Upcycle Wool Diaper Covers

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Making Diapers is part of my pile of summer projects.  You can read about the rest here.

Why Upcycle Wool Diaper Covers?

If you have wanted to try wool diaper covers but been afraid to shell out the big bucks making your own upcycle wool diaper covers is affordable and easy!

I love cloth diapering and when we started having serious night time issues with leaks I decided it was time to investigate wool.  If you are unfamiliar, wool is a natural fiber and can absorb one-third of its weight in water, thus reducing diaper leaks!  When lanolized (lanolin is a natural wax that is created by wool growing animals) wool becomes water-resistant.  This combination makes wool the perfect natural choice for diaper covers!

Back in November I made my first set of Wool covers:

Upcycle Wool Diaper Cover
Upcycle Wool Diaper Covers

I have been wanting to make some more ever since!  

Follow along and you will have some great upcycle wool covers for your baby!

Make Upcycle Diaper Covers With Me!

Supplies:

  • Fabric or other sharp scissors
  • Sewing machine It doesn’t have to be a fancy one.  The machine I have is a super old basic Brother.  I do suggest if you plan to make your own PUL diaper covers that you invest in a machine that will do the three step zigzag as from tutorials I have watched it seems that stitch holds up better. .
  • 100% Polyester thread (otherwise the stitching will wick moisture.
  • Large or extra large 100% wool sweaters from your closet or the thrift store.
  • Computer and printer for printing the pattern.
  • Clear tape

Felt Old Sweaters

The first you have to do to make upcycle wool diaper covers is find some good quality wool sweaters from a thrift store.  I didn’t have much trouble finding some in the first thrift store I went to, but you may have to hunt around.   Men’s sweaters are easiest to find because most women’s clothes are made with artificial fibers or are too small after felting. I found 3 sweaters for a total of $12.

Once you get your sweaters home you will need to cut them apart:

Then place all the parts of each sweater into a pillow case. This keeps the felting process from getting too messy.  For three sweaters  I used three pillowcases.  I put each cut sweater in its own case and tied it closed with a hair tie.

Wash

Next wash the sweaters on warm.  The lady whose instructions I followed suggests using warm and not hot water because hot could be too hot causing too much felting. However, I washed twice on warm and was disappointed in the lack of felting so I washed a third time on hot.  This provided better results. Next time I will probably wash the first time or two on hot, then warm as I get closer to the desired level of felting.  You shouldn’t be able to see through the fibers if it is felted completely. 

Upcycle wool diaper cover

You should dry after each wash.  Dry on high leaving sweaters in their pillowcases.   Also you can toss in some tennis balls in the washer and or dryer to help the process.

After the sweaters are dry check for level of felting

If you want the sweaters to be thicker or fluffier repeat the process.  I think the first batch I did 4 times but I didn’t cut the sweaters apart the first time. This time I only felted 3 times but I probably should have done the thinner wool one more time.  

After your wool is felted you can treat it just like fabric.

Creating the cover

I used the Katrina Soaker Pattern to make my upcycle Wool diaper covers. Her directions are great and her pictures are better than ones I tried to take. Please download her directions if you want to try this pattern.

Before you begin print the pattern pieces.  Cut them to the right size being mindful of which line you should be cutting.  Next tape them together carefully matching up the lines.  I would say most babies wouldn’t need anything larger than a small.  Little A (27lbs, 32 inches) wears a medium over a giant stuffed pocket diaper but as it wears in the wool stretches so even he could probably fit in a small for normal use.  

After you pin the pattern to the fabric cut it out.  The easiest way to make the legs is to just cut the sleeves to the length you want leaving the cuffs at the bottom.  Also save the edges as they make cute cuffs and waist bands even if you decide not to use the sleeves for legs.

Sew!

Next sew the wet zone into the body.

Sew the side seams wrong side out.  The wrong side is the one with the wet zone showing.

Sew in the legs.  This part is tricky, keeping the body inside out stick the legs in so the right side is touching the right side of the soaker body.  Sew around stretching the leg to match the leg hole if necessary.  I don’t have a camera I could get a picture with while holding all the parts together.  There are some good pictures in the directions though.

To finish sew the waistband together at the edges.  

Fold the waistband in half.  Attach it to the soaker by turning the soaker right side out and putting it inside the waistband.  Stretch the waistband as you sew. Unless you used the fringe from the sweater, then just sew normally as it will already be semi elasticity.  

Then you have a finished upcycle wool soaker, or 3!

One of My Wool Diaper Covers
Wool Diaper Cover AKA Longies
One of My Wool Diaper Covers
Wool Diaper Cover Shorties
One of My Wool Diaper Covers
Another Pair of Longies

If you try it out let us know!

What questions do you have about using wool?  What other projects could you use upcycle wool for?

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3 Replies to “Upcycle Wool Diaper Covers”

  1. I don’t know how to do this, as I have never done it myself, but a number of backpackers enjoy making their own gear. One of the best base-layer fabrics I know of is wool, specifically because of the absorbent properties you mentioned. An upcycled-wool project could be to make one’s own wool base layer. I’ll have to tell my crafty, gear-making husband about it and see what he says!

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