Someone brought it to my attention (thank you!) that the pictures went missing from this post! With my kids all out of diapers for a while now I had not even thought to check on this post. It seems I lost a lot more than I thought I had when I switched servers last year, but I’ve located everything except the snap tutorial pictures.. thought I think I can find them.
I’m going to repost this as current so it gets back out there 🙂 enjoy!
ETA 8/27/10: I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone that passes through here and shares this link with others! I am simply floored at how much traffic this post gets every day! I’m so glad it seems to be helpful to so many people! Don’t hesitate to leave comments!
5/6/10: I finally found the time to update my PreFitted Tutorial with all the bells and whistles! This is the luxury edition, complete with velour! haha
This is a very simple and inexpensive way of turning prefolds you already have into adorable fitteds without using a serger. Several things have changed with this new tutorial and I will try to explain everything in full detail, so it’s picture obese! If I’ve left anything out or you have any questions, please let me know!
To start, get your materials together: prefolds, elastic, decorative print (anything goes here ie: flannel, cotton weave, knits and if you use poly fleece you will essentially end up with an AIO), velour (for the lux edition, haha) and your pattern.
You may also want to add touchtape or snaps. Personally I prefer pins or snappi’s. If you are planning on using snappi’s make sure your decorative print is snappi-friendly (ie: knits, velour, stretch terry, some flannels, etc.).
Just a tip: wash all your fabrics (I even wash my elastic!) before cutting to avoid shrinkage issues and to remove any yukky residues left behind from dying, manufacturing and shipping.
Disclaimer: Yep, the prefold I’m using here is stained.. I’m not a stickler for stain removal in dipes, they all eventually come out in the wash and this one has already gone through 2 kids so it’s old to boot. And yes, I’m still using my grams ironing board complete with the ratty old stained cover I can’t seem to part with – it’s clean, just looks crappy.. nevermind it. 🙂
First, iron your prefold (and the rest of your fabric) – they are so much easier to work with once ironed. Then cut the serged edges off – OR you could seam rip the edges. Any prefold will work, even gerbers (which don’t turn out half bad either, I did half a stash for my bud Suzie and she loves them) but here I’m using a premium unbleached chinese one.
Lay your pattern down over the ironed prefold and trace it out with a washable marker. Make sure to mark your elastic. Trace it out on your decorative print as well and cut both out. I’m using the final edition of the one-size pattern I drafted.
When I draft patterns I don’t add seam allowances. Instead I trace it out and cut a quarter inch or so outside the line. This way I can just sew down the line for perfect edges. If you are using or have drafted a pattern with seam allowances cut right on the line.
Just a tip: when cutting apart an old prefold you may find lint buildup stuck along seams and in corners, sweep it all out to maximize bulk reduction.
The excess will make the soaker, lets start here.
Open it up on the fold and press.
Depending on your pattern, you may have more or less than I do here. Define an even rectangular shape out of the scraps, stack them together and stitch down one of the short ends.
Open it up, lay flat and press. Here’s your soaker panel.
Time to break out the velour! Or whatever fabric you have handy, but lets face it – velour is softest and squishously yummiest to use – hence the Lux! Cut out 2 rectangles the same size as the soaker panel.
Place the velour right sides together and top with the soaker panel, pin three sides together and sew.
Trim off the excess, anytime you are going to turn and topstitch you wanna reduce the bulk as much as possible. Turn it right side out.
I like to do a 3-step zig-zag stitch down the center of the pad to avoid shifting during washing, then topstitch.
Center the soaker panel where you want it on the right side (or the side without the pattern lines) of the prefold.
Attach it with a tight zig-zag stitch twice over.
Depending on your pattern and the size/brand of your prefold, you may want or need to extend the wings. Since I am using my one-size fitted I want the wings to match so I’m adding some velour and you can do the same. Just lay the prefold over the decorative diaper cut and cut the excess out of velour making sure to account for seam allowance.
Pin them on and stitch right sides together.
Press the seams toward the velour and stitch down for added strength.
You can use straight stitch, but I think a zig-zag stitch will prevent fraying better.
Next you’ll want to trim away some excess bulk at the back of the prefold where the elastic will go.
Just separate the layers in the center, clip about 3/4 of an inch on each side and trim away.
Center your decorative print over the prefold and pin. I’ve used a snuggle flannel here with an awesome print that was graciously sent to me by my friend Suzie!
You are not going to stitch down the front, instead leave the entire length open for turning. I always pin to prevent shifting while sewing, especially with knits. Stitch down the line, unless you used a pattern with a seam allowance. In that case, use whatever seam allowance the pattern calls for.
When you are done stitching, trim away the excess outside the marks you made for the elastic. This will leave seam allowance only where the elastic will go.
