Homemade Cloth Diapers: Pocket Fitted Diapers & Covers

Do you have a baby in diapers? Is saving money important? Do you have access to a sewing machine and at least some sewing skills? If you answered yes to these questions then the diapers and covers I am about to show you are a great place to start when it comes to frugally cloth diapering your baby.

Cloth diapering can be as inexpensive or as expensive as your budget will allow. I have found that I really like sewing diapers and by doing so I have saved us quite a bit of money through the years.

Last week I shared with you how I make homemade cloth baby wipes. Today I wanted to show you some of the diapers and diaper covers I recently made out of fabrics in my stash.

I stitched up 5 flannel pocket diapers using the free Rita’s Rump Pocket diaper pattern. This is a one-sized diaper pattern that requires one diaper pin to fasten it. The great thing about flannel is that it can be found locally and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. I have even used flannel receiving blankets as a source of fabric for making these diapers.

The only notions required are elastic, scissors, and thread in addition to the flannel.

A pocket diaper is a diaper that you put an insert inside of. You can use a flat diaper, a pre-fold diaper, a microfiber towel, or even a receiving blanket like in the picture above.

I find these diapers to be trim, quick drying, and easy to use. They are probably my favorite type of diaper and fit small babies up to potty training toddlers.

Some people are afraid of diaper pins, but there really is no reason to be. I have never poked one of my children. I simply put one hand in between the diaper and my baby when I insert the pin into the diaper.

The best thing you can do to store diaper pins is to put them into a bar of soap. This helps them slide easily through thick layers of a diaper.

I recommend wrapping a piece of fabric around the bar of soap and pinning it in place on the bottom as I have done in the picture above.

Flannel pocket diapers are great, but you do need to use a cover over them unless it is summer and your baby is just in a diaper and T-shirt.

Years ago I purchased a pattern called the Mile High Monkey fleece cover pattern. I do not believe it is available any more, but there is a great free option you can try called Katrina’s Sew Quick Soaker Pattern.

The covers pictured on the right are made from fleece I had in my stash and the two on the left are made from 1 mm PUL that I purchased along with a fleece waistband and leg cuffs.

The beauty of a fleece cover like this is that the only material needed is fleece. The waistband and leg cuffs are made from fleece so you don’t even need elastic.  Plus, fleece covers can be washed and dried with your regular laundry, and you can even use fabric softener on them. Blankets are a great source of “free” fleece if purchasing fleece is not in the budget.

I have also made these covers from felted wool sweaters before, but they can’t be washed and dried with regular laundry. They also need to be lanolized which some might find to be a tedious step. However, if all natural fabrics are something you prefer then check out thrift stores or yard sales to find inexpensive wool sweaters to use for wool covers.

This cover is made from PUL which stands for polyurethane laminate. The nice thing about a PUL cover is that you don’t have to worry about your baby’s clothes having any wetness on them if they have a very wet diaper.

Unlike PUL, fleece covers breathe so there is a chance wetness could get on your baby’s clothes. That is why I add an additional fleece panel to the “wet zone” on fleece covers.

Sewing these types of diapers and covers yourself is extremely economical. Plus, you don’t have to have any special sewing skills.

Do you cloth diaper your baby? Have you ever used a pocket fitted diaper and cover combo? What do you like or dislike about this system?

  • Rachel E.

    Your diaper covers are so cute.  I like that you have spent time making your own.  I don’t know if mine would look as good.  

    I use Fuzzy Bunz.  I am not too happy with them but after spending the money, it doesn’t make sense to not use them.  I think the worst part of using cloth is the messy ones and cleaning them up, but it isn’t too hard to take care of it.

    • http://www.blessingsoverflowing.com/ Jackie

      Thank you, Rachel! I do enjoy sewing. 

      What about the Fuzzy Bunz don’t you like? Are they leaking? Have you tried stripping the diapers?

      • Rachel E.

        Jackie,

        Yes, they do tend to leak a lot.  I think I may have ruined the PUL in some when I rinsed them in the toilet.  I have noticed that there are leaks in the middle of the diapers.  However, my dissatisfaction is based on how many I had to return because of poor craftsmanship.  The elastic would come out of the seam.  I also don’t think they are as absorbent as they should be.  I feel as though I am constantly changing my daughter when it leaks from the legs.  I often go through three outfits in a day.  

        What do you mean by stripping?  I have heard of this before.  

        • http://www.blessingsoverflowing.com/ Jackie

          Rachel, here is some good information on stripping diapers. http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentbasics.htm#Stripping%20Diapers

    • Dawnshine77

      You should get a diaper sprayer!  It makes clean-up a breeze, you never have to touch the poop.  It’s similar to a kitchen sprayer, but it attaches to the line in to your toilet tank.  Simply hold the soiled diaper over the toilet and rinse the poop into the toilet.

      If your diapers are leaking, perhaps you need a booster (second insert)  My son is a very heavy wetter and I always have to use 2.  As a quick try, stuff one of your diapers with 2 inserts and see if it works better.  Make sure to change baby every couple of hours at least.

      If that doesn’t work, check to see if your inserts are soaking wet or barely wet.  If they’re barely wet it could be that the fleece on the inside of your diaper is repelling.  This can happen from detergent build-up or using fabric softener or diaper rash creams.  To get the build up off you can try scrubbing the white fleece with an old toothbrush and some blue Dawn dish detergent.

      Hope that helps!

      • Rachel E.

        Thanks  Dawnshine – I might just invest in a toilet sprayer.  I would just need to figure out a way to prevent other kids from spraying all over the bathroom.  

      • http://www.blessingsoverflowing.com/ Jackie

        Thank you so much for responding! I think you have given Rachel, and anyone else reading this, a lot of great ideas for dealing with PUL diapers leaking. 

  • Tiffany Helean

    I have never cloth diapered. Im tired of buying disposables but I do not want to spend tons of money on the new fasion kind of CD. I have one pt (nights only) heavy wetter in diapers & a little one on the way & my last one. so im trying to skim by. Does the covers fit one size or do i need to make covers for each size. trying to do the cheapest route.

    • http://www.blessingsoverflowing.com/ Jackie

      Hi, Tiffany. I am not one to spend a ton of money on the latest fashions either. There are tons of totally cute cloth diapers out there that cost a ton of money. The options I shared in this post can essentially be free if you have fleece and flannel on hand already. The diaper pins make adjusting the pocket diapers a breeze. No worrying about velcro or snaps.

      The covers aren’t one size, but you don’t need very many of them per size. I would say 2 would be the minimum so that you could change the cover after each diaper change and it could have a chance to dry if necessary. 4 per size would be even better.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope you can make cloth diapering work for your family. :)

  • Tiffany Graham

    I am curious how the pocket diaper might work with other fabric besides flannel. I have some old t shirts and some big scraps of bedsheets and quilting cotton. I plan to stuff with receiving blankets and flour sack towels or even washcloths. I do want to use what I already have vs having to buy fabric. Any thoughts?

    • http://www.blessingsoverflowing.com/ Jackie

      Hi, Tiffany. I have used T-shirts before and they work fine. I would just make sure to use one that is 100% cotton and not a blend. Here is a diaper I made using jeans and a t-shirt. http://www.blessingsoverflowing.com/jeans-t-shirtdiaper/

      I am a big believer in using what you have so I say go for it. I have even used a thin towel to make a pocket diaper. I really think that you can diaper a baby for almost nothing if you use things you already have on hand. Let me know how it goes for you.