Smart Mama



You Can Sew This Diaper!

Make Your Pattern
An easy way to get a symmetrical pattern is to use a newspaper folded in half and mark out 1/2 of the pattern if you are making a fitted diaper with wings). Mark a line with a pen and cut out your pattern.

Choose Your Fabric
Use 100% cotton. Pre wash in hot water to pre shrink. For the outer layers you can use new flannel fabric, recycled flannel from sheets, shirts, pajamas, receiving blankets, or soft cotton interlock knit. Inner layers can be made from terry towels, waffle-knit receiving blankets, and/or flannel.

Cut Out Your Diaper
Pin the pattern on flannel. Cut two or three layers.

Make a center pad for absorbency.
Cut two or three strips of cotton terry towel or microfiber towel about 5 X 13 inches long. Cut extra layers of flannel depending on how thick and absorbent you want it. (Remember, the thicker it is the longer it will take to dry and your baby has to wear this between her legs.) Serge or zigzag the edges of the terry to prevent it from fraying and balling up in the diaper over time. Center the pad on the wrong side of the one or two inner layers of flannel. With a straight stitch sew the outer edges of the pad to the inside of the diaperl, rounding the corners. Sew another line of stitching about 1 inch in from the first stitching.

Sew Elastic:
Cut (2) three-inch pieces of 1/4 inch elastic. Using a wide zigzag stitch, sew through the elastic at the leg edges. Stitch one zig in the elastic and one zag over the other side of the elastic onto the flannel (3/4 inch from the raw edge of the diaper) Start and end about 5 1/2 inches from the each end of the diaper, stretching the elastic as you sew. This will gather up the leg edges.

Sew layers together:
Place the two outer flannel pieces right sides together. Using a straight stitch, sew 1/4 inch from the raw edges around the diaper, leaving an opening of about 5 inches along one straight edge. Round the corners. Stretch the elastic layer smooth as you sew at the leg edges.

Trim the extra fabric at the corners to about 1/4-inch and turn the diaper to the outside pushing out the corners from the inside.

Finish diaper:
Fold the open edges in together and topstitch close to the edge. Continue topstitching all around the diaper stretching smooth where necessary. The stitch, turn, and top stitch method makes a nice clean finish.

A serger machine may also be used. When using a serger, place the layers with insides together, serge the outer edges, stretching smooth as necessary. Finally, topstitch a straight stitch just inside the elastic, stretching as you sew. This forms a casing for the elastic and gives a nice gathered look.