This tutorial was elaborated by my Mom, the most experienced and gifted seamstress I know. I also have a tutorial on a V2 TotsBots done by hand by my friend Adrienne, if you don’t have a sewing machine and are a bit less picky about how the finished diaper looks.
The old elastic is not removed because it is stitched directly to the PUL. Removing the old elastic would be very time-consuming and risk damaging the water-proof-ness of the PUL.
- Sewing machine;
- 1/4 inch polybraided elastic; (5.5 inches per side)
- Jersey ball-point size 10 needle;
- Seam ripper;
- Pen or marker;
- Safety pin;
Diagram for your reference (hand-drawn by yours truly):
First, reinforce the stitching at both ends where the elastic is going to be fed through. (This may seem like extra work now but you will appreciate it when you feed the elastic through the casing).
I do this by stitching from about 1″ to 1 1/2″ and then back stitching. At diaper front, you will reinforce the stitching that runs along the edge – point A (approx 1″ to 1 1/2″ from B) to point B and backstitch. Then from C (approx 1″ to 1 1/2″ from D) to D and backstitch. You can remove the stitches between point B and D now.
At the back end of the diaper (with the flap) you will have to undo the stitches holding the flap before you reinforce those stitches.
Once stitches have been removed, stitch from point E (approx 1″ to 1 1/2″ from F) to point F (use the original stitch marks as your guide) and backstitch. You can remove the stitches between point F and G now.
If any of the stitching between point D and F has come undone, you could sew a continuous line from point D to F instead of breaking it up at point C and E.
Now take your elastic and mark 5 1/2″ from the end but do not cut.
Pull diaper tongue out. Attaching a safety pin at the cut end of the elastic, put your hand inside the diaper, between PUL and minky, and insert the new elastic from back of diaper, flap end, using the safety pin to grip the elastic and push and pull it through.
Pull the elastic through until it is about 1/4″ past the original stitch line (B-D). Let the elastic relax so it doesn’t get sucked back into casing when you remove the safety pin now. From the right side of diaper, you can feel with your fingers to make sure the elastic is past line B-D by 1/4″. If it isn’t, just put your hand inside again and pull elastic through until it is.
Now you will stitch the elastic in place on the right side of diaper. Backstitch securely. At this point I add another row of stitching about 1/4″ below (line W-X) to ensure elastic isn’t going anywhere.
Now you can pull elastic from the uncut end and stretch it until you see the 5 1/2″ mark you made.
Pull it through until the mark is 1/4″ past the original stitch line F-G. Do not cut yet. If for whatever reason you accidentally let go of the elastic, you can still grab it, unlike a cut piece – been there, done that!
Hold the elastic tight with your fingers. You might need to scooch the casing fabric towards the other end to give you more room to work. Before you sew elastic in place, make sure the flap is back in its original position. This is a bit more fiddly. Once it is, stitch in place, backstitch securely and without breaking your stitch, continue stitching line F-E to sew flap down. Add another row of stitching, line Y-Z to further secure elastic.
Now you can cut the elastic at the mark you made.
And, repeat for the other side!