Aquarius Swimmer ~ Swim Diaper Tutorial

on June 2 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 124 Comments

Yesterday we got you ready to sew your own perfect-fit swimsuit with classic lines and lots of great details. We have a super-easy Bandana Pants Pattern you can use for boy swimsuits, and this cute Child’s Pool Robe is perfect for the younger set too.

Today Samantha from Little Comet Tails and making it little by little joins us with a Swim Diaper tutorial! You can make an Aquarius Swimmer today for swimming fun all summer long. Samantha’s expertise designing diaper patterns and more comes through in today’s project. Learn more about Samantha and her work in her introduction, and learn how to make an Aquarius Swimmer Swim Diaper in today’s tutorial!

With plenty of summer swimming opportunities coming up, it’s the perfect time to sew up a couple Aquarius Swimmer reusable swim diapers.

They are surprisingly easy to sew, and since all your supplies can be found easily there’s no reason you couldn’t make some today. Let’s get started.

Download the PDF pattern Aquarius Swimsuit Pattern PDF. Make sure page scaling is off, and butt the paper edges to one another; for proper sizing do not overlap.

Approximate Sizing

      Extra Small: 7-14 lbs


      Small: 12-22 lbs


      Medium: 18-28 lbs


      Large: 24-40 lbs


    Extra Large: 35+ lbs

Here’s the only hard part of making the Aquarius Swimmer– You have to decide whether you’d like a pull-up or snap-on version. Some prefer the ease of sewing and usage that comes with the pull-up version, while others like the ease of snaps in case of a poo accident. Unfortunately, you’ll need use poly resin snaps and a snap press as metal snaps won’t work in pool water and those can’t be had locally, but if you are lucky enough to have a press, here’s another use for it.

Pull-Up Aquarius Swimmer
Cut one of each fabric layer with the squared edges.

Since you’ll be stretching around the entire edges. Ignore the elastic marks for this pull-up version of the Aquarius Swimmer.

Starting in the center waist back, (1) Place the FOE around all three layers of fabric making sure to include a 2″ tail to finish off your FOE. (2) Grab all three layers with your right hand, and stretch the FOE with your left. Sandwich the layers in between, and (3) Switch holding the FOE to your right along with the fabric. (4) Sew a 3-step zigzag helping the layers through a bit with your left hand behind the machine foot. If this is your first time using FOE, take it slow and work in small sections until you are more comfortable with it.

When you are approx. 2″ from your starting point, stop sewing. Dry “fit” the FOE ends to each other following the edge of the diaper, marking the meeting point with your fingers. Flip the FOE right sides together, lining up the FOE neatly from edge to edge. Straight stitch the two FOE ends together. Trim the seam allowance close to the sewing line, flip right side out and pin to the edge of the diaper. 3-step zigzag the remaining length. Repeat the same process for each leg hole. Voila! Your Pull-Up Aquarius Swimmer is complete! Good Job.

Snap-On Aquarius Swimmer
Now that you have some experience sewing FOE (or if you already do and you also like snaps), it’s time to try the Snap-On Version!

You’ll want to pay attention to the elastic markers and extended tab on this version. Be sure to cut out the PUL and athletic wicking material on the smaller, front edge.

Stack the athletic wicking material right side down, hidden inner PUL shiny side up, and the outer layer right side up on top of that. Starting in the front right edge– level with the top– 3-step zigzag the FOE to the elastic marker, and then start stretching as you sew towards the end elastic marker. Stop stretching and 3-step zigzag the FOE to the top right edge. Trim even.

Start the FOE again on the underside of the front right wing. 3-step zigzag FOE to the first leg elastic marker and then stretch as you sew to the end of the elastic marker. Stop stretching and 3-step zigzag the FOE, sewing relaxed around the back wings to the back elastic marker. Sew around, stretching FOE between elastic marker until you are at top left edge. Trim FOE so that it is even with the open edge.

Finish off the front tabs by (1-2) Folding over, and (3) Folding a second time. (4) Stitch along the top edge to secure. Repeat, securing stitch to the bottom edge.

Apply snaps to front and back wings where indicated.

