Monday, February 23, 2015

Corner Drool Pad Tutorial

Okay, so now you've mastered the straight sided drool pads and you want to move on to some curved ones that go around the corners. Here's your supply list:

two coordinating fabrics (about 1/4 of a yard of each)
something absorbent for the inner layer (I used natural cotton batting)
coordinating thread
snaps or velcro for closure
ribbon (optional)


Now you will need to download and print the pattern here.  (New patterns are now up! See my post here!) This pattern took a lot of time and effort for me to draft and I am freely giving my work away, so please do the right thing and don't share or sell this pattern. Feel free to link people to my blog or sell your creations based on my pattern, but link back to this page to give credit or make a donation using the link below.

Okay, first, you will need to prepare your pattern. You can either print three copies or fold your pattern on the straight lines. The first piece with be the entire pattern. The second piece will be the pattern with the small section on the right folded to the back (or cut off) and the third section will be with the small section on the left folded back (or cut). See below for a visual on what I mean here.

Place your fabric with wrong sides together and cut out the full pattern for each of your front and back fabrics. Now, fold your pattern along the line on the left and cut out that pattern on your folded fabric of each material. Unfold the pattern and then fold at the line on the right and repeat the process. You will be left with pieces that look like this.


You will also need to cut the same pieces out of your inner layer.

Collect the three pieces of one material pattern that fit together as shown in the picture below. The right sides of the material should match up together to form the same shape when they are all laid flat.

Pin along the curved edges with right sides together.

Sew the curved edges of all of your pieces together using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Do the same for your inner layer. Trim the seam allowances on the inner layer to prevent having too much bulk in your seams.

Press the seams open or to one side or the other to make sewing the next part easier.


Place right sides together of your front and back material. (I'm using the same material on both sides here.) Then place your inner fabric on top. Pin all the way around, matching up seams and edges. It will feel a little wobbly trying to pin the curves, but do the best you can to line it all up straight with all three layers. If you are going to add ribbon to your drool pads, pin these in place now as well. You will want to put them in between the two layers of fabric (front and back material) with the loop pointing up (raw edges of the ribbon meeting the raw edges of the fabric).

Sew all the way around the outside edge of the three layers. Make sure to leave about a two to three inch gap along one of the sides to turn your work. I leave red pins at my start and stop points so I remember to leave my gaps open.

Clip the corners of your drool pads to remove the bulk. This will give you sharper corners when you turn. Now turn the whole thing right-side out. It will look a little on the wonky side.

A good press will clean it right up!





Now we need to close up the hole that was left from turning and make it stay all nice and in shape. Make sure that you press the edges to the inside to make it easy to sew down.

Top stitch all the way around the outer edge of the drool pad. I use a very scant 1/8" seam allowance because I like the way that it looks but you can go as wide as you initial seam allowance so long as you catch the inner layers of your turning hole.


Now press the sides to the middle and it's starting to look like something!

You  can now install your fasteners. I used snaps on mine, but you can use velcro or magnetic fasteners or whatever floats your boat.


And you're done! Admire that beautiful corner drool pad and keep your carrier straps safe from your baby's destructive nature.


If you enjoyed this pattern, consider donating to help me write more! I would love to create a video tutorial for each of my patterns but the equipment rental is not cheap. A small donation will go a long way! 


Would you like an easily printable version of this tutorial and pattern? Find it in my Etsy shop!

76 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. I am going to try making my very first pair for my Tula. I'm brand new to baby wearing and quickly learning all about the cute accessories for different carriers. I can't wait to see how they turn out! :)

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    1. I hope it works well for you. Keep in mind that this was patterned after a Kinderpack which has straps about an inch wider than a Tula. You will want to cut just a little inside the lines of the pattern and/or sew with a little wider seam allowance so that it fits the Tula a little better.

      If I happen to get a Tula some time in the future, I'll definitely add another pattern just for those!

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  2. Thanks for taking the time to create and post this pattern! It was easy to follow, and they came out great!! :-)

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    1. nevermind I see in the previous post that it will. thank you for the pattern and instructions.

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  4. I just made this for my Tula and followed your advice from a prior post. I made the pattern slimmer and it worked wonderfully. I also added ruffle to the bottom. Thanks for taking the time to create and post this pattern!

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  5. Do you make these and sell them? Even with directions I'm hopeless with the whole sewing process. I already have the fabric I want to use.

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    1. Tara, I do! You can either use the contact form at the top of the page or visit my Facebook or Etsy page. https://www.facebook.com/ZozoBoutiqueCreations or http://www.etsy.com/shop/ZozoBoutiques.

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    1. Wendy, an Ergo has straps that are smaller than a kinderpack and are closer to a Tula. As I mentioned above, if you cut a bit inside the lines and/or sew with a bigger seem allowance you will get a more snug fit.

