Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Putting elastic into Katrina's Quick Soaker Pattern

I love the quick soaker pattern that Katrina made found here. Best of all it's free! This pattern turns out so nicely! I noticed that some people don't like that it doesn't have elastic. I have made a few minor changes in order to allow for an adjustable elastic waist and legs. I won't lie to you though. It's not the most professional looking way to do it (esthetically that is), if anything it's the most practical way to allow for easy access to change the elastic for sizing. {Please note that you do not have to finish off the seams if using fleece as it doesn't fray}

Supplies needed:
Katrina's soaker and pattern pieces
Elastic (measured to your child's waist and leg circumference) (I used 1/2" elastic) {you can also use buttonhole elastic and sew a button to the opposite end of the elastic}
Marking pen
seam ripper
two safety pins

  1. Cut out all of your pieces according to the pattern. You should have the main body panel, two leg bands, a waist band and if desired the soaker piece.
  2. Sew the soaker piece to the body panel.
  3. Take your waist bands and leg bands and sew a buttonhole horizontally on all three of them approximately 1/4 of the way up. Make the buttonhole large enough to allow for your elastic to go through. (Below is a picture of what I mean) . then use your seam ripper to open up the buttonhole.
  4. Serge all of your pieces (main body panel, waist band and leg bands.) You only have to serge the sides as shown as the other seam will be hidden. If your serger with go through 3 layers of fleece you can eliminate this step.
  5. Sew your seams on the main body panel, waist bands and leg bands the exact way as shown.
  6. Fold down the waistband and leg cuffs with wrong sides together so that the serged edges of the seam are hidden. {make sure that this inside area will allow for elastic otherwise you didn't sew it correctly}Turn the main body panel right side out.
  7. Put the main body panel inside the waistband with all raw/serged edges together. {this is where you can use your serger to serge through all three layers if desired} Sew the waistband to the soaker body. *****Make sure that the buttonhole that you made, will be on the inside of the soaker **** (NOTE how the red buttonhole is right beside the foot of my sewing machine, thus making the right sides of the bands touching the right side of the main body panel) Repeat this for leg bands.
  8. Now measure your child's waist and cut your elastic to size. (Depending on the stretch of the elastic you may want to go a bit smaller. Just keep in mind that you will be overlapping each end about an inch, so it will reduce the amount of elastic)
  9. On the elastic pieces, mark an x on the right side of it and then on the left side mark an x on the underside. The reason being that you want your elastic to lay flat when sewn.
  10. Attach a safety pin to both sides of the elastic and then thread your elastic through the waist. (repeat this for each of the leg bands as well)
  11. Make sure that you elastic will lay flat once sewn. Match up the x's so that they touch each other {so that the x's are kissing each other} and so that they overlap each other about1 inch. Using a zig-zag stitch, sew the pieces of elastic together. Reverse the zig-zag stitch a couple of times. I put in 2-3 vertical zig-zags to make sure it won't come apart Repeat this step for the leg bands.
  12. Marvel at your creation and thank Katrina for this wonderful pattern!

The great thing about this way is that you can adjust the waist/legs if needed by simply taking out the old elastic and putting in a shorter/longer piece. To use the buttonhole elastic inside of the one pictured, sew a button to one side of the elastic for each the legs and waistband. Insert the elastic and do up the button through the buttonhole.

I haven't actually tried this method (buttonhole elastic) but it could leave a button imprint into your child's waist or legs if done up to tightly. If you do try this method please let me know who it turns out!


  1. That is awesome. I love katrina's soaker pattern and have used it for my son and daughter. I only need elastic in the waist so I will try that. Thank you

  2. hey Katrina, first I think you're fantastic, not only for sharing this free pattern, but for encouraging people to help others. I am a rookie, and I am a little unsure about some of the info on here. 1st-what does it mean to "felt" or "lanolize" your wool
    ? I bought a couple 100% wool sweaters yesteday at a thrift store, but I am still a little nervous about cutting them and sewing. I am ABSOLUTELY a novice sewer, so I just don't want to mess them up. Secondly, I would like to use fleece around the top and bottom as the wool is kinda scratchy. Lastly, when using these for my son who is currently using Pull ups, what should I layer them with? I don't know if I should let him wear his regular underwear, or if you would suggest something else. I want him to "feel" wet so he learns to not wet himself. Again I appreciate your help and suggestions.

    Warm Regards,


  3. ndelivil

    wow...I didn't realize that I don't check my comments...sorry!
    I'm not Katrina who graciously has shared her pattern with everyone but I did make this tutorial of how to apply elastic to her pattern :) lanolizing wool is putting a special oil that is originally found in the wool from the sheep back onto it so that it makes it water resistant. Felting refers to making the wool shrink up (like when you put your favourite wool sweater in the wash and it becomes a dolls size sweater). the problem with using fleece around the top of the wool is that it's a different a type of fabric (synthetic), which doesn't have the same washing directions and also different shrink when washed (it doesn't) wereas wool felts when washed on hotwater. Wool is meant to be handwashed, fleece you can machine wash on hot water. As for using any over underwear......the cover will not hold urine, it's applied over a cloth diaper/with or without inserts. the cover is meant to keep your little one's clothes dry and keep the urine in the diaper where it belongs. Remember though that any type of material that you use (either wool, fleece, or PUL) will eventually leak if not changed regularly as the urine has to go somewhere.

  4. Hi! When you do this with elastic, do make the size above the baby's size? What's the advantage over just stretchy wool or fleece? Thanks!