DIY: How to Shorten Prefolds

Thank you to my friend Rachel over at Reluctantly Green for allowing me to pass along this fantastic tutorial!

One note I would like to add - while I tend to harass my friends for content to publish here, don't hesitate to contact me if you have something you've written about cloth diapering and would like to share!

From the Desk of Rachel S.

How to Shorten Prefolds

My daughter is 16-months-old with a skinny waist and short rise, but big thighs! This means she requires the width of a premium-size prefold, but the rise of an infant prefold. How to solve this problem? I trimmed the rise of my premium prefolds! This is super easy and really makes the prefold nice and trim because you don't need to fold down the rise. 

I originally found instructions on Karen's Cloth Diapering Site, but decided to take step-by-step pictures because that's what I like to follow. She sews the cut-off piece onto one edge of the prefold for a built-in doubler - great idea! 

  • Premium Prefold (any brand)
  • Scissors or Rotary cutter
  • Marking pen
  • Straight edge (I used a large picture book, but if you have a ruler that would be great)
  • Sewing machine (you will be using a straight stitch and a zig-zag stitch)

Begin with one Premium size prefold. Measure your baby (from the top of her butt in the back to just below her belly button in the front) to determine the rise length that you need. Or, measure a diaper that already fits perfectly.

Use a straight edge to mark where you want to cut your prefold. Mark with a fabric pen or your child's magic marker. 

Cut along your line. 

It should look like this: 

Take your prefold over to the sewing machine. You will begin by using a straight stitch. Sew about 1/4 inch from the edge of the prefold. Use whatever thread you want. I used blue so it would show up in the pictures. On the other prefold that I trimmed, I used white. 

When you're finished, it will look like this: 

Now you're going to use a zig-zag stitch on the edge. Set your machine for a tight zig-zag (short length) that is wide enough to cover the area (long width). 

You'll want your zig-zag to be along the edge of the prefold, so make sure you position it in the machine accordingly. Stitch along the edge of your prefold. 

You'll end up with something like this. Hopefully your sewing skills are a bit better than mine so yours turns out straight! 

If you want, trim a bit on the edge to get as close to the zig-zag stitch as possible. It will look especially wonky in the thickest part of the prefold because you had to cut through so many layers. Remember, the diaper will be under a cover so it doesn't need to be perfect. 

That's it, you're done! Go put the diaper on your adorable baby! :) 

I used the extra pieces to make doublers. One I just stitched along the edge. For the other, I cut off 1/3 of the strip and stitched it over the other thin part of the prefold, making it thick all the way across. 

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