How to repair "shot" elastic on a serged diaper or AIO

I received a bunch of used diapers from a friend this week – I did not want to purchase new diapers for my 2.5 year old since he is close to potty learning. Two of the diapers had shot elastic, so I thought I’d show you an easy way to repair "shot" elastic on a serged item.

Here is the diaper – it’s a fleece all in one from Luke’s Drawers. It consists of two layers of fleece with a layer of PUL sandwiched between. You can see the elastic is ruined, the diaper lays perfectly flat.


Step One:: you’re going to want to try to feel through the layers and locate the start and stop points of the old elastic:


Step Two: using some sharp scissors, snip a little hole at the start and end points – just cut through one layer. See the elastic through the hole?


Step Three: Now, since we’re not sure how much elastic was used in the beginning, you’re just going to thread a long piece through. Put a paper clip or a safety pin on one end and push it through the hole:


I’m using 1/4" cotton elastic. You might want to use a 3/8", it’ll be easier to "feel&quot through the layers as you sew.

Step Four: If your inner layer is microfleece, you can stick your finger through the other hole to help feed the elastic through (microfleece won’t fray). Alternatively you can stick a crochet hook through, hook the safety pin or paper clip and pull it through that way.


Here it is all pulled through. Notice it is one long continuous piece of elastic. I have plenty to work with on both ends:


Step Five: Now, situate the diaper on your sewing machine and sink your needle through the elastic at the starting point.

You could just tack the elastic down here by sewing back and forth a few times, then stretch and tack again at the end (Honeyboy method), then sew a casing.

I decided to sew through all layers. A big wide zig zag would be best, but this old machine only does a straight stitch. I’m using dark thread so you can see what I’m doing. Backstitch, then stretching the elastic taut and feeling it through the layers, carefully stitch through the elastic and through all layers.

See in the photo – one hand is feeling the elastic and the other is holding the diaper steady and pulling the elastic taut. I’m letting the feed dogs guide the diaper through the machine.


Here is one side all stitched:


Clip the excess elastic off and either zig zag the holes shut or use a needle and thread to slip stitch the holes shut. If you aren’t handy with a needle, and the elastic is all sewn down, you can probably leave the holes as they are; they won’t fray.

Repeat on all sides (this diaper didn’t have elastic in the front, so I did the other leg and the back).

Here it is all done and ready to offer a lot more wearing life!