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I'm looking for help in obtaining pattern/patterns for cloth sanitary napkins/pads. My group and I will be submitting the pads to different organizations that need help for girls in Africa.
We are nurses and social workers who are novice sewers, returning to the craft to help others!
We have been to donatepads, but some of the group say we need to find something simpler. Please advise! We appreciate your help!
By Cheryl E. Dimery,LPN from Fayetteville, NC
Homemade pads don't need to be too complicated. Keep them simple. An easy way is to take a facecloth, fold it into a long rectangle about 3" wide. You get about 4 layers out of a washcloth, then stitch edges on a sewing machine. Use scrap material (old tee shirts, towels, or old flannel pajamas work well) and experiment with folding layers into the appropriate rectangle shape., then sew into a rectangle. These pads can be safety-pinned into your undergarment.
For a very heavy flow the commercial disposable pads are better (days 1-3 of your cycle). Homemade pads work better for a lighter flow. I made some that weren't too thick to be used as mini pads. These didn't irritate my skin the way the paper pads did.
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How do you make cloth sanitary napkins? I've seen them on the internet. I can't afford to buy the ones online, but think I could make my own.
Jan from Atlanta, GA
Here is a very good tutorial if anyone still needs it:
Here are a few links, both are great!
Prewash and pre-shrink all fabric before sewing! (03/05/2009)
Artful folding can get you by without sewing, it worked for our great-great-great grandmothers. (03/05/2009)
Hillbilly Housewife has a good article on making your own pads.
Although I am beyond having a period in age, I do have incontinence and do so very much appreciate the ideas. I will also quilt the layers together because I have found them to be more absorbent for a liquid than the plain unquilted pads. I have in emergencies used old face cloths folded three times, which work fine, but it may not work for all women's fit. Good luck and God bless. : ) (03/08/2009)
If you fold without sewing they will wash cleaner. (03/14/2009)
When I was newly widowed around 20 years ago, without means and living alone, I simply got the wash cloths and folded them to a narrow strip, and when they were dirty, rinsed them thoroughly then threw them in a small bucket of hydrogen peroxide for a while before washing them. The HP eats the proteins and everything else washes away. This worked for while I was at home, I didn't try it out and about. (07/18/2009)
They can be very comfortable made from 100% cotton flannel. I used a safety pin to fasten rather than snaps to save sewing time and effort! If you change them often, they don't leak through, or you can buy a waterproof fabric or polyester polar fleece to use as the bottom layer. (08/22/2005)
I make my own pads.
I can tell you how I sewed mine simply and maybe it can help. I purchased a package (1 dozen) Gerber pre-folded diapers at the store, then I checked the remnants basket in the material section and bought 2 yards of pretty pink flannel material. For heavy days, I purchased 1/2 yard of POLY flannelet (for the backing). Now, not only is this cheaper in the long run, but it was easy to cut and put together at home.
Lay the diaper out flat. Place a disposable pad of your most comfortable size in the top center to use as you pattern. One end of the pad will be at the center edge, with extra at bottom and the thin section of the diaper that goes around the baby to be pinned will be on the edge. Leave about a 1/2 inch wide x 1 1/25 inch long oval at center of each side of pad if you prefer wings.
If you are using a pattern material, make sure before you sew it that you turn it inward first so when you turn it inside out your pattern shows. Next (if using wings, fold them in first) lay your diaper cut out on top of your flannel cut out and sew around the edges leaving one end open. Turn the pad inside out through the opening and then sew that end shut, and make a small stitch where your wings are to keep them snug.
Sew a piece of soft baby Velcro to the wings and you are done. You can get 1 maxi pad and one liner from each diaper giving you 12 pads and 12 liners or if you need extra absorbency, use the end piece as an extra layer for your regular pad. If you change your pad when needed, you should not have the use for any sweaty plastic liner. Cloth baby diapers come in some pretty pastel colors at some of the fancy baby stores, but you will pay a little more for them.
I bought mine for $12.00 basic white. I wash these in cold water after rinsing them well and dry them in the dryer and they have never failed me. Good luck. Sorry I don't have an image.