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  7. Thanks for sharing! Do these work for Lillebaby? Or do you make/sell Lillebaby specific ones?

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    1. I believe that the Lillebaby straps are similar in width to a Tula or Ergo so you'll want to make them a little smaller as I mentioned above. And I can certainly make them to any size you'd like!

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  8. What do you use to place the snaps ?? Was it easy ?? Thanks

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    1. I used a pair of snap pliers and plastic snaps. There is a little bit of learning to it, but now it's super simple! I recommend KAM brand snaps as I have not had much success with the brands available in the craft store chains.

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  9. I just orders a Toddler Brave Tula for my SO who is Army and loves carrying out LO. I'm going to be making accessories out of old ACUs so I want to try and get this done right the first time. When I pull up the PDF in Dropbox, I can barley see anything for the pattern. Has anyone else had this issue. I think I could manage to do it just with your written directions because they are so well written and easy to follow. TIA for the guidance!

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    1. Hi Marissa, it is a little light because it's hand drawn and scanned, but it seems to print just fine for me. Feel free to email me at info @ zozoboutique . com (minus the spaces) and I can try to help you out a little more with a darker picture.

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    2. I got it to print off but it was still pretty light. I think I was able to highlight with a sharphie what was on it. I will try it out and see. Thanks so much for making this available and for your help.

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    3. Is it only one page? I thought there were 3 pieces to the pattern am I missing something?

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  10. For those who aren't seamstress minded; you'll want to reverse a set so you dont have two lefties/two righties. One side has a larger flare than the other. I made the mistake of cutting out 2 of the same "side". I'm lucky to know how to turn the machine on so I'm sure someone who sews fequently would have immediately realized this, but just wanna drop that here in case someone else was getting big for their britches like me :3 .

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    1. Thanks! I wouldn't have thought of that! Hopefully I won't mess them up too much. :)

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    2. Thanks! I wouldn't have thought of that! Hopefully I won't mess them up too much. :)

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    3. Argh over just discovered this as I was about to sew my second one up. How do we 'reverse' a set?

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    4. Oh and thanks so much for sharing your pattern

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  11. oh and how rude of me, Thanks for sharing this tutorial!!! <3

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  12. Thank you for the great tutorial and pattern! It worked a treat for my Tula straps. I just trimmed 5mm off the pattern. Lea, you don't need to worry about not getting a reverse set. Cutting out the pattern out of folded fabric makes sure you get one of each:-) it confused me for a while!

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  13. Thank you so much for great instructions! Can you tell me the width of your straps so I know how they relate to a Boba?

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    1. Hi Allison, the straps on a Kinderpack are just about 4.5 inches wide. I understand that Beco, Tula, Ergo and most other carriers are about 3.5 inches wide. You'll want to make these about an inch smaller overall which equates to an additional quarter inch per side seam. If you cut according to the pattern and then sew with a half inch seam allowance (and trim afterwards) it should work out great!

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  14. The new patterns are now up! There is one for Kinderpack sized straps and another for Tula sized straps which are similar to other carriers like Ergo, Beco, etc. Enjoy everyone!

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  15. I have made the straight suck pads and they were ok... i am still learning and looking forward to trying this one... but i am going to add ribbons... my ? Is do i have to use a bigger needle in my machine to sew it all together?

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    1. Nope, regular needle will work just fine! It's just like quilting.

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    2. You may want to lower your tension on your machine, only because it's thick. It all depends on what you use for the inner layer and how thick it is.

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  16. I'm working with a limited amount of fabric. Roughly how tall/wide are the tula ones? I'm on my phone for the time being.

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  17. I was curious if anyone knows how I can find out how to add a ruffle to the bottom :) thanks!

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    1. I need to work on a tutorial for adding ruffles to the bottom... In the meantime, the best quick advice I can dispense is to sew all three pieces of each side together first. Then pin the ruffle onto the bottom curves of one side. You'll do this just like when adding ribbons - top of the ruffle to the bottom of the drool pad layer, pinned so the ruffle points upward. I usually baste it in place. Then just pin together and sew your drool pad like normal.

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  18. I can't quite understand the "fold and cut" part!!! It looks like you just cut one piece right down the middle but I don't understand the folding.

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    1. It's pretty close to that! Instead of cutting one piece straight down the middle, you cut one just to the left of middle and another just to the right of middle. That way your two pieces have a little bit of an overlap. That's where your snaps will go when you're done. If they didn't overlap at all, your snaps couldn't connect. Hopefully the new pictures help explain things better!

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  19. the download link is not working, could you email it to me? iadoreowls@hotmail.com Thanks

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  20. Katie, thank you for posting the tutorial! The download link for the Lillebaby ones is broken, is it possible to fix? Thank you!

