This is a nice easy project which you should easily complete in a couple of hours.
Everyone has their own diaper preferences, but a well-put-on flat diaper, with correctly fitting plastic pants, has many advantages. At night they are great for avoiding leaks, they are easy to wash and dry, and they are pretty cool in a vintage sort of way.
I find that the most useful and comfortable size is a square about 1.6x your waist measurement. For example, if you have a 75 cm waist, I suggest you try a 120cm square. This will give you a useful-size diaper that gives you many options for folds.
- Your basic sewing kit
- Terry toweling fabric or Flannelette
- Polyester thread in a matching (or contrasting) color
Step 1: Select Your Fabric
Buy your fabric. I suggest toweling in the color of your choice. White is of course traditional, but if you want a pink or blue or even purple diaper, why not? Flannelette is also an option, but it won’t be as absorbent, and you may need to add doublers to last you through a night.
Wash your fabric. This will preshrink it. It is advisable to wash any fabric prior to sewing it.
Step 2: Make Your Pattern
The pattern for this project is very simple:
Let W = your waist measurement in cm
L = 1.6 W + 2
Cut a square of fabric L x L cm.
Flat Diaper Pattern Draft
Step 3: Mark Out and Cut Your Pieces
You should have something like:
Flat Diaper Pattern Piece
Step 4: Finish the Edges
You need to stabilize the cut edges of your diaper or it will disintegrate during washing. There are a number of ways you can do this; I will share the way I like to do it, which is quick and effective.
Generally when you hem an edge you roll the edge over twice and sew down using a straight stitch or an invisible hemming stitch if you are hemming a skirt. I have shown the hemming process in the pillowcase project, but a rolled hem with terry toweling will leave quite a bulky hem, so instead I just fold the edge over once and then finish the edge using a ziz-zag stitch. Use a matching thread, or if you prefer, use a contrasting thread like I am using.
Fold one edge over 1 cm, press and pin:
Flat Diaper: One Edge Folded and Pinned
Clip the corner to take some bulk out, like so:
Flat Diaper: Clipping a Corner
Now fold the next side in, press and pin:
Flat Diaper: Folding the Corners
Continue until you have all four edges turned over.
Step 5: Sew the Edges
When you position your sewing it is important to have the bulk of the material to the left of your machine, otherwise you will struggling to push all the material under the arm of your sewing machine.
Flat Diaper: Setting up to Sew
Set your machine to zigzag. Position the square under the needle and lower the presser foot and start sewing a zig-zag stitch down the raw edge. A tip: unlike straight stitching, zigzag doesn’t pull out, so you don’t need to lock your stitching like as in the pillowcase project.
Flat Diaper: Starting to Sew
Continue all the way around and you have a flat diaper.
Flat Diaper: Turning the Corner
Step 6: Finish the Diaper
Carefully remove all pins. Trim all lose threads.
Congratulations, job done!
Flat Diaper: Finished Corner
Step 7: Enjoy and Plan Your Next Project