When I first heard the phrase, I thought that a “fitted diaper” was a diaper that was a certain size. Like a “small” or a “large”. That makes sense, right? WRONG! The truth is that a “fitted diaper” is just a cloth diaper that has no waterproof layer. I have no idea why it is named that way, but I fell in love with the little guy.
This is how I make my fitted diapers.. usually.
You must start with a diaper pattern. You can print a pattern off of the interwebs, but if you are lame like me, and don’t have a printer (or the interweb), you can make your own pattern.
I used a PUL diaper cover and stretched it out, then pinned it onto flannel fabric. Then I traced the diaper with a marker. Then I cut the diaper outline out. THEN, I took the cut-out diaper pattern, folded it in half, and traced it onto a really thick piece of paper (this is a folder). This way, I will have the pattern for future diapers.
I also cut out a soaker pattern. I used my eyeballs to measure what I thought would fit well into the center of the diaper. Look at this picture, and you will see what I mean. (The soaker is also folded in half.)
Now that you have stiff patterns, lay out some flannel fabric. I like to use old bed sheets. They are cheap, and offer some cool designs. Make sure you fold the fabric at the fold of the diaper. I wrote “fold” on my pattern, just so I could remember.
Now cut out the first layer of flannel. You can first trace with a marker so the pattern doesn’t move during cutting, and also so you do not alter the shape of the pattern. I am lazy and I just cut. (Having a rotary cutter makes any project faster and makes the cuts cleaner. If you do not have one, and ever want to sew anything ever again, I suggest you purchase one. You will also need a mat to cut on top of.)
You will need 3 layers of flannel for this project. I use the ugliest one in the middle, a decent solid color on the inside of the diaper, and the coolest looking one for the outside. (If you want to get super fancy about it, you can use a bamboo on the inside, and a fleece as the hidden layer.)
Cut the other layers the same way as the first.
Now the third layer. You want to make sure you are cutting them as similar as possible. I do not have a serger, so I use a fancy zigzag type of stitch at the edge. The edges need to be really even with each other.
Now cut out pieces for the soaker. I like to use old burp cloths because they are pretty absorbent. You need at least 3 layers (depending on the thickness of your fabric).
Now pin the soaker pieces on top of the WRONG SIDE of the ugly diaper piece.
Sew all the way around. I just used a normal stitch.
Lay all of your layers on top of each other, in the order which you want them to be. Smooth them all out and trim off any access fabric (you could even IRON them, Mr. Fancy-pants). They need to line up as perfect as possible.
Pin all 3 layers to each other. I use A LOT of pins for this project. You will be moving them around a little bit too.
Now, take some elastic and measure from the top curve to the bottom curve of the diaper. Stretch out the elastic as far as it will stretch. You can mark this length onto the inside diaper if you wish. Cut the elastic strip times 2 (one for each thigh).
Now measure a strip of elastic for the back side of the diaper. (This is the side with the wider tabs on my pattern.) The elastic should stretch from one thigh curve to the next. (The skinniest points on the pattern.) Mark these points as well.
I like to put on the snaps now. (You can also use Velcro, if you prefer.) I don’t like the snaps to touch Babybot’s skin, so I only put them through 2 layers, the pretty OUTSIDE layer, and the not-as-pretty hidden layer.
I followed the pattern of some diapers that I already had, as a guide to know where to put the snaps. If you want it straight and nice looking, I suggest using some sort of measuring device. I did not do that, and my snaps are VERY uneven! (Silly Wifebot!)
Now, we will start putting the elastic inside the diaper. I like to attach the elastic to the 2 inner layers. This way, the outer “pretty” layer stays “pretty”. Start at one side of the curve and move those pins inward. I like to put the pins into the edge of the soaker. That way, I do not put the elastic too far towards the center of the diaper. I like the elastic to fall between the edge of the diaper and the soaker.
After you sew one side of the elastic, sew the other side at the place you marked earlier. Zigzag back and forth again.
Repeat this process to sew the other piece of elastic to the other curve of the diaper.
Pin the edges of the diaper layers back together.
Now we move to the back of the diaper, and move those pins inward towards the edge of the soaker.
Sew the elastic here, where you made your marks earlier. (It should stretch from one curve to the other.)
Make sure to sew the other end of the elastic as well.
Re-pin the edge of the diaper layers in the back.
Now we can sew! I like to start at one edge of the backside of the diaper.
If you have a serger machine, than GOOD FOR YOU! You are one lucky person. I do not..yet.. and so I make-shift with my crappy sewing machine.
I use this stitch here, #15. You want the needle to fall OFF of the fabric on the right side. I hear that you want to make the stitches as close together as possible, and as wide as possible. (Did I mention that my sewing machine is CRAP? Well, it is. It breaks, in one way or another, every time I use it. Therefore, I will be making MY stitches as far away from each other as possible. This way, I might be able to make it through this project without having to “fix” my sewing machine with a chainsaw.)
Sew, anyway.. (See what I did there?) Sew all the way around the diaper. Either with your awesome serger machine, or with your 5 year old, crappy sewing machine.
I wanted to give my fitted diaper some extra soaking options, so I put some more Babyville Boutique™ snaps (they really should be paying me for this) on the inside of the diaper. Right near the top of the back side. Once again, I did not want the snaps to show on the OUTSIDE of the pretty diaper, so I only snapped them on the inside 2 layers.
Then finish sewing up the diaper.
Now you want to sew on the inside of the elastic. Try to make your stitches directly inside of the elastic, but DO NOT hit the elastic! I just use a straight stitch here. Make sure you do both curves.
Now do the same for the back elastic.
We need to put more snaps onto the flaps of the diaper. Make sure you use the male pieces here, if you used the female pieces before.
You might be done here! Unless you want to make an extra snap-in-soaker for the diaper.
Use the same pattern as the hidden soaker. Make at least 3 more layers. (I used bamboo on the top, flannel in the middle, and fleece on the bottom.)
Cut them together, to make sure they are all even-Steven.
Sew them all together. (Once again, I used my #15 stitch.)
I still do not like snaps to touch Babybot, so I put the snaps on the inner 2 layers. (Make sure you use the male snaps on the insert, and the female directly on the diaper. This way, the male parts aren’t poking the baby when you do not use an insert.)
You are all done!
Here is the view from the back!
Thanks for reading this tutorial. Have you checked out my other tutorials, or reviews? Well you should! (Then tell the Ratings Man that there was another person in the room with you.) If you like it, let it know. There are enough suicidal blogs wandering about WordPress.
- Baby-legs Tutorial (wifebot3000.wordpress.com)
- Babyville Snap Pliers Review AND Conversion Tutorial (wifebot3000.wordpress.com)