My first attempt at sewing diapers came with the news that my dear friend was pregnant. Given that I had been a cloth diaper retailer for four years at that point and was surrounded by stacks of diapers, I have no idea why I wanted to venture into diaper construction. However I figured I’d give it a shot. I found two great, free patterns online: Rita’s Rump Pocket and the Tighty Whitey Hipster from Little Comet Tails. Both of these have a lot of pictures and the Tighty Whitey Hipster even offers a photo tutorial that shows each step from start to finish. This was extremely helpful.
Rita’s Rump Pocket diapers are pocket fitteds that can be folded to fit a baby of any size. They are left without closures (snaps or hook and loop) so they are more adjustable. You can then close them with a pin. After my first attempt, I shortened the tabs for a slightly different look and figured they could be closed with two pins as the baby grew. There is a pocket opening to add absorbency. These were fun and easy to sew and I was able to make them with flannel that I had around the house. As fitted diapers, they require a diaper cover for wetness protection.
The Tighty Whitey Hipster from Little Comet Tails are also fitteds but they are sized fitteds with the soaker sewn in. The pattern adjusts the size by changing the percentage for the printer settings (100% = XL, 80% = SM). You can add closures of your choice and I opted for snaps. This was my first experience using my newly aquired snap press too. It worked great and as you can see in the pictures my three-year-old helper thought it was terrific too. For fabric selection, I made the first diaper out of a cute flannel I had here at home and then purchased a cotton knit for the second diaper. It was much easier to sew on the flannel but the knit was so cute. For the sewn in soaker, I used Warm & Natural Cotton Batting in the Craft Size. This was recommended in the pattern comments (under the actual blog post) and I was able to find it at JoAnn’s. The pattern produces a professional looking fitted diaper. However there are many steps and it takes a long, long time to make these. I have been sewing since I was an early teen and found this to be challenging. The photo tutorials really helped me move along and of course the second diaper went much more smoothly than the first. As fitted diapers, they require a diaper cover for wetness protection.
I commented to my husband that all cloth diapering parents should sew up a cloth diaper in order to really appreciate the work that goes into producing just one of these. Given the time, attention to detail and all the various steps, I am surprised that cloth diapers do not cost much more.
A few notes on sewing, I used my regular sewing machine for most things and used my serger for the soaker. The snap press I have is a Kam Press and you can easily get one at The Snap Store. However, ask around first. I was able to get mine from a fellow retailer who just wanted to get rid of it. I used size 16 snaps and again you can get these at The Snap Store. They carry a ton of different colors and fun designs. Before applying snaps, make sure you place the backing and double check the snap direction (one of my snaps ended up facing the wrong way). Dianna’s Journal offers a wonderful fitted diaper sewing tutorial with photos showing how to attach the elastic. Despite pulling REALLY hard, my diaper elastic could have been tighter.
Happy sewing and please Comment below about any patterns that you love. We will give them a try too.