Instructables

How to sew a Pocket Diaper

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If you have decided to cloth diaper your baby, then you know that name-brand diapers can be expensive to say the least. All you need is a few simple supplies and some basic sewing machine skills to make your own fitted cloth diapers.

The diaper in this Instructable is a fitted pocket diaper with hook and loop fasteners. I like pocket diapers because you can remove the absorbent liner for laundering so it gets cleaner and dries more quickly.

Of course prices will vary, but these diapers cost us about $2 or $3 USD to make. It sure beats paying $15+ per diaper! Also with these diapers you will need a waterproof outer layer, either PUL or wool.
 
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Step 1: Materials List

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You will need:

1 yard of flannel (any kind, color, or style) OR 1/2 yard of flannel and 1/4 yard fleece or 1/4 yard of waterproof PUL (if you use waterproof fleece or PUL you won't have to use a cover over the diaper.) 
16" of 3/8" elastic
4 3/4" Loop side of hook and loop fastener
2 pieces of hook side 2" X 1 1/2"
Ruler or Yardstick
Tailors chalk or fabric marking utensil
Scissors
1 Prefold diaper (for pocket insert)
Diaper template
Sewing Machine

NOTE: There are many ways to make your diaper template. You can trace a disposable and add 3/4" to all sides. There are also many websites dedicated to helping you draft you own pattern. For our pattern, we used a store bought sewing pattern for a diaper cover and modified it a bit.
captainwiggles (author) 4 years ago
Hi everyone!  It's been a good long time since I posted this and after months of more research and months of actually cloth diapering I'm way more experienced.

First I recently added that you DO NEED a waterproof outer layer.  You can make it with the outer layer as waterproof fleece or PUL and you won't need any more layers.

If you're just making a fitted diaper, you will need a waterproof cover either PUL or wool.  I would change a few things about this pattern because it was so bulky.  I am going to be updating soon.

You don't need so many layers of flannel.  You just need one inside and one outside.  You could use absorbent fleece on the inside and it will take the feeling of wetness away from baby's bum.  I wouldn't use a prefold as an insert, I would either make some microfiber fleece, terry or other absorbent inserts.  The prefold made it way too bulky.  Although for nighttime you could add an infant sized prefold for maximum absorbency.

Again, I'll me making an updated version of this soon. 
I am new to CD and was wondering about PUL. Can I sew 100% cotton fabric to the pul to make it pretty to look at and then have the inner part that will be against the babies bottom fleece? (So in total I would have 3 layers) and is the shinny side of the PUL facing in our out?
captainwiggles (author)  mdstover3 years ago
You can absolutely sew cotton to the pul to make it decorative. I have a wetbag that is built that way. Just remember that the more holes that you make with your sewing machine in the material the more chance of liquid passing through at the seam. The shinny side is the "wrong side" or inside. If the baby is wearing the diaper, it is facing in. I hope this helps. Good luck.
moiety4 years ago
Note -- if you make this with just flannel, it will not be waterproof! If you make it with fleece, it might be. Most commercial pocket diapers are made with waterproof polyurethane coated fabric as the outside layer.

Great, straightforward instructable, though!
babsalvey14 years ago
OK, I love this but I am really dense right now.... does the soaker go int an opening in the back of the diaper cover. And if it does then wouldn't you replace the whole thing?
A pocket diaper is an easier to launder, faster drying alternative to an "all in one" type cloth diaper. All-in-ones have the soaker material permanently sewn in. they take a long time to dry. Pocket diaper shells like these dry much more quickly. We used covers, foldable cotton cloth diapers and shaped doublers. The main difference between these two methods is that with diapers and covers, the cover doesn't always get soiled, and the lining on covers is usually treated with a durable water resistance treatment to help keep it clean (on a pocket diaper, obviously, the liner needs to be permeable).
captainwiggles (author)  babsalvey14 years ago
The soaker does go into the pocket in the back. You do change the whole diaper every time it is soiled or wet, it is just nice to have the removable soaker for laundering purposes. It helps the diaper and soaker get cleaner and dry faster. Also with the pocket, if your baby is a heavy wetter, you can add more material to the soaker to stop leaks. This pattern is for an actual diaper instead of a diaper cover. (but I guess that it would work very well as a cover too) The purpose is to make a reusable cloth diaper that goes on as easy as a disposable. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a message and I will do my best to answer them. Thanks
canida4 years ago
Cool, this looks reasonably easy to do. Any reason not to use a moisture barrier of some sort to line the outer layer of the pocket diaper?