Sewing "fancy" Prefolds, faux prefitted, and wool/fleece pull-on cover directions! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-22-2007, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I had posted pics of my "fancy" prefolds I made on the regular diapering site to encourage those women who like to sew that it was easy and cheaper to make your own. Well I have had such a huge positive response, I wanted to go ahead and post info here too. Youdon't need a serger for any of this, but just a super basic machine with a straight-stitch and zigzag. You can buy velour at Joann's, but cotton sherpa must be ordered on-line. The fleece and wool for the pull-on wool covers can be bought anywhere locally (just use one-layer non-pill fleece or recycled wool/cashmere sweater). I use stretchrite elastic found locally also. And you don't need closures on ANY of this stuff, just pins or snappis. Anyone can sew any of this stuff with just the most basic training!

Here are the pics of the dyed sherpa infant PFs:

I am a huge fan of the luxury stretchy PFs, but I could not justify the expense so I learned to make my own and they have held up great. I don't use organics since I am cheap and too lazy to order any, but I am very happy with the fabric I have purchased. My infants are cut 11.5 by 13.5 and they end up the same size as infant CPFs once sewn. My soaker is 4.5 inches wide.

I love sherpa 2-3-2 or sherpa one side/velour the other side 2-3-2 with sherpa as the inner. I order the 91% cotton natural sherpa from and it is really really nice and stays soft as long as I dry it in the dryer. I get velour from (she also has high cotton sherpa but I have never ordered it from her so I can't say how it is). Both Diapercuts and Sewzannes have great fabric and wonderful customer service. I also noticed that has sherpa and velour at great prices and she is supposed to have excellent customer service and promptly has returned every email I have sent to her, even on the weekend! I might order from her next.

BTW, you can keep sherpa from getting crunchy if you don't get detergent buildup (just add a fabric softener like Calgon every once in a while if they feel a bit stiff and you have medium to hard water) and if you dry at least a bit in the dryer. I have medium to hard well water and my sherpa is super soft as long as I dry it in the dryer. I have sherpa PFs that I have been using for 2 years that are still very nice (better than my CPFs and IPFs). If I line dry I toss them when finished into the dryer on air dry and 3 tennis balls. This softens them up quite nicely. Velour is almost always soft so it is not an issue.

I order the white velour (80% cotton) or natural sherpa and dyed it using a tie-dye kit from Walmart. I did some low water immersion dying and the regular tie-dyed and loved them all. Here is a protocol for the low water immersion: 97689 I prefer muted soft colors so I use less dye than suggested and the shortest time. In fact, one tie-dye kit has lasted me for over a year and I have dyed tons of fabric. Now I noticed that many stores are stocking a one-step tie-dye kit which will not work with the low water immersion technique, so that is something to think about if you buy one. I have also used Dylon dye that is in the little packets at fabric stores and Walmart and it works great too if you want solid colors.

So this is what I do. I measure my CPFs or IPFs and use those approx. measurements. However, my sherpa/velour PFs will fit longer since my ds always outgrows the waist before the rise, so since they stretch they fit forever. Plus sherpa and velour are so easy to pin it is ridiculous. It is like sliding a pin through warm butter. Sherpa is the ideal outer if you want to snappi.

1. I cut my outer and inner fabric piece about 1/2 inch bigger than I want since I will faux serge them and cut off the excess to straighten. I cut the soaker pad the same width as the soakers in my other PFs, but make it longer than the PF (so I catch the ends in my faux serging).

2. I sew the soaker down the middle of the wrong side of the inner fabric (with the ends hanging over), first using a wide long zig zag stitch down the middle, and then zigzagging along both the sides, leaving the ends open (since the soaker is extended past the inner fabric). Then I put the outer fabric on bottom (wrong sides of inner and outer together, with the soaker internal) and pin and then do a straight stitch over the zigzagged stitch where the soaker is so the outer fabric will be attached to the soaker completely too (so you will see zigzag and straight stitch on your inner fabric, and a straight stitch on the outer fabric). I then turn the diaper over and do a straight stitch about 1/4 - 3/8 inch or so around the entire PF on the outer dyed fabric and trim the excess fabric off close to the stitch, curving the corners. Then I do a medium close zigzag stitch all around covering the bare edges. At first your PF will look like it is curling, but once you wash it it should be fine.

I sometimes use velour as the inner fabric because it stays soft wash after wash and is pretty, but I also love sherpa on both sides since it grips the poop (and it stays pretty soft too). But I hate sewing with velour since it curls so much. Both fabrics don't have to be finished so much at the ends unlike wovens, so the straight stitch/zigzag stitch should make it through at least one kid. And once you wash it it looks really nice and professional (if you cut the fabric nicely before zigzagging it).

Since both sherpa and velour are approx 60 inch wide fabric you can get a decent amount of them out of a yard of fabric. I have also used other things for the soakers like cotton interlock and flannel, but I usually use sherpa since I am lazy and I am cutting it anyway. I can easily get 5 infant PFs out of one yard of sherpa (sometimes I have to piece the sherpa to make the soaker pad, but that is not a problem since it saves me fabric).

