Ok, I’m itching for another project. Are you? What to do???? I got the idea for this next project from a friend of mine on Fertility Friend. She found the project on Diaper Swappers where a mom had created “Daddy Flats”. These are essentially flat cloth diapers made from old t-shirts that daddy doesn’t wear anymore. They are cut to have wings that easily fold in to create more absorbency in the center of the diaper. Maybe that's another reason they call them Daddy Flats. They are a flat diaper, but cut into a shape that makes cloth diapering easy for even the most origami challenged (aka ... Daddy).
Always trying to tailor projects to my needs, available resources, and my uncontrollable urge to experiment, I’ve decided to change up the original design. First, I'm going to turn and topstitch my diapers. If I had a serger machine I'd love to try a few that way as well since it would be faster, but I don’t and I do not like the look of a zig-zag stitch on the edge (although you could do it that way as well). Secondly, I am going to be adding a soaker pad into the center of the diaper turning it from a flat to a prefold diaper. This will increase the drying time, but also the absorbency of the diaper. Lastly, I'm going to change the pattern design a bit. I wanted to be able to jellyroll the side flaps easily so I squared them out instead of angling them at the top. I also squared out the tabs on the waist so they lay nicer when on the baby.
First thing is first. We need to gather up some old t-shirts. I gathered up a mixture of both my old t-shirts and Brian’s old t-shirts. The more fun the pattern on them the better. Brian’s shirts are of course much larger so I can get two or three diapers out of each of his shirts depending on the cut versus only one out of mine. I tried to find the shirts with the best quality of cotton and that were the thickest. I have some shirts that are REALLY thin and those just won’t do. I also tried to make sure that they were all 100% cotton.
Next thing I needed to do was gather up an old towel that I could cut up for the soakers. Believe me. I have plenty of old towels lying around in my closet. Light colors are better so they don’t show through the fabric of the t-shirt.
Now it’s time to get down to business. Follow the step by step process below to create your own Upcycled T-Shirt Wing Prefolds.
What you will need:
Wing Prefold Pattern (Print both Pattern A and Pattern B to scale)
Old T-shirts (make sure there are no holes and they are not too thin)
Thread (in coordinating or contrasting color to your t-shirts)
Fabric Marking Tool (Washable Marker, Washable Pencil, Chalk, etc.)
Upcycled T-Shirt Wing Prefolds – Step By Step:
- Lay your T-Shirt out on a flat surface. Make sure that the T-Shirt is turned inside out. Completely smooth out the T-shirt. Iron if necessary.
- Lay your pattern on top of the T-shirt making sure that it is straight. If the T-shirt has a pattern, center it where you want it on the diaper. Pin your pattern onto the shirt, or use weights to hold it down. Trace your pattern onto the shirt. Remove the pins and pattern from the shirt. Leave the shirt sitting flat on the table.
Size: NB (8"x12")
Size: SM (9"x14.5")
Size: MD (9"x16.5")
Size: LG (10"x19")
- Fold your soaker in half and lay it in the center of your t-shirt diaper cutout. Pin the soaker to the diaper at the top and the bottom.
- Trim the corners of your diaper so that they will not be bulky when you turn the diaper right side out. Make sure not to cut into your stitching.
- Straighten the soaker out so that it is once again in the center of the diaper. Flip the edges of the exposed soaker into the diaper as well as the edges of the t-shirt that are not sewn. Iron this flat so it will be easier to sew closed. Fasten with a pin if needed.
Voila! How did yours come out? I can’t wait to use mine. They look so cute. The best part is that I didn’t have to go out and spend any money to make these diapers to add to my stash. Cost = $0.00. Can’t beat that!
*SOME HELPFUL TIPS*
- Make sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of stitching so that your stitching won't pull out.
- When rounding corners, stop the machine at the corner, lower your needle, lift the foot, and rotate your fabric. Lower the foot again and continue sewing. This will create a nice clean corner.
- Use fun coordinating thread to really make a statement with your diapers.
- Knit fabric is really stretchy. Keep a close eye on your sewing so you don't get off track and make sure your fabric doesn't get get sucked into the sewing machine causing it to jam.
*SOME FUN ALTERATIONS*
- Try one T-Shirt fabric on one side and another on the other side. This will give you a fun reversible diaper.
- Try leaving a pocket opening where the soaker is so you can easily add additional inserts as needed.
*HOW TO USE YOUR UPCYCLED T-SHIRT WING PREFOLD*
- Trifold the side flaps in. Flip the front of the diaper up over baby. Close the wings around the baby's waist. Secure with a Snappi or pins. *For added absorption lay a doubler in the diaper before you trifold the side flaps in.
- Jellyroll the side flaps in. Flip the front of the diaper up over baby. Flair the front of the diaper out and around baby's tummy. Close the wings around the baby's waist. Secure with a Snappi or pins. *For added absorption lay a doubler down the center of the diaper.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Don’t forget to post pictures of your creations on my Facebook page so I can see how cute they all came out. Better yet … post a picture of your little bundle of joy wearing one of your Upcycled T-Shirt Prefolds. Who doesn’t love to see babies in fluff?
*This post is part of the Upcycled Crafting Challenge (#freefromtrash) hosted by Calley, The Eco Chic, and is part of a one month challenge to create from trash. This challenge will hopefully open your eyes to the number of items that we still end up trashing every day that could be used by ourselves or our kids to create fun and useful items. To find out more about the challenge and to see other projects click on over to Calley’s announcement post.*
Check out some of the other great posts from today below and be sure to link up your projects today too!!! Just link to your blog post, Pinterest picture, Photobucket Picture, etc. I'd love to see your t-shirt projects.