$2+30 min=Mostly waterproof trainers {Upcycled diaper cover tutorial}

$2+30min = Mostly Waterproof Training Pants {Upcycled diaper cover tutorial}

These underwear can go by a number of names. One wet trainers. Training pants. Waterproof underwear. Whatever. The basic point is that your kid can pee in them a little bit, and their pants will still stay dry.

With EC (Elimination Communication)we got to the point where we were on and off the potty often enough that diapers were becoming a pain in the butt (pun intended). I tried out a few training pants tutorials – but most involved sewing on the elastic, which is not something I enjoy.

Then I stumbled on a tutorial that used diaper covers (you know, those ones that come with baby dresses) to make training pants. Loved the idea, but wanted to make it at least a little waterproof. If you don’t care about water proof, then just use her post!

These would also work well for a newly potty trained kiddo for a little extra protection (like longer car outings, etc)

Mostly waterproof training pants:


  • Diaper covers. If you have a girl, you probably already have some. If not – check a local thrift store – I got a bunch for about 50 cents each. The sizes are pretty flexible. My 25 lb toddler fits into the 3-6 month size covers (though they are quite snug) as well as the 18 month size.
  • PUL Fabric. I bought some at Joann’s where it is always either on sale or you can use their 40% off coupon. It seems expensive, but you don’t need much — with 1/4 yard, you can make 6-10 trainers.
  • Absorbent Lining Fabric. This can be old towels, layers of flannel, old burp cloths, old cloth diapers, etc.
  • Optional: Lightweight cotton fabric. If you are using microfiber towels, or absorbent material that is scratchy, you may want another layer of cotton fabric.
  • Piece of paper, pen, scissors, sewing machine that can do a zig-zag stitch


Take a diaper cover…


And a piece of paper. You are going to trace the general size so that you can create a custom insert. This step seems unnecessary but I found when I just tried to eye-ball it, or cut as I went, it was some what of a disaster. It takes about 2 minutes to make a pattern. But is well worth it!DSC02209

See the red dots are where I started. Now I’m turning the diaper cover so that I can trace the crotch area…DSC02210

Then fold the paper in half (this will help with symmetry) and cut out your pattern. If you’re wondering why I don’t have normal scissors…well…when you live with a nurse, sometimes the closest scissors are medical ones, so you make do.DSC02211

The pattern will look something like this. After experimenting, I prefer the insert to cover the whole front and back up to the waist elastic. But adapt as you like. DSC02212

Test it out and trim to make sure it works. Mine was too long, so I cut off one end. DSC02213

Next, cut out your layers.


You will need:


I also cut out an extra rectangle of terry cloth for extra soaking power with minimal bulk. I attached this just to the absorbent layer with a zig zag stitch all the way around. Switching to a straight stitch, I did 3-4 passes across the center so that it bends more easily.

Here you can see a better view of the straight stitching in the middle. DSC02217

Now take all those layers, pin, and stitch together. Again, I used a zig zag stitch — mostly because it is more forgiving and helps with all the terry cloth raveling. DSC02218

I’m not that precise of a seamstress, so it always comes out a little wonky. Never fear! Just trim those edges up.DSC02219

Oh, that looks better!DSC02220

Whoops, didn’t catch all the layers on the back side — back to the sewing machine for some touch ups. DSC02221

Okay, now we’re ready for the next step. DSC02222

Pin inside the diaper cover. With some of my training pants, I pinned on the outside of the diaper cover. Either way works. Whatever you do, you want to position the PUL to be the layer farthest away from the baby’s skin, with absorbent layers closest to baby. Sounds obvious, but thought I’d clarify. DSC02224

Now slowly sew the insert in. Again, I use the zig-zag stitch.

Keep sewing…DSC02226

And you’re done! What I love about these is that if you don’t get it quite right, or your stitches aren’t straight, it is okay. DSC02227

Inside viewDSC02228



PUL on the outside: This pair has worked out the best in terms of waterproofness. I followed the same basic steps as above, but put the PUL on the outside.

  • Because the PUL was going on the outside – I added an extra square of terry cloth (the turquoise you see here) to the trainers. I sewed this in FIRST, using a zigzag stitch.
  • Then I sewed the PUL + absorbent layer together, but skipped the cotton layer
  • Last, I sewed that onto the outside of the trainers, rather than the inside



2 thoughts on “$2+30 min=Mostly waterproof trainers {Upcycled diaper cover tutorial}

  1. Thank you so much!! I have tons of underwear that i could use!! I was looking into buying cloth pull ups or making it. I’m an ok sewer but not comfortable making it myself. But your inspiration has been a wonderful. Genius
    I also didn’t go out and buy anything. All the material I used were craps. Yes I had scrap PUL from making my own nursing pads. Yay!!

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