Thursday, December 18, 2008

How To Make Fabric Sanitary Pads

I have been using homemade fabric sanitary pads for about a year. The reason I use them is to save money, and also to avoid the rash I get from the store ones. To read a good article about using fabric pads, hop over to Hillbilly Housewife. She has a pattern over there as well that is a little different than mine.

water proof fabric (optional)
cotton batting

Begin by tracing your favorite commercial pad, preferably one with wings. Use this pattern to cut one layer of flannel or other soft absorbent cloth and one layer of water proof fabric. You could use another layer of flannel, but the water proof fabric makes the pad "safer". I used Classic PUL from Neptune Fabrics because that is what I had, but if I buy more I would like to try the breathable one.

Next make an oval pattern that is a little smaller than the body of your pad. Cut three or four layers of cotton batting using this pattern and stack them on top of each other. They will look very bulky, but don't worry yet. When everything is sewn together, the pad will be smaller. Zig-zag around the edges of batting to hold all the layers together.

Now lay down the water proof fabric, right side down (fuzzy side down). Next center the oval padding on the bottom layer. On top lay the flannel right side up.

Pin very well all around the edges and down the middle of the pad to hold all the layers on place.

Use your zig-zag stitch again to stitch around the edges. Switch to straight stitch and sew around the edges of the inner pad.

Completed! If you don't like your pad the first time, keep using them for a while to get used to it. Don't be afraid to experiment with your pattern until you have the size and shape you are comfortable with.

To Use: Place in pantys and wrap the wings around just like store bought pads. Safety pin the wings on bottom. Or you could add a button or snap or a bit of velcro.

To wash: As you change each pad, rinse it out and put in a bucket of cold water to soak. I like to add a few tablespoons of borax to reduce staining and odor. Try to get them washed within two days. If you can't wash them, get them out if the bucket to dry, or they will start to stink. Just throw the pads in the washer with your other clothes. They won't hurt a thing.

If you would like to try fabric pads but don't want to make your own, here are some stores that sell them.
Cottontail Baby
Mother Of Eden


Marcia Wilwerding said...

How very cool! I've always wondered about doing this. I had heard of the ones for sale and even bought the materials to make them, but never got up the nerve to try them. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing this, gardengirl.

sarahdodson said...

Wow. seems like a lot of work, but I'm sure it'd pay for itself in no time. Good job!

Anonymous said...

This seems like a great idea! I'm sad that I've never thought about this before. What kind of batting do you recommend?

Emily said...

I use unbleached 100% cotton quilt batting. ~Emily