Today we're making a Turned & Topstitched Diaper with Blind Elastic. For this diaper, I sewed monkey PUL to light green PUL to make a contrast back and wings. I sewed a monkey applique to the back of the diaper. For the inner, I am using modified welt opening for my inner, though you can make the inner as a back edge opening pocket diaper if desired. Since I am doing a pocket diaper with a modified welt opening in this tutorial, I will be stitching completely around the diaper, then turning right side out through the welt opening. If you are making a pocket diaper with a back gathered elastic opening, follow your pattern instructions for that type of diaper opening. Be sure to watch for additional tips to keep in mind for making AI2s.
Let's get started!
Collect your supplies. Here is what I used: My diaper inner (brown crushed panne velour), outer (PUL), 3/8” elastic, ball point pins, Mark-B-Gone washable marker.
Mark the elastic placement on your outer fabric using the Mark-B-Gone pen. Make sure to extend the marked line past your seam allowance. We will need to see the marked line after turning. If you are using snaps, you will want to apply the snap sockets to the outer fabric now. Be sure to reinforce each socket with a square of PUL on the cap side of the snap.
Pin the right side of the inner to the printed side of the PUL. I use a LOT of pins when I am working with crushed panne velour as it is pretty slippery. Try to keep the pins in the seam allowance to minimize holes in the PUL.
Sew the diaper outer and inner pieces together using the seam allowance recommended in the pattern. NOTE: If you are making an AI2 or a back edge pocket diaper, make sure to leave a hole for turning.
Trim the seam allowance all the way around your diaper 1/8” from the seam. This is very important! You will be using this to help guide your elastic when you are sewing it into the casing. NOTE: If you are doing an AI2 you will not trim around your turning hole as this will be needed to case your elastic.
Turn the stitched diaper right side out.
If you marked your diaper correctly, you should now be able to see your elastic marks for the leg and back elastic.
You can use the recommended chart included with your pattern for elastic length, or use my favorite technique for measuring elastic. Measure from one elastic mark to the next. I do this actually using the elastic.
Fold the elastic in half. Add 1/2” to allow for seam allowances, then cut the elastic.
Repeat with elastic for the other elastic marks.
Insert the elastic into your diaper body through your pocket opening. If you are doing an AI2, you will feed it through your turning hole. For my diaper, I am feeding it through the welt pocket; it will be a snug fit for your hand. Pin the end of the elastic with 1/4” overhanging the elastic mark.
Carefully bunch up the fabric and pin the other end down at the second leg elastic mark. Make sure to keep the elastic flat.
Repeat with elastic needed for the other leg, and at the back of the diaper. Pin elastic at each mark.
To prevent shifting of the pane velour, pin your tummy panel and wings for topstitching.
Start topstitching your diaper. I topstitch with my needle moved to the left position. I like to begin at one side of my belly panel.
Now comes the tricky stuff! When you reach the first elastic mark, stop sewing. Position the sewing machine needle in an upright position. Change the machine stitch setting to a long and wide 3-step zigzag. Very carefully, lift your presser foot and slide the fabric over. I find the edge of my pressure foot to be the perfect distance for me to be able to catch all of my elastic. You will need to play with your machine to find your sweet spot. Set the needle into the end of your elastic, then tack the end of your elastic down well. I like to hold my fabric in place and go back and forth a couple times with my 3-step zigzag.
Stretch your elastic, positioning the elastic up against the seam allowance at the edge of the diaper.
On the legs, I like to reach up and grab the center of the elastic while I have it stretched and sew that in place before sewing the other half of the leg. It gives me more control over what I am doing. Slowly sew your elastic down, checking every few inches to make sure everything is still lined up.
When you reach the other end of the elastic, tack it down securely, just as you did at the opposite end of the elastic. Lift your needle up. Switch your machine back to straight stitch. Shift your fabric back to the left and continue topstitching to the next leg elastic mark. Repeat the process for stitching the elastic at the other leg using the three-step zigzag. Continue topstitching until you come to the back elastic, then repeat the process to stitch the elastic using the three-step zigzag.
Add snaps to the front and wing panels, sew on a cute monkey label, and you are done!