This is my most current diaper design that I’m making and using. It’s a pocket style stand-alone diaper- I only use a fleece wrap cover overnight or for long outings. It’s trim, water resistant, and hopefully long lasting. I can’t say for sure, as I haven’t had this style in circulation as long, but based on how other designs and materials I’ve made have worn, I think this will be the best so far. It also is quicker and easier to make than some of my previous designs, and shouldn’t wick moisture anywhere.
Here’s how to make it:
Use your diaper pattern (more at the end about the pattern) and cut one layer of fleece for the outside/body of the diaper. I’m not overly picky as to how neatly and perfectly any pieces are cut. There’s some forgiveness in the stretch. Just try not to get it too small.
Cut one layer of lightweight fleece or other similar fabric for the pocket that will face baby. This piece is based on the same pattern, but squares up in the back pocket and is shorter on both the back and front. It does not have the “ears”- see the picture.
Cut another piece the same size out of T-shirt fabric. If you chose another fabric, be aware of if it frays. This is to line the pocket and keep any leaks from getting around the soaker that gets put into the pocket. My trials without this layer leaked 😦
Cut one final piece out of water resistant fabric- it should be shorter and wider than the 2 pocket pieces.
Cut 3 pieces of elastic to 5″
Put right faces together on the pocket fleece and T shirt pieces. sew the 2 straight ends. For ALL the sewing on this diaper, I use a zigzag to allow a little stretch in the seams. Straight seams in stretchy fabric will eventually fail- I’ve got lots of diapers to prove it.
Turn the pocket inside out. Sew all the way around. The two ends will now be topstitched. The sides show the “rough” edges.
Set the pocket on the fleece diaper body to make sure of placement for the water resistant layer. It needs to lay underneath the pocket.
Sew the water resistant layer onto the fleece diaper body- on the inside. I use a little bigger zigzag stitch for this to help get the edges sewn in. Pull the fleece a little as you sew. When you’re done, the water resistant layer will be a little bit puffy, but it gives the diaper some extra stretch. Cut off any excess water resistant layer from the sides. It’s easier to trim a little extra off than to wish you had a little extra!
Set the pocket onto the diaper body- right sides together. You’ll see the T-shirt layer while you sew and the water resistant layer will be on the very bottom. Sew ONLY the sides, do NOT sew up the squared off section of the diaper!
Get 2 of your elastic pieces. Sew one end of the elastic at the very front along the side of the pocket, and the other right where your seam ends at the back of the pocket. Make sure to sew on the rough side of the seam. If you don’t, it will be on the wrong side when you flip it inside out, and make a weird pucker. See the picture if that wasn’t clear.
Sew a channel across the back of the diaper- fold down and in towards the water resistant layer. I start and end just above where my water resistant layer starts and ends. The wide zigzag should catch the fleece and hold it down, but it’s find if some sticks past the seam. Leave the ends open to get your elastic in.
Turn the diaper so the right sides are out. You’ll now sew the elastic into channels. This isn’t essential, but I find that my littlest one in particular leaks if I don’t sew the channel. You do have to be a little careful, because your elastic is inside of the channel you’re sewing. If you catch the elastic with your stitches, you loose stretch somewhere. Pull as you go so that you’re sewing flat and the elastic bunches either in front of or behind your seam.
I sew a triangle at the front and back of this channel. It keeps the pocket from gaping as much. This is also the time you can sew down that squared off section of the pocket. Just sew it down with the raw edge showing. get it with the zigzag if you don’t want it to hang rough past the seam. It won’t fray, so don’t fret too much if it does.
Repeat for the other leg. Then pull your last piece of elastic through the channel you sewed in the back. secure on both ends. I taper the edge up and sew it flat, but it wouldn’t be essential. It’s just aesthetic.
Put a soaker in your pocket and give it a try! Soakers can be made from sweatshirts, towels, washcloths, or prefold diapers. More absorbency for bigger babies. Here’s pics of the diaper on a newborn size doll (my twins were slightly smaller than this). A little big, but it could work.
Pics of the diaper on a 2 1/2 year old
and a 15 month old (average size girls).
You can pin with just one pin in the center for littler ones, but once they’re mobile, the “ears” fall out of place and lets the leg holes open a lot. You can pull the ears across to overlap and maybe even catch both ears under each pin. You can also just do one pin each size and fold under the extra or let it flap. As an alternate design, you can use shorter ears and just plan to always use 2 pins if you want it neater.
Here’s a picture of my pattern on a grid. I’ve also got dimensions of key areas on a sketch. This pattern is fairly basic- most you see will be similar, and would probably work interchangeably for the main diaper body.
Please ask questions if something isn’t clear.
Feel free to use the pattern as much as you want. Sell them if you want- I’ve made so many that I have no intense desire (and no time!) to make many to sell. Just don’t sell the pattern.
If someone really wanted some made for them, I could/would.