This is a thrifty, simple prefold nappy to make your baby! The design can be adapted to meet the needs of your baby and doesn't involve any fiddly sewing. I made three of these today in a very short period of time. I have to admit that I rushed through it a little as I was so excited about the concept and couldn't wait to try one on Ben! I have made this prefold nappy using an entire pillow slip and the nappy has a separate absorbent insert to assist drying times.
The nappy measurements given in this tutorial fit my son at 9 months of age and his modern cloth nappies are all set at their largest settings. If your baby is smaller you may need to trim the inserts and the length of the nappy to fit.
As a rough guide Small would be:12in long, Medium: 14in long, Large: 15 to 16in long. This measurement runs from the nappy front to back.
What you will need:
Flannelette Pillow slips: approx 18in wide x 26in long (I used one smaller than this and it was fine)
Sewing machine (You can use an overlocker/serger if you have one and aren't afraid to use it!)
Pins, Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
Ruler and pencil (or tailors chalk)
Firstly cut a 5in (approx) wide strip from the opening end off the pillow slip. Cut another strip 4 1/2in wide. These will become your absorbent insert. Place the remainder of the pillow slip aside.
Trim away all pre-existing sewn edge seams from the insert strips.
Stack the strips on top of each other. Pin the layers together around the outer edges. Don't worry too much if your edges aren't even, as we will trim this away after sewing or your overlocker will neaten.
Sew around all edges of the shape using a zig zag stitch, back stitching at the start and end of your sewing.
Trim the away the excess fabric, close to the sewn edges. Place insert aside.
Next turn under a small hem around the opening of the cut pillow slip and sew around the hem.
Lay the insert on top of the pillow slip so that it runs from the pillow slip opening to the opposite end. Using the width of the insert as a guide, draw a line using pencil or tailors chalk, either side of the insert onto the pillow slip, 1cm from each long edge of the insert.
Pin the pillow slip along the drawn lines (to hold the front and back in place) and machine sew a straight stitch along one drawn line, from the closed bottom to the opening. Repeat for the remaining line, creating a pocket in the middle of the pillow slip.
Insert the absorbent insert inside the pocket of the pillow slip.
You've just made a nappy! Fold one side of the nappy over towards the middle so that the fold is along one sewn pocket edge. Fold the remaining edge into the middle. This is called a tri-fold and the insert will run down the centre of the nappy. Position the folded nappy inside a PUL nappy cover and you are ready to use!
Another option for your nappy is to sew the pillow opening closed (after trimming away insert pieces) and then attach the absorbent strip by securing to the top and bottom of the pillow slip outer. This can assist in drying times, as it won't be completely attached to the entire nappy. It also suits those that don't like stuffing inserts into pockets.
I still stitched two rows from the top to the bottom (as in last step of pocket nappy style above) so that the back and front don't shift and twist after washing.
You could also use bamboo or hemp for your insert to make a super absorbent prefold nappy or simply upcycle some bath towels. You may need to experiment with absorbency to suit your baby.
These nappies cost 75 cents to make, plus machine sewing cotton, as I bought the pillow slips from a local op shop. Thrifty and simple...I LOVE them! To wash just dry pail them for up to two days and wash with your other nappies. You will need to remove the inserts if making the pocket style. Line dry or dry over a clothes horse in wet weather. You could tumble dry (at the end of drying times) for a few minutes to soften them, if they become stiff after washing.
The PUL cover pictured is a Sweet Pea one size fits all cover that I sell in Little Eco. You can re-use these a few times if they haven't been soiled, airing them between uses. This makes them very economical and practical.
I have been meaning to do a post on my personal experiences with modern cloth nappies and I do promise to do so soon.
Have you upcycled a pillowslip into something new? My next project is bags (as already done by many) using vintage pillowslips, but I need to source a few more first.
Thanks for visiting,