DIY Sew Your Own Cloth Training Pants / Pullups Tutorial.

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We cloth diapered. I loved it. When it came time for potty training, we looked into pullups. Cloth pullups or training pants are crazy expensive, particularly for something that (we hoped) we wouldn't be using for very long. A $20 cloth diaper? No biggie, as you'll use it for 2-4 years, and it holds value for resale purposes. But paying that much (or more) for training pants? It seemed insane.

So I made some.
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I am not crafty. But I made DIY cloth training pants for my toddler.

I repeat: I am not crafty.

I hate details. I hate pre-washing or ironing hems. I hate measuring.

But there's something fabulous about sewing your kid's UNDERWEAR because, well, IT'S UNDERWEAR. Who cares if the seam is uneven? Who cares if you can see all the layers? Your kid is just going to pee in them anyway, so as long as they are functional, you've done well.


Target 7-pack boys underwear for $11.99+tax. That is about $1.82 each.

PUL fabric was on sale for $7.79/yard at Joann's. I bought half a yard for $4.

The rest of the fabric was scraps. You can use old sweatshirts, blankets, t-shirts, flannel shirts, etc, if you're into upcycling. You can also scour the remnant selection of the store for difference fabrics. I used a mix of flannel and fleece and straight up cotton.

Sewing machine and thread.

Wax paper


 1. Make a pattern using the wax paper and a marker. Place some wax paper on top of the underwear and trace the shape of both the front and the back. Cut out your pattern -- label which is the front and which is the back of the underwear. Mine wasn't totally symmetrical because the boys' underwear has that weird flap in the front.


2. Use your pattern to cut out what will be your padding -- the absorbent material. I cut two layers, but you can use less or more. I didn't want mine to be too absorbent because otherwise my kiddo just thinks it's a diaper

 3. This bit is optional. I cut two more layers (four total) that were slightly bigger than the pattern, thinking I would make a pocket to put all the layers in. It makes it look neater in the end, but I think it's totally unnecessary. If you are the type who prefers clean lines, then take the extra bit of time and sew a pocket (instructions to follow). If you don't care about a few layers of color in your kid's underwear, than just cut 4+ layers true-to-size of the pattern.

3a. To make the pocket: cut two layers of fabric slightly bigger than the pattern, and sew them around three edges (you'll stuff them, so leave room to insert):

4. Next cut out one layer of PUL fabric -- cut it slightly larger than the pattern. Again, you can use more to make it even more waterproof, but I was going for a pullup that would absorb some, but not as much as a plastic pullup. I traced the pattern because I didn't want to put any pins in the PUL and create unnecessary holes in the waterproof fabric. You don't need to go out and buy a fabric marker -- remember this is underwear, not a wedding dress.

5. If you made the pocket, sew up that 4th side. If you didn't, move on to step 6.

6. Stack your layers up, with the PUL fabric on top. I had white PUL, but if you bought PUL with cute li'l froggies on it or something, then put that pattern side up. You want the white plastic-feeling side closest to where the urine will start to seep through.

7. Sew it into the underwear, with the PUL fabric closest to the underwear. If you cut the PUL larger than the other layers, you should be able to see the PUL making a little border around the other layers -- good for water barriers.

All finished! Good job. Trim your threads and make a few more. GOOD LUCK!

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