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Topic: easy recycled, quilted wool and cotton pads - tutorial (different method)  (Read 6119 times)
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« on: June 03, 2005 08:55:15 PM »

I made this in a new thread because I think it's a different enough technique for making menstrual pads than what was posted in the other two threads.  They don't have wings, but you'd be suprised at how well they stay put, because of the fabric backing.  The quilting makes them not bulky at all and also keeps the material from shifting around inside, especially when you wash it.  The wool makes them so much more absorbent than regular cotton (reading about how wool absorbency and a bum sweater is what inspired me to make these) that they stay comfortable for much longer and - most importantly - they don't leak like the disposible pads do, down the wings and all, yuck.  I have a pretty heavy flow, and I've rarely had these leak on me.  They are all-natural fibers, no synthetics.  If I could find recycled organic fibers I'd love to make them out of those, but as it is, I'm happy just recycling old clothes.

For the wool, I used one of my brother's old wool sweaters that had felted (accidentally) in the wash, and nobody wanted to wear it.  Basically, I cut a bunch of pad shaped pieces out of the sweater, then a bunch more pieces (which were slightly bigger) out of a tee shirt and some black flannel.  I like the dark colors because they don't look as messy.

Here they are, with the wool piece, the tee shirt piece and the flannel piece in a pile.  You can't see the flannel because it is the same size as the tee shirt piece. 

So then with 'right' sides together of the flannel and jersey, I sewed a pocket shaped piece that has an opening at one end.

I trimmed close to the seam (well not in this picture...) then I laid the wool piece on top and pulled the whole thing inside out

so that the wool was in between - smooth it out a little with my fingers, then fold the open ends in, sew it shut and "quilt" over it with the machine.

Ta da!  Here is the top:

And the bottom:

Or the bottom and the top, it just depends which fabric you prefer close to your delicate bits.  Anyhow, these are really easy to care for, throw them in a bucket of water, then machine wash (so I would be sure to preshrink everything...).  I carry a little ziploc baggie with me to have something to put them in when I am out and about.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009 08:36:23 AM by jungrrl - Reason: fixed pictures » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2005 09:28:54 PM »

This is kind of a gross question, but since it's kind of a gross topic, here goes... How long can you wear them before they bleed through? I hate using disposable ones because they're bad for the environment, but I've never thought to make my own... I guess that's what they did back in the day, and it worked for them. What the hell, I'm making some this week!
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2005 09:32:01 PM »

Haha here's an entire thread on this topic :p https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=18462.0

"That doesn't make sense to me. But then again, you are very small."~Treebeard
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2005 09:37:04 PM »

Many thanks for showing the steps to making these!

Now if I could only convince myself that without a fastener of some kind they would stay in place ...
I'm not crazy about wings - but I don't want to suddenly have to make a quick exit from wherever I am, holding my crotch to keep things from slipping any further out of position.

Perhaps the addition of a small piece of velcro to the bottom-side of the pad would work. And it could attach to ... a piece of cloth (cotton or flannel or whatever) wrapped around the crotch of the underwear, which also has a small piece of velcro attached to it.
And the underwear velcro-cloth would be removable ... so one wouldn't be stuck wearing one pair of undies all the while the pad(s) were needed.
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2005 09:41:04 PM »

Well before coming to craftster, I *blushes* bought some cloth pads.  They stay in place really well with a bottom lining of flannel.  The friction makes it stick as long as it's long enough! Smiley And it's great for the environment

"That doesn't make sense to me. But then again, you are very small."~Treebeard
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2005 09:51:44 PM »

Jane2, if it helps, there's a slight curve to the pads when you're done sewing them so they sort of nestle against you, and like TheEverFalling says, as long as they're long enough, the friction does keep them well in place.  I've also discovered that not wearing baggy underwear helps to give a secure feeling.  Smiley  But I think that you could probably just modify the shape of the outer layers to give it wings and snaps...

Meowari, with the wool, it depends on your flow but they can absorb a godawful amount of blood, a lot more than cotton for the size.  I guess on my first day, which is always the heaviest, I maybe change them five or six times, tho sometimes I supplement with big rolled up washcloths....   I bet if you used wool flannel instead of cotton flannel on the bottom, or an extra wool flannel layer, it would be even more absorbent.  Definitely check out the other cloth pad threads here though because a lot of people give some good information about their experiences.

TheEverFalling - I love that thread!  Though most of the cloth pad patterns I've come across require more of an attention span than I have.... hence this one. Smiley  I almost bought some at one point, too, but they were just so much money....  Although in the long run, it's still a savings on you pockets and the earth.  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2005 10:12:16 PM »

I think your recycled pads are fabulous! The quilting pattern seems to be almost the same as real female genitalia which makes me giggle.

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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2005 06:15:24 AM »

I think your recycled pads are fabulous! The quilting pattern seems to be almost the same as real female genitalia which makes me giggle.

Thanks!  You know, that wasn't intentional, but when I was piecing them together, I thought about how with the colors and the folds it did sort of look like a fabric pussy.  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2005 07:06:12 AM »

Hi.I'm new here but love this site!Quick question...could you give just a rough estimation on the size of these pads?I want to make some.
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2005 07:22:30 AM »

Mine are about 7.5"x3" more or less.  But I guess you could take a medium size (or whatever) pad and sort of copy that size.
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