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As many of you know already, my sewing adventures led to making mumma cloth pad liners and pads.
It has been a bit of a learning adventure where I started with a pattern with seam allowance and trying to sew within the seams and sewing the core to the topper and of course I started out with one of the hardest fabrics to sew with (minky and pul backed minky).
So I thought I should post what works for me!
– Topper fabric (this can be virtually any fabric but my fabric of choice is cotton lycra which is the same material most underwear are made from).
– Backing fabric (PUL or PUL backed fabrics are great for waterproofing but don’t allow your nether regions to breathe as easily. My chosen backing fabric today is microfleece or micropolar fleece as this is just a liner and not aimed at being used for period days).
– Hidden core fabric (optional) and/or core fabric (flannelette is my preferred fabric for a hidden core layer, and any absorbent fabric for cores is fine).
– A pattern (I like Versodile Round for an easy beginner and classic pattern)
– Sewing machine (handsewing is possible but much more tedious)
– Tailors chalk/pen/pencil (mine disappears after a few days which is great for when you’re doing a quick project but terrible if you get distracted and don’t come back to it for a few days!)
– Point turner or letter opener or even a blunt knife
– (optional) Pinking shears
1. Trace pattern on to hidden core or topper fabric.
1a. If making a pad with absorbency, trace core pattern on to core fabrics.
2. Cut around pattern.
Remember to leave ample room to sew (seam allowance). Do the same with topper and backing fabrics. Place hidden core layer on wrong side of topper fabric and place topper and backing fabrics right side together when cutting.
2a. Cut core fabric and sew core to hidden core layer or to topper fabric.
I usually use a serger to sew core layer/s together. Alternatively, a zigzag or straight stitch will usually suffice.
When sewing core to topper or hidden core fabric, I usually trace around the core pattern inside the main pattern, pin around and then sew to fabric using a zig zag stitch.
3. Pin layers together.
If using a PUL or PUL backed layer, make sure you don’t pin inside the pattern otherwise the waterproofing will be compromised. The more pins the better when you’re starting out.
4. Sew on the line making sure you leave a turning hole.
I like to use a walking foot when using fabrics of different stretch. A regular presser foot is fine but if you are an absolute beginner, a clear presser foot may be of assistance.
The size of the turning hole depends on how many layers you are using, including if you are sewing a core as well. For this tutorial I left a rather large turning hole to make it super quick and easy to turn. The smaller the turning hole, the easier it is to close the hole when topstitching.
I like to backstitch in the corners as these are the stress points when you clip and turn later.
5. With sharp fabric scissors, cut into the corners being very careful not to cut the stitching.
6. Cut around the wings leaving roughly 1/4″ or 5mm seam allowance. Cut corners being very careful not to cut stitching.
7. Using pinking shears, cut around the rest of the pattern.
Cut close to stitching but be very careful not to cut the stitching. If you don’t have pinking shears, cut to roughly 1/4″ or 5mm seam allowance and cut small triangles all around to give an equivalent effect.
8. Turn through the turning hole making sure that your turning through the correct layers.
Use a point turner or letter opener to make your wing corners nice and crisp. Run the edge of your tool around the inside edge of the entire pad to make it easier to iron.
Use a layer of cotton on synthetics or turn down the iron. Press firmly. Pay special attention to the turning hole, making sure the layers fold neatly.
I use the edge of my foot as a guide. I find a walking foot of great assistance when sewing with fabrics of different stretch and finishes. I usually start in the corner just before my turning hole.
11. Insert snaps.
I just have a pair of snap pliers off eBay. I do like to use genuine KAM snaps though as I find they are of much better quality and the colours tend to be much nicer too. I think the plastic resin is different with generic snaps and proper KAM snaps.
First fold the wings back to where you would normally snap them to. Feel the wings to find a nice midpoint between the overlapped areas of where you would like to place the snaps. Make a mental note of this point or mark it with a pen.
Line up the wings together and use the awl to make a hole through both wings. Doing both together ensures it looks even as well.
Remove one wing from the awl.
Push cap prong through the hole left by the awl – I like to have the stud facing down so the cap goes through the top side first. Use the pliers to attach the stud to the cap.
With the socket make sure the cap goes through the backing fabric first. Rookie mistake is to have both caps on the same side which wouldn’t allow your pad to snap correctly!
Make sure your snaps work properly by snapping wings together. You can adjust the snap placement if you prefer a slightly narrower or wider snapped width pad.