Earlier this week I converted prefolds from the traditional flats that you can get anywhere in Malaysia. It is very cheap to make, I got the flats for RM36.90 for a dozen.
So, let’s start with determining the size. For this tutorial, I’m making newborn size, that is 11″ by 11″. I also want a good absorbency, so let’s make it 4 x 8 x 4 ply.
Step 1: Prepping the flats
You can either prewash the fabric to allow for shrinkage or, prewash later, but you have acommodate the measurements for shrinkage. The flats shrunk about half an inch. The funny thing is, on packaging it says 30″x30″ but I got flats that are 31.5″ by 27.5″. Prewash 1-2 times to make sure it has fully shrunk.
Step 2: Cutting
Trim off one edge. Eventually we are going to trim all edges, but I find the fabric is more forgiving when working with the edges.
Then, fold on the long side until we get a measurement of 11.5″ folded. The extra half an inch is to accommodate for serging in case the edges end up wonky.
I also find it easier to mark where the edges should be because the fabric is very grippy and shifty. Then trim off the excess. Save this cut to make extra layer for the middle soaker. Align the edges as best as you can, and trim that off.
Step 3: Folding
Now we have 11.5″ by 30″. Since we want to have 11″ end width, that’s about 3-5/8″ of per section. That’s going to be our division.
First, fold the first section (3-5/8″) on the left side. Next, to make it 4 x 8 x 4 ply, add the cut from the top, and place it in the middle, leaving 7-6/8″ gap . Trim off the excess.
Finally, I end up with 11.5″ x 11.2- 11.5″. The variation comes from how well you fold the flats, as it can be tricky to get it exactly the same each time. However, I do recommend getting that extra half inch, whatever your desired size is, as the prefold will quilt up after washing, causing the measurements to shrink, even if you have preshrunk it.
Step 4: Sewing
Pin your prefolds, and now it’s time to sew! I prefer to sew according to the sequence as shown below. And then only serge the edges. It makes it a lot neater. I even serged the ends of the folded ones, although unnecessary, just to press it down flat.
So, there you have it. All done. Do ask me in the comments below if you have any questions.