When I switched servers a while back I lost a lot of content. You can find my updated Prefitted Tutorial here. Thanks to all that reported broken links and missing pictures 🙂 enjoy!
After playing around with several of the prefold into fitted or ‘prefitted’ tutorials I found on the web, I decided I didn’t care for any of them and developed my own! This can be done with or without a serger if you like and is much less bulky in the legs than some of the other non-sergered prefitted ideas! You will need a fun print for this, I have used both cotton weave and flannel, but find the flannel works much better and provides an extra layer of absorbency. And you only need a little more than you would use if you were just embellishing your prefold. Have fun! (scroll to the bottom if you’d like to see a finished dipe)
Start off by ironing your prefold. It’s much easier to work when it’s non-quilty.. or at least less quilty.
Next you want to fold your prefold in half longwise and trim it down a bit depending on what size prefold you are using. I have premium 4x8x4 (blue serging) ones and having used them already through 2 children I always end up folding them down about 2 inches, all the way to potty training! You may not need or want to do this if your prefolds don’t need any folding. (nevermind my old ripped ironing board cover.. it was my grams, can’t seem to part with it now that she’s gone)
After you get the length you want, it’s time to cut in the tabs. You can make a template or use a pattern you love, either way you want to make sure you leave at least 3/4 of an inch next to the center seams to encase the elastic and turn.
Take the piece you removed, which will become the soaker pad, and line the straight edge up with the opposite end of the prefold. Use the tab you made as a template to make the soaker and extended tabs.
Next you want to shape your extended tabs as you like, either squared or rounded. And here is where you can avoid serging on the tabs. Divide the layers of your extended tabs up and stitch as close as you can to the edge on both, leaving the end you will attach. Turn right side out, iron and set aside. OR just leave them the way they are, as I did and you can serge or zigzag the entire tab later.
Now take the remaining pieces which will become your soaker.
TIP: Before you start sewing change your needle to a heavy duty one, 90/14 or 100/16. These are thick in some areas to sew through and I broke a few needles before I actually walked over to my supply draw to get a heavy needle.
Stitch them up long sides together giving about an inch seam allowance. Open the seam, press and trim the edges. Lay the soaker down on your cotton print/flannel and cut. Line up your soaker and your print, right sides together and sew leaving an opening to turn. Turn right side out, press and topstitch the opening closed. You can topstitch the entire soaker pad if you like. You will most likely end up with a neater looking pad.. unless you are sewing with children running circles around you and sitting on your lap – like me 🙂
Ok, now let’s go back to the tabs. If you left the extended tabs unfinished, just butt the edges together and zigzag. Then surge or zigzag around the raw edges. If you turned them; split the bottom edge of the tabs on the prefold evenly, tuck the raw edges under and press. Then butt the edges together, zigzag and then topstitch the entire tab.
Mark where you want your elastic, this will be different depending on how chunky of a thigh you are dealing with :). Use your favorite pattern or diaper for a guide.
Then split the layers of material evenly between your markings, just like you did if you turned your tabs, and “blind stitch” your elastic in – stretching tightly as you go. OR you can tack it down at the markings because once you add your decorative fabric it will create a casing. Before you put your elastic in you will want to cut a strip of your decorative fabric. Cut it the length of the prefold with an inch added and the width of the front with an inch added.
This is what it should look like when you are done if you zigzagged your elastic:
Next sew your soaker in. There are a few different ways you can do it. I opted for petal style, which seems to be best for faster drying times. But you can also stitch down the middle. Placement of the pad is totally up to you, I placed mine towards the front because rear end of my kids diapers are always dry (boy or girl), but you may want it more in the middle.
Take your decorative fabric and line the right side up with the inside of the diaper, fold your soaker out of the way so you don’t sew over it and pin the fabric down to where you started your elastic or where the wing for the tab begins.
Make sure you pin and stretch it out evenly so you get the same amount of fabric overlap on each side. If you did not zigzag your elastic down then you will need to make sure it is tucked in good as not to sew over it. Then sew it up the sides and across the front, remembering not to go further than the wing. Go back over the edge of the seam you just made with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying and create a stronger seam. Then turn it right side out and press.
If you want, you can add elastic to the back now. I normally don’t because it never makes much of a difference for me. But I added it this time, just zigzag a piece down pulling tightly across the thick part of the prefold.
Take the flap of decorative fabric and fold it in about half an inch or however much overlap you have to meet the seam, press then topstitch.
And that’s it! Your done!
Clear as mud? 🙂 (one of my dance teachers used to say that all the time with new choreography)
TIP: When washing, make sure you use a normal or gentle spin setting. I accidentally left my machine on a heavy duty spin setting and frayed the 2 prefitteds I had in that load. They aren’t ruined and I can fix them, but it could have been avoided.
All pinned up! (excuse the loose threads, my cat took it for a drag around the house while I was tending to something else.. haha)
And of course, the action shot of the elusive Lucas bolting through our bedroom curtain! (yes we have a door but these kids always open it!).. excuse the unvacuumed floor.. can’t vacuum and sew all in one day.. haha
Here’s a couple shots of one with a cotton print. I made this one without back elastic and the leg elastic was not zigzagged down. Also I used plain white flannel to cover the soaker pad instead of the Thomas print because it is softer and more absorbent.