Toddler Stretch Nappy (Diaper) Cover

With all the scorching summer weather we’ve been having a little person I know has been spending all her time in nappy covers.  One was getting a little snug around the waist so time to whip up a new one!  Instead of the woven cotton diaper cover I made with the french seams, I wanted to make a comfy lightweight stretch one.
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I based my design on a pair she had with the legs openings on the front of the cover.  It looks a little odd but if you picture a crawling baby their legs are out the front!  It also makes a great shape for plenty of nappy room.
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It was rather difficult to get a picture of the little miss in these…sitting still is not her strong point!
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But I managed to get one from the back while she played with my car keys!  What is it with babies and car keys?  Sadly all the other photos were blurry!  I will have to try and catch her in better light the next time I see her!


What you will need

  • Stretch Fabric – You don’t need much, I like to use the cut pattern piece as a size guide when I look through my scrap fabric drawer!
  • Elastic – 3/4” (2cm) wide by 17” (43cm) long.  Mine was super stretchy so you can use a little more if you need to.
  • Ribbing for leg openings – 1 1/2” (4cm) wide by 9” (23cm)
  • Overlocker (optional but easier!)
Note: This nappy cover is sewn using a 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance unless otherwise stated.


Step 1 – Print PDF & Cut Pieces

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It really is very simple!  The pattern piece is the same for the front and the back, you just cut the leg openings out of one (the front) piece.  You will also need to cut the two pieces of ribbing and the elastic to length.


Step 2 – Attatch Ribbing

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You will need to stretch the ribbing gently as you go, you will end up with roughly half an inch extra ribbing at either end.  This will help make it easier to sew and can be trimmed off later on.
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Sew with the right sides facing each other using a small zigzag stitch.  I find it much easier to sew with the ribbing underneath, that way you can keep an eye on all the gathers to make sure they don’t fold double underneath!
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It should look a little like this!
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Fold the ribbing around the main fabric as shown in the photos above and pin in place.
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Again using a small zigzag stitch (or a double needle looks and works great if you have one!) sew close to the edge of the ribbing closest to the main fabric (photo above).
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Trim off the excess ribbing on the inside of the near the seam but not so close that it pulls out or you cut the stitching!


Step 3 – Close Leg Openings

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Now that you have the leg openings bound in ribbing it is time to close the end.
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With the right sides facing each other, I like to overlock these two together.  You can sew using zigzag if you don’t have one!
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Now you want it to sit nice and flat so it doesn’t dig into chubby little legs!  Tuck the excess overlock thread in underneath the fold.
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I prefer to hand stitch this step that way you can’t see  it from the right side.  Starting at the raw edge of the ribbing stitch the two layers together all the way to the finished edge of the leg opening and back again for extra strength.
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There we are much better!  Repeat on the other side.
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Step 4 – Sew front and back together

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Pin the front and back layers together, if you are using striped fabric make sure to line them up!  Start by pinning the sides together and work your way around the bottom.  Spread any gather on the back side evenly along the bottom edge.
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Overlock (or zigzag) right the way around.  Nearly there!!


Step 5 – Add Waistband

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Join the elastic and pin place spreading the gather evenly.  I have a tutorial with the full instructions for joining the elastic and pinning this style waistband here.  Just skip the overlocking first step!
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I have worked out that you can overlock and join the elastic all in one step!
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And there it is, now is a great time to tack that label in place if you want to add one.
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Fold over the band and pin the seams in place first.  Then stretch the area between the two pins to spread the gather and pin the centre in place (another example in the link for the elastic above).
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Sew with a regular zigzag stitch over top of the overlocking stretching as you go.
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Don’t do what I did and forget to check what colour stripe is on the back!  A little unpicking is always fun…but it definitely looks better after I changed the bobbin thread to black!
There you are all finished!  Enjoy all the chubby baby cuteness!

2 thoughts on “Toddler Stretch Nappy (Diaper) Cover

    1. Hi Georgina, a two way (or 4 way as some call it) stretch would be best. That being said I haven’t made one out of one way stretch so it could work. If you do try it you might like to add a little height at the waist especially for cloth nappies/diapers. Good luck!

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