i decided to use my serger for as much of the creation process as possible. after looking about online, i decided to use This Pattern for my pads, making them pretty much as described.
they look like this, in various fabrics. The middle sections pull out for quicker drying time. there are also optional waterproof pieces that can be put in to reduce leaking.
the layers are:
outer 'envelope: soft flannel top, rough flannel bottom
oval pad and 'winged' pad inserts: 2 layers rough flannel with a layer of terry sandwiched in the middle
(the 'winged' insert is my own idea, because, you know, sometimes a girl needs a little extra protection!)
This pattern, but only made a couple to try them out. it is designed to be done with a serger and sewing machine, or just a sewing machine. they provide less padding, and no extra protection in the 'wings' however they are all one piece.
lots of handkerchiefs and wipes..
For my materials, i was able to recycle some flannel recieving blankets, and some heavy rough flannel sheets i'd recieved to use for making cloth diapers. i purchased 3 packages of snaps, and 3 meters of flannel, as i had limited numbers of recieving blankets. i used an old towel for the terrycloth in the pad liners.
this made me about 8 envelope-style pads with fillers, 4 folding-style pads, and about 12 panti-liners, plus handkerchiefs and wipes, with LOTS of left over fabric
total cost to me: less than $20 time spent: about 7 evenings, on and off
estimate cost of all new materials: less than $100.
worth it? oh yeah.
if you decide you want to try it out yourself, but don't have access to a serger, here are a couple links for similar sewn pads:
This one is almost identical to the 'envelope' style i made however the inner pad pattern is different
This one also has a very similar pad and includes cutting patterns and layered inner pad inserts
This site is a wealth of information with lots of patterns and other good stuff
one cycle later: opinions and thoughts:
well, i like the pads. they are soft and comfortable, if a little bulky (though they don't hold a candle to the disposables of 30 or 40 years ago. thanks for the horror stories, mom!) I think i'll have to find/adapt a pattern for night-time use (a longer design), but otherwise no complaints in the design department.
In practice, using a cold water bucket is slightly icky, but i think definitely keeps staining to a minimum. i had to toss a drained bucketful of pads in with my washing pretty much once a day, (i threw them in my regular warm wash with darks.... i find a hot wash roughens the nice soft flannel)
I think that if these last even two years, i'll have gotten so used to them i won't want to change back! i'll just have to make more.
thanks for following along, and if anyone has any questions/comments, or (if you're a local) wants some help sewing their own, just shout!