This tutorial isn't for everyone and that's OK but half the population have them and the other half will often live with someone who has them, whether that is a partner, friend or daughter. I personally find it more embarrassing that there is such thing as period poverty in this country so I am happy to help talk about it and break down the taboo.
I am ashamed to admit that when I first heard of the idea of a cloth pad from a friend, I turned my nose up at it. I still agree to a certain extent that it isn't always 100% practical depending on your flow. I thought I would share the waste reducing ways I have changed my cycle. Everyone's motivation for changing to cloth pads is different and it was the plastic that sanitary products now come in that changed it for me. They never used to and I just don't understand why that had to change. There is also the the health benefits, no chemicals and risk of toxic shock syndrome. It is also a great way of saving money. If you already sew, you will probably already have a stash of cottons and if you quilt, you may also have wadding you can use.
I am not health specialist and I don't give advice, I am just sharing my personal thoughts and experiences. In the last 6 months I have invested in a menstrual cup, it is the best thing I have done and can't believe more people don't know about them. I do not have to think about my time of the month for 12 hours at a time and I don't have to worry about buying sanitary products so the £15 I spent on it has already easily been paid for. It also means that I have saved on dozens of sanitary products going to landfill so I feel good about that too. The cup also allowed me to see and understand my period more and I didn't feel it was necessary to use it towards the end and at night when I would usually use a liner instead. This leads me to the reason I am writing this blog. Using a reusable liner for these times was a great compromise for me so if you are feeling inspired, I have written an easy tutorial and attached a simple pattern you are free to use.
If you like the idea but for what ever reason can't make your own I can highly recommend English Garden Lovelies. who makes cloth pads in all shapes sizes and fabrics.
YOU WILL NEED
2 Fat quarters of 100% cotton (pre-washed)
10" x 8" of wadding (I use bamboo)
KAM snaps and tool
Iron and Ironing board
1. Print your pattern here.
2. Cut two of the pattern in any cotton fabrics, ideally darker and a busy pattern for obvious reasons. The tropical cotton I have seemed perfect. You can get it here. I found it easier to cut my wadding in a square 10" x 8".
While we are talking about the wadding I thought I'd share the reasons behind my choice. This whole blog series is inspired by creating less waste. I create keepsake quilts over on my other page Crafts by Katie and I use bamboo wadding in my quilts. I often have left overs which are the perfect size for this type of project. I use bamboo for a number of reasons. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants making it super sustainable. It also has antibacterial properties which makes it great for a child's quilt and also for making your own cloth pads. The wadding I use is quite thin, although absorbent enough for a light flow which is why I have called it a liner. It is becoming easier to find suitable towelling and absorbent materials for this type of project as more people are talking periods and making their own cloth pads.
3. Layer them up with the cottons right side together and the wadding underneath. Sew around the edges with a 1/4" seam allowance and leave a gap for turning out on one of the straight edges. Ensure you back stitch at the start and end.
4. Trim around the corners and points. Add notches on the curves. Turn your pad out, push out the corners press.
5. Top stitch around the edge which will also close the gap you used to turn it.
6. To keep it in place you will need a fasteninga KAM snap is the easiest way of doing this. I use mine for all sorts of projects and it has been a great investment. You get a male and a female snap and will need one of each. Attach one to each side of the wings, make sure they line up when they are closed.
Thank you for reading, I would love to hear from you if you give the tutorial a go or even if you just feel a bit more open minded after reading this. For more free tutorials, new fabric arrivals and SALE updates, make sure you have subscribed to my mailing list.
When it comes to cleaning I have just been putting them in the regular wash. Occasionally they need rinsing out a little first.
I have added an extra layer of wadding on some of mine too. Place an extra layer as wide as the pad, not including the wings. The only thing I did differently was to stitch in the middle as shown in this picture.