DIY Adventures in Diapers: Pocket Diaper

Hubby put his foot down. No more buying fluff. 🙁 But he did say that I can make our own diapers for Baby J! My first venture in the DIY diaper-making biz was to convert a prefold to a fitted. That was…laughable. I’m conflicted about whether or not I should share my experience with vivid photos or not. On one side, it’s a little humiliating for me. On the flip side, it could be a guffaw moment for you.

I am going to show my experiences with the second diaper I made: a pocket diaper. It definitely didn’t turn out perfect, and I have some things I need to improve upon next time around. But it’s a usable diaper, and that’s what counts, right? Right?!

There are a myriad of patterns floating around the Web, many of them free, but I decided to purchase the Babyville Boutique Cloth Diapers Made Easy Book. I’m getting back into sewing after many years away, so I wanted something with plenty of instructions, photos, and tips. Besides the pattern book, I also purchased Babyville snaps, pliers, and their 3-pack of PUL fabric in orange, monkeys, and hoot.

My husband suggested I start with the first and easiest pattern, but I didn’t want to make a diaper cover. I wanted to make a pocket diaper. So that’s where I started.

To begin with, I cut out the pattern and pinned it on the folded piece of orange PUL fabric. I made sure to keep the pins toward the edge of the PUL fabric, in the seam allowance. You need to be careful where you place pins in PUL, since you want as few holes in the fabric as possible to make sure it stays waterproof.

Notice my handy-dandy cardboard cutting surface thingy. It folds up which is great for me, since we don’t have a lot of space in our home. It also worked well for keeping the PUL from moving around while I was cutting it. I stuck a pin straight through the edge of the PUL and the pattern, into the cardboard. That provided stability.

For the inside layer of fabric (the layer against Baby J’s skin), I purchased suede cloth in a “Dalmatian” print from our local fabric store. Suede cloth is soft and it wicks moisture away from skin.

Suede Cloth Inner Layer

After cutting my diaper pieces out, I put the extra scraps of suede cloth and PUL away until another day, to make “Mamma Cloth.”

The pattern book gave fairly easy directions to follow and suggested using pattern template plastic to create a permanent template for snaps.

I found template plastic at the fabric store, marked the holes from the cut-out pattern onto the plastic, and then poked holes in the plastic.

The snap template is for a medium-size diaper. Once I become more proficient at sewing diapers, I plan to make one-size diapers. I figured that a sized diaper would be a good starting point for me, since I’m not very good at sewing yet.

I learned that when you sew a diaper, it’s important to reinforce the section of PUL where you place the snaps.

The book gave two options: use individual pieces of PUL under each snap, or make an entire yoke to go over that part of the diaper. That’s what I did for this pocket diaper.

It didn’t go exactly as planned.


I finished the yoke and started applying snaps. I’d read horror stories about putting snaps on diapers, but it was going beautifully…until in a daze I put the WRONG snap on. Basically, the snap part that should have gone on the back wings of the diaper, I put on the front. Or…I put the boy part where the girl part should’ve gone. Make sense?

There are plenty of people who have made this or a similar mistake, I discovered, when I started to research online. The best suggestion was to use pliers to snap the head until I could reach the stem with cuticle scissors, and then cut the stem. Well, I got rid of my cuticle scissors years ago after they destroyed my fingers, and I didn’t have pliers readily available. I just chipped at the snap with regular, adult-size scissors. Let me just say that I do NOT recommend you do this. In fact, please don’t. It’s a wonder I didn’t slice a chunk of flesh off my fingers and destroy the diaper.

All Better

Miraculously, I didn’t damage myself or the fabric. I did stick another little piece of PUL under the new snap as triple reinforcement.

Once I finally finished sewing the diaper, I realized a few things that I thought I should share to any other aspiring-diaper-makers.


Triple Reinforcement!

1. Do not make the seam allowance too large. Or (if you do not know what a seam allowance is) try to sew near the edge of the fabric. If you sew further in, the diaper will be smaller. Your medium-size diaper will fit like a smaller diaper.

2. Pay attention to where the boy and girl snap parts go.

3. PUL is a very slippery fabric to sew. Stick some tissue paper over top (or under) and sew right through the paper. You can pull it off afterwards.

4. My diaper unintentionally looks like a Halloween diaper.

5. Be very careful when you cut out the wings in the fabric, or they will not be the same size, and your diaper will look weird.

6. It is really difficult to hold leg elastic completely stretched and thread sticky PUL fabric and other layers under your sewing machine foot at the same time, all while making sure you don’t sew over top the elastic. I have new-found respect for all veteran diaper makers and WAHMs.

