How To Make Washable Sanitary Pads.
My all-in-one design of washable sanitary pad is made up of three layers. A bottom waterproof layer, the absorbent pad and a top fleece layer (to keep me feeling dry and fresh!).
For the bottom waterproof layer you can either use specialised fabric bought from an outdoor store (which looks nice but is expensive) or you can opt for the frugal old nylon shower curtain or soft waterproof bed cover.
The middle pad is made from cotton, either flannel, brushed cotton winceyette or toweling (which is much bulkier) - you can use a combination if you like. I tend to use offcuts from other projects or recycle old sheets or towels. If you do use old sheets or towels cut the edges off and then use the outside edges, the center sections tend to get wore down and thinner, meaning the absorbency will be reduced.
The top layer is made from polar fleece, either use new fleece or the backs from old fleece jumpers.
You should end up with a selection of fabrics like the one below.
The first thing you need to make is the absorbant pad.
Start by cutting the cotton to the size you need for your pad, as I was making maxi-pads I cut my fabric 24cm x 8cm. I used 4 layers of fabric for these pads as I had a layer of toweling in there. If I was only using brushed cotton I would have used 6 layers. If you want them longer or shorter then adjust the length accordingly - use whatever pad you are happiest using as a gauge for the size.
Make a pile of the layers of fabric (there are six in the photo as I was making 6 pads), then stitch around the edge to hold them all together, either use an overlocker or the zigzag stitch on a regular machine.
That's that bit done! :-)
Next you need to Cut the top and bottom layers
The first thing you will need to make is a template piece for the pad. To do this cut a piece of fleece that is equivalent to three times the width of the absorbant pad and about one inch (2cm) longer on either end.
Remove the outer two pads (if you used them for measuring like I did) then trim the corners off to make the pad more elliptical. Make sure that you don't curve the long edges too much as you will be applying a popper to them later on.
Once you have the basic shape of the sanitary pad cover you will need to cut one piece in fleece and one in the washable fabric for each sanitary pad you are making. (I don't know what happened in the photo but the light and dark blue fabric pieces are the same size, even though they don't look it!)
Now we have to attach the pad to the cover.
Lay the absorbent pad on the wrong side of the fleece fabric and pin it in place.
Stitch around the outside edges of the absorbent pad so that it is attached to the fleece liner. This will stop the pad from moving around inside the cover, which is especially important when they are being washed.
Next place the waterproof layer on top of the absorbent pad, forming a sandwich with the fleece layer. Pin it in place.
Stitch around the outside edge of the two layers with an overlocker or using the zigzag stitch on a regular machine.
Once the poppers are attached the sanitary pad are ready to use - just make sure that you line up the poppers properly - one should be attached to the fleece and the corresponding popper to the waterproof backing. Otherwise you won't be able to fasten them!
Posted by OneProudMomma at Sunday, September 19, 2010 12:05 PM