Cloth Pull-Ups

The other day I came home from work to the news that my two and half year old son had peed on the potty at school. I was so excited I ran out and bought a new potty seat, extra pants and thought about buying some pull-ups. But as I stood there with the package in my hand, I had my usual thought.....I bet I can make these.

I never used cloth diapers when my kids were babies. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't imagine all the extra laundry and work, and truthfully, I was never fully convinced that the extra water usage was better than the extra trash. But, since we're all better rested now, I figured I'd try out making some re-usable training pants.

I bought a great pattern for kids underwear from That Darn Kat. I first saw it here at Noodlehead.

I modified the pattern by adding a layer of PUL (which is a PAIN to work with) and 4 layers of cotton flannel to the front.

I sandwiched the layers and basted along the edges to hold it in place.

Then, I basically made 2 pairs of underwear, using the PUL panel for the outer and and just plain cotton for the inner. I put them together with wrong sides together and right sides facing out, and finished the waist and legs like the pattern describes.

This is far from my best handiwork, so don't look too close. The last pair I made I widened the waist band and finished the legs by putting the ribbing around the layers and stitching all at once, kind of like you would with bias tape.

The boy was surprisingly excited to put them on after not taking a nap yesterday, and the best part....they actually work. Which means they work as far as holding all the pee in. And, he felt wet, which was part of my desire to make these. I think actually feeling wet helps them learn when they've peed and helps them want to use the potty.

We'll see.....

Oh, and here are the girl, non pull-up version I made for my daughter. They are soooo cute and a great way to use up scraps.


  1. This has been my thought for a while...using PUL with a regular undies pattern- so I'll have to check out the link above! I think you'll be better off with the cloth pull ups because everyone I talk to says the store bought kind are basically like diapers- keeping them dry feeling.

  2. Saw this over on Made! :) Awesome job on the cloth pull-ups. I've been working on some little handmade panties all day (really similar to this), but without the PUL. If my daughter doesn't get the hang of it soon I might pull out some of my leftover PUL and give this a try!

  3. They look great! I have been using that same pattern for my daughter. They fit perfectly! Never thought of using PUL when training... genius!

  4. Oh! I LOVE these panties. Iyla would go nuts for them.
    so much fun seeing you today~ I'm exicted about our little project :)

  5. These are adorable! I am just starting out with sewing so I don't know if I could handle this project yet but I'll keep it in my "favorites."

  6. those are adorable! give me some of your crafty motivation lol. my little one is just in the beginning stages of trying to potty train. she is having a difficult time trusting herself sitting on the big toilet with her potty seat on top. but she is only 19 months so im sure in time she'll give into trusting the "toilet" haha.

  7. How wonderful! You need to sell these, just reading about it intimidated me.

  8. Hi, this is such a great tutorial! I had a question -- is the entire panty lined with PUL, or just the front diamond-shaped part? We're working on nighttime training with our 3yo and I think some homemade pull-ups would be a big help!

    1. Hi Amanda. For these, only the front panel had PUL, but for overnight, it might work better to have the whole thing lined. Good luck!

  9. I purchased this pattern last night after seeing so many positive reviews on her pattern. I couldn't purchase them from her etsy shop, but I found them at http://www.youcanmakethis.com/products/featured-products/childrens-undies.htm instead. My daughter actually just turned 13 today, so my plan is to sell undies made from this pattern (I've seen other sellers on etsy crediting her pattern for their product...)