Friday, July 27, 2007

Making Cloth Pads.

I have suffered from allergies for as long as I can remember. Long carefree days of shopping were often cut short due to the strong residue left from the cleaning products used in the large shopping centres. Over the years I learnt to deal with my allergies in a number of ways. One of the changes I made along time ago was stopping using commercial deodorants and using vinegar instead. The delicate skin under my arms had never felt better! For years I thought that the bleach filled disposable sanitary products were the only option. I was crippled by menstrual pain and skin sensitivity on a monthly basis through out my adolescence. It was a red letter day when I discover I had a choice!

There are a number of different reasons why some women are choosing to turn their backs on the massed produced, heavily processed, disposable sanitary products. My choice
was'nt based on saving the environment or money although those are excellent side effects. It was purely a health and comfort issue. If you are wanting to make the change to cloth pads there are many great places online to buy them. Here are some links
Rad Pads
Girly Bits
Sew Soft and heaps of others

You can make your own, it’s easy and cheap! There are free
down loadable patterns available online just do a search to find one!. This afternoon I sat down to make 5 new pads so I thought I would run through how I go about it! I make my own pattern using a piece of A4 paper. I fold it in half length ways and then down the middle. The pattern shown is a pad with wings. I just pin it to my fabric then cut it out. I use a really fine corduroy fabric for the backing and a funky flannel for the top! Inside I put 2 layers of micro fibre and 2 layers of flannelet. You don’t have to use micro fibre you can use old towelling or stretch cotton or anything absorbent. Note: Never put micro fibre directly against your skin! It will absorb the natural oils in your skin, drying it out. The padding in the middle doesn’t need to extend all the way out to the wings. It’s up to you! I like to keep the wings thin so they sit neatly. I cut out the backing and top layer directly from the pattern but the micro fibre and flannelet layers are really just shaped like a pad without wings!

Take the funky top layer and lay it on top of the 4 inside layers with the p
attern on the top. Then carefully sew 3 lines down the middle (these lines direct the flow to keep you dryer).
You should now have just the back piece left. Some people prefer a layer of P.U.L. or Rip-Stop at the back for a bit of added confidence. I have often used rubber backed curtain fabric but for these ones I’m not going to bother. I find that the really fine corduroy helps the pads stay where they are suppose to.

Place the backing face down on top of funky fabric. Sew around the edge but remember to leave a gap so that you can turn the pad out the right way. When turning the pad out the right way I use a big knitting needle to help. When you have the pad out the right way carefully turn under the edges of the gap you left and sew it closed. I sew very closely around the entire edge of the pad and then down both edges of the centre lining.
Now I add a small square of Velcro to the wings to make sure they cant move to much. This also helps to keep them discrete buy folding them up like an envelope. I also make a plastic lined matching flannel draw string bag. If you want any extra info just drop me a line and I help if I can!


Love Bears All Things said...

How I wish we'd had your pattern when I was young. It was the 60's when I first needed something. Commercial products were available but we were poor. We just folded up scraps and pinned them in. This is such a good option. Thankfully my days of needed them is passed.

Rhonda Jean said...

Thanks for this tutorial, kirsty. I'm going to show it to my sewing circle ladies. : )

Libby said...

I definitely understand about the allergy issue - my problem too. I chose to make some without a pattern with wash cloths at first. Now I have a diva cup and some more advanced cloth ones. Fantastic!

Bel said...

They are lovely. Your tutorial is really helpful and easy-to-understand.

I also love cloth. It was a strange concept for a modern girl to grasp, but it feels oh-so-luxurious now to choose and use my cloth...

And sewing my own is just plain fun!