Friday, 18 January 2008

Sewing Gussetts without FOE

The following is a list of instructions on how I sew gussetts into the nappies I make without using fold-over elastic (FOE). The nappies are turned and topstitched.

1. Cut out pattern pieces, slightly larger for the gussetts. I usually have 2 or 3 gussett layers; Inner fleece/suedecloth, PUL, outer fleece. If I have outer fleece as well as PUL I simply treat the PUL and outer fleece as a single layer. In this one I have inner yellow microfleece and outer blue patterned polar fleece.

2. Place the inner and outer layers right sides together and pin along the straight edge.

3. Sew along the straight edge.

4. Turn the pieces right sides out and pin around the curved edge.
5. Sew another straight line, slightly wider than the elastic, in from the straight edge to form an elastic casing (both ends should be open).

6. Cut the elastic for the gussett to the desired length. Using a pin, thread the elastic into the casing.

7. Sew the first edge of the elastic (edge without the pin) into place by going forward and backward over the edge until it is secure. This also closes the first casing opening. Continue sewing all the way around the curved edge of the gussett and stop just before you get to the other end of the elastic. (Note: I do it this way so that later on when I am sewing it into the nappy the pieces aren't moving around).

8. Pull the pin holding the elastic through the remaining casing opening until the edge of the elastic is in line with the edge of the casing.

9. Sew the second edge of the elastic in place by going forward and backward over the edge until it is secure. This also closes the second casing opening. The gussett is now finished.

To sew the gussett in place on the nappy can be fiddly and unfortunately I haven't taken a full set of photos of this yet so if you have trouble please let me know by leaving me a comment. What I usually do is sew the gussett to one nappy piece first (usually the inside of the nappy):
1. Make sure that on the nappy pieces you have marked the beginning and end of the leg elastic as well as the centre. On the gussett, mark the centre of the gussett. This ensures that all the pieces match up correctly.
2. Place the gusett on the nappy piece with the sides matching (i.e. if sewing to the inside, place inner side of gussett down onto the inner side of the nappy - right sides together). Pin the gussett in place starting from where the leg elastic begins and finishing where the leg elastic should end (look at your markings). This should cause the leg area to gather.

2. Sew the gussett onto the piece. It should look like this:

3. To finish the nappy; when you are sewing your nappy pieces right sides together before turning, make sure you pin and sew carefully around the leg gussett (refer to your markings). Otherwise, you simply sew together as usual.
I hope this information helps. I may update this post if/when I take more pictures etc...


  1. Wow ... thank you so much ...

    PLease ... more pictures ...

    Really helpful ...

    thank again! ;o)

  2. Do you still put in elastic in the original place you put elastic in. Or is the gusset the only leg part with the elastic?

  3. You can do either but it is fiddly to put it in. I have a better way of doing it now. See the link here for internal gussets:

  4. Thanks so much for posting this! I'm not a big fan of FOE, (as pretty as it can be, it's very fiddly to me) and prefer the tailored look of a T&T diaper but I was having a LOT of trouble figuring out how to add gussets. I got as far as cutting out the eye shape for the gusset and I could add elastic to it, but I couldn't figure out how to attach it to the diaper and still T&T.

  5. It's been a really long time since I did this. From memory, I think I measured the point between where I wanted the start and end of the elastic to go -- in a straight line -- and that was the length of the straight edge minus an inch or two, then created the curved edge based on how deep I wanted the gusset (an inch and a half, I think). You could cut it and then adjust as you need to once you know how it'll fit on your bub.