My Love-Hate Relationship With Wool
Although there was never a time that I doubted I would cloth diaper my children, I have not always relished every second of it. Wool diaper covers have been the bane of my existence as a cloth diapering mother. Washing them is something I always procrastinate – mainly because it requires some extra TLC. I love them more than I hate them though. And in this case the good does out weigh the bad.
- Do not absorb odors
- Naturally anti-bacterial
- Wick away moisture and heat from baby’s bum
- Can shrink
- Require washing by hand with special care products
- Not machine washable
- Kind of expensive
Make Your Own Wool Diaper Cover For $2.00 Or Less
There is a way to make wool diaper covers for near to nothing with all the benefits of the fiber but without the huge price-tag. The neutral tones in covers like the aristocrats are beautiful, but the bright colors that can be found in thrifted wool sweaters are lots of fun and pretty too.
Below are photos and instructions for how I made a wool soaker for only $2.00 (cost of sweater).
Sizing is as follows:
Premie…..cut three sides of triangle by 10 inches (26cm)
Newborn….cut three sides of triangle by 12 inches (31cm)
Medium…..cut three sides of triangle by 16 inches (41cm)
Toddler….cut three sides of triangle by 20 inches (51cm)
Super……cut three sides of triangle by 24 inches (61cm)
(sizing chart taken from Borntolove.com)
- 1 wool sweater that you can cut up, the larger the better
- sewing machine
- measuring tape or ruler
- straight edge
Felt Wool Sweater:
You want the wool to be thick, soft and shrunken so it will contain moisture. If the knit of your sweater is already thick then you may be able to skip this step.
Wash the sweater in the washing machine in hot water to felt the wool. Place your sweater in an old pillowcase that you knot closed before washing to prevent your washing machine from getting filled with lint balls. Use a small amount of a gentle, unscented detergent. Dry the sweaters on high in dryer. You may need to repeat this process until the wool is properly felted.
Measure & Cut:
Measure baby’s waist and see sizing chart above. All three sides of your triangle will be the same length.
Cut off the cuffs of the sweater – these will be the leg cuffs for your wool soaker.
Pin and Sew Soaker Base:
Fold up your triangle like an envelope per above photo.
Pin your edges together. Do not pin the whole length to leave room for where you will attach the cuff. (see above photo)
Sew pinned length using a zigzag stitch. Then stop and cut your thread.
Above is what it should look like thus far.
Grab your cut wrist cuffs, right sides facing out, and put them inside your base like above.
Pin them inside the two holes/spaces left for them.
Sew all together. My seams were 3/8″ wide using a zig-zag stitch. Be careful as you sew this part since it is very easy to sew over something that you didn’t mean to. I try to avoid the seam ripper at all costs! 🙂
Turn cover right side out to see your almost finished wool soaker. Above is what the leg cuff should look like now.
Fold and Sew Down Cuffs (optional) :
Fold down cuff.
Sew by hand the folded cuff to itself on the seam.
Here is the finished soaker. Congratulations!
- Lanolize and air dry.
- Learn the ins and out of caring for wool from experienced cloth diapering parents at this Diaperswappers.com forum.
- Zany Zebra Designs has very thorough instructions for how to care for your wool, including making how to make your own wool wash.
I made mine 16 inches, without measuring, and that’s why it came out way too small. Mr. Happy Feet is not a medium size baby – what was I thinking?
I guess it’s time to make another one! No big deal since these are so easy and quick to make. What to do with the medium one I made though…
Next I want to try making a wrap style wool diaper cover using touch tape closures.
Good article, great sharing. Who is that little guy crawling in the grass?
This is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks!
I love this!! Thank you so very much for the tutorial. I was planning on crocheting some woolies but this might be a bit easier well quicker..I can’t wait to start.
So glad you found this tutorial helpful Jillian. I would love to see photos of your finished soakers if you make some. These crocheted diaper wraps are on my to do list, maybe you might find them something you would want to make too. Happy sewing and hooking. 🙂
Can you define the sizes? Around how many pounds? Just want to make sure I make the right size! Thanks!
Hi Alison, I would recommend that you measure around your baby’s waist and see what that number is. Then go to the sizing chart above and match it to the closest number probably rounding up. I am sorry that I don’t really have a sizing chart by weight. Hope that helps.
Pinned! Just ordered my first fitted diapers and want to try making my own covers.
Thrift stores must be super-cheap in the States, though! Where I am in SW Ontario, wool sweaters run $7 + at a thrift store.
it is really convinient. i would like to introduce my Korean friend. if you don’t mind.
thank you for good tip for baby diaper cover.
If you do not have a sewing machine would they be difficult to make?
I would think you could make these by hand as well, but it would be more tedious. You’d want to make sure your stitching was strong so your seams didn’t come apart seeing as how this would get a lot of wear and tear on it.
Hi Nicole! Think I could try to make these with 100% wool blankets instead of a sweater?
Hi Alisha! It’s would definitely worth a try. I think you could, but you wouldn’t (most likely) have the ribbing for the leg openings, so I would double the length of the leg part and make it a rolled cuff so to speak, just to add some security there for blow outs and such. Good Luck!
Just a single layer of felted wool is enough? Or should I double up?
You could double up. It really depends on the thickness of your sweater you are using.