So it might be a tad bit cheaper to buy IPFs or CPFs, but it does not cost much more to make the stretchy PFs, and if you buy them they are outrageously expensive. My ds is wearing one right now I made for him when he was approx. 6 months old, and it still fits at 2.5 years old. Plus the sherpa and sherpa/velour absorbs so much and seems so much more trim since it is stretchy. I reach for them before my other PFs. You can also make velour/velour PFs, but I find velour a bit more hot here in the summer so I stick mostly with sherpa on at least one side.

Any other questions (or if any of this does not make sense), please just PM me, I am glad to help. I am so excited that there are other Mom's out there that love to sew.

If you want to check out a great message board go to the Diaper Sewing Divas.

The moms are so sweet there and they have such great ideas on sewing.

Oh, if you want to brave elastic but still want the flexibility of the fit of PFs and don't want to bother about sewing on closures (like Aplix) or don't have a snap press, then I have the perfect solution for you. 97689

I call these faux prefitted diapers. They are made of sherpa (I dyed the outers using the low water immersion) but they don't have closures so they can be folded down in the front like a PF (and are more adjustable), but they do have elastic. I wanted to sew some prefitted diapers out of PFs, but I prefer sherpa ones and did not want to cut any of those up. So instead I modified the pocket fitted diaper to be a 2-3-2 fitted (like my PFs), and I added elastic to the legs and back (I modified how I did that so the legs and waist would roll in to catch all poop and pee) and did not add any closures. Unfortunately I have no baby to try this small diaper on, but I sent one to my sis who had a baby 3 weeks ago and is 9 pounds (I am about to have my baby so I could not visit...). It fit perfectly! It fits great folded down right now, but once Leila grows she has more rise left and she is pinning the wings together right now so with one pin (or a snappi) so plenty of waist room. This should fit longer than an infant PF since the wings are longer and stretchier.

And I am also making pull-on fleece/wool shorties using this free pattern:

Made as is (except I cut the crotch a bit more narrow) with fleece or a nice soft wool/cashmere sweater it makes a great pull-on that fits 10 months or earlier to over 2 years! They are similar to Luxe covers, but more like shorties than panties. So I prefer them. I shrunk the pattern to 80% the size and used waist and leg measurements I found on WAHM sites and made a newborn cover and it fits my niece perfectly now, but does not have much growing room. I think if I make it 90% the size it should fit infants until 6 months or so. This is the easiest pattern ever and does not need elastic, thus no red marks. And I use one layer of cheap fleece yet it works great.

Those are pics when my ds was really young, but he still wears them to this day! And here is a pair of cashmere ones I made the same time and he was wearing last week:

OK, I know, too much info! I just love to share since I am having so much fun sewing (I basically taught myself on the Darling Diaper patterns).

Don't hesitate to PM me with any questions! And remember, even though you are not buying your ready made diapers from a WAHM, you are helping support the great ones out there who sell such wonderful fabric!
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#2 of 7 Old 04-22-2007, 04:21 PM
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Wow! What a lot of great info!

I wanted to add another resource to this for making prefolds:

I've used this method and it's great because all you have to do is cut a long strip of fabric and fold it over in specific places a couple of times to make your soaker. The instructions only use one set of measurments (for a premium, I think), but they can easily be adjusted to smaller prefolds.

I'm hoping to make some bamboo prefolds soon, since I can't seem to find any to buy! I should have just decided to make them myself in the first place, but I was looking for the 'easy' way out....

Thanks again!
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#3 of 7 Old 04-23-2007, 11:53 AM
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Great info! Thanks
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#4 of 7 Old 04-23-2007, 12:29 PM
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I love that Wee Weka knickers pattern (which you suggested to me, Amber--thanks!). I do add a little rise to the pattern, though, to make sure the knickers are big enough to go over the prefolds. (Otherwise I get the prefold hanging out the top of the back waistband.)

Thanks for this info. I'll be trying it out!
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#5 of 7 Old 04-23-2007, 10:39 PM
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Thanks for all the great info - and for taking the time to write it all down!
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#6 of 7 Old 04-27-2007, 04:04 PM
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oops. nm.
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#7 of 7 Old 04-27-2007, 08:48 PM
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Those are so beautiful! We don't use prefolds, but I have been having so much fun sewing my own diapers (pictures coming in a few minutes in a new thread) and your instructions are so great that I might have to try the prefolds!

Originally Posted by amberthesugarcat View Post
I also noticed that has sherpa and velour at great prices and she is supposed to have excellent customer service and promptly has returned every email I have sent to her, even on the weekend! I might order from her next.
Jeanne of The Covered Caboose is my SIL. She does indeed have great customer service, and is a really nice woman.....but don't tell her I told you that!

Jessica, wife of Marc and Momma to Nikolai (10) and Nathaniel (9) and Olivia (3).
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