Tired of seeing a Huggies’ diaper logo peeking out from under your baby’s dress? Have no fear! It’s easy to cover that diaper bum up! And we’ve got a complete Tutorial and Pattern, in 4 different sizes, to walk you through it.
Diaper covers are so easy to make, you might start churning them out by the dozen.
Pair them with a onesie or a hand-dyed mini-Tee. Throw them under a summer dress. Make a few pairs for a baby shower gift. Hey….find a masculine print and try them on your little boy!
We’ll show you how to make diaper covers the plain old-fashioned way:
then we’ll mix it up by adding bias-tape at the waist and legs.
Whichever method you choose, this face will love you for it.
Okay, let’s get started!
First, Download our 4-page pattern HERE
I’m in the process of updating this tutorial, so the pattern you download is slightly different looking than the pictures here.
These new and improved pattern pieces are the same as the previous pattern pieces….except that I’ve added small tabs at the ends of the legholes to make it easier to fold the legholes under. So just follow these current tutorial steps and you should be fine till I update the overall tutorial.
Thanks for your patience!
* You’ll automatically be prompted to open the PDF document in Preview or Adobe Acrobat
* Save and/or print the doc to your home printer
Our pattern comes in 4 sizes:
The pattern is easily adjusted to fit larger sizes. If you look at way the pattern is drawn, there’s a consistent increase between each size. So, simply draw additional lines similar to the previous size and increase the lengths of your elastic!
ITEMS TO NOTE:
* All babies are different. A baby’s waist may be a 6 month size, but it’s possible she can have chubbier (and totally cute) legs that fit more like 12 month old. So, measure around your baby’s thigh and compare that with the elastic lengths listed in the pattern. If your baby’s legs are bigger, add a bit more elastic to the length. Or if your babe is skinnier, cut back by an inch. Adjust to fit your baby’s needs.
* If you’re making diaper covers as a gift, go with our sizing in the pattern; they’ll fit the average sized baby.
* Our pattern is meant to go over a disposable diaper.
* For cloth diapers, try moving up to the next size and shortening the elastic lengths.
* Remember to PRE-WASH, Dry, and iron your fabrics (as appropriate) before getting started.Nothing is worse than finishing your project and watching it shrink an inch the first time you throw it in the wash.
* 1/3-1/2 of a yard of fabric (cotton, linen, knit, satin, corduroy, whatever!)
You really don’t need that entire amount of fabric, in fact the largest diaper size needs (2) 16×20 inch rectangles. But, in case you’re buying yardage of fabric at the store, 1/3 to 1/2 yard will keep you in the safe zone. Best idea: measure the pattern size you’re using and figure out exactly how much you need/want. It’s never a bad idea to have extra fabric. Then you can make 2 pairs and keep one on hand for a baby shower gift!
* 1/4 inch Elastic for the legs (any kind) – see pattern for lengths
* 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch Elastic for the waist (any kind) – see pattern for lengths
* Sewing machine
* SEAM ALLOWANCE – use a 3/8 inch allowance for all seams and 1/2 inch for the casing around the legs
* Serger (optional but makes the project even easier!)
* Print a copy of each pattern page (on standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper) * Please note that the pattern pieces have been updated, so they look a bit different than the photo below. I’m in the process of creating an entirely new tutorial/post for this pattern *
Here’s what I like to do….
* Trace the diaper sizes you need onto blank sheets of paper so you have patterns for various sizes. This saves on printing and plus, it’s easier to reference the original pattern when you need to.
* Label your patterns with appropriate info so you don’t mix-up the sizes. If you make changes to the sizing or the elastic, note that on the pattern along with the date you made it, or what fabric you used, or whatever info will help you out the next time around:
* Fold your fabric in half, lay the pattern piece on the FOLD (where marked) and cut out ONE for each pattern piece:
A serger makes this project even easier. But NO WORRIES if you don’t have one! There are just two added steps that we’ll point out as we go.
With RIGHT sides of your fabric together, sew the Front and Back pieces together. Line up the sides and sew down both sides. Line up the bottoms and sew that together too, in the places marked below:
Serge off your seams, do a zigzag stitch, or leave them raw (serging and zigzagging makes your seams stronger and keeps them from fraying over time).
Next, serge all the way around the edge of each leg hole:
If you don’t have a serger, iron each leg piece under about 1/4 inch. You don’t want to lose too much fabric here. You’re just ironing under a tiny bit so that the raw edges aren’t exposed. In the next step you’ll iron the leg piece over again to create a casing (same goes for the waistband).
Serge the top of your waistband, all the way around:
If you don’t have a serger, iron the waistband over 1/4 inch, just as you did for the leg holes.
Iron out all of your seams:
Then iron casings for the leg holes and the waistband. Iron the LEGS over a 1/2 inch. Though we’re using 1/4 inch elastic for the legs, it’s good to give yourself a 1/2 inch casing. This will make the project easier, the safety pins will go through better and thus, your life will be happier.
