making do: repairing diaper covers

This post originally ran in January 2009. It’s almost a walk down memory lane as I work on potty training child number five this summer. It’s hard to believe I used to wash diapers every other day, and now it’s twice a week.

We use cloth diapers and nylon covers to save money on diapers. I do keep disposables in the house to use at MOPS, on field trips, or when we go to a family party. Sometimes I take a day off from laundering and use disposables.

As a result, now that we’re cloth diapering our fourth child, the diaper covers are getting pretty worn. From time to time, I’ve needed to sew the bias tape edging back in place, but I hadn’t been able to figure out how to fix the leg gusset elastic that has stretched over time. Until now!

pinning new elastic place on diaper coverFirst, I tried fixing the existing elastic by taking apart the seam. Unfortunately the existing elastic was sewn into place.

Then I decided to sew a new piece of elastic on the inside of the leg gusset. I took a four or five inch piece of 1/4 inch wide elastic (about the size for the leg opening) and somewhat carefully pinned it in place. I stretched the elastic a little as I pinned and put pins in about every half inch. I tend to rush things so it would probably work even better to pin every quarter inch.

new elastic sewn in place on diaper coverThen, using my sewing machine, I ran a line of stitching down the middle of the pinned elastic, stretching out the elastic as I sewed it. As you can see from the picture on the right, I didn’t stay in the middle sometimes, but that’s because I like to do things quickly.

Initially it took me about five minutes to do each side of the cover. As I got used to the stretching and pinning part, I probably ended up spending about 6 – 8 minutes doing the entire diaper.

The top back of the diaper cover also has elastic, but it hasn’t been an issue for leaks.

While I was working on each diaper, I checked the edgings for loose threads and cleaned up the velcro tabs.

At $8.95 for a new diaper, I’m glad that I was able to get our collection back into working order using the elastic that I already had in my sewing box.

Frugal Friday, It’s A Hodge Podge Friday

Meet Barb

Barb Hoyer has written 4285 posts.

After working in the fundraising world for over ten years, Barb is an avid runner, writer, photographer, parent volunteer, and lover of dictionaries and thesauruses. Wife to an engineer and mom to 5 kids, Barb lives in the suburbs of Philly. Her idea of relaxation is an afternoon on the couch with a stack of books.

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