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!

Colour Block Nappy (Diaper) Cover

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To make these gorgeous nappy covers I used a free pattern from ‘Made’.  You can follow this link to see her tutorial and free pdf pattern.  The blue one was made using Dana’s instructions but I made a few changes to create the colour block version.

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When I made the blue version I didn’t like the raw edges left on the side seams and crotch seam.  So I zigzagged those to prevent fraying, you could overlock too but the seam allowance was very small at the crotch (1/4”).

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So I decided for the colour block version I would French seam these seams for a neater finish.   I also used French seams in this dress if you want to check them out!

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Would you believe this is inside out?  Looks pretty neat and tidy right?

What you’ll need

  • Fabric – I used remnants I had left over from other projects
  • Bias Binding 1 metre (roughly 40”) half for each leg hole
  • Elastic – I used 3mm width for legs & 1cm for the waist.  The lengths vary on the size you are making.  Check the pattern.
  • Sewing Machine (no overlocker needed!)
  • Thread and usual tools

 

Step 1 – Pattern

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Print and prepare your pattern as normal on all but the fold edge.  You will need to add 1cm (3/8”) to the fold measurement for seam allowance.  For a little more room for the french seams you could add 1.27cm (1/2”).

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This is what both pieces should look like!

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*NOTE:  For the regular covers you can fold the extra edge over and use the same pattern

 

Step 2 – Cut Fabric

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Lay your two different fabrics on top of each other, with the wrong sides facing each other.  That way you can cut both pieces at once, and they will be ready to sew the first seam too.

 

Step 3 – Sew Centre Seam

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Sew the centre seam (straight edge) with a narrow seam allowance.  I used 1/8” (sorry metric users my machine has imperial measurements on it!).

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Then press the seam so it looks like this.  The fabric will now be right sides facing each other.  I press the seam to one side and then fold over the other side.  but as long as it looks like above it doesn’t matter how you get there!

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Sew this with a seam allowance a bit larger than the first seam, so that it encases the first seam totally.  Now you can just press it flat, it will generally want to go one way over the other so roll with it.

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Here is the post pressing view.  Now just repeat for the other half, making sure you use the same seam allowance again otherwise they won’t match at the bottom.

 

Step 4 – Sew Crotch

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I have pinned my two pieces right way around and trimmed off the tabs.  We won’t be needing those as we are using bias on the leg holes.

French seam this in the same way.  This has very little in the way of seam allowance so keep it a small seam.

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Step 5 – Sew Side Seams

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Again have your nappy cover right way round and pin the sides in place.  I have trimmed of the tabs on this end too.

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Once the seam is finished the two layers probably won’t line up perfectly.  Don’t panic will fix that now!

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You can see I have just trimmed the long side a little.

 

Step 6 – Line the Leg Openings with Bias

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I did this a little differently than Dana, mainly because that is how I have done it many times so it was quicker for me!  It is a similar technique as in the Capped Sleeves Tutorial if you would like a more detailed explanation.

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To join the bias  fold over the end of the bias by about 1cm (3/8”) place this folded edge so it lines up with the crotch seam.  Then start sewing from this point right around.  You can see that in the left photo.  Then trim the left over bias so it overlaps a little and sew over it to hold it in place (right photo).

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Now fold the elastic inside the bias and pin in place.  Leaving a 5cm (2”) opening at the start.  I don’t trim the elastic to size till after I have sewn the casing.  I f you want use the measurement from the pattern you could mark it with a pen, and cut on that mark once you have pulled it through.  I compared it to the first blue pair I made to gauge the size.

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Make sure your pins are catching both layers of the binding, you need to be sure you are sewing both layers.  Sew the bias closed (leaving the gap), nice and close to the edge of the binding, you don’t want to catch the elastic.

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Now you can pull the elastic through to the desired size.  You can see I leave a pin in at the short end so I don’t pull it through!

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Here it is all gathered up.  You can trim off the excess elastic and sew it together.  I just overlap the two ends and zigzag over it a few times.

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Pull your elastic in to the binding by stretching the leg hole open, and fold the binding over the join to close the gap you had left.  Again pin in place and sew as before.

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That is one leg done, one more to go!

 

Step 7 – Label (Optional)

I really liked how Dana had her label on the outside of her Nappy Cover so I added one too.  I would do this now before adding elastic to the waist!

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Step 8 – Waistband

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Fold over by  1/4” and press, then again by 1/2” and press.  Then sew in place leaving a 1” gap to insert the elastic.  Insert the elastic and sew the gap closed.

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Woo hoo you are finished!  Now just a few more smaller ones for all the little babies this summer!