Sewing washablepad-burda

Published on February 25th, 2009 | by Lenore MacLeod-Bickley

8

Make Both Mother Nature and Aunt Flo Happy

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There is something that happens to most women every month, regardless of if they talk about it, hide it, or pretend it doesn’t exist.  That is our periods.  It’s arguably the lamest part of any given month, and few women that I know talk about it with excitement.  Well, I just found a great pattern for a washable pad that could make periods a little less of a pain.

washable pad pattern

Washable pads are more eco-friendly because they produce signifcantly less waste than regular OTC pads.  They’re also more sustainable because some pad companies douse their napkins in chemical scents and absorbers.  If you make enough to last you through your cycle, you can avoid using any regular pads.  They’re also a good way to get rid of some scrap fabric, since you don’t need a lot of fabric to make one.  On top of all that, they are a real money saver!

These are by no means a new thing on the market.  There are washable pads that you can buy at your local co-op, or online.  I think that making your own, however, is the better option.  Not only do you get to pick your own patterns and fabrics, but only you know how how your body is shaped and the best fit.  The best pattern I have found for a DIY washable pad is here at Burda Style (an open-source sewing website with free, printable patterns).

I am in the process of getting all the materials ready so that I can make a bunch of my own.  All you need is enough cotton fabric to make the double sided pad, velcro, and cotton batting for the inside.

[Image credit: Burda Style]

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About the Author

Lenore is a 25 year old artist in Northern Idaho. She has a husband, two cats, and a whole room devoted to arts and crafts. She's dedicated to using art to tell a story.



  • http://elizabethcarroll.wordpress.com Elizabeth

    Yeah. I am just not comfortable with this at all, I just feel like it would leak right through! I’ll stick with the diva cup as my environmental friendly option!

  • http://alpinebutterfly.blogspot.com/ Alpinebutterfly

    I love these at night. LOVE my diva cup too, but when my cramps get bad, or I figure I just need a break, these keep me happy. They can be a little bulky, but that’s not to big a deal, WAY better than spending money on stuff to fill the landfill.

  • Lenore

    Elizabeth, I agree. I was hesitant at first because I worried that they would leak right through, but I’ve spoken to a lot of people who use these washable pads with heavy flows and have had no problem. If you’re still unsure, they’d still work well as a backup, or like Alpinebutterfly mentioned, for nighttime. If you have heavy periods, adding a little extra batting to the inside would probably solve the problem.

  • Katrina London

    You could try bamboo batting, if you can find it. Bamboo batting is soft, flexible and comfortable. It has natural wicking (draws moisture in) and anti-bacterial properties. Bamboo is an eco-friendly fibre as it grows and regrows without the need for insecticides or irrigation. I have had trouble locating a certified organic bamboo batting but even without the certification, commercially grown bamboo is a good eco-choice.

  • http://BagsForZaza.blogspot.com Jennie C.

    These are a great option – thanks for the link to make my own. Compared to a purchased pad, these breathe very nicely and are way softer. I was surprised at how comfortable they are.

  • http://www.greenanthropology.wordpress.com Greenanthropology

    I completely understand the leak concern! I was so curious about trying this pattern myself, but was worried about leaks- so I cut a pattern piece of a plastic grocery bag to make a barrier. It works great! Another use for something to rescue from landfills.

  • anne

    love these ideas!!! and thank you for bringing attention to this subject- not everyone wants to discuss feminine hygiene! i, personally, use diva cup, which is a reusable menstrual cup. another great option!! we are all saving the earth, money, and time! oh yeah!

  • Pingback: Bamboo Buyer Beware: Green Decisions Aren’t Always Clear-Cut : Eco Child’s Play

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