Saturday, August 13, 2011

T-Shirt Fitted Diaper

I recommend using a men's L or XL shirt for a size large or one-size fitted diaper, but you could even use a child's shirt for a newborn diaper!

Wash/strip your shirt well. If it is a new shirt, wash and dry it on hot a few times to make sure all residues are gone and it is pre-shrunk. :)

Use your favorite turned and top-stitched style diaper pattern (or improvise like I did) and trace onto the top portion of the front of your shirt. I flipped the bottom half on this one in order to fit the shirt's graphic best.

Or, trace your favorite fitting diaper all stretched out onto a big piece of poster board or an all opened up paper grocery bag (what I do) and add 1/4"-1/2" seam allowance around it.

Cut out a second body panel from the top back of the T-shirt.

Short sleeves cut open and laid flat
Fitting in a 3rd body panel in 2 pieces from the sides...

Lay your sleeve pieces over your remaining body piece.
Cut all three into equal size long rectangles.

All your cut fabric (plus optional washcloth) laid out.

(optional) Fold your washcloth in half and sew or serge down one side.

Sew or serge together your partial body fabric pieces to make 3 full body panels.

Sew or serge around 3 sides of your stacked long soaker fabric pieces

Turn right-side-out.

Top-stitch around the closed 3 sides of your soaker.

Sew down the middle to prevent bunching and help your soaker lay flat.

Place and pin your long soaker section onto your inside body panel.

Make a couple zigzag passes across the soaker folded up to attach it to your inside body panel.
Fold back down and sew through once to hold the soaker laying flat.

Long soaker all sewn on the inside body panel.

(adding the washcloth soaker is optional)
Pin your washcloth soaker in-place and sew the front and back inside edges only.

Sewn on...

Close-up of how the washcloth is joined to the body panel.

How your inside panel looks with both soakers attached and laid flat.

Lay your inside and outside body panels down face to face.

Lay your 3rd panel on top.

Safety pin or clip your 3 body panels together.

Sew or serge around the front and sides.

Turn right-side out.
Sew your leg elastic casing channels.
Thread through with a safety pin, and tack down your leg elastics.
Sew your back elastic casing channel.
Thread through and tack down the back elastic, and close up the top.
Add your top-stitching details and you're done! (unless you also want to add snaps)
Now you're ready to diaper your squirmy baby. ;)


  1. Oh yay! I love how the soaker is sewn in like that. I made a t-shirt dipe for a newborn yesterday and will try the soaker like this now! Thanks for this tutorial.

  2. I did the soakers like this so they would wash easily and dry quickly (yet are still attached so no having to match diapers to inserts after laundry day). :) I hope it helps you out!

  3. I love you for this. I had started experimenting and making one not too long ago and it looked scary wrong. But this makes sense to me. Thanks!!!

  4. Is the wash cloth you used just a regular wash cloth?

  5. Yup. Just a regular cotton terry washcloth that I washed/stripped with the T-shirt before sewing. :)

  6. What did you use to strip the shirt and wash cloth? I'm new to all of this... Thanks so much

  7. Just made one - love. Thanks Arfy - you rock again! ;)

  8. Adorable! Thank you for posting

  9. Thank you so much for showing this! I made my first one from your tutorial on Thursday and now I have 6! I added a fleece inner to make it a little closer to an Ai2. Can not beat under $5 for 6 OS diapers. Thanks Again.

  10. Could you make the third (middle) layer pul to make it waterproof? I'm looking forward to trying out your tutorials. Thanks

    1. No. Hidden PUL done that way wouldn't work. The moisture would just wick around and the outside would feel soaked.

  11. Does it matter what material the t shirt is made from. I thought it might have to be 100% cotton. However, some of my t shirts are 50% cotton and 50% polyester. Would those work ok too?

  12. Do you need to put a cover over this?

  13. Kristene Ann--yes, use covers over fitteds

  14. When you sew up the top do you turn the cut edges in somehow to hide them?