Use one wool sweater to make these adorable cloth diaper covers! This tutorial is for Turn and Topstitch method making one wrap and one pair of pants. See our other wool sweater tutorial for making single layer covers!
Materials: THIN sweater….at LEAST 80% wool. I recommend cashmere or merino blends, but other woolen sweaters will work here if they are not too thick nor too scratchy. 1/4″ elastic. 1/2 or 1″ elastic. Hook and Loop velcro. Thread.
Sewing Skills: Intermediate. Sewing elastic, curved seams
Before you cut: Felt your sweaters by washing in hot and drying to shrink the fibers. With these thin sweaters, they will shrink to maybe 1/8″ thick.
Use your favorite turn and topstitch cover pattern. You can try our medium/large one found here (do not add the snaps) or our small/medium one found here. If your sweater is a cardigan, or too small on the front, you will need to use another sweater as well. I like to mix and match sweaters and add little appliques too before sewing up.
1. Lay out your sweater flat. Cut arms off at underarm seam. Lay aside. Place your pattern on the sweater vertically, which ever way it fits best. Trace and cut through both layers. Set aside for now.
2. Pants: The wrists of the sweater will be the ankles. You can use your child’s favorite pants as a guide, or in general, depending on the sweater I CUT the length from the wrist / bottom / ankle as follows. Small: 16″, Medium: 18″, Large 21″. You need to leave one inch at the top for folding over the elastic waistband. (Included in my measurements). Cut STRAIT across arm (90 degree angle).
3. Fold each arm piece in half longways and mark centers on seam. Then starting at your mark and heading up toward the top (armpit end), cut away the seam opening up the crotch. If your sweater has really big arms, you can just cut strait up parallel with the outside folded edge.
4. Turn one arm inside out and place inside of other arm, lining up seams and edges. Pin and then sew the whole seam with 1/4″ seam allowance. Backtack at crotch center where the seams meet. Backtack at each end of seam. Turn rightside out!
5. Turn under the top edge 1″ or less to the inside and sew a casing for your elastic leaving a 2″ hole. Cut elastic to your babe’s waist measurement and using a safety pin attached to one side, thread the elastic through the casing. Secure ends of elastic together with a few rows of stitches and then close up your hole. Don’t forget to take out your safety pin! My rule of thumb for the waist is always the same as my finished length. 20″/20″ Large, 17″/17″ M and 15/15″ S. These pants can be rolled up or worn as capris so fit for a long time!
6. DIAPER COVER: This really is a simple turn and topstitch. Notes are that you can applique on the bum before sewing (with wool , NOT COTTON) and that the velcros should be added as the last step through both wool layers. See my tutorial for a 3 layer cover here but the basic steps are : Sew the two layers together around all edges with 1/4″ SA, leaving a 2″ hole at front middle. Stretch and sew elastic INTO seam allowances at legs and back. Turn rightside out. Close/topstitch front top edge. Sew a line UNDER your elastic on the back edge just to keep it from rolling in. Sew hook velcro onto the wings and loop velcro on front. Voila!
All wool items should be hand washed in cool water with a splash of baby soap and air dried. They are super great covers because they breath, yet hold in moisture, but for some reason, don’t hold odor, and only need to be washed when soiled or every few weeks. You can put a splash of lansinoh/lanolin in the wash for added moisture control and softness. The longies are only a single layer, so great as pants or for added moisture control at night!