Let’s face it, cloth diapers don’t last forever! Eventually every diaper that has elastic will lose its stretch (become relaxed) and will need a new elastics to be as functional as before. A diaper’s lifespan can be 1.5-3+ years before needing repairs; this will vary based on your washing/drying routine and the diaper itself. If you need your diapers to last though multiple children replacing cloth diaper elastics is a skill worth learning!
Lara, DDL contributor, came over and we filmed a 2 part video series on how to replace the elastics in cloth diapers! You’ll hear the noises of 3 children, 2 of Lara’s and 1 of mine. We tried our best to keep them entertained but in Part 2 you will find that Lara’s baby Autumn makes random appearances on her lap while she is at the sewing machine! Don’t worry, Lara is an experienced seamstress and does this often with great care taken to keep her baby safe.
- Sewing Machine
- Seam Ripper
- 1/4″ Elastics or Elastic Repair Kit (sold at some diaper stores for use with bumGenius)
The seam ripping is the most time consuming portion of replacing elastics (unless you are feeding through the elastic casings in certain brands like bumGenius 4.0). Lara says she likes to rip seams while the kids are sleeping and she is binging on Netflix shows. The actual sewing portion can take less than 10 minutes per diaper
Pull up a chair, sit your laptop or tablet next to your sewing machine, and start repairing those diapers! With new elastics your diapers can last another 1-3 years or more!
In Part 1 Lara replaces the elastics in a Flip Cover. The Flip has encased elastic with an extra strip of PUL over the top. This same technique could be applied to other brands of diapers as well.
In Part 2 Lara replaces the elastic in an AppleCheeks envelope cover. In this procedure it took considerably longer since the elastic was completely crumbled and in a million pieces but that process was cut out for your own sake. This cover has back, stomach, and leg elastics and you’ll notice each step wasn’t left in the video to save time but once you have performed one side the same will be done to the rest.
Every diaper will have a different construction but the basics in this video should help you succeed with your own diapers! For those with pocket diapers with encased elastics, especially the bumGenius 4.0, you may be able to simply remove the old elastics and feed in fresh, bouncy elastic with safety pins and just stitch down the ends. Diaper Wrecker has a tutorial to this end. I’ve also heard and tried the simple trick in my 4.0’s of just clipping one side of the old elastic, pulling it tighter, and stitching it back for a QUICK but temporary fix. Old elastic won’t stretch as far, if any, and new bouncy elastic is really the way to go if you can.
Watching Lara work her magic in person while filming the video has inspired me to try on my own diapers! I’m so thrilled to have such an expert share her knowledge for DDL. Happy Sewing!