Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Recycled t-shirt diaper





Hello and welcome! After looking at the entry and exit pages for my blog I found this page is the one that most people view. I decided to update this entry with a new tutorial for making a recycled t-shirt diaper that reflects how I make the little guys diapers now. For a turned and stitched version of this diaper see my post on the red velvet recycled diaper. Instructions on how to make a turned and stitched diaper are in the newborn ai2 diaper tutorial post. The original post is included below also so feel free to scroll down and check it out. The little guy is now a toddler and I have made a lot of diapers for him since I wrote the original post. Hemp fabric is still my favorite choice for making diapers, but I also love using thrift store t-shirts. The following diaper was made entirely out of a t-shirt with the exception that I added a layer of synthetic micro fleece to line the diaper. This is entirely optional and the whole diaper can be made from the t-shirt. The diaper style is front opening pocket with a separate insert. I started making pocket diapers for my little one a while back because I found like many others that they dry quickly and are very practical since you can add extra layers. So on to the new tutorial.

Instructions for pocket t-shirt diaper

Diaper pattern can be downloaded in three pdf files.
nvpockdiap1
nvpockdiap2
nvpockdiap3
The diaper can be made using a regular machine or serger. I used a regular machine and did a zig zag on the edges. It can also be turned and top stitched. The size of the diaper is medium to large and is a bit larger if you use a zig zag edge.

Materials: XL 100% cotton t-shirt and optional small piece of micro fleece for the liner. I also use hook and loop for the fasteners. Elastic for the legs and back.

1. With the pattern cut out the diaper back and front along with the insert using the t-shirt. Cut off the neckline and cut two pieces eight inch long for the front pocket opening. Cut a front insert using the sleeves and half of the insert pattern (four layers). Optional only, but you can add an applique to the back using scrap t-shirt fabric. Cut out the micro fleece liner using the pattern without the wings. This again is optional. You will also need elastic and hook and loop tape. I use 1.5 inch wide hook and loop and 3/8 inch elastic. The long loop piece is 8 inches and the smaller loop pieces are 1 inch. The hook pieces are 2 inches.



2. Sew the wings to the diaper outside. Sew the neckline facing to the front edge of the diaper. I use a three stitch zig zag. Sew the eight inch loop tape one inch down from the front edge.


3. Sew the wings to the diaper inside. Layer the diaper inside with the micro fleece fabric on top. If you decide not to use micro fleece then sew the wings to the diaper inside only. Sew the two inch hook tabs on on the wings. Sew the one inch laundry loop tabs near the hook tabs. Sew the other eight inch neckline facing to the front of the diaper inside.



4. Sew the elastic to the wrong side of the inside diaper piece at the leg openings and the back of the diaper. Use the guide on the pattern for placement of the elastic. I use a three stitch zig zag, but a regular zig zag will work also. Just make sure to pull the elastic very tightly as you sew.


5. Pin and Sew the inside and outside diaper fabric together with the rights sides facing outward. Zig zag around the entire diaper leaving the front pocket open for the insert. I use a three stitch zig zag, but regular is fine also. Sew the inside and outside diaper together along the elastic lines using a three stitch or regular zig zag. This creates a nice ruffle along the elastic on the outside of the diaper. You can also add a optional two inch piece of loop to the right front wing so the diaper wings can cross and give you wider size range.


6. Sew the four pieces of the long and short insert together and zig zag the edge. Place the short insert on top of the long insert in the desired location. I put it towards the front for my little guy. The insert will have four layers in the back and eight layers in the front. You can also add a layer or two of hemp fleece to increase the absorbency, but the cotton knit works pretty well also since you have ten layers total in the front wet zone. Stuff the insert in the diaper, add a cover and ready for use.






Below is the original t-shirt diaper post.




