Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cloth Diaper Sewing Tutorial

I made another diaper, and this time I drew out a pattern and made a tutorial so you can make it too.  This 100% cotton diaper requires a separate cover, and optionally you can add a soaker for more absorbency.  This diaper doesn't require a serger, since I don't have one (hint hint hubby, my birthday is in June!)

Here's my pattern.  If you'd like to make a diaper, use a large piece of paper ( or 4 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper taped together) and draw out this pattern.  The grid lines are 1 inch apart.

Materials needed:
100% cotton printed material- 1/2 yard
100% cotton flannel- 1/2 yard
cotton terry cloth (or an old towel cut up) -1/2 yard
1/4 inch elastic- 12 inches
Coordinating thread

Step 1) Tracing and Cutting
Trace the pattern onto each of the 3 materials.  Cut out the pattern pieces from each of these materials 1/2 inch larger than the pattern you traced (for seam allowance).  Lay them down in this order- terry cloth on the bottom (white in this picture), flannel in the middle (black) and cotton print on top print side down and pin.

Step 2) Start Sewing
Starting on the front end (bottom in the above picture) sew on your pattern traced line.  Leave a several inch gap on the bottom to allow you to flip it right side out.  
Then trim the seam allowance to about 1/4 of an inch.  I always leave extra like this and trim later because I'm not always the greatest at sewing straight and around curves.  I like to have room for errors.
Next, around all of the curved edges, cut out wedges.  This will make the corners smoother once you flip it right side out.

Step 3)
Flip your diaper right side out by reaching inside between your print fabric and your flannel and pulling it out through the hole you left at the bottom.
Step 4) Sewing casings for elastic
At the center top of your diaper, mark out the sides of a six inch section with pins. 

Cut your 12 inches of elastic into 3, 4 inch pieces.  At the ends of each piece, attach safety pins.
Sew a straight line 3/4 of an inch from the edge of your diaper six inches long between your two pins.  Grab your elastic put it in between two of the layers of your diaper through the opening in the bottom.  Then, using your safety pins, thread it through the casing and pin it at each edge of the casing.  It will look like this.

Then sew across the ends of your elastic.  Back stitch several times.  Then remove your pins and safety pins.
Next, sew casings for the legs.  Mark a six inch space on each side of the legs area with pins and sew a 3/4 inch casing, just like you did on the back.

Thread your elastic through the same way and backstitch the ends.  Make sure to remove your pins and safety pins.  Now your diaper looks like this.
Step 5) Topstitching
Before you top stitch, check again to make sure you removed all of the safety pins from the ends of your elastic.  I broke off one of my machine needles because I forgot!
  Tuck in and pin the open end of your diaper that is where you flipped it right side out.  Then top stitch all the way around the diaper 1/2 inch or less from the edge, skipping the 3 elastic casing areas.

Now you're done, unless of course you're cooler than me and you own a snap setter.  You can add snaps or aplix/velcro to fasten the diaper.  I usually just pin them because I'm old school like that.  You can also hold it together with just a Thirsties brand PUL cover.  If you'd like, you can also make a soaker from any left-over terry cloth and flannel to make this diaper more absorbent.

Please take pictures if you make your own and share them on the Pattern Shmattern Flickr group.  I'd love to see them.  Feel free to contact me with any questions.

 Back view:
***This tutorial is for personal, non-commercial use only.  Reproduction without express permission of the author is prohibited.***

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