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Aquarius Swimmer – Free Swim Diaper Tutorial & Pattern

This pattern originally appeared on and was an exclusive that I designed for a wonderful blog: way back in June 2011. Since it’s no longer online, I thought it was a good idea to reshare it here.

Download your own free Aquarius Swimmer Pattern today!

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 Swimmer 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!

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