05 January, 2014

More On Pads, or Even More TMI

Well, apparently, I might be one of the last to talk about this subject in public.
My friend in Kyoto reports a shop there with these in the front window along with a pretty enamel pail to store them in. In fact, the entire shop sells women's menstrual pads.
I have sent her on special assignment to snap a photo because she was too embarrassed (!), after she got over her amazement (!),  of a whole shop (!), to take a photo.

I bought my first pads from a local seller on Etsy.
My primary reason was commercial panty liners were giving me a rash.
I finally got around to making my own, designing them longer for my peri-menapausal self.

My God, there are a bazillion tutorials out there.
Other women get those same rashes, but some claim their flow is less by using a more natural, breathable fabric.

{{Whatever are they putting in the commercial pads?}

I created my pattern by drawing around a super long panty liner. The bottom pattern piece is the base that needs enough wing space to snap around your panties. Not rocket science and most of the free tutorials go this direction. You need to sew around those curves, so I chose to draw my wings this way. I also wanted to use my serger and these soft curves will work.

One gal likes the complete circle.

Sorry for the upside-down photos. I took them with my smarty-pants phone who sometimes throws a snit about uploading photos to the blog (BlogIt!  app). When I straightened up the photos and tried to re-upload them , the phone went into a trance; "No Internet Service".
I swear that phone will make me smarter someday...

To make a pattern like this, I like to use plastic page dividers or card stock. Something I can draw around later with ease.  I found one page divider and drew the rest on a paper grocery bag which works well too. The grocery bag's pattern  advantage is it's size - less piecing on larger projects.

To make the underneath 'wing' base, I placed the pad shape on top and drew, freehand, the wings. You want the base to be a tad longer than the pad (in order to sew it down).

You want the wing base to be wide enough to snap together under the crotch of your panties.

Now if you are a little OCD (and you might need to work on that), you can make sure your wings are exactly the same. --Mine aren't which makes me happy as my OCD tends to flare up when my auto-immune is stressed.

You can add a taper in the middle to better fit between your legs.

I placed my patterns on my flannel and PUL fabric and drew around them. I cut them out with a rough 1/4" for the seam allowance and then serged them all leaving about 1.5" for turning.

Some of the how-to's involve a removable pad.
I might need to try these. My niece, had all-in-one diapers for her girls and they incorporated a removable absorbant pad.

This is how I ended up with the PUL fabric. My niece was trying to talk me into making AIO (all in one) diapers for her so she wouldn't have to pay $28 apiece. The PUL was staring me in the face when I was at Boersma's so I picked it up then. Once I figured out the time involved to make an AIO diaper, it got tucked away.

To make this seepage resistant, I utilized PUL fabric inside. This is in all diapers nowadays. But it isn't natural and I may make some without - especially the panty liner ones.

One of the sites mentioned this product and I am now on the look-out for it:  Water Resistant Wind Pro Fleece

I forget what these handy dandy turners are called. They have a rounded tip that will death grip onto a seam and turn things right-side-out super fast.

Before you sew the two sections together, make some stitch lines down the middle of the pad to prevent fabric bunching when washing.
Remember that hole where we turned it right-sides-out? Great thing about flannel is that you can just finger that raw edge inside and topstitch down. No need for hand-sewing these.
Because they were both flannel, I placed the pad on top of the base and topstitched it down in one big oval. Flannel doesn't creep like cotton fabrics will. I didn't use pins at all.
The last thing to do is install the plastic snaps. You want to use the plastic snaps because of laundering. The  metal ones will rust.

I can't believe I am talking panties, menstrual pads, and crotch on my blog. I dithered about it until Crafty Tokyo Mama (II) told me about the shop in Kyoto.
These are mainstream products now!

Use 100% Cotton Flannel. --More natural, better quality (quilter's flannel).
Although, it doesn't really matter. These are 'rags'. They are supposed to be sewn from stash. You shouldn't have to go buy supplies to make these (ahem, new plastic snap setter tool). Some people have reused old t-shirts (soft cotton knit), old flannel bathrobes, etc. You don't have to use PUL fabric as there are other options.

Laundering: My bathroom sink is private, so I throw them in here to soak. You can add vinegar to the water to naturally neutralize odors and bacteria. Then I throw them in my regular wash.

Oh - pick some pretty flannel. That's what most of the people who use cloth pads had to say. It makes your period a little less cursable.


TIPNUT  -- some of the links are broken but most work. Nice compilation of pad design ideas.

Pink Lemonade review. Review of the Pink Lemonade brand of pads.

AskPauline; This gal used metal snaps and didn't seem to have rust problems.

SewGreen :    Insertible Pad Design

Circle Design

and, finally, two youtube videos (there are more!) if you want to have some audio:

Selling Pad kits:

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating reading, but I'm delighted to be menopausal!!!!


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