Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fold-Over Elastic Trainers

Templates available here: Small - Large
Start out with your inner, outer, 5 inch x 6 inch hip rectangles, and some fold-over elastic (FOE).  If you'll be making a pocket diaper, have the pocket opening prepared on your inner, or have your flap prepared depending on the style you'll be using.  You can also make them AIO or AI2 style.

Sew your FOE along both sides for the leg openings.  Start sewing about 1 inch inset, and stop about the same distance from the final edge.  Do not sew all the way to the edges.
I don't pull the FOE stretched as much as I do for diaper covers.
Fold the sides of the front inward on themselves as shown:
I use clips to hold my folds in-place.
Sew the FOE loosely-stretched across the front, and trim the front ends of the leg FOE pieces.  
Sew down the edges of the FOE while top-stitching the sides.
Now for the stretchy hip panels.
Sew one side (they will be 3 inches by 5 inches) and turn.
Sew your elastic casings.  I use 3/8" poly braided elastic.  Don't stretch the elastic very tightly.
Feed and tack your elastic.  Use the first completed panel to measure the elastic for the second.

Fold in the sides and lay the hip panels inside.  Pin to hold the front even with the back
Sew down the FOE edge and top-stitch to affix the hip panels to the body.
Trim the top or panels to even them out with eachother.
Sew your FOE across the full length of the back.  Here I pulled it with about a 3/4 stretch.
Trim and sew down the edges and add your snaps.

Larger snap setting.
Smaller snap setting.

Go HERE to the downloads post for an easier place to begin your cloth diaper sewing journey.  :)


  1. Hai. I love to read about your diaper experience!

    Do you think I can sew these for my 2 year old for a day diaper?
    I mean this pattern and use like a aio.
    What do you think?

    1. For sure. Sew the soaker into the inner fabric. I have made a few like that. I did 1 layer cotton sweatshirt fleece, 1 layer heavy hemp fleece, and the top layer bamboo microterry for a light daytime trainer and added a second soaker over the top sewn at both the top and bottom for a heavier absorbency/nap/night one.

    2. Is there any absorbency to these besides the inner liner? I am wondering if I can add a hidden layer of micro terry to the inside but I am concerned that might make the design too thick for the FOE. I have only done foe covers before so I am not too experienced with it.

    3. The inner isn't absorbent in this example. This is just a tutorial on how to do the body assembly. Absorbency would be up to you like with any cloth PUL outer diaper. You could do a sewn-in soaker like an AIO. A snap-in like an AI2. Or a pocket opening with a stuffable insert like I show in one of the other trainer pictorials.


  2. So, how many pieces of elastic per hip piece?

    1. 2 on the FOE versions and 3 on the cased-only.

  3. hi I'm new doing this cloth diaper my baby is 10 month so i decided to start saving some money,to print the pattern how do i set my printer

    1. You want to print it with no scaling or manually set to 100%. Don't let it "fit to page" or scale up/down. Then check the measurement key box to make sure it printed correctly. :)

  4. thank you so much! I love your patterns and your tutorials, i think they are very clear and easy to follow.

  5. how long did you make the elastic pieces for the sides? also what length did you make your foe pieces?
    Thank you

  6. Can I substitute a different material for the microfleece? I don't think I have any on hand.