Yep. I went there. I finally took the plunge and went full-on green-freak. It’s been coming for a while now. I use disposable pads as a backup with my menstrual cup, so why not switch to cloth pads? We already cloth diaper and part-time family cloth, so the gross factor is really non-existent for me. And I can sew cloth pads myself with things I already have!
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Why not just keep using disposables? Well, there’s lots of reasons.
- They are covered in chemicals that you definitely don’t want against sensitive body parts
- They’re just gross when the plastic makes you sweat
- Disposables make up a ridiculous amount of waste
- Cloth isn’t as gross as you think and the washing process is very simple
- You’ll be saving money, especially if you sew cloth pads yourself
- If you already cloth diaper and/or use family cloth, it’s really no big deal to make the switch
Cloth pads are great for women who don’t use internal menstrual products
When I was a teenager, my mom had me scared that if I ever tried out a tampon, I would forget it was in there. I didn’t use them for years. Now I have a menstrual cup and I love it, but I still like the added protection of a pad underneath. Lots of women use pads exclusively and these are a great option for them as well!
How To Sew Cloth Pads
- sewing machine
- scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- flannel(I used scraps from a sheet) or another absorbent material for the middle
- pretty cotton for the top(I just used t-shirt scraps)
- anti-pill fleece for the liquid resistant backing
- snap pliers and snaps or velcro or a button
Start by drafting your own pattern. You can trace around a pad that you would normally use. Minus the wings.
Then contour it to a shape you like or that will fit well for you and cut it out. Mine was 8.5 inches long and 3.5 inches wide at the back.
For the wings, cut out a 5 x 2.5 inch rectangle and round the corners, like above.
Now for the body, trace and cut out one layer for the pretty top(mine was from a t-shirt). For the absorbent middle, I just used two layers cut out from a flannel sheet, since this is only for backup. You will want more if you will be using the pads by themselves. Cut out one layer of fleece for the body and one layer for the wings.
Now layer them all right sides out like this: body fleece on bottom, lay the wings evenly over that, then your absorbent layers, and last, your top.
Pin in place.
Sew a wide zig-zag stitch around the whole body, going over the wings, not around them. Go over those stitches with a straight stitch.
The stitches should look like the above picture.
Apply your snaps with snap pliers on the wings like above. You can also sew on velcro or even a button.
Fold the top and bottom in and snap. Now you have yourself a portable little pad.
If you’re going to be using these when you’re out and about, you can put them in a small wet bag after use. A ziploc storage bag would work well, too.
To wash, just rinse well with cold water, then set aside in an open container to wash with your next load of laundry. Don’t leave them too long though, as they will mildew.
Have you ditched the disposables yet? Do you think you will try to sew cloth pads?
If you make some share a pic on Instagram if you’re bold enough and tag me @little_mager_house
I’d love to see your creations!