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How To Sew Cloth Diapers

Want to make this diaper?

Are you using cloth diapers for your baby, or looking into it?  One of the major drawbacks to cloth is the initial investment — each diaper costs around $18!  Although this represents a significant savings over disposables in a two-year period (about $450 for 24 one-size diapers), it’s a lot to spend all at once.  Especially if you’re not fully sold on the idea.

A great way to try out cloth and to save even more money is to make a few diapers of your own!  Diapers are actually a really forgiving project and great for inexperienced sewers.  I’ve made many, many mistakes as I’ve sewn through all of mine (about 14 dozen now) and yet almost all the diapers are functional.  So don’t be put off if you’ve never sewn before!

The cost savings? Materials will cost $2 – $4 per diaper,which is huge!  You can also buy just a little bit at once to make and try out 2 – 3 diapers before committing to any particular pattern or style, and learn if cloth diapering really works for you.

But how?  Keep reading for a brief tutorial!

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  • Pattern Pieces 1 of 7
    Pattern Pieces
    Cut your pattern out. Here, there is the outside, the inside "main" part, the sham, and the tabs.
  • Snap Marks 2 of 7
    Snap Marks
    Mark your snap placements with small dots according to the pattern. These are all 1" apart in two rows (rows 1" apart).
  • Hemmed Insides 3 of 7
    Hemmed Insides
    Hem the inside parts, as shown, so they are smooth
  • Facings 4 of 7
    Facings
    Sew facings onto the outside of the diaper (the green pieces) so that it has extra strength.
  • Snaps 5 of 7
    Snaps
    Put the snaps onto the front/outside of the diaper, as shown.
  • Pin and Sew 6 of 7
    Pin and Sew
    Pin the inside and sham opening to the outside of the diaper, right sides together. Pin the tabs onto the diaper body. Sew it all together as shown.
  • Elastic and Finishing 7 of 7
    Elastic and Finishing
    Put the elastic along the legs (from the edge of the tabs to the snaps) and along the back (in between the tabs), stretching as you go. Turn the diaper right side out and sew around the edges. Put the snaps on the tabs. And you're done! A beautiful cloth diaper.

Want to make some of the diapers featured in this slideshow?  Here’s a more complete tutorial (with a link to a pattern)!

 

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