Want to see the finished product? Of course you do!

The wings aren’t the same size- I have no idea how that happened.
On the small side, since I didn’t size the seam allowances properly

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Continue Reading

Review: Pocket Diaper from The Bumtique

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of WAHMs (working-at-home-moms). As a mother myself, I enjoy supporting other moms, and as an American, I do prefer to buy American-made if possible. When I came across The Bumtique, Angela was testing out a new diaper pattern, based on customer feedback. I purchased a “tester” diaper.

If you’re not familiar with “testers,” diaper manufacturers will often sell a new design (a tester) at a discount in exchange for the customer’s honest assessments. This is a great way to try new brands.

Angela started sewing cloth diapers for her second child after deciding to live more healthy and more frugally. She quit smoking after 15 years, and sewing diapers became an outlet for her anxiety and stress.

Click on the photos to enlarge
Crossover tabs and snaps for small babies

For my tester, I received a one-size pocket diaper with a hidden PUL layer and a tie-dye blue cotton on the outermost layer. The inside layer (against my son’s skin) is made with a 100% polyester stay-dry fabric, to keep moisture off his skin.

The diaper has snaps on the front of the diaper, allowing the rise to be adjusted to four different settings. The crossover snaps along the waist can be used to adjust the diaper to fit a very small baby. The size adjustability means this diaper will fit most babies from 10-35 lbs., a great money saver.

This diaper did not come with an insert, as Angela was not making them at the time. I was able to use microfiber inserts from other pocket diapers in my stash, without any issues.

I’ve used this diaper for a couple of months, washing about every other day. It’s holding up without any issues. I haven’t had any issues with staining either. Once I had to sun the diaper for a couple of hours, but the stain sun-bleached out quite easily.

5 months- 18 pounds

I’m also able to get a good fit on my son, both through the waist and the rise. I wish I’d been able to get a good photo of the leg elastic around his legs (he was just too squirmy), but it does fit nicely without gaps. I’ve had no trouble with any kind of leakage either. Baby J still has plenty of room to grow.

I wash this diaper with the rest of my stash, and then usually hang it to dry in the sun. I really don’t have any complaints about this diaper. It does the job, and it was a great price.

The Bumtique has prints available that, frankly, I haven’t seen elsewhere. Angela’s most popular print is the ’80s “Rainbow Brite” print. She also sells diapers in He-Man, TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Transformers, Raggedy Ann & Andy, and a Mario print. She has a Star Wars words print that the sci-fi nerd inside me is absolutely loving! To see a list of available prints, click here.

Currently, custom pocket diapers and AI2 diapers retail for $15 at The Bumtique, which is a great price for these nostalgic prints!

The Bumtique sells pocket diapers, all-in-two diapers, fitted diapers, newborn-size diapers, and inserts. Babylegs are also available. The store has free shipping every Friday as well as a referral program. Visit here to see a list of discounts and specials. “Like” The Bumtique on Facebook to keep abreast of store stockings, new prints, specials, etc.

Note: I was not compensated for this review. The opinions are my own and may differ from that of others.

Continue Reading

Making friends with my seam ripper

Today I really cracked down on my table-cloth/place mat sewing project. It was going well until I sewed the wrong sides together on place mats. Twice! I did this twice! It took me about 20 minutes each time to rip the seams out. Oh well…

Then I decided to start sewing project #2: turning a prefold diaper into a fitted diaper. I sewed the elastic in, and let’s just say that was also a fail. More time with my handy dandy seam ripper tool.

Fail Profile Graphics and Comments
Fail Funny Pictures | Friendster Layouts What did I do successfully today? Uhm…I didn’t burn dinner. We had tuna melts, so it definitely wasn’t rocket science.

Oh! I did find out that I won a giveaway on another blog! So you see! It’s not impossible to win! I’m not a loser after all, hahah!

Also, I think one of the workers at the gym thinks I’m hitting on him. Did you ever accidentally make eye contact with someone too many times? Yup, that’s me. So awkward. You know, you’re walking by the desk, and you think the workers said something to you, so you look at them, only they’re not looking at you, but then they sense you’re looking at them, and they look at you looking at them, and it’s just really awkward? Yup, that’s me.

All right, well, I’m working on a few different blog posts at once, but none of them are ready to post tonight, so I’m keeping this short and sweet.

Don’t forget to enter the Hidden Treasure Candle giveaway and the Great Soft Bums giveaway. In just seven days, the Green Family giveaway blog hop starts. I’m super excited about that!


Continue Reading