Reinforcing Toddler Underwear

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Do what?  You may be asking yourself.  No, you read that correctly–reinforcing toddler underwear.

Why?  You know…because accidents happen for awhile after they are potty trained.

We don’t buy diapers because we use cloth.  I also make cloth training pants, and then for their first set of underwear, I reinforce those too.

These won’t hold everything when a full-on accident happens.  But they catch the “almost made it.”  And that’s what I want for all my kids so they don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed.

Here’s how I did it.

I started with some 3T Thomas the Train toddler underwear .  I have a bolt of waterproof PUL that I use for diapers, and some white absorbent fleece (ZORB is better than fleece, but just not in the budget right now).

I used wax paper to wrap around the underwear and trace a pattern of where I wanted the reinforcements.  I’m not including a pattern for you this time since every style of underwear is different–you’ll do best to draw your own.  I have done this for little girls’ underwear as well.

Since every pair is different, I always find it helpful to test the pattern on each pair of underwear before I start cutting pieces out.

I cut out one piece of PUL and 3 or 4 pieces of fleece/ZORB for each pair.  (I used 4 pieces this time).  Make sure when you cut the PUL, the shiny colored side is on the outside.

How to reinforce toddler underwear. This is an excellent way to save money on pull-ups, and save the kid from embarrassing "oops" moments. It's pretty easy too.First, pin your layers of fleece to the inside of your garment.  I do all the inside pieces at once.  You will want to use thread the color of the inside of your garment.  I used white here.  Use a zigzag stitch to carefully go all the way around the garment.  I use the zigzag stitch to go all the way around twice.  (Click to enlarge picture, or for more pictures, check out this post on training pants here.)

Next, turn your garment right side out and carefully pin the very outside of your PUL over the top.  It should line up with the inner lining you just put on.

You will want your bottom color (bobbin) to be the same color as the inside of the garment and the top color to match your PUL.  Carefully use your zigzag stitch to go all the way around again (I go around twice).

That’s it!  You’ll want to wash these before using to “waterproof” them.

How to reinforce toddler underwear. This is an excellent way to save money on pull-ups, and save the kid from embarrassing "oops" moments. It's pretty easy too.

NOTE about supplies:

  • I used fleece because it’s cheaper than ZORB.  It won’t hold everything as well as the ZORB, but there is a big price difference.
  • The PUL I use is the cheapest one of Babyville brand on the market.  I am not an affiliate of Babyville, but I will tell you, when I want to make sure the PUL is waterproof and going to last me for years, I only trust Babyville.  It’s just a personal preference.  I bought an 8 yard bolt on sale on Amazon and it makes tons of diapers, training pants, and feminine pads–in a gender neutral color. If you never plan to make diapers or anything else, just get as much yardage as you need, as it can be up to $20/yard.  I can’t find the brown any more, but I found this one in red.  I love that I can buy 8 yards for all these projects for less than $80.  It would be difficult to afford purchasing little by little when I use so much of the stuff.

Crazy 8 Sale On Now!
Note on working with PUL:   If you’ve never worked on PUL before, read this first.


Want more tutorials like this?  

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This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no charge to you. Thank you for supporting this site.



  1. How interesting! I loathe potty training but have one more child to go. I’ve pinned this for future reference. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  2. What a great idea! I have our littlest in training pants, but they don’t always hold a big accident. What a simple solution, thanks so much for sharing. Sometimes I’ve put two together but they don’t need the bulk all over, just where you’ve sewn the extra layers. This would also work for night time pull-ups, what a huge savings for us. I can’t wait to get sewing.

    • I really hope they make your lives easier and save you some money!

      • I made them and they work great! I used some tissue paper instead of wax paper for the pattern and I understand why you didn’t put a pattern online because even the underwear varied slightly from one batch to the next in the way they were sized. And for anybody who takes short cuts out there, the front panel does not equal the back panel. I thought I’d just copy the front on a fold but it’s not the same size:) Thanks again so much for this post. I linked to you from a post off my blog because I think this is just the greatest idea!

        • Thank you Jeannie. I hope they work for you. With two kids in pull-ups, the savings can really add up.
          Yes–the back is waaaaaay different from the front, be sure to measure everyone!

  3. How clever! You should sell these! I am past the potty-training years but can still appreciate what you have done here! 🙂

    • Thank you. I have thought about selling diapers, but I didn’t really know if many people would want to try these. On the other hand, I have loved having these with all my kiddos.

  4. This is a fantastic idea, where were you when my children were little??!! :-). My daughter is just training her oldest so I will head her over here to have a look. You are amazing with all you do. Thanks for taking the time to share. Blessings

  5. Great idea. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7, we can’t wait to party with you! Lou Lou Girls

  6. Hello, did you put the PUL in the dryer after washing?

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