Tutorial: Customize the Function of Your Prefold Diapers

During my quest for a simpler cloth diapering routine I found Imagine Baby cotton prefold diapers. I had tried the Osocozy brand and was not impressed with the fit. They were really long and narrow and that made them hard to fit on a small, squirmy bottom. But the Imagine Baby prefolds were so soft and had a better width and more manageable length to them. I became an insta-fan.

The thing for me about prefold diapers though was when I folded them I ended up with a very bulky section in the groin. There had to be a better way!

Insert my Customized Prefold Cloth Makeover.

I began with my washed and dried prefolds. Mine had been used several times before so they didn’t need prewashed but if you are starting with brand new prefolds you need to follow washing instructions before you begin.

Laying my prefold out flat, I used my rotary cutter to cut into the prefold toward the center where the absorbency is but not all the way to the stitching. I measured 3 inches down from the serged edges and then drove the cutter in at a very slight rounded angle.

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*I apologize for the horribly focused photo. My camera is a little fickle*

Make this exact cut 3 more times so you have 2 on each long side. These will become flaps that you can then customize your fold and fit with.

Next I stitched along each of the cuts. You make choose your stitch based on your machine and skill. You can do an overcast stitch, a zigzag stitch, or a straight stitch. My first round I tried a zigzag stitch and after several washes seemed to have missed fabric in places and had lots of fraying. This time I just did a straight stitch.

It is simply dropping your needle and foot at one end and stitching in to the corner of your cut. I back-stitched at the beginning, the corner, and the end of each cut. Do this on all four cuts and there you go! Super easy!

Now, for the folding…

You can tri-fold the flaps, just as if you would do it before but without the added bulk.

You may also use the jelly-roll technique for added protection from blowouts!

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You can also still adjust the rise just by folding the front down (shown above).

By doing this to my diapers I keep all the function and absorbency that I had before but with much less bulk. It also keeps our diaper changes quick and easier to do one-handed.

Here is my stash! It makes for easy laundering and packing a diaper bag!

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Do you use prefold diapers? Would you try this with your diapers? Leave a comment!

 

Tutorial: Customize the Function of Flour Sack Towels as Cloth Diapers

We have been what I would call “hybrid cloth diaperers” for almost 2 years now. We use disposables when we travel, when kids are sick, when we moved, sometimes at night, and sometimes because family is visiting. Beginning with Alva Pocket Diapers and adding in some BumGenius pockets and All-in-ones, as well as a few other brands here and there, I felt we had a good stash of about 35 cloth diapers for our (then) one child in cloth.

Then, as I joined cloth diaper groups and learned more, I noticed a lot of love for prefolds, flats, flour sack towels (FST) and covers. I already had a Rumperooz diaper cover so I decided to try out the FST and prefolds and see what the fuss was about.

I purchased my FST from Walmart as a pack of 10 for about $7. We also use Imagine Baby prefolds that I ordered off of Amazon.com (I customized these, too! Stay tuned for that tutorial)

A little practice, a couple of Snappi diaper fasteners (they replace the use of safety pins) and I was hooked! They fit so trim, were super absorbant, easy to launder, and quick to dry! The only “downside” for us is all the origami folding at each diaper change. Especially for my husband, who willingly changes any diaper but not as often as me, and for on-the-go.

Enter: customizing my FST by stitching the first few folds of our favorite diaper fold, which is most commonly called the Jelly-rolled Kite Fold.

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*(Not my original image…can’t find original post to give full credit)*

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By folding and stitching my diapers in the first couple of folds it saves the awkward origami session at the public changing table and helps be get a wiggly toddler back in his cloth quicker! I can still customize the fit between our 25 pound toddler and our 14 pound infant, and they wash easy and dry fast…just like before.

Here is what I did:
I laid out the (washed-worn-washed) FST and folded in the adjacent sides that make up the first two folds in the Jelly-rolled Kite Fold. I tested how the next fold would land before I moved on to placing a few pins.

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Next, I placed a few pins since I was doing about 20 FST assembly-line-style.

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~ Let me take a second and add that other than washing at least once before doing this, I wouldn’t bother with any other fabric prep such as ironing. Of course, you could, but these are not perfect square cuts to begin with, the edges roll and THEY ARE A POOP-CATCHER! Don’t stress about a perfect edge or stitch, just worry about function. ~

Okay, moving on…

After all my FST were pinned and ready to go, I was able to whip them through my machine in one stretch with a few turns, only cutting the thread at the end.

Beginning with the fold going in from the right start on the fold corner, stitching the fold closed, and stoping and turning at the edge of the fold.

Then, stitch down the fold all the way to the end of the diaper. There will be some funky and bulky places but just keep going.

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Once you reach the end, with needle down, turn and stitch to the point.

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Then turn again and stitch to the end of the left fold.

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Turn again and stitch down the open edge of the left fold.

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Finally, turn and stitch your left fold opening closed. Back-stitch and finish.

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This stitch closes all your edges and keeps them from trapping stool, lint, or anything else.

I stopped here on my diapers. On the first one I went so far as to fold in the corners and stitch down the middle but felt that was too much.

For us, once laundered, we will “prefold” the next step and stack them so they will be ready to roll! (Pun intended)

And there you have it! This one small step will really help our efficiency in diapering our two in cloth.

Are you a fan of the Flour Sack Towel cloth diaper? Leave me a comment!