How to Sew an Upcycled Wool Sweater Diaper Cover

Today’s awesome Green Craft post comes to us courtesy of Emily Papp of GotEmCovered.  Got babies? Then you know how expensive diapers and diaper covers can be – Emily will help you not only learn how to create your own diaper cover using that wool sweater your shrunk in the wash and were ready to toss out but she’s also helping you save some “greenbacks”

How to Sew an Upcycled Wool Sweater Diaper Cover


  • wool sweater, 100% wool is best. a blend will work but try to keep it as close to 100% wool as possible (i.e. 95% wool 5% other) XL womens and mens sweaters are best to allow plenty of fabric for a cover, especially for larger sized covers
  • ruler/yardstick
  • needle and thread
  • pins (i prefer safety pins while hand sewing)
  • scissors
  • a marking pencil – chalk or a chalk/pastel pencil works great for this)
  • measuring tape OR ribbon, yarn, string for measuring baby/child

Get the Pattern:

The pattern i used to make this cover is originally posted online here and includes some standardized sizes. In this tutorial i will show you how to customize it to your baby’s measurements

Prep Work:

First, you will  need to felt (in plain English – shrink) your sweater by washing it on warm in the washer and then drying on medium – repeat the process once after taking the sweater our of the dryer. If you already have a sweater that you have felted (shrunk) a single washing will do just to ensure felting and cleanliness

Next, take you baby’s measurements – you will need a waist, rise and thigh measurement. Here is a tutorial on how to take these measurements. If making as a gift or your child is not available you can use the standarized measurements listed here

The required sewing for this project can be done my machine or can be done by hand as shown in the tutorial. I use a basic whip stitch and a tutorial can be found here or you can search for hand sewing tutorials online


With your child’s measurements handy you will want to measure the bottom of the sweater and cut it wide enough to accommodate the waist measurement.

Next, cut the sweater at the side seams (or farther to make sure you have enough room for you entire waist measurement) then cut up the sides and around the sleeve and across the shoulder to the neck of the sweater and then repeat on the other side.

You want to cut the ends of the sleeves and set them aside also set aside and save the remaining parts of the sweater for extra layers or another project.


Take your child waist measurement and divide by 2. my measurement is 19″/2 = 9.5 lay out your cut piece of sweater and mark at the halfway point 9.5

Then mark at both ends 0″ and 19″

Now we need the rise measurement for this mine is 19.5″. measure up (perpendicular to the waist) from the midmark (9.5 for me) and mark your rise measurement 19.5

You should now have 4 marks to create a triangle, waist measurement in red, rise measurement in blue.

Next, take your ruler and connect the top rise mark with one of the side/waist marks and draw a line connecting them, repeat for the other side

Now cut out your triangle. i cut straight for about 1″ then follow the angled line to the point

When you reach the point fold the cut half to meet the opposite line (do this to make sure both sides are symmetrical) and cut

Your cut triangle should look like this

If your sweater has a ‘right’ or nice side, it should be facing you. now bring in both sides of the bottom of the triangles to meet in the middle

and bring the top point down to meet the 2 side

take thigh measurement and divide by 2 (i.e mine is 9″/2 = 4.5″)pin together on each side

stop at 1/2 thigh measurement mark

now it’s time to sew, sew along both sides, stopping at 1/2 your thigh measurement

when i reach the end i turn around and sew all the way back up to the waist to make your seam extra secure

turn the cover right side out and it should look like this. you could use it now as is, but i prefer to add leg bands

to add leg bands turn you cover inside out again and grab the sleeve ends that you cut earlier. make sure to measure them to assure that they are within your thigh measurement, a little smaller or larger is ok. if they are way off you can just leave them off. take sleeve end and insert it into the thigh opening on one side of the cover

the inside of the cover should be facing you and line up the cut end of the cuff with the edges of the cover, pin and sew repeat on other side

turn your cover right side out and you are finished!


If your sweater is a thinner material, if you have a ‘heavy wetter’, or are using your cover for night time you may want to add an extra layer to the ˜wet zone™ through the middle.

This can be done by cutting a long rectangle (the length of your rise measurement and as wide as the crotch) and placing it inside through the middle and sewing at both ends (front and back only for quick drying)

Be sure to lanolize your cover before the first use and again every few weeks here is a tutorial for lanolizing


for more information about using wool diaper covers visit here
for more about cloth diapering in general at The Real Diaper Association


Emilie Papp
etsy shop:
twitter: @gotemcovered


18,176 total views, 14 views today

About Myra @ HerbanLuxe

Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.