If you are male, or squeamish about menstrual cycles, and would rather not know these types of things about me, please DON’T READ THIS POST. Really.
If you are male, or squeamish about menstrual cycles, and would rather not know these things about me and you choose to read this post anyway, please don’t ever mention it to me. Thank you.
Remember when I said that I craft out of necessity? Well, this is another example of that. It’s also an example of how I’m going old school. I am a woman. I am not pregnant. I am not breastfeeding (man do I miss that!!). Put that all together and it means that I still get a regular monthly visit from, you know, Aunt Flow. (yes, I’m a teenage girl who still gets embarrassed talking about it)
I’ve been wanting to buy some Mama Cloths for a while now, but every month, I think “this will be the month we get pregnant, so I better not spend money on something I can’t use right now.” Then we aren’t pregnant after all, and it turns out it would have been nice to have already ordered some cloth.
My other stumbling block is that I can’t decide who to buy from. If you search on Etsy for Mama Cloth, there are a ton of WAHMs who make what look like great products. How is a girl to choose??
So, I decided to make my own. A friend sent me a link to this site that had links to lots of other sites with patterns. This site was the one I used to kind of copy the pattern from. I just eye-balled what I thought looked like a pad, then made it a bit bigger. She has since put a pattern out on her site if you’re an actual pattern follower. I have yet to follow a pattern. This is the site that I used to guide me through the steps of putting my pieces together. It was very thorough and helpful. Here is my step-by—step ‘tutorial’ for how I made my very first Mama Cloth.
First, the fabric! I have a few questions as to what fabric is best for this purpose, so I went to my cloth diaper sewing board on BabyCenter, and read about how fleece is used for the outer layer of diapers and flannel is used for the absorbent layer. I decided to buy three fleeces and three flannels and test out how they work at home. I washed and dried them then did a water test. I put a few drops of water on the fabric, and for the water that beaded up, I pushed my thumb on it and saw how quickly it went into the fabric. I also checked a paper towel I had put under the fabric to see if the water went all the way through or just into the fabric. Flannel soaked through every time, very quickly, and Fleece soaked in but didn’t go all the way through each time. So, flannel was used for my ‘inserts’ and fleece was used for my backing – or layer that’s against the panty.
Here is my pretty fleece I used for the backing. I eyeballed the pattern, (even with the seam allowance it was too wide in the long run, but still useable) then cut it out and used it to trace onto my flannel.
I then took some flannel and folded it a few times to get four or five layers of absorbency in the pad. I sewed it a pink flannel top so it would stay in place even after washing.
I decided to try out different ways to attach the inner layer. I thought maybe adding channels may help direct the flow, or maybe just a big open rectangle. I don’t know what will work best, but I’m guessing that there won’t be much difference.
After sewing the pieces together, good sides facing each other, I turned them inside out and gave them a top stich. Officially, I was done then, but I wanted to put Velcro on my wings so they’d stay together. I don’t have snaps or a snap applicator, so this was my alternative. You could also sew a button on one and a button hole on the other. I’ve even seen how you can omit the wings all together and add a button on the bottom of the pad and put a button hole in your underwear. Not sure I’m down with that. One of my friends uses a safety pin to keep it in place.
Here are my finished Mama Cloths! Aren’t they cute? I love how girly they are.
After realizing that I am again not pregnant, I decided I better have more than just three ready to use, so I whipped three more up with other flannel and fleece the very next day. From start to finish, it takes me about an hour and a half to make three. I’m guessing if I made a bunch (why would I?) that I could get it down to 30 -45 min. from start to finish easily. I’m just a slow seamstress.
These turned out pretty patriotic I think. It was completely unintentional, but cute all the same. *and see the sewing machine cover behind the pads? I added some denim to the bottom of my cute cover – you can see the original post here.
I have to admit though, that I use the Diva Cup for my cycle, and I don’t need a lot of pads anymore. Just one a day in case of any leaks and one at night for a few nights. 6 may be all I need to complete my week, but we’ll see.
Oh, and in case you’re interested, I spent $27 on 6 fabrics and thread and I’ll never need to buy fabric again (for this purpose). I still have another fleece and some flannel left to make a ton more. I bought a half a yard of 5 fabrics and a yard and a third of another fabric. It would have been cheaper had I not picked out fancy fabric. That blue was $9 something a yard! And that was after a sale.
If you’re brave enough to cross over into the world of cloth, let me know if you try making your own. Or if you have already made some, add your link in the comments section. I’d love to see how other people are making their own – and steal your ideas!
After trying them out this month, I can say that I have NO IDEA if they work or not. Every month I need a pad a day as a backup. but this month I didn’t leak once. Ugh. I’m happy about that really, but I can’t tell you if they worked or not. I liked them, and I would not recommend using Velcro honestly, but I managed to make it work. If you have any questions, leave me a comment or send me an email and I’ll get back to you.