Your leg holes should look like this:
Okay, iron the Waistband over 3/4 of an inch to create a casing.
NOTE: I prefer using 3/8 or 1/2 inch elastic in my waistband; it just looks better to me. This is why the casing is 3/4 inch wide. If you want to keep it simpler, make your casing 1/2 inch wide and use 1/4 inch elastic in the waistband just as you did with the legs. Either way works fine.
Stitch down your casings in the waist and in the leg holes. MAKE SURE you leave a small opening in each so you can get your elastic in and out.
I use pins to mark a Start and Stop point, so I don’t forget to leave a hole:
Sewing the leg casings can seem tricky because your creative mind will tell you to make it as smooth and beautiful as possible. IGNORE your gut! It will (almost) never happen.
Because the legs are cut on a curve, it’s near impossible to fold the edge over smoothly without trimming the edge in (which you don’t want to do here) or using bias tape (which has more “give” and is meant for curves). But with a diaper cover it really doesn’t matter because the leg holes will be gathered and you’ll never notice the tiny imperfections in your seam. So…start sewing from your Start point:
And, without being overly obsessed about it, use your left hand to push and pull and to keep the fabric as smooth as you can:
Don’t stress over it but do your best to keep a 1/2 inch casing all the way around. This is another reason we made the casing a 1/2 inch instead of 1/4 inch. More room for error!
When you’re done, your legs should look like this:
See! All sorts of imperfections. And no one will ever know once the elastic goes in there.
Okay, with all your casings sewn down, we’re ready for elastic.
As stated earlier, I prefer 3/8 or 1/2 inch elastic for the waistband and 1/4 inch elastic for the legs. Do whatever works for you. You don’t need much of each (see the pattern for sizing lengths)
Clip a Safety Pin to the end of your elastic:
Insert it at the hole in your casing:
And push the elastic all the way around till it comes out the other side.
Overlap your elastic by ONE INCH (the elastic lengths listed on the pattern are all meant for a 1-inch overlap):
Zigzag stitch the elastic ends together:
Do Not sew the leg casings closed till you look at the two legs together. Make sure they look even and that one elastic didn’t end up shorter than the other.
If your elastic is too loose: Make a snip in the elastic, cut out a small piece, then overlap and sew it together again.
If your elastic is too tight: Make a snip in the elastic and sandwich-in another two-inch (or more) piece of elastic, then sew everything together.
If both legs look even, sew the casings closed with a normal stitch:
Follow the same steps and string elastic through the waistband:
When you’re all done, add a personalized tag or patch to give it some character (more info on my labels HERE).
And you’re done! One colorful diaper cover ready to go!
Now that you’ve mastered the perfect diaper cover, let’s do a slight twist by using bias tape. This adds a bright pop of color and interesting contrast:
First, cut out your pattern pieces:
Since we won’t be folding over casings for the legs and waistband (we’ll be sandwiching bias tape around them instead), you need to snip off the excess.
Trim a 1/2 inch off of each leg hole:
And cut 3/4 inch off from the top waistband. It’s best to cut both the Front and Back pieces at the same time so they match up perfectly:
Decide what kind of Bias Tape you’d like. You can make your own using a bias tape maker (very cute and easy, and especially fun if you an interesting fabric). Or you can use store-bought bias tape (mostly found in solid colors). It comes in various widths, 1/2 inch being the most common. Make sure you get DOUBLE-FOLD tape (rather than single fold).
Once you start sewing with bias tape, you’ll end up with a bag like this….full of bias tape odds and ends. Diaper Covers are the perfect project for your stash!
For my cover, I used 1/2 inch tape on the legs and 1 inch tape on the waist. If you don’t feel like buying both sizes, use 1/2 inch on both. I just happened to have two sizes on-hand.
If you look closely at bias tape, you’ll notice that one side is just slightly wider than the other. This makes it easier to sew the bias tape to your fabric, making sure that it’s sewn on both sides without any holes. Place the shorter end on the side of your fabric that faces up, where you’ll be sewing. The wider end goes on the underside.
Sandwich each leg hole with bias tape:
Go all the way around and when you get to the end, overlap the tape a bit and trim it off.
Store-bought bias tape tends not to fray so you don’t need to worry about folding the end under. If you’ve made your own bias tape, however, you’ll want to fold and tuck the end under as you sew the casing closed, to keep it from fraying.
Make sure you mark your Start and Stop points, so that you remember to leave an opening for the elastic:
Start sewing at your Start Point and go all the way around to the Stop Point:
Your leg hole should look like this:
Repeat the steps for the next leg:
and also for the Waistband……
String elastic through the legs and waistband, just as we did in the Red Dot Diaper Cover above, sew the casings closed, and…..
Now you’ve got options (and a gift ready for your friend)