Wednesday, 23 September 2009

How to make a One Size, Fitted, Pocket Nappy...for free or very cheap.

This tutorial may seem daunting. It is actually very easy. I just included lots of photos soevery step would be explained.

You will need:
One used polar fleece or micro fleece blanket of jumper etc. Micro fleece tends to work a bit better and is thinner. Or you can use new microfleece.
One used terrycloth or microterry towel or baby towel. Both will work fine, micro terry is thinner. You can also use new terry For the tutorial I used one of my baby's old terry baby towels (for the sake of proving it can be done for free) but on my other ones I used new bamboo terry.
Around 1.5 feet of elastic. I use a slightly wider elastic for the waist band and a thinner elasticfor the legs holes.

Using the measurements, cut out the same pattern in both the terry and the fleece.

(Interruption from the tutorial)
Ok so I made a modification to the design. It's optional but the reason I did it is because I found that having the absorbent terrycloth layer go all the way up and around the waist made her a bit wet up around her waist. Not something I liked. So I changed the design but not the photos in the tutorial as being heavily pregnant I have not had time to make any new diapers right now. Below is the modification. You basically only take the absorbent terrycloth layer just below the waistband part. Then you cut the waistband part from microfleece. In the end baby will have microfleece around their waist on the inside and outside. Then you obviously put a diaper cover over the whole thing. I hope the diagram makes some sense. If not, just let me know.

-(And back to the original tutorial)-

Place the two pieces with the wrong side out and zigzag stitch the edges.

Do not stitch the tab ends or the pocket opening at the front of the nappy.

Add a straight stitch next to the zigzag for extra support. (If you have an overlocker you can use that instead if both stitches)

Prepare for adding the leg elastic. Note, do not cut the leg elastic in segments, we'll do that later. Place the elastic approx 1 inch down from the back tabs and tack down.

Fully stretch the elastic while zigzagging. Then cut the elastic when you reach approx 3 inches from the front pocket opening.

Sew elastic on the second leg hole as well.
Turn the nappy right side out.

On the back side (the tab end) of the nappy sew a seam for the waist elastic. Approximately the width of the elastic you plan to use. Leave both ends open.

Thread the elastic through the opening. I use a safety pin to help guide my elastic through the fabric.

Once the end of the elastic reached the hole opening, sew it down with two seams.

Then continue to stretch the elastic through until it reaches the other opening. Once it is all the way through sew that end up as well with two seams. (note: You can skip this whole step by simply sewing in the back elastic the same way you sewed in the leg elastic.)

nappy should look like the below image.

Turn your nappy back inside out and sew up the tab ends. You can round them or leave them square, it is up to you. Use a zigzag and a straight stitch or an overlocker for good strength.

Now it is time to finish your seams. Turn the nappy back to right side out and sew a nice seam along the edge starting at the back elastic. Follow along the edge of the tabs and the inside of the leg elastic (this also encloses the leg elastic).

Stop this seam at the end of the leg hole elastic as you do not want to sew up to the insert opening. This would impede the folding down of the nappy front into itself.

Now hem the front end insert opening with a French seam. This opening is also where you will fold in the nappy for a smaller baby.
Congratulations! Your nappy is done!. It was inexpensive (if not free). Easy to make and highly effective and practical! One of the slimmest birth to potty nappies you will find. You can adjust the absorbency by adding more or less inserts and boosters. No need for liners as the fleece/microfleece will keep baby's bitsy bum dry. And highly adjustable sizing, especially because it is used with a snappi/nappi nippa. A very versatile nappy... made by you.

Now for a mini tutorial on adjusting the nappy size.

First you put in you insert through the front pocket. Then you fold the nappy into itself at the level you want. A few tries and you will know what height is best for your little one.

Fully opened for a toddler.
Fold into itself.

Newborn Size.

Fits like a charm. I included a photo of it on a doll that would compare to a 7 pound baby. This is including a 3 layer microfibre insert. Note how slim it looks. Obviously you use this nappy with a nappy nippa fastening. Also you have to use it with a PUL cover. Someday I will do a tutorial on an all in one with PUL on the outside. Someday....

