I love Katrina’s Soakers! They are wonderfully breathable cloth diaper covers that work great a night-time and are easy to make, even for a beginner. I use them every night for my children and they wake up with dry clothes every morning.
The pattern is available in several sizes and is FREE. It can be downloaded here. The original sewing instructions can be found here. You can also use the tutorial I have created: Katrina’s Soakers. If you search the web, you’ll find tons of written and video tutorials for the pattern. They are really simple to make and very versatile. All of mine are made from fleece, but you can also make them from wool.
If you are using fleece, make sure it is a 100% polyester fleece. Not all types of fleece are water-resistant, and no cotton fleece will be. I have had good success with JoAnn Fabric’s blizzard and anti-pill fleece although I have come across one or two prints that did not repel water well. Malden Mills Windpro Fleece will be the ‘cream of the crop’ and give you the best water resistance. I always use the extra wet zone layer of fleece for added protection in the soakers I make for my children.
To make a soaker, you will need the printed pattern pieces for the size you wish to make and water-resistant polyester fleece. You can use the tutorial noted above or, check out this one I created: Katrina’s Soakers. I sew mine on a regular sewing machine using a ball point needle, but you could also use a serger.
My 2yo recently went up to a size XL at about 30lb. My 4yo can still wear an XL at 40lb so the size you need will vary based on your child’s build. The chart to the right gives a general idea of what should fit based on your child’s measurements. It’s also important to note that some fleece will have more stretch than others. So if a soaker is made from a super stretchy fleece, a smaller size may fit in that fleece while your child would need the next size up
in a fleece with little stretch.
Always make sure that you cut your soaker based on the direction the fleece stretches,
otherwise it won’t fit. You want to cut the soaker so that the body stretches across the waist, not up and down across the rise. The leg bands and waist band should be cut so that they stretch long ways, not across the short width. You want the pieces to stretch like this ——–, not up and down. Just give your fleece a little tug and see which way it stretches before you cut your pieces. It won’t really matter which direction the extra wet zone layer is cut. I normally just cut it from wherever I can maximize the use of my fabric.
The back of the soaker is cut slightly higher than the front, to help cover those fluffy bums!