I’m really getting inspired by everyone’s ‘anything but clothes’ entries. Besides totes, purses, and bags, I wasn’t really sure what one could make. It suddenly came to me, ‘hey, cloth pads aren’t actually a garment, so I’m pretty sure they count.’
First let me introduce you to the pattern: this is the Normal Flow Menstrual Cloth Pads by DIYpads on Etsy. Actually, the pattern I used was a tester version of said pattern. I had posted some pads I’d made from other patterns on Instagram and that I wasn’t entirely happy with the results and Lisa contacted me asking if I’d like to try out her personal pattern. At the time, Lisa wasn’t sure if she was going to release it as a pattern, but I’m so glad she did eventually release it! The test version had only 3 sizes: small, medium and large. Now the normal flow pattern comes in a size range of XS to XL, and next to that she also has Light, Heavy, and Front Bleeder patterns. I purchased the Heavy pattern a little while back and I really like that one as well.
I went completely off-book with the instructions. The instructions have you trace the pattern and roughly cut around it, then use the traced line to sew your line of stitching. While this probably makes a more accurate pad, I don’t have the patience to do that. The way I did it is I added a 1cm seam allowance to the winged pattern piece.
I also went off-book with my materials. The pattern recommends backing the pads with PUL fabric. PUL is what makes the pads leakproof. The problem is, PUL is very slippery, so my first batch in 2015 – while quite good in terms of leak protection and comfort –slipped around a lot, especially if I did anything but sit around in them. Going for a run or a workout was out of the question. So now, I back the pads with light corduroy cut on the bias and put the PUL on the inside, under the inner padding, if that makes sense (If anyone wants a more thorough tutorial, let me know in the comments).
I almost always use cotton knit scraps for the top of the pads, as I did with these ones. It makes my period just a little bit more fun. But I must admit, while it looks really pretty, it’s not the most absorbent. If you’re more serious about absorption, I would try bamboo velour, as is recommended by the pattern. The inner pad is bamboo fleece, which provides the absorbing power.
The snaps I used are KAM snaps. They are really fun to install! They come with these plier things that are just so fun to use. Almost as fun as using a hammer to install rivets and other jeans notions. And there are so many colours to choose from if you search Etsy or DaWanda.
If anyone is interested in seeing a more in-depth tutorial, do let me know and I’ll try to put one together for you on my blog.
Pattern: Normal Flow Menstrual Cloth Pads by DIYpads
Fabrics: fine/light corduroy, mid-weight bamboo fleece, PUL, cotton jersey
Notions: thread, KAM snaps