One of the biggest problems I’ve encountered in converting prefolds into fitteds is that the wing length is limited to the width of the prefold – unless you want to fuss around with sewing on extension tabs. But those are usually cut from the remnant pieces, and I like to use those to make a soaker.
Well, last night while I was laying in bed trying to sleep, the solution hit me. If it weren’t for the ticking clock reminding me that I would be waking up in a few short hours to the sound of “MAAAAMA!” shouted through my boys’ bedroom door, I would have run down to my sewing room right at that moment to try it out. I’m just glad I didn’t forget it by morning. I have a feeling that a lot of really good ideas end up lost because I think them up right before I fall asleep.
I’m surprised I didn’t think of this sooner. In fact, I’m surprised that in all my diaper-making days, I’ve never come across any other tutorials explaining this method. It’s just that simple. It does have a couple of limitations: first, it only works if you’re adding a layer of fabric to your diaper (outer or inner), and it only works with normal prefolds, where the edges are actually folded. There are some specialty “prefold” diapers on the market that are stitched or serged down the sides – this tutorial won’t work with those. But it should work for any standard Chinese or Indian prefold.
This method addresses a few problems common to prefold conversions: first of all, the wing length. For a lot of bigger/chunkier babies, standard prefitteds just don’t cut it. With this method, you can typically add 50% or MORE extra wing length, making it MUCH more adjustable, and more accommodating for big babies and toddlers . Second of all, with standard prefold conversions, I’ve found that the front of the diaper tends to be very thick and stiff because of all the layers in the wings. Because this method essentially removes layers from the wings, the front of the diaper is much softer as a result. I love it! I’m going to do all of my conversions this way from now on.
As always, click on the thumbnails to see full-size pictures. :)
|The first step is to trace/sketch your contour pattern onto your prefold. The goal here to make the wings longer than the width of the prefold, so the wings should go off the edge a little bit.|
|Now, make a little snip right below the spot where the contour line for the wing hits the edge of the prefold. Make sure not to cut through the line!|
|Pull the fabric apart a little bit where you made the cut. Most prefolds are made with 2 layers of fabric on the edges, folded over to make 4 layers. You want to cut through ONLY the top two layers.|
|Cut straight in until you reach the center stitching, then cut up, and back across to the edge.|
|Unfold the piece you just cut. Voila! There’s your extended wing.|
|Repeat for the other side…|
|Now lay your pre-cut fabric piece on top of the prefold. In this example, I’m adding an outer layer, but an inner layer would work just as well.|
|Either serge around the edges, or cut and zig-zag to sew the layers together.|
|From this point, you can follow the directions in my Prefold to Fitted Tutorial to add snaps, elastic, and a soaker.|
|Look at those nice long wings!|
|SEAMLESS crossover wings on a prefitted? Oh yes you can!|