How to Sew an AIO Cloth Diaper: DIY Tutorial


This diaper pattern and tutorial will show you how to make a sized all-in-one (AIO) diaper, meaning that the finished diaper will have no rise snaps. Unlike a one-size (OS) diaper with rise snaps, these diapers are made to fit for a certain length of time, meaning you will have to use the next size up when your baby grows out of them. This means more diapers, but it also means a better fit for most kiddos.

If you’ve been around this website and the Cloth Diapers for Beginners community for a while, you’ll know that I don’t sew. But that doesn’t mean that many members of our community haven’t saved a ton of money sewing their own diapers.

That’s why I turned to Cathy Antoniou, a long-time cloth diaper community member to share her cloth diapering patterns and step-by-step process with us. Below are her instructions and links to her cloth diaper patterns.


What You’ll Need to Sew Your Own AIO Diaper

For your all-in-one (AIO) diaper, you will need:

  • One layer of PUL fabric, and a strip of PUL to use a binding
  • A layer of absorbent cloth diaper fabric (I used a layer of stretch terry)
  • A layer of microfleece (or microsuede or AWJ if you prefer)
  • Three or four layers of absorbent fabric to make a soaker pad (I made a soaker pad of several layers of stretch terry)
  • Velcro/Aplix
  • A pattern (I used the Diaper Covers Deluxe pattern from New Conceptions, but it seems to no longer be available so I created some basic cloth diaper patterns, available for free here for the community)
  • Elastic (I used 1/4 inch wide elastic, 3/8 will also work)
  • Pins
  • Thread (100% polyester thread is best) 
  • A sewing machine

All-in-One Cloth Diaper Sewing Tutorial

Step One: Cut and Pin

Cut out your microfleece and stretch terry bodies and your soaker pad. Lay the soaker on the two layers and sew the soaker pad on.

The soaker pad here is pretty basic, and not shaped as you’ll see in the pattern. I don’t really think it matters, but if you have the time, a shaped soaker looks a lot nicer.

Here you will see I have a full layer of microfleece, the soaker pad, a full layer of stretch terry, and the full layer of PUL (it is a white diaper cover).

Step Two: Sew in the Gusset Elastics

The Quick Wrap pattern I used has gussets so I cut one layer of PUL, and one layer of flannel, and sewed the elastic onto the gusset. 

If you follow this method, sew the elastic on the back of the diaper. Sew it just on the two absorbent layers, not on the PUL layer.

Step Three: Binding

Next, get your binding foot ready. This foot makes the binding on your diaper look professional. It is a bit tricky to get the hang of, but with lots of practice, it really is what will give your diapers that clean look.

Fold the binding and then stick it into your binding foot.

Next, sew the binding onto the gussets to cover the elastic.

Step Four: Attach Your Snaps/Velcro

Don’t forget to attach your snaps, or sew your Velcro onto your PUL layer at the top (save the wings for later if you’re using aplix). I always forget that part!

Step Five: Sew it Up

The next step is to serge together your three layers, which also simplifies the process of putting on the binding. 

In this step, sew the gussets on as well.

I found it much easier to serge with the PUL on top and then to go back later and sew the gussets on with the regular sewing machine. It’s easier to control the slippery PUL when it’s on top. 

Following that, sew the binding all around the cover.

Step Six: Attach the Wing Aplix (If Not Done)

If you’re using aplix instead of snaps, now is the time to attach the hook part of the Velcro onto the wings. 

You can choose to let the Velcro stick out futher than the wings, which is great for babies with a bit more chunk to them. Or you can cut it flush with the edge of the diaper to make it look neater.

If you cut it flush, I like to sew it on before the binding because it looks very professional.

Step Seven: Enjoy Your New Diaper!

And then your done. Enjoy your beautiful new all-in-one!

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