When I dragged the diapers out of the attic I realized that I was right to worry about the elastic. It was shot.
I looked for some tutorials online to help replace the elastic in AIO diapers* and found what I thought was the perfect tutorial. The only problem was, I discovered that the elastic in the Kushies AIOs was sewn into the side seams and not simply floating in a casing. [On the other hand, if you want to replace the elastic in an AIO that does have the elastic through a casing, it’s a great tutorial.]
Well, then I realized that the nature of the seams in the Kushies AIO meant that there was a ready-made casing. And the old elastic? Ignore it. Don’t even fool with ripping out the side seams. So you’re not exactly replacing the elastic, just adding elastic that, you know, works.
What you need:
Sharp pointed scissors
1/2 inch braided elastic (budget approximately 10-12 inches per size medium diaper)
Beleaguered AIO diapers
Here’s a medium (10-22 pounds) Kushies AIO ultra diaper.
As you can see, the elastic is dead.
Here’s a close-up of the side seams. You see the ready-made casing?
That’s two layers of flannel and a waterproof backing.
Find the place where the elastic ends. (You can feel the bump.) In approximately that place, carefully cut only through the top layer of flannel. Do this at either end of the elastic on one side.
See? Here’s the layer of flannel beneath. Don’t cut through it.
Now get out your elastic.
Pin a safety pin (this one is kind of medium-sized – diaper pins will be too big) through the end of the elastic. You will use this as your bodkin to thread the elastic through the casing. Note: It’s a lot easier to thread a good length of elastic than to try to cut it to fit before you know exactly how long you want. Keep the pin in and keep using your long piece until you use it up.
Insert the safety pin through one of the holes you cut.
Push the safety pin along the casing.
Keep going until you reach the other hole.
Pull the safety pin through and the elastic behind it.
Leave about this much at the end.
Time to sew! Fold over the edge of the elastic and take a few stitches through it.
End up by stitching through the elastic toward the diaper.
Now, stitch through the under layer of flannel. Do NOT stitch through the waterproof layer.
Here is one stitch through the flannel and back up again through the elastic (before I pulled it snug).
Stitch through the elastic and flannel a total of two to three times.
Now tug gently on the other end of the elastic.
The end you’ve been sewing will pop below the edge of the hole.
Don’t cut your thread. Now just stitch the edges of the hole closed by taking a stitch through either side of the hole and moving up like a ladder. Pull it snug.
Tie the thread off and cut it. One end done!
Now move to the other end. Pull on the elastic until you get the desired tension.
Cut the elastic leaving this much:
Now just repeat the previous steps until the elastic is sewn down and the hole closed.
Here is what it should look like after you finish one side. The left side is done.
Repeat the process for the other side. This is what it looks like when you’re done.
And a comparison of a diaper with replaced elastic (left) with one yet to be done (right).
*AIO = all-in-one. The diaper looks most like a disposable except it’s made from cloth with a waterproof outside. No need for a separate cover.