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Thread: trying to sew a diaper. first attempt.

  1. #1

    Default trying to sew a diaper. first attempt.

    So I want to try and sew a diaper and was looking for some hints and or tricks. The one question i was wondering about was how to replicate the "poop pocket" that are on some disposables. (e.g. how much extra room should there be to catch it).

    Thanks for the help and wish me luck

  2. #2


    I can't answer the question directly, however there are quite a few how-tos and tutorials floating around the Webz that illustrate how to sew diapers for babies. My first thought would be to find a recipe you like and scale it up.

  3. #3


    EDIT: Oh wait...this is your first cloth diaper...careful with my pattern. You need to make sure you account for seam allowance, especially across the width of the lining. There are simpler patterns out there, so keep looking if mine is too complicated.

    I've made these before...don't have instructions ready yet (still refining dimensions), but I can give a general approach that I developed from looking at tutorials online and tracing out various brands of disposable baby diapers a few years ago. Just size up the pieces to roughly your dimensions.

    For example, I have a 30-32" waist. Piece 1 is 14-15 inches wide (roughly half my waist size) and 36-40 inches long. Piece 1 is the most important piece, as all the others are based on its dimensions--I'd recommend cutting out some cheap Muslin fabric to see how the sag looks (I like mine to be deliberately saggy/poofy--see my DeviantArt account and ADISC gallery for examples).

    Note, piece 1 roughly adds up to my waist'd expect to not need wing/tab pieces 2 and 3, but you do. Your body is not a cylinder; its shape is closer to a cone, so when you trying to wear Piece 1 around your waist you end up short. As such, your front and back tabs are going to be 2-3 inches wide.

    1: main panel; PUL
    2: back tabs; PUL
    3: front tabs; PUL
    4: inner lining; cotton
    5-6: center pocket lining; cotton
    6: raised leak guards (poop pockets); cotton

    Note on materials: PUL is a stretchy polyester fabric with waterproofing sprayed onto it. It will self-seal in the drier and works really well; if your diaper leaks, it is usually the pattern/design that is to blame--not the PUL. Also, the "cotton" can be substituted with any breathable fabric. I've used microfiber, diaper/diamond cotton, etc...whatever is most comfortable on your skin would work well.

    Mind you, this is a "pocket" type diaper--meaning there is a hole on the inner rear section of the diaper to insert absorbent stuffer material. This is why the inner lining of the diaper is broken into six pieces. Pieces 5a and 5b create the "pocket" (the pieces are overlapped vertically), and pieces 4a and 4b line the rest of the diaper.

    Note, to create a "poop pocket" (aka, standing guards), piece 6 is inserted between pieces 4 and 5. I generally make the standing leak guards by folding them in half, with 1/8" elastic encased inside. So, if you want to have about 2-3 inches of "pocket height" in your leak guards, then each piece needs to be 4-5 inches wide.

    The other portion of the build (not shown here) is the leg elastic. I sew 1/4" elastic along the inner leg of the diaper; generally, about 12" for each side (aka, you'll need at least 24 inches of 1/4" elastic).

    I don't recommend waist elastic. It has been more effective (and comfortable) increasing the length of the diaper so that it rides higher on my waist.

    As far as velcro goes...I'd recommend viewing this YouTube tutorial on baby pocket diapers. You can create little tabs from 2" velcro (get at least a yard of it). Make sure to also install laundry tabs--trust me, cleaning out lint is a pain in the padded a**.

    I've not yet had luck with snap designs. They work great on the inside to keep stuffing in place, but I've had better luck with velcro designs. Plus, you don't need special pliers/tools to install velcro; you just sew it on!

    When I finish school and buy my own sewing machine, I'll be able to continue this hobby. So, expect me to return in a year or so with better information...aka, a PDF file with full instructions and pictures.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Kif; 12-Jan-2014 at 04:10.

  4. #4


    Thank you Kif. with all that info, nothing can go wrong

    i hope to have it completed soon, and will definitely share the results. Just out of curiosity... how thick were the materials you used?

  5. #5


    I Know, back when I used to sew, haven't in years though, I've made several attempts, some of them looking like a genetics experiment gone horribly wrong the later versions seem to do alot better, I even have a few around after 5 years or so, mostly due to lack of space (my present house is 160sqft space, smaller than most apartments) and don't have the room to sew. that being said, I have had a few designs that seemed to work. Kif has a few good ideas. Standing leak guards are a nice idea, but a bit difficult to implement in cloth, I do agree with him about the waist not needing elastic though, a couple extra inches there go a long way

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