T-shirts are great for making diapers. It is a really inexpensive way to make a very fun diaper. I used a XL t-shirt from Chris that he got from a WNRN community radio fundraiser. I was able to get two diapers cut from one t-shirt. I added a layer of organic cotton fleece and a synthetic micro fleece liner, but other than that I used only t-shirt fabric. I made the diaper the same way as shown in the diaper tutorial and used the free pattern from Studio Tuumat. I did add extra circles of t-shirt fabric in front of the diaper to make a boy diaper. I figured it was a good use of the scrap fabric. I also extended the fleece portion throughout the inside of the diaper.

Instructions for t-shirt diaper

Materials: XL t-shirt for main body of the diaper. Organic cotton fleece for the soaker and synthetic fleece for the liner. I also use Velcro for the fasteners.


1. With the pattern cut out the diaper back and front using the t-shirt. Cut out one liner piece from the t-shirt and from organic cotton fleece. I round the edges for the liner. Cut out the shaped piece of fleece fabric for the inside. Cut out 4 inch circles from scrap pieces of the t-shirt. I used six layers total. You will also need elastic and Velcro. I use one inch wide Velcro and quarter inch elastic. The long loop piece is 8 inches and the smaller loop pieces are 1 inch. The hook pieces are 2 inches.


2. Pin the two layers of the liner to the wrong side of the inside fabric for the diaper. Sew and zig zag the liner to the inside fabric. Pin the six circle layers to the front. Sew and zig the circles to the inside fabric.



3. Turn over to the right side of the inside fabric and pin the fleece liner in place. Sew and zig zag the fleece liner to the inside fabric.

4. Sew the elastic to the wrong side of the inside diaper piece at the leg openings and the back of the diaper. Use the guide on the pattern for placement of the elastic. I use a three stitch zig zag, but a regular zig zag will work also. Just make sure to pull the elastic very tightly as you sew.

5. Pin and Sew the inside and outside diaper fabric together with the rights sides facing outward. Zig zag around the entire diaper. Sew the inside and outside diaper together along the elastic lines using a three stitch or regular zig zag. This creates a nice ruffle along the elastic on the outside of the diaper.


6. Sew the loop Velcro on the front of the diaper and the loop and hook Velcro on the wings. All done and ready for use.



32 comments:

Brandon and Jenny said...

Thank you so much for this! I have made 3 fitted diapers from t-shirts, but I couldn't figure out how to make a cute ruffled edge! Have you ever made this with an external snap in soaker (or just sewed in at the back) to make it quick dry?

Have you ever used pins or snappi with a t-shirt fitted? I was wondering which would be better. I live out of the country and it is really difficult for me to find quality supplies, including velcro. I may try to order some snap pliers from the states and try that!

Thanks so much for sharing!

Natural Violet said...

Hello! So glad the diapers are working for you. I really like the ruffle edge also. I am currently making pocket diapers using the same pattern and leaving the top open. I stuff it with a quick dry hemp insert. Works great and dries so much quicker! The snappi doesn't work so great with the knit fabric. I did see online that you can add a strip of terry cloth fabric instead of the velcro and then use a snappi. I haven't tried it, but I think it would work well.
take care!

Vanessa said...

This is awesome, I love the attention to detail. I would try it on my baby, but he's about to be done with diapers! I'll pass it on to my crafty mom friends however :)

Natural Violet said...

Vanessa - Thanks so much!!

knittingdragonflies said...

I'm linking to you for this, it is soooo cute.
Vicki
Excellent!

Dagmar said...

This is genius! I just tweeted about this and posted the link.

Aside from parenting and motherhood, breastfeeding and natural birth, I blog about recycling and green and frugal living on my blog, Dagmar's momsense. Come check it out sometime :)

http://DagmarBleasdale.com

Natural Violet said...

Thanks!!

Ginger Bergemann said...

Great idea. I just blogged about it at http://bigdreamsforasimplelife.blogspot.com/2010/08/getting-crafty-with-old-t-shirts.html

April said...

