do a zig zag, but I think a straight stitch works just as well and looks nicer.
And there you go. You’re all done! As a further step, you could do a top stitch all the way around the outside of the diaper, but I have found in my experience for this to be an unnecessary expenditure of energy and thread. But, the benefit for this would be a trimmer look. I’ve done it with and without the top stitch, and I definitely like it without.
So do you think my little girl likes it?
I am by no means a sewing expert, and I am sure there are people out there that could do a better job. This is just a quick and easy way to start making some pockets. I hope you guys like this little tutorial and let me know if you have any questions. I would be happy to help you!