With a Needle and Thread, You can Make your own Re-usable Cloth Pads

Mikaela Kate
Posted June 6, 2019
Hand Stitched Re-usable Cloth Menstrual Pads
Cloth menstrual pads have been used for generations by humans all over the world. A folded up cloth works as well. They can be soaked, washed rinsed, used and re-used for many years. Wear with snug underwear and change often for your health and for comfort. Our blood is not dirty, Our blood is sacred. Women are growing more bold and feeling most empowered. The two pads on the left are ones I offer through my small hand stitching business in the USA. The two on the left are made with the end of a bolt of flannel fabric (found in fabric stores), sweat shirt and pants made of velour.
Pattern
Pattern: This pattern is approximately 10" long and 4" wide. I used a brown bag to make the pattern. You can use any paper, the heavier the better. Keep your pattern in one safe place. As you continue to make cloth pads, you will want patterns with wings and for all sizes. As soon as we finish a few of these simplest patterns, we will move on to a winged pad. (1/14)

The Gallery attached to this article is a picture tutorial on how to make your own pads.  Thank you for trying it out!  Thank you also, for contacting me with enthusiasm, questions, ideas and ways to make this information more accessible to all humans who bleed.  Let us focus on reaching people who are living in poverty. Our small and large donations of resources and funds,  make a difference.   

I began hand stitching cloth pads many years ago, all the while pondering how to make it a simple process for anyone who has access to a needle, thread, some fabric and a little time.   

This tutorial is for the person who may not have access to consistent sanitary aid but does have extra clean, used clothing, or the finances/donations to visit a fabric store.  I know that water, extra clothing, bathrooms and underwear may be hard for many, so i want this story to be an on-going dialogue that changes as it includes women in the most meager of situations.   As She has the power to make her own cloth pads,  She then goes on to empower her neighbors too.  In fact, why not make a little business and supply the whole community.  There is something very powerful about people sitting close, drinking tea with purpose and a needle and thread in their hands...  Please feel free to contact me, I am here to encourage you to make your own. 

Using cloth pads can be daunting when resources are low with little support.  As encouragement grows independently and in the community,  you may find that hand stitching your own pads is the perfect solution. Remember the Elders in your neighborhood. Most Grandmothers have wisdom and knowledge when it comes to hand crafting and I'll bet she will love to sit with you in your sew circles.  There are also lots of Do It Yourself sewing tutorials on YouTube.  Google: Basic hand stitching.  Feel free to come to me with questions.  Its time for All People to Shine. Different patterns for winged pads, pads for heavy flow and for panty liners will continue to be provided  after we finish this simple, no wings pad. 

 You will need a comfortable snug pair of underwear to be able to hold your pad in place.  You will also need water and soap to clean your pads.  The following is a (DIY) Do It Yourself video on how to make your own underwear, using a tee shirt.  Thank you Elana Bloom from Salvage and Stitch  for this tutorial.  https://salvageandstitch.com/2017/11/13/diy-underwear-tutorial-from-a-t-...   

For those of us who have more in our lives,  let us join together and find ways to donate fabric, needles and thread and funds to every one who needs it.

Some women wear layers of dark clothing, bleeding on the inner clothing and washing them regularly.  Many use a yard of cloth.  S/he wraps it around her lower body and weaves it in and out of her upper thighs, adjusting accordingly during the night.  If you have any traditional or invented tools for healthy menstrual practices, please do comment.    

In the mean time, I offer my humble profession as a solution for those who are curious  to make your own cloth pads.    We don't need machines or big companies to help as we begin to collect our own resources.  The experience of gathering  tools together is very empowering indeed.  Start by taking the first steps, and from there, and with growing support and leadership, we will become a band of strong, menstruating leaders.

Here are 2 lists:  

1.  For the person who can afford to buy and/or donate fabric to low income women:   You will need needle, thread, pins, a pattern (which is provided in this tutorial).    Absorbent cotton fabric works the best. Try cotton flannel or fleece for the outside and quilt batting  or thick sweatshirt material for the inside batting.

2.  For the peeson who has very little resources but does have access to underwear, soap and water.  You will need a pattern ( one is provided), needle and thread, scissors and pins.  Collect clothing that are clean and gently used, cut the seams and any stains and holes out and use this as fabric for many pads.    Are there any churches or organizations that gift the community with clean, used clothing near by?  Here is what i look for when i am searching at thrift shops and our local free store:

For the outside of the pad:  Anything cotton and absorbent like;  tee shirts, flannel sheets, shirts and pajamas, sweat shirts and pants

for the inside batting:  Anything that is thick and absorbent like; thick sweats, wool sweaters, anything fleece, a salvaged quilt, cloth baby diapers, ...

When you have these things together, follow the picture tutorial and lets see what we come up with! There are no mistakes,  have fun, be creative and inventive.  You can do anything you want with a needle and thread. 

As women make their own and we claim our power, the movement will spread like a wild fire, and there will be more leaders (like yourself) who had the courage to start something new.  Always provide for yourself first.  As you become a believer, other people will begin to throw any left over shame or doubt out the window and will want to follow in your footsteps.

 

 

 

 

Comments 10

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Lisbeth
Jun 12
Jun 12

Dear Aunty Kate,
This is very very amazing! I think this is a great initiatives for low income earners during their menses. Instead lamenting and crying over where to get money to buy a pad you can just create yours, used it and dispose it whenever money drops in your pocket and create a new one. Haha!
And I think because of it creativity, a lot will like to practice and see how it will turn out. I am number one on the list and will send you my production when I finally got a toolkits :-).
Thanks for your creativity and for making g menses look pleasurable. Hope you have a great day!
Hugs

Mikaela Kate
Jun 13
Jun 13

My Dear Lizzy, you are so encouraging. Thank you kindly for your enthusiasm. I am putting together a little package for you today. I like that you talk about menses becoming a more pleasurable experience. With all the necessities covered, we can at least begin to create tools to honor our menstruation time. The first tool being healthy choices for menstrual products that really work, and fellowship. Menstruation can be a time of turning inward and becoming strong as a woman. I am here to support this very thing. Looking forward with you.

brenda jiri
Jun 13
Jun 13

wow impressed dear i liked the tutorial, Now im going to teach other women in Africa to start making their own pads# the drive to end period poverty in Africa.

Mikaela Kate
Jun 13
Jun 13

Yes, Brenda, Im so glad to hear you going forward like this. Don't hesitate to call on me as you make your pads. Sanitary Aid Zimbabwe Trust is considering translating it into Shona and giving it out as a little self help booklet. i will let you know how this progresses. Thank you so much for inspiring me to push through and write it down. Much love to you

Nusrat Ara
Jun 15
Jun 15

Thanks for sharing such an excellent resource. Hope many will try this. Keep sharing.

Mikaela Kate
Jun 15
Jun 15

Thank Nusrat, that is my hope. May women empowered herself all over the world

Beth Lacey
Jun 22
Jun 22

Such helpful advice

Mikaela Kate
Jun 24
Jun 24

Thank you, Beth. Thats my hope ❤

Bara'atu Nasidi
Jun 23
Jun 23

wow,thank you for sharing this with us it is innovative,sustainable and economical for women and girls

Mikaela Kate
Jun 24
Jun 24

My absolute pleasure, Bara'atu.