Sunday, October 2, 2016

PatsycakeBaby Free Cloth Diaper Pattern and Tutorial!

Cotton over PUL Cloth Diaper Cover FREE Pattern and Tutorial

I know you all want to get right to creating your new diaper covers. I'll keep this short and simple!

First, please understand that I am a diaper making seamstress - not a pattern maker. The pattern is hand drafted, hand drawn and scanned in - because I'm also not a computer guru! However, this pattern is tried and true - tested by many and the finished product has been used by many, so I think you'll love it.

Since the creation of this pattern in 2009 I have come up with several different versions. This is not my current version but it's relatively similar. This pattern is so good it doesn't deserve to be filed away for all eternity!

So, here we go!

**NOTE** There are LOTS of different ways to make a diaper, here is how I do it. Feel free to use any other method for completing your diaper! If you have questions please don't hesitate to ask, or email me! Keep in mind, this diaper has a snap up rise to make it one-size, without the rise snaps it's considered "LARGE"


Download the Pattern PAGE 1 and PAGE 2 (click for download- see, I'm not a computer guru- I can't figure out how to get them both on one download link, so please forgive me!)
Sewing machine with a Ballpoint needle
Polyester Thread
KAM snaps or velcro
PUL fabric (polyurethane laminate) (at least 20"x20")**
Cotton outer fabric (20"x20")**
(pins or clips to hold pattern in place)
Approx 18" of 1/4" braided elastic
**you can use a double layer of PUL if you prefer, just make sure the shiny side faces the inside of the diaper.

Step 1: Print this One Size fits most (about 8-35 pounds) pattern for free PAGE 1 and PAGE 2

*Computer settings vary - be sure to print the full size pattern on 8 1/2 x 11 paper!
Once the pattern is printed, cut it out and tape it together in the center of the pattern. The pattern should measure 18 1/4" down the center line.

1/2 pattern - cut on the fold.
You can also print the pattern twice and tape all 4 pieces together!

Complete pattern. Cut one from each fabric.
Step 2: Trace Diaper Pattern onto your PUL's shiny side with a ballpoint pen. This is the inside that will face the baby when the diaper is on. Be sure to transfer the snap placement, and the elastic placement marks too and then, cut it out!

Step 3: Trace the pattern onto your cotton fabric, no need to transfer the markings on this piece.

Both cuts of fabric.
Step 4: Cut Elastic: 1 piece 4.25" long for the back, 2 pieces 6.25" for the legs (includes 1/8" tacking allowance.

3 Pieces of Elastic
Step 5: Layer your fabrics: PUL Shiny side up and the cotton is pretty side down (the shiny side of the PUL+the pretty side of your fabric should be kissing. :) )

Sorry, it's blurry. Pretty side of fabric+shiny side of PUL should be kissing!
At this point you can place a pin or a clip at each of the elastic attachment points. Be sure to pin inside of the seam allowance so you don't get extra holes!

Step 6: Ready to sew? Place fabrics in your machine with the cotton fabric on top. Start in the center of the belly panel and using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew along the edge of the fabric.

Step 7: When you get to your first pin, grab a piece of 6 1/4" elastic for the leg. Stop your machine with the needle down into the fabric. Lift the presser foot and turn your fabric 1/4 turn - you are sewing the piece of elastic on top of the seam allowance! Stitch back and forth a few times over the elastic to tack it down.

Stop and pivot fabric, place elastic under the presser foot over the seam allowance.

Sew over the end of the elastic a few times to tack it down.
Step 8: Stop the machine with the needle down once again, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric to continue sewing down the edge of the leg making sure to keep the elastic to the side so you don't run it over!

Move the elastic to the side and continue sewing along the leg edge.
Step 9: When you get to your next pin, stop the machine with the needle down, lift the presser foot and pivot your fabric 1/4 turn as you did before (but in the opposite direction, remember you will be sewing in the seam allowance). Now grab the end of the elastic that you tacked down on one end, and making sure that it's not twisted, tack the edge down within the seam allowance.