Happy Nappying!


  1. Wow! Thanks for this pattern. I can't wait to try making these!

  2. Thank you! that's the best tutorial i have seen in the web.
    though, the fastening system is... well i haven't seen that before and i probably have to make some adjustments.
    but the bottom line is - thank you.

  3. Just happened to find your blog last night while looking for a pattern for sewing some diapers for my 5 month old. I made 3 of these diapers today out of old baby towels and even a T-shirt. They turned out great! Thanks so much for posting this.

  4. Oh, I am so glad this pattern has actually helped! Yay, it inspires me to make more tutorials!

  5. Thanks for the tutorial. I've been searching and this is definitely the pattern I'm going to use. Great job!

    I just have one question- may sound silly, but does the terry go on the outside or the fleece? I've thought of it both ways and the more I think, the more confused I make myself. I guess I'm over-thinking it.

    Thanks again!
    Sara (1st timer, obviously)

  6. terry is the absorbant part so would go on inside.. this is a great pattern! thx for sharing:)

  7. i love your pattern and am deffinately going to try it! two quick questions, what would you use to make it so it doesnt leak through? is there a material to sew together in the layers or should i just use a plastic cover?

  8. The terry goes on the outside and the fleece on the inside, the fleece keeps the moisture away from the skin. You use these with an insert. :)
    Also it needs a waterproof wrap with it.

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have struggled with my 2 girls for 3 years with nasty, awful, horrid "disposable" nappys. A friend convinced me today that I could do the cloth nappy thing, and I've been searching all day for a good pattern with just the right versatility and simplicity. Yours is IT! I'm excited to get started!

  10. What a great pattern! We just started making cloth diapers and were uncertain of how to make them one size. What a simple way to do it! What is the fastener you're using in the picture?

  11. This is such a neat idea. I can't wait until I have time to sew this up. This would work great underneath my covers! I'm not buying anymore costly fitteds when I've got free diaper material just lying around in my closets :)

  12. Thanks for the tutorial! Made this in an hour yesterday and it works great! I will have to do some adaptation for my little chunkier, but it's a place to start and you really made it seem do-able! Thanks!!!!

  13. The fastener in the picture is called a Snappi, and they are awesome!
    I made this today using an old flat fold diaper ( so it doesn't have a stay dry layer, but it's not really necessary) and my daughter is wearing it now. I used the measurements from my one size Flip covers. I turned it inside out, and it is now about 1/4 smaller than my cover, so it's a perfect fit. I will definitely be making more. Great tutorial!

  14. Hi I have several pocket diapers already and I am trying to make my own but I am having trouble with the pattern size. I tried stretching the ones I have and tracing them but they do not measure what your pattern does do I need that much xtra? Thanks the rest of the directions sound great I can't wait to get started!!

  15. This is completely different than most one size dipes. What a creative way to change the size! I can't wait to make some.

  16. AWESOME! I'm totally making these.. I made my own pattern as well, Please if you have time, post a tutorial on one with PUL as well =)

  17. Oh my, these were easy to make. Thank you so much for this pattern.
    My daughter was sick and I did not want to keep using the disposable diapers. (Really all I saw was $$ every time I changed her.) Although I did not have the necessary fabric, I used what I had, which was old 100% cotton flat sheet and started cutting. I made two within an hour and plan to make more. This was by far the best tutorial!

  18. I have the pattern cut out of my poster board and I cannot wait to get working on them. I've decided not to make the changes (it will all be sewn with the cotton terry) and I'll use a raw silk for a stay dry liner.

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  20. Thank you guys for the comments. My life has been so busy as of late I have not even checked this blog in ages. Glad to know these are still helping.
    I would say that being creative is the best thing with these. If you feel you can add or modify than feel free. Yes, I used a homemade insert inside these for a larger baby or toddler. When my babies were newborns I found the needed changing so often that they didn't even get wet enough to need an insert. And yes, you need a diaper cover or a wooly cover to keep the outside dry.

  21. buy PUL fabric for the outer fabric and you wont need a diaper cover.

  22. thanks you for your giving. Thats soo importan for me. Someday, visit me, Ok?

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