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Pocket Diaper Tutorial

June 21, 2007

I used a medium Fuzzi Bunz, as the basic pattern for this particular kind of pocket diaper. However, I cut the crotch down thinner, made the tabs for the velcro longer and more rounded.(I don’t like the triangular shape they use) I made the PUL fabric area for the back velcro about 1/2″ wide rather than 1″ than they do. Basically I streamlined the process, and made the diaper a bit less bulky. The diapers I’m using for a pattern are who knows HOW old, the elastic is completely shot, it was unraveling, the fleece they use as an inner was crunchy and not soft at all. Considering how much people rave about these diapers, I’m thinking this particular example must have been very very old. But I got it for 3 dollars from a mom on the clothdiapering community here on LJ Basically because I *DID* want to find some examples of very popular cloth diapers and see if I could re-create them with my own twists. (I’ve got 9 of them now in medium LOL) Oh and if you don’t have a serger, you can pretty much just replace ‘serge’ with ‘sew’ except in some obvious places where you can just skip the step.

What You’ll need:
PUL (polyurethane laminate cloth) in a diaper sized piece
Fleece in a diaper sized piece
2 5″ 1/4″ wide pieces of elastic
1 5 1/2″ 1/4″ wide piece of elastic
1 small safety pin

Lay out your Pattern on your inner material and cut around it, leaving 1/4″ for seam allowance. Also note: I’m saving time by cutting out two pieces of fleece at the same time. On a mat, with a rolling cutter.
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This is what it will generally look like
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Fuzzi Bunz(tm) have a rectangle of PUL to hold the elastic in the back at the waist. Lay your Pattern on top of the PUL. Mark where the rectangle ends, and how far up you need to cut (about 1/2″) and then cut out the PUL. Making sure to leave that extra rectangle at the back/waist of the diaper. I marked mine with pins, and then just remembered that I needed to cut 1/2 up.
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See the extra rectangle on the back of the PUL?
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If you’ve got something you’d like to appliqué or embroider on the back of the PUL now is the time to do it. Simply locate the middle of the ‘butt’ area and proceed. However. I wouldn’t appliqué or embroider anything on already used PUL. The brand new PUL, you can wash, then dry in very hot and it will seal the holes created by sewing so it doesn’t wick.
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See here that in addition to the extra 1/2″ rectangle of fabric on the back of the PUL. I’ve also made about a 1/2″ cut parallel to the top of the rectangle. This makes it easier to sew, easier to serge and just kind of easier all around.
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Heading into the serger here. See how I’ve folded all the material back? Since it’s got that cut, it sticks out a bit and makes it easier to serge (my serger has an auto cutter, scary! when working with expensive material)
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Now serge the top/back of the fleece inner.
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Starting at the serged rectangle (folded back, out of the way) put the fleece and the PUL together, RIGHT SIDES facing inward. And serge the two pieces together. To get the other side, you will need to serge on the PUL side, polyurethane part touching the foot. (more difficult unless you have a special foot, just remember to help the PUL along otherwise it tends to stick to the foot and make veeeeery tiny stitches)
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Serge down the sides of the diaper. I have to say here that EVERY SINGLE DIAPER I have sewn, even though they were cut out perfectly even, has extra material left over at the belly section of the diaper when you are done sewing the sides. Fleece is rather stretchy when sewn on a serger is all I can think. Just continue on, and serge the fabric together at the belly section, cutting off the extra material.
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Note the ‘finished project’ Inside stuff is inside. Check all the seams to make sure that you got them all very well (I didn’t on some and had to go back and re-sew those spots, annoying)
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Now go and *sigh* sew just to the inside of the serged edges, this will add an extra layer of protection against seams unraveling, waterproofness etc. I used the orange thread, partially so you can see it, and partially because hey, it looks cool with black. Also notice that I’ve folded that extra rectangular piece of material down and am sewing over it, starting about 1/4″ in.
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Note where you want the elastic to go. I used the old Fuzzi Bunz(tm) diaper with the shot elastic and marked on the PUL where the elastic went with a paint pen. I placed the 5″ 1/4″ wide elastic just below the paint line.
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Set the sewing machine to it’s biggest zig-zag stitch
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And on the next to widest stitch.
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Pin the elastic down with the needle and go forward and back up to lock the thread down a couple of times. Then pull the elastic towards you as you SLOWLY zig-zag down the elastic. I say SLOW because you are trying to not SEW ON THE ELASTIC. You want to just miss the sides of the elastic. This creates a thread case that makes the elastic much more even, more elastic-y (because it’s all even, it’s not more stretchy in one spot than another) and it lasts longer because it doesn’t have much in the way of holes punched all over it.

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Flip the diaper right side out. And sew a casing line around the edge of the elastic. Make sure that the PUL and the Fleece are about even with each other. Basically you don’t want all sorts of fleece sticking out from the inside of the diaper. So sew slow and steady, making sure, if anything that the PUL goes towards the inside of the diaper. Same with all outside seams.
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Then sew a line around the belly section of the diaper meeting up with the casing line.
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Now for the back elastic. First pinch down the side of the rectangle, making all raw edges go towards the inside of what will soon be the back elastic casing.
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Now put the elastic on the inside of the casing, you want it barely sticking out. Enough that you can see it and be sure it’s sewn down, but not enough to be unattractive or draw attention to it. Pin the elastic and the folded over raw edge down flat to the inside of the diaper (not pinning the fleece!)
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Note the pinning AND the safety pin at the end of the elastic. Fold down the other raw edge of the casing and pin it flat (making sure that the casing itself is flat)
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Sew the casing down. Along the first raw edge and the bottom of the casing. Leave the other raw edge open still. Manipulate the safety pin until it comes out of the open end. Then pin it to the open end. Same as the other side, barely any elastic showing, but enough to know it’s there and sewn down.
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Sew the elastic down and the casing closed.
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Here’s the almost finished diaper. I say almost finished because the aplix still needs to be added.

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