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Have you made your own cloth diapers?

Posted by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 10:59 PM
  • 10 Replies
I've found some great sites doing a google search on making your own cloth diapers.

Have you made your own? If so - what are your favorite styles, fabrics etc.

I have never sewen a day in my life but my dh's aunt has a sewing machine I could use

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by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 10:59 PM
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by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 11:02 PM

We made prefolds and used the ones I had worn 30 years prior, lol.    Just a simple rectangle with additional fabric in the middle.


Hopefully you will get more info from others, I am not knowledgeable enough.

by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 11:05 PM

I havent ever... bump!

by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 11:25 PM

If I had a sewing machine, I would love to try it

by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 11:44 PM

 I can sew, and diapers aren't the easiest thing I've ever sewn.  When I switched to cloth with my son I did it the old fashioned way.  Gerber prefolds like you get at Wal-Mart, pins, plastic pants.  So, I have a lot of prefolds left over.  But my husband refuses to change diapers like that.  Someone gave me the Cloth Revolution Diaper pattern which gives you many options.  You have your choice of closure.  You have your choice of insert attachment.  You have your choice of sized or adjustable size inserts.  I chose to go with the lay-in style so all I have to do is fold up my old diapers, lay them inside and put it on baby.

I used PUL (polyurethane laminate) for the inside and 100% polyester fleece for the outside.  Also, 100% polyester thread.  The PUL is a waterproof material.  Polyester doesn't wick (absorb) moisture.


by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 11:52 PM

I have a basic sewing machine. It cost like $130 when it was new. You just need straight stitches and zigzag stitches for this.

Any cotton fabric will work. You can use old clothing, old flannel sheets, old towels, old receiving blankets, if you want "free" fabric. You can check out the $1/yard table at Walmart for some cotton fabric. You can purchase flannel fairly inexpensively; at Walmart it's about $2.50/yard for some prints, and you can look at JoAnn Fabrics and see if you can find some on clearance. Any flannel will do, there's quilter's flannel, diaper flannel, and "cuddly" flannel.

You'll need thread, sew-on velcro (1.5" preferably), and elastic (3/8").

Whenever you stitch, make sure to backstitch at the beginning and at the end of your stitching. (That means, stitch forward, then backwards, then forward again). This will prevent your stitches from coming undone.

Step 1:
First, get your pattern. I traced a diaper I already had, and altered it some. It's not hard, just get the general shape, and with subsequent diapers, you can lengthen or shorten whatever doesn't seem to fit right.

If you're making your own pattern, I suggest tracing half the diaper, then folding the pattern in half to get the rest so the diaper is identical on either side.

Step 2:
Cut 2 pieces of your good fabric. This is flannel I bought at Walmart for $2.50/yard.

Step 3:
Cut 1 or 2 pieces of your inside fabric, using the same pattern. This particular fabric is a cotton knit (kind of like t-shirt material), that I bought from Walmart's $1/yard table. Isn't it ugly? I like to use 2 inner pieces for a thicker diaper, but you can use only 1 if you prefer.

Step 4:
Get your soaker pad. You can use fabric scraps (like the one on the right), or a washcloth, part of a terry towel, etc. I like the soaker to be about the length of a washcloth. On the right is a microfiber towel I bought for $1.10 on clearance at Meijer's. It's the same size as a washcloth. If I was using it, I would fold it in thirds, and stitch around it to hold it in place. Walmart also has cheap washcloths for like 12 for $4, and those work fine too. The microfiber towels hold a LOT of liquid, and with one of those as a pad, the diaper will easily go all night.

This time, I'm using the fabric scraps. They don't all quite fit evenly in the rectangle, but that's ok. I stitched a straight stitch all the way around it, and evened out the edges with a scissors.

Step 5:
Sew the soaker pad to one of the center pieces. Make sure it's in the very center of the diaper. I did a zig zag stitch at the very edges of the soaker pad, all the way around it.

Step 6:
Pin all 4 layers together. You want the outer fabric's right sides facing each other, at the very center. You notice I've got the black checks facing outwards, so that the whiter side is towards the outer layers. This is so the black checks don't show through to the outside of the diaper.

So at the very bottom, there's the black check fabric, black checks facing downwards. On top of it, there's the blue fabric, right side facing upwards. On top of that one, there's another blue fabric, right side facing downwards. On top of that one, there's the one you see, which has the black checks facing upwards.

Make sure to get all the edges as even as you can with each other when you pin it together.

