Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sewing Cloth Diapers

I would love to photograph and explain how to make cloth diapers, but I have yet to master the skill myself. It is hard! I have printed online patterns, made patterns based on this explanation, traced around diapers I liked and tried to make patterns off of those, but I've yet to make a diaper I'm very satisfied with.

The first one I made, I used fleece inside and out, and left a pocket for a microfiber insert. The diaper really doesn't leak as long as he's not wearing any other clothes (due to wicking). However, the rise is too low in the back so he's got a plumber's crack a lot of the time, which could prove to be a problem.

The next one I made is also fleece lined and has a pocket with another layer of fleece, then a layer of cotton on top. The cotton ends up wicking a lot of the moisture, so even with an insert this diaper needs a cover. It is way too big and bulky right now, (I pulled all of the bulk to the front so this picture would look cuter), but it will fit better down the road.

The most recent diaper I've tried uses actual PUL. PUL is the waterproof polyester laminate that most cloth diapers use. It has a fleece lining, a layer of PUL in the middle, and flannel on the outside. I also left a pocket for an insert in this one. The PUL was very thin and see-through and only worked well as an in-between layer.

Making cloth diapers is tough. I've had a very hard time managing the elastic, sewing through velcro. The sticky kind ruins needles and everything else, and I can't find the sew-on kind big enough. I finally found PUL in Springfield, at Handcock Fabric on Glenstone. They also honor Joann's coupons, so I had a 50% off one item coupon I used to get 1 yard of PUL at $5.50. The best deal on elastic I've found is at the FM Store - 9 cents per yard. I still don't have a pattern I really like. It seems like the serger always messes up around the tabs and they never look the same, even if I am really careful about cutting both sides the same. Considering all of the time it takes (me, at least), and the cost of materials, I'm not entirely sure if it's worthwhile. I do think it would be fun to make at least one diaper that fits Ben and looks cute too.

My friend Jenn posted her directions here. Printable diaper patterns can be found here.
All I can say is, good luck.


  1. I hear you. My tabs are always a little wonky. I have found that the best fitting diapers I have made have a stretchy, soft knit outer and a microfleece inner with a pocket opening for stuffing. Do you have snappis? They are worth the investment if you don't have a snap press.

  2. Kudos to you for trying! Sounds like a real pain in the rump... but they really are cute! -Tammy