- Line up bottom edges of t-shirt and lay flat on table.
3. Fold this piece in half, folded edge to folded edge. This may take a little fiddling to get it to lay flat.
If adding extra absorbency layers you should mark this fold line with a pin. Now open the fold back to the right and find the center of the left side (between the pin and left edge). Now lay your extra layers on the center of the left side. Stitch down with zig zag stitch and fold back closed. If you want the extra layers to go the short way on the insert then center the end of them on the uncut edge before zig-zagging. This is what the zig zag stitches look like on the other side. - see further instructions below.
If adding a decorative outer layer you should do it at this point - see further instructions below.
4. Sew a straight stitch along the left open side.
5. Find the center on the short edge and measure 2 1/2 inches from the center on each side. This is where you should use a straight stitch to stitch through all layers and make the fold lines. Stitch parallel lines 5 inches apart from short edge to short edge. In the photo below there are 4 lines stitched so far, 2 on the long edges ( note if not using a decorative outer fabric you only need to sew 1 long side) and 2 fold lines. I'm using pins to mark the centers of all 4 sides.
6. Find center on long edge and measure 2 1/2 inches from the center on each side. This is where you should use a straight stitch to make fold lines. Stitch parallel lines 5 inches apart from long edge to long edge.
This photo should make it about as clear as mud.
7. Trim up raw edges making them even. Zig zag or serge both raw edges.
8. Fold and place in your cover. No prepping needed if you are using upcycled fabrics. If using new fabric, I like to wash and dry it five times prior to cutting and sewing.
Flip organic insert fully prepped measures 13.5 inches wide by 14.5 inches long
Mama's frugal insert
Cost: less than $1 for thread and cute decorative fabric
Folded the short way
Your finished width will vary based on the width of your t-shirt. This doesn't really matter, but the wider it is then the more absorbent it will be. You want to keep it at or less than 13.5 inches wide so that it folds nicely.
Add extra length. One way to add absorbency to this insert would be to cut the t-shirt at around 18.5 inches high instead of 14.5. Use your discretion to get the fold you want. This would work best on larger babies so that you don't get too much bulk added to the front. Use the insert in the same manner except fold over the extra length in the front or back as needed.
Add more layers of absorbency. Another way to add absorbency is to cut extra strips from the unused top portion and sleeves of the t-shirt and sew them into the center of the insert. These should measure 4.5 inches wide by 15 inches for use the long way or 4.5 inches by 13 inches for use the short way. Layer them on top of each other and zig zag the edges down in between the t-shirt layers (between the fold). Then stitch the first straight stitch holding all the layers together. You do not want the extra layers to reach into where you stitch the fold lines. It will add extra bulk and made it harder to fold. I've added up to about 4 extra layers and they do work well, but they also increase the drying time. The inserts with the extra layers are the last to dry in my diaper load and I usually just hang them over something to let them finish drying when everything is dry (I use 1 long high heat cycle). With these extra layers added, I feel like they work just as well as a Flip Organic Insert. Flips work really well, and never leak for me. I have no problems with the t-shirt flips made without extra layers either. They work great for normal daytime use, I just feel like a flip organic would hold a little more if put to the test.
If you use this tutorial, please let me know how you like it. I'd love to improve it based on your feedback.
Happy T-shirt Flipping!!