I'd like to share with you how I made this wool diaper cover from an old sweater and without using a pattern. Some things you'll need:
1. 100% wool sweater
2. sewing machine
3. scissors or rotary cutter and board
6. cute baby
First thing you want to do is take your baby's measurements at the waist, thigh and rise (from belly button down between their legs to the point opposite the belly button on their back.) I took these measurements over the cloth diaper and cover she was wearing. You definitely want to factor in the bulk that you'll be covering.
My baby is eight months old and about 20 lbs. These were her measurements:
Waist: approx. 18 inches
Thigh: approx. 11 inches
Rise: approx 15 inches
First, find an old, 100% wool sweater. This was in my closet, but thrift stores are a great place to look. If you find a sweater that's accidentally been thrown in a washer and dryer, even better.
Next, you need to figure out how far from the bottom of the diaper to cut. If you want the finished rise of your cover to be 18 inches, cut 9.5 inches off the bottom of the sweater. Simply divide the rise in half and add .25 to .5 inches for a seam allowance.
You should now have a tube.
The great thing about using an old sweater is that a lot of the finishing is already done for you. See the ribbed band that was the bottom of the sweater? We're going to use this as our waist band. We're also going to take advantage of the side seams as well.
You want to cut a piece that equals half of your baby's waist measurement. Remember that knit material is pretty stretchy, so it's okay to cut it a little less than half.
I actually cut my piece right in half because I got two pieces each about 7 inches wide, and now I'll be able to make two covers from one sweater.
Next I turned it right sides facing, and sewed a straight line down the cut side with a quarter-inch seam allowance.(Edited 3/1/15: I sewed this cover using a straight stitch, which ended up working just fine. However, as this is a knit material, it is ideal to use the elastic stitch setting if your machine has one. A serger would be the best option, but I don't have one just yet. If you do use a straight stitch, realize that it will have no give and the stitches will be prone to tear if you try to stretch the fabric much after sewing. I was still able to use my cover just fine, but I did eventually have to repair a hole after the stitching broke in one place.)
Now it looks like a tiny skirt.
One more measurement to take: the width of baby's diapered crotch. Mine was four inches and I marked this on the bottom with chalk. You should also add seam allowance to this; I forgot, but it didn't make too much of a difference.
Next, I used half the thigh measurement to determine the length of the leg opening. You can use a string or flexible tape measure to lay on your fabric to make sure your line is the correct length. I just freehanded it.
Fold the piece in half and trace the line with a rotary cutter.
Sew the crotch shut.
Next, cut off both sleeves at the seam.
Trim the top.
Now, if you can, find a place on the sleeve that matches half your thigh measurement. Cut out a piece about 4 inches wide.
Take the tube you just cut and fold it so the wrong sides are together.
Pin to the outside of your leg opening and sew.
Or you can turn the soaker inside out and pin to the inside and sew. I actually found this way to be easier.
All this cover needs is to be lanolized, and you are done!
Some actions shots:
I love how thin and comfy the waist band is. She's wearing this over a flat diaper secured with a Snappi.
A bit of her diaper is poking out the top of the back, but since this hardly ever gets wet, I'm not worried about it.