This is an awesome design. I tried making it yesterday and didn't know what to do with the neckline pieces. Also, does it matter what kind of 100% cotton tshirt used? I used one and it was the softer stretchier kind and it was huge?!

Di you use the kind that are thicker? ( I didn't use the thin, tissue type)! Also, what size baby do you reccomend this one for?

Thanks, April

Natural Violet said...

Hello April - Thanks so much! The diaper size is medium to large. I used a medium weight t-shirt with only a little stretch. It still fits my toddler who is 32 pounds and has a waist of about 20-21 inches. I used the neckline pieces to trim the front pocket for the diaper. You can also finish the pocket edge with a simple zig zag stitch. Hope this helps.

Elzette said...

Hi there would this diaper make a good swimming diaper? My youngest boy loves swimming and I'm looking for an idea to make some swimm nappies for him. He's turning one next week. Cute design

Natural Violet said...

Hello Elzette - This diaper would not work well for swimming, but I did make a swim diaper for Jonas last summer. The link is below. Swim diaper are for containing the solid matter only and don't need to be absorbent. Hope this helps.

http://naturalviolet.blogspot.com/2010/09/swim-diaper.html

Dave and Andrea said...

Do you just throw a t shirt on with these diapers? Or could you actually wear them under pants and be okay? Do you put a cover over them if not? I think this is super cute and looks fun to make :)

Dave and Andrea said...

Haha. Oops. I just saw the 'add a cover' part. :) Thanks again!

Natural Violet said...

Hi Andrea - Thanks so much! I do use a cover for the diapers. I typically use pul covers, but any covers work great.

jaime said...

its really a shame that they have to be covered, they r beautiful! i've found they r great conversation starters, tons of ppl still dont know anything about cloth diapers. i LOVE them personally :).

Natural Violet said...

Hi Jamie! Totally agree! Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Why even make them if you're going to cover them? Why not just make prefolds?

rachelspiegel said...

have you tried putting the t-shirt over PUL? like sewing in a layer of PUL so the outside is still cute? just wondering :)

Natural Violet said...

I have not tried putting the t-shirt over the pul. Sounds like a fun project. The newborn diapers that I made for my little guy were plain natural hemp since I figured they would be covered up anyway. However, I found it fun to make the colorful fitted diapers even if they were covered up. I don't have a lot of experience using prefolds. I have always used the fitted diapers.

Crys said...

I have tried the putting fabric over pul. Everything just wicks around to the outer fabric.

MarshaClements said...

When my grown children were babies, I made some diapers similar to these with flannel--they were wonderful! I bet the t-shirts are even better. I love the way you did these. If you just didn't have to wash them! I didn't know there were moms that still washed diapers!
What a way to save the earth!

MarshaClements said...

When my grown children were babies, I made some diapers similar to these with flannel--they were wonderful! I bet the t-shirts are even better. I love the way you did these. If you just didn't have to wash them! I didn't know there were moms that still washed diapers!
What a way to save the earth!

Carie Davis said...

Do you have to put a cover over this?

Carie Davis said...

Do you have to have a cover for this?

Natural Violet said...

Hello! Yes, you do need an cover for this diaper unless you add a waterproof layer to the outside.

Trish said...

Do you have a pull-up style pattern you use or recommend? This is a great tutorial. Thanks!

STacie said...

You could buy disppsable diapers in the right size and use it for a template/guide.

STacie said...

I thought it might be a good idea, and perhaps simpler, to just use traditional cloth diapers as the liner if you already have some.

Natural Violet said...

Hi Trish! I bought the Baby Steps EC Pants Pattern a year ago and used it to make training pants. It is a great pattern though very trim. It comes in sizes nb to xl.

t-shirts said...

These ideas are really awesome for making the t-shirts so cute..

Jamie Lynn said...

My Mom made me a ton of these when my kids were babies. I had 3 in diapers at the same time (twins) She used flannelette but I know she would have loved the recycled t-shirt idea. Thanks for sharing!