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  21. can you just cut one whole piece rather than 3 separate pieces then sewn together? I understand it wont have the crease as nice and sharp, but it'd save a lot of work? I'm trying to figure this out before I start

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    1. Sadly, no. One piece wouldn't be able to make the same curve in the material. It's like when you're sewing a ball. To do those, you have to have several wedge shapes to make all the curves. If you just made it with one flat piece on top and one flat piece on bottom, you'd get a 2D circle and not a 3D ball. Make sense?

      The straight sided drool pads can absolutely be made in all one piece for the front and all one piece for the back though! Check out the Easy Peasy Drool Pad Pattern if that suits you better. It's definitely easier to make.

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  22. Hi everytime I cut the side pieces it comes out small and doesn't fit the like a half on each side. Any tips on how to make it more half?

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    1. You will want to make sure that you are cutting from the curved edge all the way over to the second line over (not the straight line that is closest to that curve). That will give it enough overlap to apply your snaps.

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  23. Katie, can you please fix the download link for the Lillebaby suck pads? it isn't working. I am trying to make these for my daughter and I am in Virginia and she is in Georgia. I have her lillebaby for a couple more days so I would like to get the pattern ASAP PLEASE!!!!

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  24. Can I use microfiber as the middle layer?

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    1. Absolutely! Anything that you feel gives enough absorbency for your baby is a good choice. I've seen people use flannel, cottons of all sorts, bamboo, hemp, fleece, PUL, zorb, you name it! It's good to try different materials until you find what works best for you.

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  25. Thank you so much! I recently started sewing, and I've been working on a couple simple projects. This was easy, and just in time for my Bliss Bouquet Tula! Wish I could send you a picture!

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  27. I can't download the pattern. Is there anyway you can email it directly to me? Thank you! Jfoxwort@gmail.com

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    1. The broken link has been fixed. Let me know if you still need help!

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  28. Hi Katie, thanks for the patterns!! I was curious about the size of the Tula pattern -- mine is printing the size of an entire page of printer paper. Is this correct? It looks huge.

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    1. Yup, it will be nearly the size of a piece of paper after printing. The height is close to 9.5 inches at its tallest. Remember though, that this includes seam allowances so once sewn and turned, it will work out just the right size!

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  29. What seam allows did you use. 1/4 or 1/2? Thanks.

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    1. I used a quarter inch seam allowance throughout the pattern. The top stitching, I sewed closer to an eighth inch from the edge, but as far away as a quarter inch looks good as well.

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  30. I am totally new to sewing. Honestly I dont understand any of it lol. Just wondering what are the measurements.Thanks

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    1. The finished drool pad ends up roughly 9 inches tall at its longest point. If you're new to sewing, start with the straight sided tutorial. Once you get some more confidence, this one will be a breeze!

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  33. thank you for this pattern! i've modified it for a lillebaby, am going to sew it up in the next couple of days and make sure it works well. if it does, would you like me to send you the lillebaby pattern to add to this tutorial?

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  34. Thanks for the tute, when i cut all out and sewed up the curved edges and put front and bavk pieces right sides together it doesnt match up what have i done wrong. Thanks

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  35. Will these fit a Lenny by chance

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  36. I'm not much of a sew master but found this really easy to follow - thank you my finished product looks amazing I used the tula pattern and it fits my ergo 360 fantastic - the only hiccup I had was when I ironed it down I went over the ribbon I added and it melted, so I had to cut it off on one side

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  37. Does this work for lillebaby all seasons or do you have a tutorial for lillebaby?

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  38. Does this work for lillebaby all seasons or do you have a tutorial for lillebaby?

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  39. I just bought your pattern on etsy! Thank you for your patience and talent in making and then generously selling it!! I'm excited to make my own and then maybe make them as gifts! Thanks again!

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  40. Will these fit the LILLEbaby carrier? I have the complete original.

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    1. Yes, use the one marked Tula as the straps are about the same width.

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  41. One more question what are the measurements for the pattern once it is printed? I want to make sure what I printed is the correct size before I cut it out and then cut my fabric. Also does the pattern include the seam allowance? Thank you!

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  42. Thank you for sharing your pattern and tutorial! I'm a pretty lousy sewer and I was able to follow along and now I have my first pair of drool pads! For the first time, I was able to sew something correctly without making mistakes and having to rip things apart! Thanks for making it easy to understand!

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  43. Hello! THank you for this tutorial. I just had a quick question... when making the second suck pad for the opposite strap, do you flip the pattern piece facedown onto the fabric to get a suck pad that has the larger flared edge facing inwards?

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    1. Yes, if you cut them out separately, you'll need to flip it upside down for the second drool pad. If you cut them both out at the same time, just place either right sides or wrong sides together and cut. This will give you two mirror images as well.

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  44. this is a fantastic pattern! I could never have made them without it - thanks!!

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