Congrats! You’ve just made the Snap-On Aquarius Swimmer. Now go out and start swimming!

Comment on any post this week to win one of our Summer Sewing prizes! You could win a new ironing board cover from City Chic Country Mouse, a $25 gift certificate to Sew,Mama,Sew! or a copy of Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love by Hillary Lang.

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124 Responses to Aquarius Swimmer ~ Swim Diaper Tutorial

  1. Hope says:

    Does it matter how much stretch the outer fabric has? I have some old flowery knit shirts I’d like to upcycle, but they only stretch one direction (they are polyester).

  2. Catherine says:

    Just what I was looking for! I went out and bought the material and made them today. At my fabric store they sell diaper cover material which is the lycra (bathingsuit stuff)with a waterproof backing so I used that and the athletic mesh.
    I made it but did a little cursing putting the elastic on since I’m still new to sewing. My mil came over and helped me by pinning the elastic. It was much easier and I was able to put my seam ripper away.
    I look forward to making a few more of these and my daughter will have the cutest bum at the splash pad.


  3. lindsay scicluna says:

    I loved that you provided this tutorial! My best friend is doing the cloth diaper thing and has a pool and had commented on wanting a cloth swim diaper and since I know she will never get around to making this I planned to make it for his birthday on saturday. I started and got up to the fold over elastic part but got confused. How much elastic is used for each part? Did I miss that instruction? I saw we’d need “about a yard per diaper” but didnt see anything further. I’m making the small size, could you please advise on how much elastic to use for the top and sides? thanks!

  4. Some truly fantastic info , Glad I discovered this.

  5. Sophia says:

    I just wanted to comment and say that I really enjoyed reading your blog post here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขll be back to read more in the future

  6. Holly says:

    Wonderful pattern! Thanks for the information. I’m going to link to this site on my blog.

  7. Melissa says:

    THANK YOU! I can’t tell you how happy this tutorial makes me. I am so sick of buying disposable swim diapers, and I was having the hardest time finding a fabric one in my daughter’s size. Now I can make a few and have them in all of our summer bags.

  8. SewGal39 says:

    As, usual, you have done it again! Brilliant tutorial!! Can’t get enuff of “y’all”.

  9. Renee says:

    I’ve made two pairs now, and started on a third! Thank you so much for the pattern and tutorial! My tips to anyone else making them: 5/8 yard will make 5-6 pull-on mediums, The swim fabric is much wider, so you can get less of it, I also found an athletic mesh in the clearance area of Joann’s, Basting all 3 layers together before putting on the elastic helps immensely!

  10. Jessica says:

    What a great pattern!

  11. smfsprout says:

    Two toddlers in diapers and HOT southern summers. Thanks for the lifesaving ideas.

  12. Charissa says:

    How cute! We don’t have a fabric store in town that carries any of these fabrics, but I’ll have to check online. Thanks for the tutorial!

  13. Sheila says:

    Love these! I just bought disposable swim diapers yesterday and couldn’t believe the price!! I’m going to whip up a few of these this week. I also posted this link on my website! Great stuff…

  14. Leah says:

    Love the tutorial! How brilliant and lovely!

  15. Renee says:

    I wish I’d known how to make these when my son was too big for kids size but still too small for the adult ones. These are required for the special needs swim class for all participants who aren’t toilet trained.

  16. Susanne says:

    such a cute tutorial ๐Ÿ™‚
    Wish I had a baby!

  17. alisha says:

    This is just what I need for my daughter! I’m adding it to my list.

  18. georgia says:

    This was a fab tutorial – I love how it is laid out and the fonting is pure genious. And I’m totally making one of these now!

  19. Debbe says:

    You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial.

  20. Rebekah says:

    Sweet! What a great and economical ideal. I loathe spending money on lil swim diapers and then tossing them away. How cool to have cute ones I like, that can be reused. Awesome ideal

  21. Miss Stik says:

    Thanks so much!

  22. sabrina says:

    Hi Samantha! Sabrina from DSD! ๐Ÿ™‚ Got here from oneprettything – so glad to see you’re still busy sewing dipes! Miss you!

