Here are the steps to make a fitted cloth diaper like the one pictured!
Step 1: Cutting
Cut your layers by tracing or pinning your fabric to your pattern. If you want a sewn-in soaker like I've done, cut and sew the soaker to the inner material. A lot of fitted diapers are 3-layer but I did two. One layer microfleece with sewn-in cotton soaker, and the cotton print outer. Some people add PUL, a water-repelling fleece or absorbent bamboo, cotton or hemp as a "hidden" layer between the inner and outer.
If you are using a hidden layer, you don't have to worry about this part. I cut a layer of recycled cotton to add to the area that the rise and belly snaps will be added to reinforce the snaps.
With guidance from your pattern, mark your snaps on your reinforcing layer or hidden layer.
Add snaps. Remember to give your pliers 2-3 squeezes for each snap to be sure they're secure.
Mark where your elastics begin and end (your pattern should provide guidelines) and tack them down using a straight stitch. Don't forget to backstitch! I go over my elastic 3-4 times.
Straight stitch along your elastic to give the ruffled edge finish. Start your stitch with the needle down
Stretch your elastic out- hold each end of elastic with each hand and help your machine by slowly feeding your material through. Keep elastics taut and don't forget to backstitch at the beginning and end of each elastic.
This is the back elastic complete. Admire the ruffled top!
When your elastics are complete, lay your outer layer right-side facing the right side of your inner layer and pin the belly, wings and back together. I don't bother to pin around the elastics because this material needs to be stretched out while sewing.
Take a nursing break because no project goes uninterrupted!
Diaper pinned in appropriate places. Leave most of the belly panel unsewed so you can turn the diaper out-side-right when you're finished sewing the layers together.
Mark the area you don't want to sew shut!
When it comes to sewing around the elastic area, you must stretch the "outer" material so it lines up with the inner. Do the same thing as when you initially sewed the elastics down, use one hand to hold the top of the elastic and one hand to stretch out the elastic and guide the materials through your machine.
stretch that elastic!
Finished sewing the layers together! Turn the diaper out-side-right!
Trimming the corners of the inside will help with topstitching later
Fold in the layers of fabric left unsewn at the belly panel
pin the material down for easy topstitching
Start your topstitching where you installed your elastics. Drop your needle and begin topstitching where you tacked down your elastic.
Sew straight towards the seam of the diaper from the elastic.
Topstitch over the fold you made in the belly area and remove pins as you go.
Admire your topstitching!
Begin the topstitching at the back of the diaper in the area that you tacked down the elastic. Sew to where you tacked down the back elastic, backstitch and cut your threads. Continue your topstitch on the other side of the back side.
Drop your needle where you tacked down the elastic and continue to topstitch the back side.
Almost finished! You just need to add the wing snaps!
With help from your pattern, or measuring by hand, mark the area where your wing snaps belong.
You can measure yourself by folding the wing over the belly panel and marking on the wing where the belly snap hits in the center of the wing.
Fold the wing in half to get a more accurate measurement. Skip one snap so you can add a cross-over snap
Bring your wings together and use the wing that you marked as a guideline for the other wing
mark the other wing
Add your wing snaps and a cross-over snap if you would like and complete your diaper! I added a snap-in soaker. Your options are endless when it comes to absorbency in a fitted! You could do a lay-in soaker as well.
Show off the finished product. My leg elastics are a bit wonky because I didn't measure.