Friday, May 28, 2010

How do you sew a cloth diaper?

I have done a lot of craft shows and one of the most asked questions I get: "Do you make these yourself?" Yes, I do. I didn't realize that people would be amazed at that but after making hundreds of diapers, I've forgotten how much of a process it actually is. It takes a while, about an hour for each diaper when all is said and done, but if you do a large batch at once, it can cut down on production time considerably.

But really, sewing a cloth diaper is not difficult, and if you are here to learn how to sew your own cloth diapers, great ~ don't be afraid! You can do it! It's okay to make mistakes and if you're first ones are less than perfect, well, straight stitches are not necessary to make these functional (although they do make them purty :) And if you're here because you are curious as to the process, then enjoy!

First things first, you need your pattern and material. I like to cut out my body and soaker layers at the same time so that I make the most use of my fabrics.

I have my own pattern that I've designed and I use bamboo and organic cotton blend fabrics because I like my fabrics to have some stretch to them, bamboo fabrics are incredibly soft and durable, and the velour as an inner layer functions as a natural stay dry inner. You can use almost anything to make a cloth diaper, though, old t shirts, old flannel sheets, as long as it's absorbent it will work. Keep in mind that if you are using material without stretch then your cloth diaper will have a smaller fit.

Whatever material you choose, you should always prewash the fabrics to reduce shrinkage. Bamboo fabrics shrink a lot so I prewash on hot and tumble in the dryer to get most of the shrinkage done. When cutting out, I like to keep my waste fabrics for other projects.

I always work on the body pieces first. I pin the layers together and trace my pattern markings on the fabric.

Once the body layers are sewn together, I attach elastic before turning the cloth diaper right side out.

Once the cloth diaper is turned right side out, I topstich the opening closed and all around the diaper. Then I stitch on a label and size tag and attach the wing and soaker snaps.

Phew! That's the body finished. Now for the soaker. I cut out all my soaker layers. Then I pin the layers together, and serge around the edges.

Then I attach the snaps, snap the soaker into the cloth diaper, snap it all together, nice and pretty, and ta da! A cloth diaper! Or many :)

Now get sewing :)


  1. Any tips for sewing bamboo velour? I'm a beginning sewer and have sewn a few diapers but the velour always shifts on me.

  2. Great blog post! I forget how much work it actually takes to make a diaper. I guess when you are in the midst of the action you don't realize. LOL


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