If you’ve been using cloth diapers as long as me, you may find that some aren’t as snug around your baby’s legs or gap in back, causing leaks. This is because repeated wear and washing can cause elastic to eventually “relax.” But luckily, it can be fixed — and inexpensively! I’m going to show you how easy replacing elastic in your bumGenius Freetime cloth diapers can be!
First, gather your supplies.
- white thread
- a sewing needle
- small safety pin
- small sewing scissors
- a seam ripper (optional)
- 3 strips of ¼” elastic, each about 4.5” long or a bumGenius Refresher Kit, which includes the elastic as well as hook & loop strips if you need to replace those too. (My Freetime had snaps, so I did not need to replace any hook & loop.
Start with the leg elastics first. Run your fingers along the leg elastic and find where the elastic is stitched into the diaper. (This will feel like a small hard bump.) Make a small cut in the microfiber lining right next to the bump. The cut should be about ½” long. Make another small cut at the other end of the elastic on the same leg, where it is stitched into the diaper. See below.
Locate the elastic inside the casing, and gently pull the elastic through the small hole using the hook of your seam ripper or end of the scissors. Give yourself about ½”-1” to work with.
Pin the safety pin to the old elastic, about 1” from its base. This is to prevent the old elastic from slipping into the casing. After it is pinned, cut the old elastic near the base where it is stitched to the diaper, leaving a little bit of old elastic at the end. You will need to attach a new strip of elastic to the old elastic, either by knotting tightly, or hand-stitching. I chose to knot them, then finished it off with a couple of hand-stitches.
Now move to the hole on the other end of the leg. Pull the old elastic all the way out of this hole. This will feed the new elastic (which is safety-pinned to the old elastic on the other end) through the leg casing.
HELPFUL TIP: Again, attach the new elastic as close to the base of the old elastic, either by knot or stitch. Trim the old elastic off. See below.
Hand-stitch the holes closed, being careful not to puncture the waterproof outer fabric (PUL) with your needle. Then repeat Steps 1-4 on the other leg. So far so good!
Now replace the back elastic. The back elastic is a bit trickier to locate, but it’s in there! Make a small cut in each “corner” of the microsuede, near where it is sewn to the PUL. These cuts can be about 1” long. Turn the back casing inside out as best as possible through the hole. Keep digging, you will find the elastic!
Pull the old elastic through the hole until you have about 1” to work with. Attach the safety pin to the old elastic and cut the old elastic near the base. Attach the new elastic to the old (again, by knot or hand-stitch), and pin the other end of the new elastic to your safety pin. Then move to the other hole, locate the old elastic on that side, and pull it through to feed the new elastic through the casing. Attach the new elastic to the old elastic on that side, and trim off the old elastic.
We’re done! Let’s look at the finished product! Truth be told, replacing elastic in the bumGenius Freetime is MUCH easier than I thought it would be! This is my first time replacing elastic, and I was nervous that I was going to mess up my diaper, but in about 30-45 minutes’ time, I was able to replace all of the elastic and give new life to my diaper.