Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Prefold to (staydry) fitted

So I had a hard time deciding what my first post should be, should it be my own tutorial, a review of someone else's tutorial or just an informational post?!?!  I decided to do my own and used it as an excuse to make my friend's new baby a prefitted diaper with a stay dry inner.
With the birth of baby #2 I got into making diapers. With my older daughter I didn't start cloth diapering her until she was 17 months old, so I didn't know what to expect with a newborn. I had heard everyone rave about using prefolds and covers for a newborn so I bought a dozen prefolds and a few covers. While they were fine, I though it would be easier if I could convert my prefolds into fitted diapers (because honestly to purchase fitteds was out of my budget). I looked up a lot of different tutorials on making "prefitteds" and finally came up with what works best for me. The big things were that I wanted to be able to "snappi" it closed and I wanted the inside to be a stay dry material so that she wouldn't feel the wetness.  Here's a tutorial on what I have come up with:

Sewing machine
Prefold (I prefer a regular size prefold so that I have a lot of extra material to work with)

Finished "prefitted":

I start with a regular size prefold and mark out my cut lines with disappearing fabric ink.  I  have highlighted where I marked off so that you can see it better in the picture.  It is approximately 14 inches from front to back, the front measures 8.5 inches, the center 6 inches and the tabs are about 3 inches thick.  I always make sure that the center is at least 1/2 inch wider than the center seams of the prefold.  Doing this will make it easier to trim as well as sew.  I also cut off the top serged edge.  The dimensions used here should fit most babies between 8 and 15 pounds.

Once you cut along the pink highlighted lines above it is time to extend the tabs.  Before cutting you will want to identify the side of the prefold that has the end of the material.  In the picture below you can see that one of the center seams has a little bump and doesn't lay flat like the other seams, turn your prefold with this side up.

Each side of the prefold should have 4 layers.  To extend the tabs you will want to cut 2 of the layers along the blue lines marked below.  Be sure that you are only cutting the top two layers.


After its cut and the tabs are opened up it should look like this:

I like my tabs to have a full span of 17 inches, so I measure and cut them to that length.  I also prefer the tabs to be rounded, but square will work just as well.

After the tabs are cut, you will want to cut the top two layers below the tabs on either side of the side seams away.  This will leave the center part intact, but leaves only 2 layers on either side of the center.  You also want to cut about an inch of the center section away at the front and the back of the diaper leaving only 2 layers as well (I had to cut 4 layers, but for an infant prefold you will be cutting away 6 layers).  If you have cut from the correct side, the outside (not the side up) of the diaper will be a continuous piece.

Now lay the cut prefold with the right sides together on your piece of microfleece.  Pin and cut the microfleece to match.

We now begin sewing!!!  You will want to sew all the way around but leave about a 3-4 inch section in the front open to turn the diaper around.  The open section needs to be wide enough to stick your hand through to facilitate threading the elastic later on.  I like to sew a 5/8 inch seam with a straight stitch first and then go back and sew a zig zag stitch outside of it to give it extra strength.

Once you have finished sewing, turn it right side out.  Add pins to mark where you will be sewing the casings for the back and leg elastic.  I make the back casing as wide as the center of the diaper.  I then mark the leg casings at the back to be even with the back casings and at the front of the diaper where it curves away from the center.

Start by sewing the back casing from pin to pin.  For my size diaper I used 3/8 inch elastic for the back and cut a piece approximately 3 inches long.  I use a safety-pin to thread the elastic through the casing.  Start at one end, pull until the end of the elastic is even with the end of the stitch and zig zag in place.  Finish pulling the safety-pin through the casing.  Once the safety-pin is clear of the casing, zig zag the other end in place.  I don't recommend removing the safety-pin until I have zig zagged both ends.  Then reach your hand back inside the diaper and remove the safety-pin.  Repeat this process for the leg casings.  For the legs I used 1/4 inch elastic and cut pieces approximately 4.5 inches long.

To finish the diaper pin the front opening closed.

Top stitch from each casing to the next, but do not overlap where the elastic is in the diaper.

Finished diaper, put on cutest baby you can find :)  From start to finish this diaper takes me about an hour.

Note one of the best things about using the larger prefold is that the extra prefold fabric can be used for a a ton of things.  You could add a "tongue" to your diaper for added absorbency, create inserts for other diapers or my favorite use is to use the same pattern as I have detailed above and create a second diaper, using the extra material as the soaker.

1 comment:

  1. This is an old post but, thank you!!! I'm definitely doing this :D