  23. What a great idea!! Not only are they practical but very pretty too! I wish I could sew, I have not got a sewing bone in my body, my mother and mother-in-law are both amazing! I might have to get one of them to help me with the making of this swimwear for toddlers believe me I am the person while sewing on her lap sews the material to her skirt!!! Great product and great website!

  24. Morgan says:

    This makes me so happy! My sewing machine is in the shop though, not sure how I’m surviving but this will go at the top of my to do list upon it’s return!

  25. Cindy Patterson says:

    Not sure what PUL fabric is but this looks cool, practical for babies. Nice tutorial

  26. emilia says:

    AWESOME!!! totally remind me of the ones i made my boy last summer. with the snaps of course.

  27. Kelsey says:

    Love this! Too bad our complex pool won’t let our son in until he is poddy trained, swim diaper or no. ๐Ÿ™

  28. Genevieve says:

    That is so great! Thanks!!

  29. Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing! I have a 7 month old, so we will be using swim diapers for a few years. I might try making one with Velcro on the side instead of snaps.


  30. Mare says:

    I love this tutorial! 3 people I know just had babies. What a cute gift idea!

  31. Valerie says:

    This is awesome, thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Donna S. says:

    What a great idea!!

  33. Carrie says:

    Great tutorial! Adding this to the summer project list.

  34. Kate says:

    Those are adorable. If only I had a baby to make this for lol!

  35. Natalie says:

    Great idea! I never thought of making my own swim diapers…. The disposable ones are so expensive!

  36. Julie says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. And to think, I just saw some cute swim fabric at the local fabric store on clearance. I’ll have to go back and get it now.

  37. Mama Lusco says:

    Perfect for little ones! Thanks for sharing.

  38. Cassie G says:

    Thanks for an excellent and very useful tutorial. (Just in time!) Appreciate the sizing info as well!

  39. I love this! Now if I can only find the materials to make it…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Paloma says:

    Absolutely brilliant! Soo looking forward to not spending more money on swim diapers!

  41. Sara says:

    Being 6 months pregnant, I will be sure to bookmark this for next summer!

  42. Addy says:

    What a great pattern and instructions! Thanks!

  43. Jacque says:

    Boy, do I wish I had known how to make these when my kiddos were little! They really fill a need for active little ones! Thanks for the tutorial – maybe I’ll have a grandkid soon to make these for!

  44. Renee says:

    Can’t wait for summer to try these out ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you got the tute!

  45. Helena Pope says:

    I got so excited when I saw this tutorial, brilliant, just what baby girl needs!

  46. Emory says:

    What a great tutoral. My son will be about 5 months old when we are taking a trip to Hawaii. These would be great to take along!

  47. Brandi Hart says:

    I can’t wait to make these! But, how do I know which size to make? Is there a size chart or some weight reccommendations for the sizes?

  48. Emily says:

    Fantastic! We love these reusable swimmers, they come in such handy! i’ll definitely be making some fun one for my little guys. Thanks for such a great tutorial!

  49. Fun idea!

  50. Cynthia I says:

    I love this. I wonder if it could work for making pull-ups too? Hmm. Sewing in the near future. Thanks!

  51. Deserae Fiedler says:

    Great idea!

  52. nopinkhere says:

    I wish you’d had this up about a month ago when I bought a reusable swim diaper and suit with swim diaper for my daughter! I think she needs at least one more ๐Ÿ˜‰

  53. Shawna says:

    Brilliant! I’ll need these next summer, maybe even the end of this one. I’m bookmarking this post!

  54. Jess says:

    LOVE this! I will have to head out to JoAnns tomorrow and see what I can find in the way of something to match the baby’s rashguard top!

  55. Renae says:

    I just made my daughter some cloth training pants using a similar style. Thanks for the part about the fold over elastic, I did not put mine in this way and your elastic looks much better! Thanks!

  56. Tanya says:

    This is genius! I hate the expense of the disposable swimmers!

  57. bali villa says:

    very details tutorial….cool !

  58. Vicky Bartelt says:

    Where were these when my guys were babies?? I love them, now who to make them for and where to find the supplies. I looked locally and no such luck.

