Saving Money With Easy Cloth Diapers

I’ve been sewing away making larger diapers for baby J. He’s 25 pounds and five months old so squeezing his bottom into the medium diapers just isn’t working. The ones I’m making are double lined with a soaker in the middle. I use two layers of printed flannel and one layer of terry (I used one of my older towels).

This time around, I used a size 4 disposable diaper as the template for my pattern. I pinned the diaper to a piece of scrap fabric with the tabs out so that I could get a better fit. Once I cut the diaper pattern out, I had a really nice sized diaper. I really could only get about two or three per yard of fabric. Three was really pushing it but I was able to work it out. The most important thing for me was getting the diapers sized so that there would be room for growth. So as long as I could do that, I was prepared to live with two diapers per yard.

I lined up the diaper template with two layered pieces of flannel fabric so that my leftover fabric wasn’t so oddly shaped that it couldn’t be used for something. I wish I had remembered to do that on my first cut but I certainly learned from my mistake. So I was able to use my scraps for soaker pads that I’ll insert during baby’s heavy wet periods (like when he’s sleeping).

I used PUL for my outer layer. Pul is a polyurethane laminated fabric that is waterproof, stretchable and washable. All three of these are very important because I wash my diapers in hot water. So I cut-out the PUL (again, about three to a yard for my large sized diapers) to keep the diapers from leaking through.

The inside of my diapers is where I sewed the soaker pad to my two piece (layered) flannel diaper shaped cut-out. I did this by placing my soaker in the middle of my flannel diaper cut-outs and then sewing the soaker completely around the flannel diaper cut-outs (pinned together so they wouldn’t separate). It sort of looked like I had a pad in the center of it. My soaker pad was the length of the diaper cut out from front to back and it was just about a half inch short of the leg area of my cut-out because I wanted to have complete absorbency through the entire diaper and not just the front. After I sewed in my diaper soaker, I sewed a quarter inch piece of elastic around the outside edge of the diaper, pulling the elastic as I sewed so that my finished diaper would fit nicely around the legs and I won’t have many leaks.

Once I finished that, I sewed on front latch part of some velcro (also purchased from my local fabric store). Then I took the elastic sewn flannel with my soaker attached and sewed it to my PUL diaper cut out around three sides of the diaper. I did have to gently pull the elastic flannel piece to line up with the PUL. I sewed this together with the non soaker side facing the shiny side of the PUL.

Once I was done, I turned the diaper inside out so that the shiny PUL was on the outside and the inside of my diaper showed the flannel. The soaker was unseen and between the dull part of the PUL and the other side of the flannel. Then I folded the PUL around the upper edge and sewed the diaper closed. I did stitch around the outer side of the diaper with a final stitching. I feel for the elastic as I sew and stitch to the left on the outside. It looks a lot neater when I do this final touch but it’s not necessary. That completed my diaper.

On the note of soaker pads, soaker pads have saved me many a day, and they’re so easy to make. You can make them from a cut up old towel or you can use a washcloth and place it right in the middle of two cute pieces of flannel. (It really doesn’t matter if the flannel is cute since they’ll be under baby’s buns but I like to use the cutesy baby prints when I make them.) You sew them around the seams and you’re done. If you have a serger, that makes things even easier or you can opt to use bias tape around the edges for a more professional finish. You can use soaker pads separately as diaper inserts for extra absorbency when baby’s sleeping or when you’re out.

I’ve saved a lot of money using cloth diapers and soakers. I’ve never really had a problem with leakage or smell or anything using these diapers and I wash them once daily.

One resource for diaper sewing is They even sell pre-made diapers. They can be a little costly compared to some of my local places so I, personally, don’t buy there; however, the selection is wonderful. They also sell hemp and birds eye, which provide beautiful absorption if you wanted to use that in place of the terry for the soakers.

I’ll need an estimated 25 diapers to last me (and so I can feel less burden to quickly wash and dry my diapies). However, I’m only on my second set of three so I have a long way to go (about 5 hours of sewing). In between, I”m hoping to get some of my Valentine’s Day crafts done for the store (not included in my five hour estimate). Aye! Well, no stress.

I’d be interested in hearing any experiences with Very Baby, or if there are any other preferred diaper supply vendors out there.

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