See that elastic, it's tacked at each end along the leg and within the seam allowance.
Now, with your needle down, lift your presser foot and pivot your fabric again to continue sewing. You will be doing this again at the back and the other leg. Practice makes perfect!

Step 10: Continue sewing around the wing until you get to your pin at the back of the diaper. You will be doing the same method as above. Stop with your needle down, lift the presser foot, pivot your fabric 1/4 turn and tack the end of the elastic onto the seam allowance. Use the 4 1/4" piece of elastic at the back.  You're doing great!

Tack down the elastic at the back of the diaper.
Be sure to tack at the other end also!
Step 11: Continue sewing around the other wing and when you get to your next elastic pin, repeat the elastic installation same way you did for the first leg elastic! (repeat steps 7-9) and continue around the diaper. Stop when you are about 2" away from your beginning stitches on the belly panel. Leave enough space to turn the diaper!

Leave a space for turning!
Step 12: Snip across the seam allowance above the elastic. Be sure you don't cut into or too close to the seam. This will help it lay flat when you turn. Trim excess fabric along the edges of the belly panel and at the corners and around the wings (do not trim areas between the leg elastic, or between the back elastic).

Snip into the seam allowance. Do not snip too close to your seam!

This is what it looks like when the rest of the edges are trimmed.
Step 13: Turn the diaper through the hole in the front. Now, check to make sure that the pretty side of your fabric is on top and the shiny side is on the other side. Good?

Diaper turned to the right side.
Step 14: Starting at the opening in the belly panel, tuck in the unfinished edges. Sew along the opening about 1/8" from the edge. Continue top stitching until you get to the first leg elastic (you should be able to feel it)

Tuck in the raw edges, pin if you need to in order to enclose the edges.

Step 15: When you get to the first leg elastic, stop your machine with the needle down. At this point you will be sewing a diagonal line across the end of the elastic. This gives the elastic additional security and the increase in the seam allowance encases your elastic. Pivot the fabric so that when you continue sewing, you will have a big 1/2" seam allowance. Give the fabric a tug so the elastic straightens and lays flat against the seam. Stitch slowly 1/2" from the edge while holding the fabric flat. Remember: Go Slow, adjust and make sure the elastic doesn't get caught in the stitching.

Here I am at the top of the first elastic. 
I'm holding the fabric taut with the elastic flat, pivot the fabric and encase the elastic
This is what the increase in the seam allowance and encased elastic looks like when you're done.

Step 16: When you get about 1/2" from the end of the elastic, stop your machine. Aim the fabric back towards the original top stitching seam allowance and sew a diagonal across the other end of the elastic. Go slow.

Stop about a half inch from the end of your elastic.

Here I am at the end of the elastic and back to the top stitching seam allowance.
Check to make sure that the elastic is encased, the edge of the diaper should be ruffled up and stretchy! Don't worry too much if your stitches are wonky. Stop your machine and pat yourself on the back. I know that takes some getting used to but it's a great method when you practice!

Step 17: Continue topstitching around the diaper and repeat steps 15 and 16 at each elastic point.
Step 18: Continue your topstitching until you get back to your starting stitches! Trim all of your threads.

The end!
Diaper cover should look like this - no guarantee :)
Step 19: Add your snaps. If it worked out correctly you should be able to apply your snaps using the markings that you put on the shiny side of the PUL. Place the belly snaps first using 10 sockets.

This is a SOCKET on the belly panel
Continue adding the snaps. The top set of rise snaps are STUDS, and the following 3 sets are SOCKETS.

NOTE: If you have decided to use velcro here, simply place the soft part of the velcro centered over the row of snap markings on the fabric side. Sew around the edge with a zig zag stitch to secure. Cut two 1 1/2" pieces of the rough velcro and sew on the PUL side of the wings. In this case you will not be able to adjust the rise, you will have a large diaper cover. Sorry, I don't make velcro closure diapers so I don't have photos!