  59. Hey! This is such a convenient and cool tute. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. Ramona says:

    Wonderful tutorial. Saving it for the future.

  61. Samantha says:

    Thanks for asking Chris! It’s pretty standard cloth diaper sizing, but I always forget to write it!
    Approximate Sizing:
    Extra Small รขโ‚ฌโ€œ 7-14 lbs
    Small รขโ‚ฌโ€œ 12-22 lbs
    Medium รขโ‚ฌโ€œ 18-28 lbs
    Large รขโ‚ฌโ€œ 24-40 lbs
    Extra Large รขโ‚ฌโ€œ 35+ lbs

    Thanks everyone for the great comments!

  62. Marcia W. says:

    This is different and very cute.

  63. TaraG says:

    So cute! I’ve got three friends all giving birth at the start of summer – these will be perfect gifts!

  64. knitsewreadlove says:

    I’m just bummed I didn’t get this tutorial before I bought (and used) our 2 cloth swim diapers. On the other hand, she’s also suddenly potty training. But, for the little one who will be born in November – I am so bookmarking this AWESOME tutorial. Thank you so much!

  65. Christine says:

    We LOVE reusable swim diapers, and to think, I could make my own! Thanks for such a great and straightforward tutorial.

  66. Bronwyn says:

    Great tutorial! I’ll be making some of these very soon. The pair I bought my son has velcro tabs that allow for his (rapid) growth, so that could be a variation on the snaps to save on extra expense too.

  67. Sara says:

    Thank you for the pattern, These will come in so handy this summer!

  68. Jennifer says:

    I’m gonna have to make one of these for my little one! For my others I just used an empty cloth diaper cover, but this is much better.

  69. Jennifer says:

    Great idea! Thanks so much for the useful tutorial!

  70. Cinnamon says:

    I am super impressed by this tutorial! Not only does she show you how, but she show’s you what. I would never have found all the supplies on my own. Awesome tut!

  71. Toni E says:

    I need to make these.

  72. Marisol says:

    Ohh such a great tutorial! and sooo cute! running to buy supplies!

  73. Chris says:

    Just one question – any guidelines on what ages/weights the sizes might fit?

  74. Heather says:

    Thanks for this tutorial!!! I am just about to make underwear covers for potty training my 2.5 year old. This will work perfectly.

  75. Cara says:

    Oh this is a winner! Off to the fabric store I go.

  76. VickiT says:

    Oh this is awesome. Great pattern! I have a Granddaughter that’s working on getting out of diapers now but a Grandson who is going to be born soon. By next summer this will come in very handy for our Grandson. Thank you so much.

  77. Cecily says:

    I actually went to Target yesterday to buy a cloth swim diaper (that is where I got my others), but there was not a cloth swim diaper to be had anywhere in the store. I thought of ordering online, but figure that I can pick up the materials and have everything done in less time than it takes for delivery.


  78. Andrea says:

    Hmmm…may just have to try this out! Much cuter than huggies lil’ swimmers!

  79. Kadybug says:

    Super cute swim diapers!

  80. Tarmy says:

    Looks simple and straightforward! What a great tute for Summer.

  81. Betsy says:

    This is such a great tutorial!! My daughter is past the diaper stage but because she is under four, she is still required to have a reusable swim diaper on during her swim lessons and I really didn’t want to buy them!! Perfect solution!! I’ll sew them!!

  82. Julie W says:

    Great tutorial!!

  83. Meredith says:

    I love it! Thanks for the great idea and clear instructions!

  84. Crystal says:

    Our daughters would love using this instead of the disposables! Thanks for your great tutorial!

  85. Katrina H says:

    WOW! And your directions and photos are amazing!

  86. Sarah says:

    I never even thought of making a swim diaper! Thanks for the tutorial.

  87. BrynnLouise says:

    What a fabulous idea. I’m going to make some for my nephews!

  88. JodieZ says:

    These are AWESOME… I can’t wait to make some for my little one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  89. I love this project, any suggestions on getting the fabrics needed?

  90. Ashley says:

    Genius!! We have a pool and so do my inlaws so these can get expensive with 2 growing boys. Plus I think I may have all the material needed on handd!!! Thanks again for posting!

