tutorial: refreshing the elastic in best bottom diapers

IMGP8068-002it’s been awhile since i’ve done a tutorial and this one is fairly specific, but i didn’t find any other tutorials quite like this online, so i thought i’d share my solution to saggy elastic on cloth diaper covers.  although we use best bottom diapers, this tutorial would work on any similar diaper covers.  so… if your diapers look like the brown one below:

IMGP8067-001then your diapers could use some fresh elastic.

you’ll need these supplies:

IMGP8072the ball point bodkin is optional–you could use safety pins–but it’s a really handy tool that makes this job soooooo much easier.

step one:

IMGP8075make a tiny perpendicular incision in each end of the bindings on the legs and the back center of the diaper cover.

step two:

IMGP8077thread a 3-4″ piece of elastic through the end of the bodkin, then insert the ball-end into one of the incisions and pull it through.

IMGP8079IMGP8082IMGP8086step three:

when you get the elastic to the end, sew it with a compact zig-zag stitch both perpendicularly across and then parallel to the elastic.

IMGP8087 IMGP8090step four:

pull the bodkin all the way out and adjust the elastic to the tightness you desire, then zig-zag both directions again and trim any remaining elastic away.

IMGP8089IMGP8097that’s a little perkier!  just to be clear, in the brown diaper cover above, the inner gussets had 4″ elastics and the outer gussets had 5″ lengths.  when i compared the finished diaper to the brand new diaper (the green one above), i decided to change the lengths to 3″ and 4″ for subsequent diaper repairs.

that’s it!  i’d love to hear if this tutorial is helpful to you.  i’ve also replaced the velcro on these covers in the past, so if you’d like instructions on how to do that, let me know and i can try to put together a tutorial.


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7 Responses to tutorial: refreshing the elastic in best bottom diapers

  1. Andrea says:

    I just told my mom that we have a project when she comes to visit and sent her this link. Thanks for posting!

  2. Thomasina says:

    my best bottom cover had the elastic sewn down all the way along the diaper. was yours like that? Is there a step where you removed the old elastic, or did you just leave it in?

  3. Thomasina says:

    did you only replace the inner gussets, or did you do the outer part of the legs too?

  4. Carissa says:

    to answer both of your questions — i didn’t remove the original elastic (too lazy), I just left it in, but i did replace both the inner and outer gussets. It might work okay to just replace one or the other, but i haven’t tested that out myself.

  5. Tiffany Alf says:

    Very helpful! Baby 3 is coming soon! Would love to see a tutorial on replacing hook and loop. Mostly just the front strip. I don’t want to damage the PUL. Thanks!

  6. Heather says:

    I now realize I NEED to replace a lot of elastic! What about converting velcro to snap?! Is it possible? And how easy/difficult is it? Or should I just try to trade them?

  7. Carissa says:

    Dear readers,
    Just an update to say that now that my daughter is a year old and her thighs and beautifully chunky, I’m having to retire all of my hook and loop diaper wraps that I refreshed the elastic in because (a) the hook and loop is no longer strong enough to stay closed on a very active baby and (b) the elastic around the legs is so tight that it’s leaving red marks. I’m not sure what advice to offer. Honestly, I’m rather frustrated with cloth diapers and we’ve been (gulp!) using disposables much more frequently with baby #2. Sorry I’m not more help!

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