Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mama Cloth

I took a (small) break from knitting and did some sewing. I'm probably the world's worst sewist: it was during this project that I learned my sewing machine has an overlock stitch. I wish I had known that before now!

I made 19 pads. The 20th has some troubles. I used this sew-along as my guide. I chose this pattern because drawing, cutting out, and sewing an oval is probably easier than making something more contoured. I needed to keep it simple. Plus I think it might give me more coverage and less leaks.
The biggest problem I had was the hook and loop fastener. I bought mine at the dollar store- and I didn't notice it was the kind that comes sticky on the back. The stickiness got stuck to the needle and caused so much frustration, I gave up with using the machine and sewed them on by hand even though it was thick and hurt to push the needle through.

With some innovation, I took some white duct tape and folded it up on itself as you can see below. I would use it as a pad to push down on as I pushed the needle through.

I also used it to grip the needle when pulling through on the other side.

The fabric included yellow flannel left over from another project for the layer against the skin.
The soaker part cut from Gerber prefolds received at one of my baby showers. Gerber prefolds are the worst cloth diapers out there, but they are pretty good as mama cloth. I've been using them as mama cloth since my second period post partum. I took some of the extremely stained ones and cut them up and put them in these. Some of the pads have more layers of prefold in them than others. This way I have some that are more like panty liners and some that are more like pads for variety.

Please note: if you are boycotting Nestle, don't buy Gerber. Nestle bought them a couple of years ago. If you want to use cheap-o prefolds, chances are you have some sitting around from a baby shower like I did. Our local dollar store even has some cheap Gerber-like prefolds. Or you could use some cheap terry cloth washcloths. I saw a pack of 12 for $2 at Kmart the other day. Or you could get all expensive and buy microfiber.

The outer layer was some fabric I bought on clearance last summer and I just had it sitting around. It's not waterproof, but I didn't feel like I needed to worry about that. Since using mama cloth, I've rarely had any leaks. If you change them often enough, it'll be ok. What's wonderful about that layer is that it has sparkles. My mama cloth sparkles. Yes, you are jealous.

For the quilting part, I pretty much just did zigzags, but also experimented with other "designs."


Joe said...

Cool! I should really learn how to sew. It would be so much less expensive to make these myself than buying them!

TopHat said...

Joe, I still need to learn to sew. There's a reason I chose to display only 3. :)

But yes, I haven't paid for menstrual products in over a year! Way cheaper- especially since I had everything but the Velco on hand.

Meg said...

Seriously, how did I not know that site existed?? Love it! And I'm totally jealous of your sparkles! I've found that I just am not ready to make the switch from tampons to mama cloth though...maybe someday I'll be cool and have sparkly mama cloth like you ;)

Joy said...

Awesome! Is the overlock stitch the zig zag? Shows how much I know :) I am actually kind of jealous that yours sparkles, mine are just washclothes that I fold up.

Joe said...

You already know how to turn the machine on... which is a step further than me... lol! :)

The reusable pads are expensive to get, but still cheaper in the long run then disposable. But free (or almost, you still kind of have to buy some material) is even better!

I'm wary of adding another hobby to my list though...! :)