What you will need:
diaper pattern in the size you want to make, pictured is my own design for a one-size diaper
1 diaper cut of PUL
diaper cut of suedecloth, or other diaper lining fabric such as microfleece, flannel, bamboo velour
scraps of coordinating cotton prints, enough to make one full diaper
pieces of lace, rick-rack or other embellishments, you can make it without, but it's cuter with!
elastics, length as defined by your pattern
snaps and/or velcro (snap pliers if using snaps)
polyester thread only and ball point needle for sewing PUL
1. I start by cutting out a piece of PUL using my pattern, I also punch the holes for the snaps during this step. Then I cut out the pieces of cotton print using the same pattern, being sure to measure the center piece long enough to allow for the two seams.
2. I serge the cotton pieces together to prevent fraying and then top-stitch the seams flat for a finished look.
3. using two coordinating colors of rick-rack, I sew a row on either side of the seam at the front or waist area of the diaper.
4. Next, I use a scrap of eyelet lace ruffle cut in to two lengths to sew on to the back seam of the diaper
5. After all the cotton pieces have been sewn together and the embellishments added, I pin the outer layer of the diaper to the PUL.
6. I add snaps to the waist through the holes I punch previously when I cut out the PUL. Velcro can be used instead if you don't have snaps. I also add snaps to the rise of the diaper so the size of the diaper can be adjusted from around 7 lbs up to 30 lbs by making it longer in the rise as well as wider through the waist.
7. For the inner lining of the diaper, the part that makes a pocket to place the absorbent insert, I cut another piece of fabric using the same pattern from suedecloth. flannel, fleece or microfleece can be used also.
8.I cut a long narrow rectangle and position it towards the upper back of the suedecloth, right side to right side; and sew two parallel lines about 1/4" apart down the middle of the length.
9.Using a seam ripper or scissors, I cut the fabric through both layers between the stitch lines and turn the flaps of the small rectangle through to the wrong side of the diaper. I then sew all around the small rectangle to hold it in place, leaving a pocket opening in the diaper shaped piece of suedecloth.
10. The suedecloth then gets pinned to the PUL with cotton on top so that the PUL's glossy side is down towards the table(which will be the feet of your machine), then the cotton prints are up and the suedecloth is facing down.
11. I sew all the way around the diaper leaving 3/8" around the edges.
12. Next I mark the position for the elastics that go at the legs, back and optional front. I cut elastics for all 4 areas, for my pattern I do not mark the front waist and will use the snaps as a guide for where to put the front waist elastic.
13. Then the elastics are sewn onto the diaper at the places I marked using a forwards and backwards, repeated back-stitch method to secure them.
14. To make sure the corners turn out well and aren't rounded or bulky when turned right side out, I clip the corners of the fabric off, being sure not to cut them too close!
15. Now the diaper is turned right side out, you can use a bone folder to get the corners out well.
16. For my diapers, I top stitch the entire way around the diaper so that the seams lay flat, are stronger and I make a casing for the elastics at the same time. I sew as close to the edge of the diaper as I can, about 1/8", except where the elastics are.
17. To make the casing for the elastics, I sew down about 3/8" when I get to the edge of the elastic, then sew parallel to the edge of the diaper (should be about 1/2" mark now) while stretching the elastic and diaper all the way to keep the elastic out of the way and prevent the seam from being bunched up.
18. Lastly for the diaper itself! I add snaps (opposite of what is on the waist, such as studs not sockets) to the wings or tabs on either side of the back of the diaper, measuring to make sure they are the same spacing apart as my waist snaps. You would sew velcro on at this point if you weren't using snaps.
19. For the absorbent layer, or soaker/insert I cut a piece of microfiber with Zorb large enough to fold into 3 long layers (for mine, 15"x5" for this particular size of diaper) and serge around all 4 sides with a 4 thread stitch. You could also use cotton terry, flannel or some other absorbent material if you didn't have microfiber and Zorb. I also make an additional smaller insert using only two layers, about 10"x5" to use when the diaper is on a smaller rise setting, or in addition to the larger insert for overnight or toddlers.