I finally have photographed everything and have a tutorial for you on how to make your very own awesome cloth pads. If you want some info on why to use cloth pads, you can see my post about it here. These are a little different than what you normally see, but I love them so much and want to share the love by showing you how to make them for yourself! I love these so much because they are so comfortable and slim while still quite absorbent. These are very easy to make for beginning sewers. My skills are not very great, as you may notice looking through these instructions.
Flannel (I like to use ripped bedsheets or unmatched pillowcases)
Some kind of hook (I used an old bra hook)
Step 1.) Cut out pieces of flannel roughly 21″x5.5″. This will be the casing. If you want a longer/shorter pad adjust the length, a wider/narrower one the width. You may want to measure yourself to check (you can see how it fits in the final pictures to see what you should be measuring). In my case I ended up cutting a pillowcase into strips because it was a great length. This is what it should look like:
Step 2.) Cut out more flannel strips about 26″x7″. This is the actual absorbent part. If you want a “heavy” pad you can make it longer for more folds and if you want a longer pad (like for overnight) you can make it wider. Then fold this strip over on itself repeatedly until you have a multi-layered “pad” about 2.25″ wide. It will look like this:
Step 3.) Sew the pad together by sewing a short line on either edge (the short side) and sew the casing together by folding the two right sides together and sewing a long seam 1/4 inch in. If you have a surger you could also use that and it might even be better. I do not have a serger. These should look like this:
Step 4.) Turn the casing inside out. This is easier if you turn a little bit inside out and than pull the right side out, rather than just trying to shove it all inside out. This is starting to turn it inside out and the completed casing:
Step 5.) Take your finished pad and put it in your casing, you will want to work it to the desired spot. After pushing it through a bit, you may need to put your thumb and pointer finger through the opposite end to pull the pad down a bit. For me this ended up being 5.5″ of casing in front 6.25″ of pad (these were a little shorter than the 7″ ones I made later) and then 8.5″ of casing in back. The best way to go about this is to hold it where you think it might go and actually see where the pad sits. I have a big butt, so my measurements may be totally different than others. See pictures:
Step 6.) Create loops to put the elastic through in the casing. Use the elastic you have as a guide for how big to make them. You will want to either use a zig zag stitch (I did about three lines) or serge and then sew down the loop so that there isn’t fraying. It will look like so:
Step 7.) Sew the pad in place in the casing by either doing 2-3 straight lines or any design you prefer. I did a couple with hearts, but neither turned out well due to my mediocre sewing abilities, so I will just post the straight lines for you to see. This is also the completed pad:
Step 8.) Make a belt with your elastic by cutting the elastic to your desired length (mine was 22″, but I should have made it smaller since the elastic I have is really stretchy). This will be around your waist/hips. Finish the ends by either surging or using a bit of scrap material to sew over the edges so that you don’t have elastic fray. Sew on your desired hooking device. I used old hooks from bras. You will want something that will stay together so you can pull your pad down like underwear until you are ready to change it, at which point you just put the belt on a fresh pad! Here is my finished belt:
You are all done! Here is the finished pad, some extremely unflattering photos that I am posting of myself wearing it with leggings on under it, and a picture of the pad under jeans so you can get an idea of how it fits:
Isn’t it glorious? Hope you have fun whipping yourself up a batch of fun cloth pads . Whenever I do, I am SO excited for my next period.