Since the recipient of my first AIO has already received it, I can finally report on how I made it.
First off, some background... An AIO is an "All-in-One" diaper. When cloth diapering traditionally, it's advisable to use a diaper cover so that the baby doesn't leak all over everything. This can be an inconvenience and turns a lot of people off to cloth diapering. An AIO resolves that issue. It has the cover built-in, so it's essentially as easy to use as a disposable diaper. The only caveat being, of course, that with a disposable you throw it away and never think about it again, and with an AIO, you need to deal with it, clean up the mess, but -- BONUS -- you get to use the diaper indefinitely.
So, to make this AIO, I used really nice pink flannel sheets bought at a thrift store for next to nothing, a shower curtain liner generously donated to my cause by the benevolent Samwise, new 2" wide Velcro, and new 1/2" elastic.
The way I made the pattern for the diaper is that I laid down a disposable diaper in the size I wanted on a folded piece of scrap fabric. The disposable diaper, btw, was generously donated by my friend Cat in her efforts at supporting my crafting habit. So anyway, I positioned the diaper so that the fold of the fabric was sitting on half of the diaper lengthwise, and then I traced the outline with a pencil. Maybe the pictures will make this more clear:
I then cut on the line while it was still folded so that I'd end up with a symmetrical pattern like this:
Once I had that pattern, I cut out three flannel pieces and one shower curtain liner piece in the same shape.
I wanted to create a pocket diaper, meaning that the user can remove and add as many soaker pads as needed. I wanted to place the pocket in the middle so as to be as hassle-free as possible for whoever is changing the baby. This style is also reminiscent of menstrual pads, with the exception that in menstrual pads, the opening is not facing the wearer. Hopefully the end result of this diaper will be a useful and comfortable compromise for everyone involved.
Remember that I made three flannel cut-outs and one shower curtain liner one. I took two flannel cut-outs and serged a side on each.
I did this so that when you put one on top of the other, the edges overlap by quite a bit.
Next, I placed the layers in the appropriate order. First, the shower curtain liner, then the unserged whole flannel shape right side up, next the two overlapped pieces right sides down.
Here are all the layers, one on top of the other:
Then I serged all around:
I attached the elastic directly on the curves next by using a 3-step zigzag stitch and an elastic wizard. It was nerve-racking, but it came out okay.
Then I turned it inside-out and attached the velcro:
Definitely need to improve that. More later.
I then made the soaker pads. Basically I just eyeballed what would fit within the width of the diaper, made sure they were each at least four layers thick, and then serged the appropriate sides.
Here's what the diaper looks like without soakers.
You can see the shower curtain liner when you open it up, but otherwise you wouldn't know it was there.
I'm hoping that it is leakproof and comfortable. Will hopefully get feedback on it soon.
Would I do this project again? I would like to say definitely yes because it was fun, but if it turns out that the result was useless and impractical, then I'd have to reconsider and modify a lot before proceeding on another one. I need to work on Velcro placement. Had I thought it through more carefully, I would have sewn tabs and layered them with the whole diaper prior to sewing anything else. Plus, I would have pre-sewn the tummy Velcro instead of waiting until after I'd sewn the liner in.
If the diaper turns out to be comfortable and leakproof...
Advantages: It's cheap, cheap, cheap. Shower curtain liners and thrift store sheets are practically given away, and you can make several AIOs out of one of each. Really, the most expensive thing you'll be paying for is the Velcro and elastic, and they're pretty cheap too. Besides, if you're really desperate, you can always recycle elastic from other clothes (like underwear) and just Snappi the diaper shut. Pinning is probably not a good idea since you'd create irreparable holes in the liner.
Also, it's machine-washable. I know this because I wash my shower curtain and liner in the washing machine all the time, neither of which has ever disintegrated or even torn, despite being the cheapest of the cheap.
Disadvantages: Not machine-dryable. I've never stuck a shower curtain or liner in the dryer, but I don't think I need to to know that it would melt and render both itself and the dryer useless. If you make an AIO like this one, please please please line dry it. It'll dry faster than you think. The soakers are machine washable and dryable, and they're the ones that will be absorbing the bulk of the diaper contents anyway.