UPDATE: I haven't looked at this blog for so long that I forgot it even existed. I just happened to notice in my email that someone posted a comment about the links not working. I'm going to update them with the files I saved. I haven't made diapers for many years so I hope I have the correct files. Also, PUL fabric is now available in some stores. I know I have seen it at Jo-Ann fabrics.
Double click on images to enlarge them.
Sewing tips and comments:
Be sure to print the diaper pattern at 100% sizing from the print screen. Verify it is printed correctly with the 1 inch or 2 cm box.
PUL fabric can't be purchased at any store that I know of. It needs to be purchased from the internet. Locations can be found by searching “PUL diaper fabric” in a search engine.
I used regular white elastic that wasn't very strong. Give more length for a strong elastic so the diaper isn't too tight. It should bunch up just enough to stay close to the skin. Many people use swimsuit elastic or Lastin because they are supposed to last longer. I haven’t tried either one.
The slippery side of PUL fabric is very difficult to sew with a regular sewing machine. I purchased a Walking foot for my machine from ebay and it helped a lot. Without it the machine skipped stitches and had a hard time pulling the fabric through.
If you are having problems sewing check your needle. PUL fabric and hook and loop tape seem to dull the needles quickly so I change needles after every couple of diapers. When the needle isn't good the machine can start skipping stitches or making a soft pounding noise as it hits the fabric.
You might wonder why I don’t encase the leg elastic. I’ve read that enclosing causes leaks. I personally didn’t have that problem but it did create a nice hiding place for poop. I always had to wash the diapers in the machine then pull the leg elastic open to scrub them and wash again. Without the enclosing I just wash once normally and don’t have problems.
If you would like the length of the diaper a little longer/shorter for a taller/shorter child cut the center crotch area then lengthen/shorten as desired. To shorten you can also shorten the length of the elastic and pull it tighter so the diaper bunches up more.
For the mathematical types you can make the tabs fit your child better by measuring around your child’s waist where the diaper will fit and adjust the length of the tabs to match. When the diaper is on the tabs will meet at the center.
For a Large Diaper The length of each tab should be:
Inches ((width of the child – 13.5)/ 2) + .66
Cm ((width of the child – 34.5/2) + 2
For a Medium Diaper The length of each tab should be:
Inches ((width of the child – 11.25)/ 2) + .66
Cm ((width of the child – 28.5/2) + 2
For the non-math loving folks just use the pattern as laid out. The loop tape is large and fits a wide range of waist sizes without making adjustments.
To make a night-time diaper with thick inserts increase the width of the crotch area slightly so the diaper is easier to stuff.
If you are frugal like me you probably want to get the most diapers possible out of your fabric. I buy from stores like verybaby.com that sell by the inch not the yard so I don’t have to waste the extra fabric. I came up with a layout to get 4 diapers out of a 58” wide cut. Some online stores sell 60” wide fabric which allows more space for cutting. 58” fabric doesn’t allow room for error. Don’t worry about the fabric direction on the tabs. PUL fabric doesn’t stretch much so it can be cut either direction.
This is a 21” x 58” cut.
One diaper can be cut from a 15” x 21” piece of fabric with the following layout.
This is a 20” x 58” cut.
One diaper can be cut from a 14.5” x 20” piece of fabric with the following layout.
1.Sew the tabs on both the PUL fabric and the fleece or suede cloth. The non-shiny sides of the PUL fabric are together and you sew on the shiny side. Be sure to sew the right and left tab onto the correct side. I always mix them up.
6.Sew in the leg and back elastic with a 4 step zigzag or regular zigzag stitch. It isn’t easy to see from the photo but it is sewn on the fleece layer right at the edge of the fabric. I like to pin the two ends of the elastic in place and use my hand to pull the elastic and keep it in place for sewing. Be sure to add extra stitches at each end to keep it from coming loose.
My husband had to leave so my 6 year old filmed the rest for me. He was a little bit wiggly with the camera ;)
7.Clip extra fabric around the corners on the tabs and the front section so they aren’t too bulky when turned right side out.