Step 20: Add wing snaps. Lay the wing across the belly at the desired position centered over the belly snaps. Feel for the SOCKET underneath, place the cap at the desired spot above the socket and install your first STUD. The second snap is a hip snap and this will reduce wing droop and keep the diaper secure on baby.  Feel for the sockets underneath and install the second stud in the second socket from the first (skip one socket).

Feel for the socket under the wing.

Use the cap to mark the spot and install your STUD.
You can add a socket in between your two wing snaps on one side if you would like a cross over snap for itty bitty babies!

Now, You are done! Congratulations!

Now you can add your favorite soaking layers like Prefolds, inserts or fitteds!

I would love to see what you create from this pattern! Please Please Please share your diaper covers on the PatsycakeBaby Facebook Page, link me on Pinterest, tag me on Instagram! Looking for custom cloth diaper covers? Check out my Etsy Shop!


Lined Diaper Covers Now In Stock!

Hello Cloth Diaperers!!! 
Touching base here to let you in on a new item I am stocking in my Etsy shop!
  I recently had a custom order of Cloth Diapers that went out to a Mama all the way across the country. We worked together to make a diaper to her exact specifications. As it turns out - I loved the the custom order so much I decided to use it as an option in my shop! Here are the details so you can decide if they are a good fit for your little ones.

Soft Clouds Lined Diaper Cover
Here are the specs:
*This cover is the same pattern I've been using all year. This pattern is my own creation with One row of belly snaps for fast snapping, 3 sets of rise snaps that go from Small to Large. Fits about 10-35ish pounds depending on your baby, two snaps on the inside to hold in the inserts. Elastic at the legs and back for adjustable fit and a nice balance between a trim cover but big enough to contain some of those gorgeous fitteds when necessary. 

Fleece lined for additional comfort

 * A few reasons why my customers love lined covers:
1. The belly and rise snaps are hidden on the inside.
2. The micro fleece is super soft and comfy
3. The micro fleece is "stay dry" and keeps the PUL from touching the skin directly.
4. They make GREAT AI2 (all-in-two) diapers - just snap in the liners and you can keep them snapped in through washes - no stuffing, no folding!

With snap in liners
 In all fairness I like to show both sides of the coin. The reason I like to offer options for custom diapers. So with that, here are just a couple reasons why you might like unlined covers more! *microfleece can pill over time especially when you wash them with natural fiber cloth. *They might be slightly bulkier since the microfleece is a little thicker and *You probably can't wipe them clean if poopy gets on the fleece... and those are the only things I can think of!

Standard diaper cover for comparison
I hope this was helpful for anyone looking to have some custom diapers made by me - if you have any other ideas I'm happy to hear them and get your custom order started!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Exploring Cloth Diapers: Diaper Covers and Prefolds FAQ's

The #1 question I get asked as a cloth diaper maker is:
What is the EASIEST and CHEAPEST way to cloth diaper?

My answer is always this:

 "Diaper covers and Prefolds"

In my opinion they are the easiest and most efficient (cost and time) way to cloth diaper because:

1. Diaper covers are inexpensive and can be washed with the clothes cycle
2. Prefolds (premium diaper service quality aka: DSQ) are made from cotton and they are used by all of the diaper services because they are heavy duty and can withstand sanitation cycles. 
3. This option is probably the least expensive way to diaper your child from birth to toddler hood and the diaper stash will likely last through multiple children.

What you need to get started (recommended):

6-12 One size diaper covers. Start with 6 and if you like this option add more as you go - 12 is usually sufficient! Custom covers handmade by me are available in my shop as well as several ready to ship covers

2 dozen cotton prefolds- My favorite were Osocozy Premium 4x8x4 available on Amazon.

Cloth Diaper liners for easy cleanup (optional)

1 pail to store the dirty diapers

Access to a washing machine (you can hang dry, or if you have a dryer you can use that option)

Laundry Detergent (I chose Tide original)

and a cute little baby bum to wear the diapers!