Step 7:
Sew a straight stitch all the way around the diaper, leaving the front part (that's towards the bottom in the picture) open. Cut with a scissors all the way around where you've stitched, fairly close to the hem. Make sure not to cut too close that you cut your stitching!! Clip (cut towards your seam WITHOUT nicking it) around the curves a little bit.

Step 8:
Fold the diaper lengthwise in half, and mark where you want your elastic to go. I used a pink highlighter, use whatever works. You fold it in half to do it so the elastic is evenly spaced. I usually do it an inch or two away from the end. Do the same thing for the leg elastic. Start near the tab and end near the front somewhere. (it doesn't matter that much where it goes, just make both sides even).

Step 9:
Take the elastic and hold or pin it where your first mark is. You'll want to sew it along the seam, in line with the straight stitch that's on there. With the sewing machine, you'll use a very small straight stitch, going forwards and backwards over and over a few times to tack it down. Then switch the machine to a large zig zag stitch, without taking the diaper off the machine. While stretching the elastic with one hand, and pulling the diaper through the machine with the other, zig zag the elastic down to where the 2nd mark is. Tack down that end of the elastic, then cut it off. Do the same thing with both legs, along with the back.

This is what it'll look like with the back done:

This is what it'll look like with the back and the leg elastics done:

Step 10:
Turn the diaper right side out. It'll look like this, then:

Step 11:
Fold the front flap in, and pin it shut.

Step 12:
Sew closely to the edge of the front, to securely close the gap.

Step 13:
This step is optional (I've made a few diapers without it), but it makes for a really nice finish to it, and keeps everything inside better. This creates a kind of "cuff" at the waist, and legs.

You can iron the seams, so they stay open better, or pull them out all the way and pin along them. You'll pull the elastic to stretch it, and pin along side it (not on it).

While stretching the elastic, sew a straight stitch next to it (where you pinned), keeping the seam as flat as you can.

This is what the waist will look like after you do that:

This is what it will look like after you do the waist and legs:

Step 14:
Time for the velcro! Pin a length of the loop part to the front, exterior of the diaper.

Step 15:
Sew a zig zag stitch all the way around the velcro to secure it. For the tabs, cut a piece of hook, and zig zag it all the way around. It's best to place it as close to the end of the tab as you can. This is what it will look like with all the velcro on it.

And this is what it'll look like, completed, and closed. That was easy, wasn't it?


ADDED UPDATE 2/26/2008

To answer questions in comments, yes a fitted diaper needs a cover of some sort. Gerber plastic pants, or whatever, just something for over top, because the flannel will wick onto clothing. If you make the outer layer out of PUL (so make it an AIO), it will take forever to dry in the dryer, and will wick out of the legs if it gets wet enough.

Personally, I think this particular pattern isn't a very good one... what I would use these instructions for are to understand the sewing concepts of making a diaper, rather than totally copying the pattern (although you can if you want, of course). When I first started out sewing diapers, it took a lot of figuring out what they meant by "put in the leg elastic" without good pictures, and that's what this tutorial will hopefully help you all with.

by on Feb. 20, 2011 at 11:55 PM

 I like snaps better then velcro. the velcro gets crudy after so many washes... although its all about what you like...

by on Feb. 21, 2011 at 3:27 AM
Awesome!! Bump for other mamas
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by on Feb. 21, 2011 at 3:39 AM
Bumping for me. I was actually gonna make some tonight, but Avery had other plans for me
by Bronze Member on Feb. 21, 2011 at 3:46 AM

I liked the Cloth Revolution pattern too, but my DD isn't big enough for them yet (even the NB size lol).  She can wear them over my "miniFluff" but they're still a little big around the legs.  For smaller patterns, I like the Shar's NB with umbilical scoop (my fav so far) and the Darling Diaper free pattern.  The bigger sized ones like the Celtic Cloth pattern look really nice, but obviously I haven't had the opportunity to try them out yet. 

As far as fabric goes, I LOVE my fleece covers!  I used two layers of the Blizzard fleece from JoAnns and haven't even had a wicking problem yet.  Some of my inners are flannel, but I prefer the suedecloth so far.  Lots of people say minky is good, but I haven't had much success with it (I don't think its been prepped enough and she's not big enough to get it to wick).  The suedecloth stays so dry against her skin I can barely tell if she's wet.  I use thick microfiber inserts, so far two layers have been enough.

I use TouchTape (it's like velcro) and like it so far, snaps wouldn't work for us right now because I have to overlap the tabs to get them to fit.  All the people I've talked to have said it holds up well.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 21, 2011 at 3:52 AM

My other CR diaper, medium size.  It looks like it will fit much better than the small size.

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