How to sew elastic into a cloth diaper

April 26, 2011 § 8 Comments

A visitor to my blog asked me to further illustrate how I added the elastic into a handmade diaper. I wrote up a tutorial a couple of years ago titled Fitted diaper tutorial which shows you how to convert a flat diaper into a fitted diaper. This tutorial left out some of the photos from when I added the leg elastic. So, I have to thank the commenter that inspired this additional tutorial, and I hope you find it helpful.

For the leg elastic, you will need a strip of elastic about 7″ long. If you’re making a newborn diaper, use a strip of elastic 6″ long. I recommend either a 1/4″ or 1/2″ wide elastic with rubber in it, which is found in elastic meant for swimwear. Just check the back of the packaging.

Size 12/80 needles work fine as does all-purpose thread.

I’m assuming you’ve already started making your diaper so I won’t go into those details. This tutorial, by the way, can also work for those who want to replace the elastic from a purchased (and of course, a handmade of your own) cloth diaper. If you’re replacing elastic, you’ll need to rip out the seams to get to the elastic and then rip out the stitching on the elastic to remove the old elastic, if it was zig zagged onto the seam allowance of the diaper, like you see in the photo below:

This tutorial will show you how to attach the elastic in two ways. One way is by zig zagging the whole strip of elastic to the seam allowance. The other is by tacking down the ends of the elastic and then encasing it on the right side. I’ll explain.

1. Pin one end of your elastic strip 3-4 inches from the end of the diaper, at the raw edge. In the photo you can see the white serging.

2. Measure and pin the other end of the elastic strip.

3. Measure and pin the other strip of elastic, as seen below, and double check that the two strips of elastic are even.

4A. While holding the elastic and diaper with both hands (one at each end of the elastic), and holding the elastic taut but not at the full extension of the elastic, start to zig-zag. Reverse to tack down the elastic, and zig zag all the way to the other end of the elastic. Reverse to tack down other end.

Repeat for the other leg elastic.

Here’s the elastic zig zagged for one of the legs.

4B. If you only want to tack down the ends and don’t like zig-zagging the entire strip of elastic, like me, just do a little zig zag at each end, leaving the elastic in between free of stitching. I usually go across the short end of the elastic with a zig zag stitch.

5. Regardless of which method you’ve used, at this point, turn your diaper right side out. It’ll look something like this:

6. Again, holding the two ends of the diaper taut, you’ll be sewing a straight line of stitching to the left of the elastic. Be careful that you don’t actually stitch over the elastic.

I’ve been known to add pins so that the inner lining (microfleece, for instance- the white that is creeping around the yellow PUL) stays facing the inside of the diaper.

You want it to look like the photo below:

When you’re done, it should look like this:

If you look closely, you can see the old stitching (about an inch below my new stitching) because I was replacing the leg elastic on this diaper.

Please let me know if this was helpful or whether more details would be appreciated.


Thinking ahead into costumland

April 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Teal Taffeta for the underskirt of one costume, and possibly a jacket.

I'd like to call this one: Yum. Beautiful drape, as you can see. This is for the overskirt, paired with the fabric above. It's got incredible shine to it and although it's hard to tell from this photo, it matches the teal taffeta.

Heavy weight (this is for a corset I'm making). I've got enough to make a mistake.

Victorian Yellow (gold) Charmeuse. This will pair up with the blue corset fabric as the skirt and overskirt for the second costume.

Sump pumps, lift pumps, gushers, oh my!

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve been stressed lately, and most of you know why: our basement has water gushing in. We do have a sump pump but from what Josh was told by professionals is that the pump we have isn’t big enough for everything going thru it. The sump pump and the lift pump are supposed to get all the water from the downstairs full bathroom as well as everything in the washer/dryer area up and out of the house.

The scary part is that we aren’t sure how long the pump will be able to work as hard as it has been working. Through the storm last night, it was pumping water out about every 8 minutes. Yah, neither Josh nor I could sleep. It didn’t help that the thunderstorm created a light show only akin to multiple 4th of July’s right outside our bedroom window.

While we aren’t the type of people to just let things go and let it flood, I did call the shots last night when Josh got home so we could just evacuate the basement and get some rest. I wasn’t about to let him pull an all-nighter like the ones he pulled when the kids and I were in California.

I could already tell that the memory stress was consuming him. Plus, this time around, we had to think about the stress the kids would absorb. I wasn’t going to put them through that, either. So, we tried to sleep through the sump pump and lift going off every 8 minutes, always listening to make sure it was at least going, always hoping it would take a minute longer- which it didn’t.

Josh was timing the lift pump until he and I fell asleep.

We’re so glad we’re renting. We’re also kicking ourselves for picking the place with the basement. There were other places that had two floors and no basement. This was the nicest place but we’re still kicking ourselves.

Cutting spree

April 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m nervous about starting a costume that’s for this summer’s cosplay because it seems like such a big project. Remember the fabric I bought at Vogue Fabrics? Well, that one blue material…

is gonna be prepped so I can make a corset. In the meantime, the heavy twill I also bought is going to help me practice my corsetmaking skills, which you know are being developed.

Problems I had with the corset:

The grommets are really hard to get into a straight line. Unless you’re anal, you, like me, will have to take several breaks while drawing where the grommets will go.

Definitely use topstitching thread and, depending on your fabric, a 100/16 topstitching needle. You’ll have to go online to buy some and make sure you get a bunch so you don’t start crying in the middle of your project, having broken every last needle. Yah, I’ve been there.

There’s more that I learned from making this corset but I want to dedicate an entire post on it. One of my friends also suggested to do a sew-along. If you’re interested in making a corset with me, leave me a comment.

Back to overall costume chat.

I’m also working on the undergarments for this costume which include the chemise, drawers from this pattern:

To start this, I need to pull out the fabric and iron it and the pattern pieces, pin, cut, and repeat until everything is cut out and ready for me. Or, I could just work on one at a time. This indecision is just one of many concerning this project. I have a book that has patterns, or really, instructions on how to draft your own pattern using an apportioning scale.

Can you see my face go white? I’m a little out of my element here but I’m just going to keep plugging along. At least I can keep talking about it. That’s probably good.

I have a Pod to make for some friends who just had a baby so I’m sure I’ll work on that before actually getting much started on the chemise and other undergarments.

Wish me luck.

And do let me know whether you’d like to join in a Corset Sew Along. If you’ve never participated in a sew along, it’s just a way to work on a project with help along the way.

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