How to use cloth diapers:

1. Choose your cover
2. Fold the prefold into thirds, lay it in the cover
3. Lay baby on the diaper and fasten it on.

If the cover remains clean at changing time, you can reuse it - but it is recommended to let it dry out between uses, so rotate between two covers. If the cover gets dirty, wipe out the mess and hang to dry. 


Wet diapers can be thrown into the pail. Poop diapers get rinsed in the toilet, wring out the prefold and store in a pail, or trash can style bin. I kept the covers draped over the sides of the bin separate from the prefolds so they don't get any stains!

Schedule a diaper wash every couple of days.

Covers can be washed with the prefolds or with a regular cycle of clothes. Always hang dry your covers - the dryer heat can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the PUL.

Recommended wash routine for prefolds:
1. Cold rinse cycle. 
2. Hot wash cycle with detergent.
3. Hang to dry or throw in the dryer.

Use any laundry detergent that does not have additives like fabric softener or bleach. The general consensus is to use Tide original detergent especially if you have hard water. Prefolds are so versatile that you can use just about any detergent. 

Are my diapers getting clean???

You will know when your wash routine is failing - more likely you will SMELL when your routine isn't working.
Look for these clues: Are they stained? (poop stains are somewhat normal, but pee stains should not be seen at all). Do you smell FUNKY odors when your child wets? Do you smell AMMONIA -or notice a rash when they wet?

If you notice those signs ask yourself these questions:

1. How long have my diapers been sitting: 1-2 days MAX between washes is OK, otherwise you should be rinsing all diapers before they go in the pail to get you to 3 days MAX. You WILL start smelling the pail if you are waiting too long between washes!

2. Am I using the recommended amount of detergent?  Too much or too little isn't good. Start by following the instructions on the detergent bottle. Check to make sure that there is a light layer of suds on the water during the wash, then check to make sure there are NO suds in the final rinse. 

3. Double check to make sure you are using an appropriate DETERGENT - strong enough to clean the diapers. Often times handmade soap and even some diaper soaps won't do the trick because they lack the cleaning power. Do not use detergents that contain additives like fabric softener or bleach. I know that some of you don't want to use harsh detergents- either did I, but run a test and maybe you can switch off between the two depending on your circumstance!

4. Do you have hard water? I washed my diapers in a standard machine with well water - my water couldn't be harder. Hard water makes it difficult for the detergent to break the surface tension and make it through the fibers in your clothes/diapers to clean them. You will need to soften your water to get a good cleaning and your best bet is using Tide because it's "the original hard water detergent" and maybe even a cup of baking soda to go into the first rinse cycle.

5. Soft water??  I don't have experience with soft water but I do know from research that you need less soap - so look in your washer during your routine to make sure there aren't too many suds and use an appropriate amount of detergent.  

What to do if my diapers stink:
Well, my friend it's time to STRIP THOSE DIAPERS!

The nice thing about prefolds (no need to strip the diaper covers!) is that it's REALLY hard to destroy them.  They can easily recover from most of what we throw at them. If you have a wash routine gone bad, simply throw the prefolds in the bathtub, add a small squirt of Dawn or other dish soap that doesn't have any added ingredients (cheap is good) and give them a good swishing and soaking for about an hour. You want to see just a few suds, don't go overboard! Rinse them and then put them through a regular wash cycle. I often used a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil in the final rinse just for it's antibacterial properties and to get the diapers squeaky clean.  
If all else fails, you can explore the use of bleach or acid soaks but I don't recommend that unless you have to.

And finally those annoying Stains. If your diapers are getting clean you shouldn't notice terrible stains, but it's inevitable - no matter how hard you try - poop leaves stains on your diapers.  Best bet is to let them dry flat in the sun. This is called Sunning - natures bleach!  I've also heard of squeezing lemon juice onto them during sunning for extra tough stains!

