Getting More Life Out of A Prefold

I know this week’s Works for Me is supposed to be recipes.  But I’ve got something great that I really want to share.  Lately, I’ve watched my daughter’s prefold diapers get smaller and smaller.  Nope, they’re not shrinking–she’s just growing a lot!  We do use some pocket diapers, but we mainly use prefolds and covers.  And the snappis are barely able to reach around her any more.  If you have a younger baby, then you could pass the small diapers down to them, and then buy a new stash of larger prefolds.  That’s what a lot of people do.  But I don’t have a younger baby to give them to.  Plus, Isabella is 15 months, and I just don’t feel like she’d get her money’s worth on new diapers before we started to work on potty training.

So, I wanted to share my latest creation that works really well for me and for my daughter, Isabella.  I’ve been using my too small prefolds to make contour diapers.  They’re really simple to make–they hardly take any time at all–and you can make them for free if you have the material at home.  If not, just buy some fabric remnants for really cheap.

 The diaper has a custom fit that is wonderful!

The first thing you have to do to sew these diapers is to make the pattern.  I followed these instructions to make custom sized diapers.  However, I wanted Isabella’s diapers to have plenty of growing room, so I added an inch to the measurements.  Also, I made the width of the crotch 6″–which is perfect.  I don’t think it could really be any narrower on her.  To figure out what crotch size is best for your baby, pick out their best-fitting pocket or AIO or cover, and measure the crotch.

According to the instructions for making the pattern, she has the complete diaper pattern and she lays in on the fabric.  I cut my pattern in half length wise and lay it on the fabric fold to ensure that I end up with a perfectly symmetrical cut.

Once I have the pattern finished, I choose the fabric.  You could use diaper gauze or cotton or fleece for the outside–really whatever you want.  I used what I had on hand–Bella’s old flannel blankets.  They were well used and some of them were stained or had the seams coming off.  That’s perfect for use on a diaper! 🙂

So, you’ll need two cuts of fabric–one for the inside that will touch your baby’s bottom.  And one for the outside that people might see.  Like I said, I used flannel for both.  You’ll cut the fabric using the pattern. 

And then, you’ll use the pattern and cut the prefold.  Chances are, that if your prefold is too small, that the pattern will be way too big for the prefold.  That’s okay.  Just center it on the prefold and then cut what you can!

Once you have all three layers cut out, it’s time to pin together!  You put the two fabric pieces (in my case, the flannel) right sides together.  And then you put the cut prefold on top, making sure to center it well.  Then you pin them all together. 

After I finished pinning together, I followed these great instructions for making a top-stitched diaper.  You’ll need a couple lengths of elastic for the legs, and one for the back.  From here, just follow the instructions until you end up with a finished diaper!!

I have made two of these diapers in my free time this week.  With one of them, I sewed velcro closures on it.  That worked great.  In fact, I bet it will be easy for the church nursery workers to change Isabella’s diapers now!  The second one I made is the one shown in the pictures.  Because I used flannel, the snappi works great with it.  Honestly, I think that’s the kind I’m going to make on the rest of them!

So, because the diaper has the prefold in the middle, it still has all the absorbency that you would expect from a prefold (plus some, since it has the extra layers of fabric!)  But, because it has the extra tabs and length in the rise, it will fit your child really well!  Isabella’s worked just beautifully.  It fits her great, since it was custom made, and we’ve had no leaks with it.  I really think that these diapers will last until she is potty trained.  And remember, of course, you do still need to have a cover with these.

The completed diaper held together with a snappi

Finally, I was thinking that this pattern would be REALLY EASY to modify to turn into a pocket diaper or an AIO.  Just use PUL fabric on the outside and add extra absorbency inside.  Just let your imagination run wild!  It works for me, and I hope it helps you, too!

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3 Responses to “Getting More Life Out of A Prefold”

  1. Adena Says:

    This is awesome. I am going to send this to my sister. Her baby is just a few weeks old and is having a reaction to disposables.

  2. Wife and Mommy Says:

    Awesome! I’d love to be able to convert my prefolds to contours. Wish I could sew.

  3. Sarah Says:

    Great post! Love the idea!

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