Before our son was born, my mother and I made about two dozen diapers for him. We followed a pattern we found online, and made the medium size diapers. We thought they would fit him for about 4 – 6 months. When he was born, he was just under 7 lbs. Now he’s 13.5 lbs, and ten weeks old. I guess he didn’t get the memo about babies doubling their birth weight by six months. I could tell by the time he was a month old that the diapers were not going to last long. But I couldn’t bear to see all that work go to waste, and I didn’t want to start over right away with another huge diaper-making project. So I improvised. I bought a used sewing machine, and started adding wings to the back of all his diapers. It was much easier than starting from scratch to make bigger diapers, and didn’t require any new material. I used offcuts that we had saved from the original diaper project. I just removed the velcro tabs from the back of the diaper (the parts that wrap around to the front when the diaper is on the baby), and set them aside. Then I cut rectangles of fabric about 6 inches by 8 inches, folded them in half and sewed them into little pockets. Then I slipped the pockets over the existing wings on the back of the diaper (where the velcro had been) and sewed them to the diaper. Then I sewed the velcro back on, at the ends of the wings. Before I altered them, the diapers still fit just fine everywhere except the waist. They just weren’t big enough to go around his waist and fasten in front anymore. Now with three or four inches of extra waistband on each side, he has room to grow. The wings overlap by a few inches on his little belly, so they’ll fit him for a while. Eventually I’ll have to make new diapers for him, but for now it was a lot easier, cheaper (free!), and faster to just add a bit of fabric to the nearly-new diapers we already had.
Our diapers were very inexpensive to begin with, although we had a lot of time invested in them. But if you bought expensive fitted cloth diapers that are not adjustable, a fast-growing baby could be quite a budget buster. Adding wings could solve the problem without having to go buy a bunch of new diapers.
What have you done lately to improvise and get by with what you have, instead of buying something new?