There you have it - Cloth diapering with covers and prefolds!
If you still have questions or need guidance, try a Facebook search for your local cloth diaper groups and you can always contact me, I'm happy to help!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

BOO!! Halloween, on the bum!

Hello everyone!
Are you all as ready for the fall season as I am. I'm in San Diego, CA and we aren't know for a change in seasons. BUT fall is definitely my favorite time of the year. Weather, food, holidays and family - It's an exciting time.
And today - the first day of fall, I'm announcing my limited edition of Halloween themed diapers!

Check them out here (click on photo to take you directly to the listing)
Errol the Owl

Happy Halloween Pumpkins

Monster Mash

Spooky Spiders

Happy Halloween Ghosts

There are only a few available and I'm making them special: Diaper cover or AI2 option.  Just choose from the drop down menu. Diaper Covers are lined with microfleece with two snaps in the back.  When you add the organic soakers you have an AI2 diaper.  Sound good?

But you have to hurry because they are limited and won't last long. I will also be adding some cotton over PUL style covers in the next few days!

Hope you enjoy this new season and a new set of diapers from PatsycakeBaby!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sign Ups for Healthy Baby Home Party!

Calling all fellow bloggers and readers!!! 
Do you care about our environment? Do you try to limit the toxins and chemicals that your family is exposed to? Are you trying to be the best parent that you can for your family? GOOD! So am I, and I would like to share this opportunity with you so you can get involved and make a difference through this Seventh Generation campaign design to keep us informed. All you have to do to get started is sign up for the chance to host a Healthy Baby Home Party!

Friends enjoying some of the sample in the kit.
A great turn out for a great cause!

Some friends that won a full size pack of baby wipes (looks like she'll need those soon!)

Zoom in on the basket of goodies for the party.
It was simple, fun and informative!!

I hope you will hop on over and sign up today to host your own party. It's a great opportunity to get hands on familiar with Seventh Generation, Zarbees, Bobble, Green Toys and MORE!

Link to enter:

Thank you, Kim

Thursday, November 12, 2015

All-In-One Diapers - easy as disposables!

PatsycakeBaby All-in-One Cloth Diapers are as easy as disposables... but better!!

Check out why...

What are they? They are a cloth diaper with some of the conveniences of disposables. The All-in-one design means that all the parts and pieces are together in one diaper: no stuffing soakers and no separate covers. Just add baby...and the baby adds the rest!
The barrier fabric is the same Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) that is in the diaper covers, but it is hidden under the soaking layers in the diaper to keep the wetness for coming through. The snake style soaker is sewn into the diaper at the back with the front unattached. This is so that you can fold the soaker under to adjust for size, and for quick cleaning - you can just spray the soaker instead of the whole diaper, and it also helps the diaper to dry faster after washing.  There is also a built in soaker for extra soaking power! PLUS all of the soaking layers that touch your baby's sensitive parts are made from organic cotton and hemp fabrics!

The PUL leg gussets help keep wetness from wicking The outside cotton design is set away from the wet zone so it doesn't pull it to the outside of the diaper. The PUL gusset extends around the elastic to the inside so the inside layers don't soak the outside. 

If you custom order the AIO diapers with velcro - it's even simpler!  You can also choose your outside fabric print! Check out the listing Here.
What makes them better than disposable? Aside from all the above AND from saving trash from the landfill, AIO's are one-size from about 10-30+ pounds and can be used over and over again!

So if you thought you were done with the cloth - take another look at the easiest all in one cloth diaper option around. 

Some adorable AIO's: 

To wash an AIO, spray off any solids, and store until wash day (recommended every 1-2 days). Do a cold rinse with no soap. Do a hot wash/cool rinse with your favorite diaper detergent, rinse until no soap remains. You can tumble dry on low or hang dry, I recommend hanging to dry in the sun and finishing off the drying process in a low heat dryer to regain the softness!

Enjoy! KIM