Well it’s been several days since my last post and I’ve been very busy trying to get my projects done before the baby comes. One of those things are the fitted diapers. I looked around at several patterns before choosing one. At first I was going to make the one from Little Bean Bum. After asking at www.diaperswappers.com, they guided me towards Rita’s Rump Pockets. I took a look at the pattern and immediately fell in love with it. It is simple to create and it is a one-size fitted pocket diaper so it works from infancy through toddlerhood.
Instructions that come with Rita’s rump pocket diaper patterns are sparse and so I did a little bit of Google searching and came across this YouTube video from greenmommydiapers.com. Her video is great, very informative and very helpful. However after watching it the first time I didn’t like having to watch sections and then pause it as I sewed mine. It left me wishing for some written instructions. That’s where this post comes in. I will provide you written instructions complete with step-by-step photos. I still recommend you check out Green mommy’s video but hopefully this will also be of help to you. I did take the advice from GreenMommy to reduce the front tabs by about 1 ½”. I went ahead and did that, so you will notice that in my photos.
First head over to Rita’s Rump website and download the classic pattern. You will need to print out the pattern and piece it together. When you print it out, make sure to check that the size indicator is correct, it should measure 1″ x 1″. If it does not, your printer or computer is likely scaling the pattern. Adjust your print settings so this is not the case and print again. When you cut out the pattern, make sure to cut an extra half-inch around the edge. This is for your seam allowance, which is not included in the pattern. There will not actually be enough paper to create the extra half inch on all parts of the pattern so what I did was tape more paper underneath those sections so I have enough for the seam allowance. Once you have cut the pieces out, including a seam allowance, tape them together matching the indicators on the pattern pieces.
Now you’re ready to begin. First prep your flannel fabric. Start with a prepped cut of flannel that is approximately 22″ x 20″ when folded in half, or two prepped cuts each of 22” x 20” and stacked on top of each other. (you can use 19” x 20” if you’ve shortened your tabs as mentioned above). Lay out your pattern as shown below:
Pin and cut out your pattern. I like to use a rotary cutter as it seems to go much faster for me. Don’t worry about the darts/arrows for now:
This is a tip I learned from GreenMommy’s video tutorial. Cut the arrow inwards slightly on the seam allowance of THE PATTERN ONLY. Next get a sharpie marker and place it on the fabric in that space. Hold it there for a few seconds and the mark will bleed through to the second layer. Since the mark is in the seam allowance, it will never show on the finished product. A much faster way of marking fabric if you ask me!
Flip over your cut out pattern to double-check that all dots have bled through to the second layer:
Next using a serger or overlocking stitch on a regular sewing machine, finish the edge of each diaper piece where the opening will be. This is the longest rather straight edge:
*note that the two pieces are NOT stitched together.
Now matching the two identical pieces, pin them all the way around the edges, noting where the marks by the serged end are. I place my pins with the head facing the opposite way as from the rest:
Starting at one opening mark, stitch all the way around the outside of the diaper. You will be stitching at ½” from the edge (the seam allowance you created on the pattern earlier). See photo below (color has been adjusted so that it is easier to see the stitching):
Attaching the leg elastics are next. Make sure you are attaching the leg elastics to the diaper on the seam allowance. I like to place a pin across the dot for the leg markings like so:
Again I have GreenMommy to thank for the following technique to attach the elastic. Place the elastic about ½” past the elastic marking on the seam allowance:
Set your machine to a three stitch zigzag (it looks like this on my machine and is stitch #5:(I used a stitch length of 1.0 and a stitch width of 5.0). You will now stitch down from the edge of the elastic to the marking where the pin/marker is at. Once you get to that spot, set your stitch legnth to 0, or disengage your feed dogs. Then stitch in place 3-4 times:
Once you’ve stitched in place to anchor the elastic, switch the stitch to a regular zigzag (remember to re-engage the feed-dogs if they were disengaged) and the stitch length to as long as it will go (on my machine that is 4.0). Holding the diaper firmly with both hands, one behind the machine and one in front if it. Stretch the elastic as far as it will go and stitch it down to the diaper on the seam allowance until you reach the next elastic marking.
Switch back to the three stitch zigzag with a length of zero or with the feed-dogs disengaged. Anchor the elastic in place on this end. Then increase the length/engage the feed-dogs and sew aproximately ½” down the elastic with that same stitch:
Cut the elastic and threads, then repeat for the other leg opening:
Now trim the corners to aproximately 1/8” (so they will be less bulky when turned):
Ironing time! Iron the opening edges down (on both sides):
When done with the above step, the opening should look like this:
Flip the diaper right-side out now, and iron down all the edges except the elastic edges (some prefer to skip the iron and just pin all around. I think ironing makes the sewing step much smoother):
Stitch the opening down, being careful to only stitch one side/layer at a time:
We’re down to the last little bit! First, I find it easiest to mark the elastic with pins. Feel in the diaper where the elastic starts, and place a pin. Then feel where the anchor stitch is (right after this is where the elastic is stretched) and put another pin. Do this for both ends of the elastic on both legs.
Stretch the elastic and pin flat the leg hole. I found it easiest to hold one side of the diaper between my pregnant belly and the table, stretch the diaper with my left hand, and place pins with my right. I tried this both holding the diaper in the air, and against the table. In the air seemed easiest for me, because then I could smooth out the fabric on both sides. Find what works best for you.
Then pin every ¼” – ½” on the elastic for both legs. Once you finish pinning both legs, your diaper should look something like this:
Here is a close-up of one of the pinned legs:
Finally, our last step. We’re going to sew all the way around the diaper. Start at the opening, stitch from the edge to where your opening stitch is to reinforce the opening:
Then take a 90 degree turn and stitch about ¼” from the edge of the diaper until you get close to where the elastic begins. As you approach the beginning of the elastic, slowly ease your stitch to 5/8” from the edge of the diaper so as to ensure you do not catch the elastic in your stitches (if you did catch the elastic in your stitches, it would prevent the elastic from stretching):
You will be creating a casing for the elastic by making sure you stitch around the elastic, and stretching the diaper as you do so (just as you stretched the elastic when you attached it):
After you pass the elastic ease back to ¼” from the edge of the diaper. Repeat the easing and stretching when you get to the elastic in the other leg. When you reach the other side of the diaper opening, again stitch up and down from the edge of the diaper to the ¼” mark where your stitches are to reinforce this side of the opening. You are now finished. Take out the pins and your diaper should look something like this:
The brilliance of this Rita’s Rump Pocket diaper is that you can stuff it with a pre-fold or any insert and adjust the fit of the diaper for any sized child. I have mine stuffed with a regular sized pre-fold (see pre-fold tutorial in this post), and put it on a 15” Bitty Baby doll and a LARGE teddy bear for an example:
To fit it on the tiny doll, I folded the tab edges over like this (they didn’t stay completely folded over for the photo, but you can get the idea):
What do you think? Have you made this pattern before? Do you have any tips to share? Are these directions clear or is there something I can clarify better?