Fitted Multi-size Diaper with Pocket-- a Tutorial

It's finally here!!!

This is a tutorial for a multi-size fitted diaper with the top left open, so you can stuff it inside itself to adjust the rise for smaller babies.

I LOVE this fabric!

A few notes:

  • I call this "multi-size" instead of one-size, because I'm not sure how small it fits. I started making these for my son when he was 19 pounds, so I'd love to hear how this works for smaller babes!
  • This diaper is not waterproof, so you will need a separate cover to make it so. However, if you like to go coverless around the house or practice EC, this diaper is fabulous all by itself!
  • I don't know how this works for heavy wetters or over the course of many hours, because I like to change my son just as soon as he gets wet. But, the nice thing is that you can stuff this diaper with an extra insert if you need to!
  • You may also have to experiment with the placement and size of the Snappi grips to accommodate your individual baby.

What you need:

-Flannel (at least 3/4 of a yard in length). If you want different prints for the inside and outside, you will need at least 3/4 yard of each.
-An old bath towel (the more plush and absorbent, the better!)
-Elastic (I like to use 1/4"-thick for the legs, and 1/2" for the back waist, but 1/4" all around will work just fine)
-Paper grocery bag for making the pattern
-Safety pin (not pictured, whoops!)
-Optional: a washcloth to use as a Snappi grip (I use the cheapy Wal-Mart ones). Unfortunately, flannel isn't that great at holding a Snappi, so unless you plan on using pins, you'll want to add this.


You can trace a diaper you already have, or find a pattern on the web. I used this pattern from this tutorial for a starting point, and tweaked it. I added 1/2 inch to the top for wider tabs (3" instead of 2.5"), and at the other end, I made the diaper stop tapering 3" from the top, for easier stuffing.

If you use the pattern I used, it's helpful to make the piece from a paper grocery bag. For a symmetrical piece, I recommend folding the paper in half, and measuring/tracing/cutting half of the pattern on the fold.


From the outer flannel print:
-One diaper piece from pattern

From the inner flannel print:
-One diaper piece from pattern

After you cut a diaper piece, you should have a small piece of fabric left over like this:

Save it, because you will need to use it later.

From the terry cloth:
-One 13" x 4" piece (I like to round the corners a bit, but you can just leave it square if you'd like)

From the washcloth, if you want Snappi grips:
One 5" x 2.5" piece
Two 3" x 2.5" pieces
I like to cut the corners on these to make folding easier.

If you are going to attach some terry cloth for Snappi grips, now's the time to attach the front piece! I'm still figuring out the best size and placement, but here's what I have so far. Take your 5" x 2.5" piece, fold each side under 1/2 inch (If you want to make it easier, you can sew those edges down before pinning to the diaper front), and fasten to your outer diaper piece-- about 4 inches down from the front top, down the center.

With a straight stitch, sew 1/4 inch from the edge. Then, using a zigzag stitch, sew right on the edge.


Pin the your 14" x 4" towel piece to the wrong side of your diaper inner piece. I like to position it about 4 inches from the front top so I can stuff the finished diaper further into itself. Using a straight stitch, sew 1/4 inch from the edge, with the presser foot as your guide.

Remember that scrap of fabric you saved? Pull that out and lay it over the soaker, covering it as best as you can. (Ideally, you want to use the scrap from whichever flannel print is lightest, but for the sake of instruction, I am using the ladybug print, wrong side up, so you can see better). Using your sense of touch as a guide, pin the flannel to the terry cloth, making an outline of the soaker.

Here, the pins are outlining one end of the soaker

Turn the diaper inner over, so that the right side faces you. Using a zigzig stitch, and using the presser foot as a guide, sew along the outside of the straight stitch you just made.

Being careful not to cut the diaper inner, trim the excess fabric off the soaker.


Some diaper tutorials instruct you to sew the elastic directly to the diaper. I've tried this before, and it compromises the elastic's stretchiness big-time! It also makes replacing the elastic next to impossible. So, we will be sewing leg casings instead.

Place both diaper pieces right sides together, and sew 1/2 inch seam along the back and sides, leaving the front top and tab sides open. Turn right-side-out, and press.

Starting about an inch from the diaper tab curve, sew a 5/8" seam, ending about 4 inches from the front top (where the diaper pattern straightens out). Sew another 5/8" seam along the top back, beginning and ending about 3" from the ends of the tabs.

The pins mark where to begin and end the seams.


Attach the safety pin to one end of the elastic.

Using the safety pin as a grip, thread the elastic up through the leg casing until it's clear of the end of the casing seam.

The safety pin is up at the top, near the diaper tab

Sew across the elastic near the pin. Because I am slightly OCD, I like to make two separate seams about 1/8" apart, sewing and reversing a few times on each. That elastic ain't goin' anywhere!

Holding your new seam, pull the elastic until it's taut, but keep your diaper body straight and unpuckered. If I had another set of hands, I'd show you what I mean. :-(  Pinch the elastic at the front top, and pin into place.

Make another seam (or seams) at that end of the leg casing. Clip off the excess elastic. Hooray, you're done with one leg!

Repeat for the other leg and back.


Turn the diaper inside-out again and close up the diaper tab seams.

At the diaper front top, turn under 1/4 inch and press. Turn under again (somewhere between 1/4" and 1/2") and press again. Pin into place, and stitch all around. Since I have kind of a love affair with the zigzag stitch, that's what I used, but you could just as easily use a straight stitch.


Take one of the 3" x 2.5" pieces of terry cloth. Fold and attach to a diaper tab, the same way you attached the front Snappi grip. You may need to play around with the placement to suit your baby, but here is where I place mine for my 20+ pound chunky baby:

Repeat for the other tab.

Congratulations, you made a fitted diaper!

I love the nice, deep, poo-catching pocket it forms inside. I have never had one of these diapers leak yet!

To shorten the rise, you can stuff it inside itself...

And it will fit a smaller baby!


So, what gives? I have a baby boy, and yet this diaper is clearly for a girl! Well, I don't want to giveaway any answers, but you will want to check back for a special post soon! :-D

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