Separate the layers of the remaining seam allowance leaving only 2 or 3 layers of the prefold and trim away the rest. This will remove the bulk and allow the elastic to stretch and relax to it’s full extent when tacked down. I find 2 layers is sufficient, but if you are using something very old and worn you may want to use 3.
ETA: After some thought, I decided clipping away the outer layer of the remaining seam allowance could cause some fraying – NOT that I had any, I’m just always thinking of how to improve things – so instead clip away everything BUT the outer and inner layer.. just incase!
Here is what it should look like when done trimming.
I like to tack elastic down the seam allowance using the 3-step zig-zag stitch. Tack the end down by going back and forth a few times then stretch it pulling tightly to the end of the exposed seam allowance. Be sure to go back and forth over the opposite end as well.
Here is what it should look like with both the leg and back elastic in place. This is also what it looks like when my cat refuses to get off the ironing board. 🙂
Turn it out, press if you like (and I do like to because I find I end up with crisper edges) and topstitch around the front and back wings. I do not topstitch around the leg elastic in this particular design because the bulk of the prefold will end up hindering full usage of it.
To finish, lay the front opening flat, press and trim any uneven edges. Then just close it up with a tight zig-zag stitch twice over.
Here is the inside, you may end up with a shorter or longer soaker panel depending on your pattern. I find longer is better because you can fold it up in front for boys or in half for girls!
Here is the outside laid flat.
Just a tip: Never wash using a heavy duty spin cycle. Diapers can fray and get ruined. (Found that one out the hard way!)
All pinned up in front.
Side view. If you notice, one of the benefits to not topstitching around the elastic is that the decorative print ends up rolling in creating a softer leg casing in most cases!
A very grumpy Lucas in need of a nap did not want to model for me so the action shots are limited and crummy! Hopefully I’ll get better ones after it’s washed again.. and of course since it’s a one size, I can use it on Raven too! It will look better on her anyway! haha Luke can rock the girlie prints though!
***please bear with me while I track down the rest of these pictures***
UPDATES UPDATES UPDATES UPDATES UPDATES
While I’ve loved my snappiable/pinnable dipes for a LONG time, I currently have snap fever! I’ve been adding snaps to all my old diapers and decided I’d add them to all my prefitteds as well.. SO I though I’d add a few tips for good snap placement and application! Plus a plethora of new pics of course! Some of the newer prefitteds I’ve made have nifty variations as well!
But first, a few snap tips!
(please excuse the crummy diaper I am using as an example here, it’s old, the wings are all uneven from use and I had just ripped some worn out touchtape off of it and quickly replaced the leg elastic.. I made this diaper, while I was still working out the kinks in my tutorial, out of a flimsy prefold so I added a layer of velour to the inside – which is something I wouldn’t do with a premium prefold)
Ok, first tip: if you are using a premium quality prefold it is going to be thick! Sometimes that initial ironing has worn off by the time you are finished and the prefold has quilted back up again! And sometimes ironing it doesn’t seem to get it squished down enough, so my tip here is to wet it! You can even use your iron Just squirt the front where the snaps will go, stretch it out and flatten with your hand. If it’s still stubbornly quilty, add a bit more water and run the hot iron over it again. THIS is crucial. If you just add the snaps, weather with a press or pliers, the likelihood of them popping out over that thick area is high. I wasted quite a few snaps when I first snapped them!
And the second tip is for perfect snap placement. Sure, you can use a template and mark out where you want your snaps with a washable marker but I’ve had mixed results with that method and I decidedly don’t like it. I like to use 2 snaps on each wing (I know some of the expensive fitteds use 3 but I’ve really found that to be excessive). I fold the back of the diaper in half and line up the wings. Then with my awl (or in this case, one of my professional cuticle pushers.. haha) I poke 2 holes straight through both wings.
This gives me perfect and even snap placement on the wings. They are generally 2 inches apart, but depending on how you do the wings (ie; if you have to extend them) you may not be able to put them exactly 2 inches apart (since you wont be able to get a snap through the extension seam).
Next I fold the front (that I’ve flattened out as much as possible) in half to find the center and poke a hole straight through about half an inch in.
This puts the center snaps about an inch apart. Next I attach the first wing snap to the center snap closest to it and line the wing up along the diaper. Then I flip the diaper over, locate where the second wing snap is with the ‘awl’ and push it through.
Then I place a snap between those 2 and continue in that fashion to the end. You could also fold the front down and add snaps to make it a true snapped one-size, but I personally find snaps cumbersome on small babies that aren’t crawling/walking yet and have never used the fold down snaps on any of my one-size fitteds. It is just as easy to fold down the front and use a snappi or pin, plus you don’t use up so many snaps.
Also, I do not snap the soakers. If you have ever tried to replace elastic in a turned and topstiched diaper with a snapped in soaker, you know exactly why! It’s no fun at all.