  91. too cute! just the right thing to make for my friend’s baby who has a summertime birthday!

  92. Chris says:

    Thank you! I am absolutely getting some friends together to make these ASAP.

  93. krystina says:

    Great, now I’m itching to go to the fabric store! This looks so amazing!

  94. Samina says:

    Great tutorial! I’m freshly out of the diaper stage (yay!), but I’m saving this one for the next one that comes along.

  95. Verity Foxy says:

    Excellent! I bought two swim diapers for my twin boys and they were $20 each… They’re already starting to get too big for them and this is purrrrfect! Thank you!

  96. Great pattern! Brilliant tutorial. Pretty easy too!

  97. Emily says:

    Adorable swim diapers…

  98. Tara says:

    What a clever idea!! Thanks for sharing.

  99. Erin says:

    This is another GREAT design. Thank you so much for sharing (and for giving such good, clear information about the fabrics you chose). I’ll be making a ton of these for the summer.

  100. Kara says:

    I was just going to go out and buy a swim diaper for my son – maybe now I will buy fabric for this, instead!

  101. Katie says:

    Cute! I use cloth diapers without the stuffing for our swim diapers.

  102. amorette says:

    what a timely post! my son needs a swim diaper for the summer so i can teach him to swim! thanks so much for the tutorial!

  103. Tammy says:

    Great pattern!

    I would make these, but I bought a package of Huggies Swimmers last year and only used two out of the package. I just kept washing them and they worked great. So with a nearly-full package, I think I’ll just stick with the sposies for now. ๐Ÿ™‚ But if I wanted to make a fabric version, I would definitely try this pattern out!

  104. Narelle says:

    Looks like fun! And I have all the supplies already ๐Ÿ™‚ Would love to try some of her diaper patterns!

  105. Tina says:

    I’m loving this so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  106. N. Perez says:

    This is awesome! Now, let me see if my fabric store has the needed supplies.

  107. dorothy says:

    Wow. This is a great tutorial. I am thinking of making some with extra absorbent layers to use as pull-up training pants for my little guy.

  108. Danielle D. says:

    These are cute and very handy since the disposable little swimmers are so expensive! Pretty easy too! Thanks!

  109. Melissa Ann says:

    Awesome! My girls pooped in their reusable swim diaper at the pool after only 20 minutes the other day and I was thinking how nice it would be to have another pair so we didn’t have to leave after that short a time!

  110. Steph says:

    So cute! We are past the diaper stage at my house, but I’m still bookmarking–I hope I’ll need this in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚ Much less wasteful than those disposable (and expensive) swim diapers.

  111. Anne Marie says:

    Very interesting – enjoyed this article.

  112. I’m going to pass this link on to a friend, who was just asking about making cloth diapers! Thanks for what looks like a fantastic tutorial/pattern ๐Ÿ™‚

  113. Katie says:

    I LOVE it!! I live in the South Pacific and have a friend with a lil baby girl that has never been swimming yet.Thinking maybe she didn’t want to take her girl by herself I said we could go together one day,then (not having children myself) realised I have no idea what to do about nappies when swimming! This is perfect,if I can find the materials (which I’m not sure about) I will make some for her and make a swim date ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks a bunch!

  114. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the great how to! What a nice summer project for my little peanut. ๐Ÿ™‚

  115. Mhairi says:

    What a great tutorial. This is such an essential for a mum living in Australia and I know that all my friends will want one too. Thanks for a great tutorial that is easy to follow and has great info about fabrics too.

  116. AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for this tute!!!

  117. Jessica h says:

    These are great! Thanks for sharing.

  118. Temima says:

    What a cool idea!

  119. Rhonda says:

    What a cute idea. Your guests are always so inventive.

  120. iris stump says:

    I loved the tutorial on making the waterproof diaper cover. Thank you for sharing this

  121. Lizzie says:

    Oh this is a GREAT idea! Too bad I JUST potty trained my son!

  122. kimberly says:

    I wish I had known I could sew my own when my daughter was in swim class!

  123. Vanessa says:

    How cute! That would be great for my little nephew!

  124. Asta says:

    Brilliant tute. Thanks so much.

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