Friday, 6 February 2009

Making a Fitted Nappy (Diaper) from the Rita's Rump Pocket Diaper Pattern

For this nappy I am using the Rita's Rump Pocket Diaper pattern (, but adapting it to make a fitted nappy instead of a pocket. I've worked out my own pattern for the inner soaker pad, which I also use to make lay-in doublers for heavy-wetting babies.

To make this nappy you will need -
Just over half a yard of flannel fabric.
Half a yard of microfibre fabric (or a couple of microfibre cloths, or half a yard of terry towelling...).
Some elastic.
A sewing machine - preferably with a straight stitch and a 3-step zigzag stitch but any sewing machine will do!

You can add poppers (snaps) or Velcro/Aplix, but I'm not showing how to do that today. This nappy will be fastened with a pin or a Snappi.

1 - Cut around the nappy body pattern from your outer fabric (mine is a patterned cotton flannel), adding an extra half inch all the way around. This doesn't have to be perfect.

You may notice that I have cut out an inner soaker pad shape too, to use as the top of the matching doubler It fits well below the wing of the nappy ... economising on fabric. I usually cut the remnant from the other side into an oval shape, stitch it to some terry fabric and use it as a matching wipe.

2 - Cut out another piece exactly the same from the fabric you want to use for your inside layer. I'm using some lovely soft cream flannel.

Cut out 3 layers of microfibre for the nappy's inner soaker pad, and two or three for the doubler if you're making it. You can work out a shape that suits you, or use mine... the 2 PDF files containing the pattern are here. and

3 - Place the paper pattern centrally onto the wrong side of your inside layer and weight it down.
Draw around the edge, making sure you mark where the elastic will begin and end (triangles on the pattern), and the long gap at the top for turning.

4 - Place the three layers of microfibre centrally on the wrong side of the inner layer.
If your sewing machine has a 3-step zigzag stitch, like stitch C on my machine ...
... select it now. Stitch around the edge of the soaker pad, making sure you sew through all three layers.

When you turn your nappy inner over now it should look like this.
5 - Take your elastic. I usually use clear elastic for nappies, but braided elastic works really well with this pattern. Here I have some ordinary quarter-inch elastic from the local sewing shop. Do not cut the elastic yet!
Put the elastic on your nappy inner fabric, on the outside of the drawn line - actually in the seam allowance. Make sure about an inch of elastic is before the elastic start mark that you drew in step 3. Keep your sewing machine on the 3-step-zigzag stitch. Starting at the elastic start mark, stitch in reverse for an inch, then forwards for an inch, without stretching the elastic or fabric. This anchors your elastic in place.

6 - Make sure your needle is down in the fabric before you do the next bit! Pull your elastic hard and keep it stretched as hard as you can while you sew along it, keeping the elastic just outside the drawn line on your fabric. Do not stretch or pull the fabric as you do this.
When you reach the elastic finish mark at the other end of the nappy, stop. Don't stretch the elastic. Sew one more inch, then sew backwards for one inch, to anchor this end of the elastic well.

Cut off the excess elastic.

7 - Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the other side.

Your nappy should now look roughly like this.
8 - Place your nappy inner and nappy outer right-sides together and pin them together, stretching the elastic as you do, so that both sides are pinned together correctly.
9 - Change to a straight stitch on your sewing machine. Stitch along the drawn line on your nappy inner, stretching the elastic as you go past it, and making sure that you do NOT catch any of the elastic in your stitching. I sew slightly inside the drawn line as I go past the elastic. Remember not to sew the gap at the top!!

Your nappy should now look like this.
10 - Trim the seams around the corners and past the elastic, fairly close to the stitching. Do not trim along the top (the back of the nappy) or you'll make it very difficult to stitch together!
11 - Turn your nappy the right way round by pushing it through the open gap. Make sure you push all the curves out neatly
Your nappy should now look like this.
12 - Nearly finished!! You need to close the gap at the top. Fold the edges inside and pin them together neatly. Starting at the top left, stitch all around the edge of the nappy. For most of the nappy you stitch very close to the edge. When you get to the elastic, do not stitch close to the edge. Move inwards, stretch the elastic and sew along the nappy just inwards from where the elastic is. This creates a nice little channel for the elastic and gives a lovely neat finish to the leg edges.

13 - Sew your ends of thread in and admire your new nappy!

To make the matching doubler, place your flannel layer and microfibre layers right-sides together. Stitch around the edges, leaving a gap at one end. Turn the right way in. Fold the edges of the gap in and pin. Stitch all around the edges.


  1. Guess I better start learning how to make these! After all, I hate throwing away money on diapers. And these are so much cuter than the cloth diapers I used to put my kids in way too long ago. I thank you for this great tutorial that you've given all of us on how to make them. I just have one question--how can you--or do you--waterproof them to keep them from soaking through onto sheets, your own clothing, blankets, carpeting, etc.? ~Shelly~

  2. Hi Shelly! I'm glad you like it. These diapers need a waterproof wrap over the top, or you could knit a wool soaker to cover it. There are a lot of patterns for knitting wool soakers available online. I use mainly Motherease Airflow waterproof wraps.

  3. If you look at there is a wrap pattern for this specific diaper. You can also find a pattern for an AIO version (doesn't need a wrap) of this diaper at

  4. I am going to have a go at one of these once I have more time on my hands... right now we are renovating the kitchen and tiling the kitchen floor! ARGH!

  5. hi, wonderful tutorial.. i need to make some of these!

    i am planning to make a flannel outer layer and a layer of plastic inside, so i can put plain diaper cloth (folded up) inside -like a doubler. i do not use the dryer,so i need the stuffing as thin as can be.

    i change her as soon as it gets wet, since we stay at home all the time. i will post on my blog when i make it..

    thanks for the idea and tutorial.