Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Do-It-Yourself Postpartum Pad Tutorial

The cost of investing in postpartum cloth can be overwhelming especially with all the other expenses of maternity clothes and baby gear.

I created this tutorial with a few things in mind....I wanted it to be possible to create super affordable pads (even if you don't have a sewing machine) and wanted to create a pattern that could incorporate recycled fabrics. You can also buy the fabric and notions you'll need at a fabric shop.

This pad uses microfleece as the backing with a core and top layer of flannel. The flannel edges are finished using a simple scissor snipping technique just like a rag quilt.

This is the first tutorial I've done so please feel free to leave questions and comments, I'll try to respond to them quickly but I'm expecting a baby myself so I may be hmmm delayed!!

What you'll need

to draw the pattern out on

re-use some old sheets or receiving blankets; just be sure the flannel isn't thread bare....you want it to be absorbent. New flannel is pretty inexpensive and there's lots of fun prints to choose from

Micro fleece
re-use a blanket, pj pants, or purchase some at a fabric shop

Scissors, thread, pins, Velcro or snaps

First off is the pattern, I don't know how to make a pdf pattern so I've included some pictures with the measurements for you to trace out, I used a piece of legal size paper to draw my pattern on but newsprint or tissue paper also works well.

You can see the measurements on these drawings. The first picture is of the piece you'll use to cut the micro fleece bottom. If your paper is folded in half the wing measurement will be 4.25" out from the centre. The second picture is the pattern you'll use to cut the core from using flannel.

To sketch these measurements out try folding your paper in half so that the sides are symmetrical.

Once you have your pattern pieces cut and ready you can start cutting your fabrics. For each pad you'll need to cut 1 micro fleece bottom piece and 7 layers of flannel cut for the core.

Set your microfleece bottom aside, you'll be working on the core next. Pin your layers of flannel together and get ready to sew them. You can sew them by hand, or with a sewing machine, leave a 1/4" edge with the right side of the fabric facing out. Just a simple straight stitch.
The nice part about this pattern is that there's no turning & top stitiching so it saves you some sewing work....especially nice if you're sewing them by hand or if your sewing machine is a clunker that hates too many layers!! I used the same technique to diaper doublers for my sons diapers, I had an old singer that was great but didn't like many layers.

I've used my sewing machine to stitch the core together. (sorry for the dark picture)

Once you have your core layers sewn together you're ready to do some snipping. A sharp pair of sewing scissors will make this job easier. Snip into the outer edge of the pad (just be careful not to snip through your stitches!) snip at about 1/4" intervals all the way around the pad.

This is the same technique used to make the popular rag quilts. Once you've washed your pads a few times the raw flannel edges will fluff up.

Now you'll need the microfleece base. Centre your core on the microfleece and pin it securely. Next, attach the core to the microfleece by sewing a straight stitch about 1/4" from your first row of stitching.

Once the core layers area attached to the microfleece base you're almost finished. You'll just need to attach fastener to the wings. I've used poly-resin snaps and a snap press. If you don't have access to a snap press velcro would work well or some snaps that you can sew on (available at a fabric shop). If you're stuck a plain old safety pin would work too :)

Semi-Custom Sale Ending...

I'll be finishing up the semi-custom sale on January 22, it was lots of fun and I hope those who ordered enjoyed their pads. I enjoy working on a semi-custom order basis so I'll certainly be offering something similar in the future. Here's some pictures of orders that went out during the promotion. There's still a couple more days to get your order in before I remove the listings from my hyena cart shop.