The Hippie Chick Menstrual Solution! (Discussion and FREE Tutorial)

For most women, having your period is a fact of life.  Handling it with disposable products that end up in landfills and have fine print warnings of possible Toxic Shock Syndrome don’t have to be how you deal with it.   There’s another option that no one is talking about! Let’s have some girl-talk!

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When I diapered my kids in cloth, I lost all of my dignity.  No, I’m kidding.  But, really, bodily functions are not that big of a deal, and cloth diapering taught me that I’m not as queasy as I thought I’d be.  And the hassle of the loads and loads and loads of laundry was worth it to have two kids potty-trained (mostly) by 18 months and 21 months, respectively.  (Although, now, my boy is having accidents again anytime he’s doing something interesting that he doesn’t want to stop doing.)

But first I have to think back on why I wanted to use cloth on the kids.  First, there was the issue of the smell of disposables.  They just smelled chemical-y.  I researched that and found that there was some speculation on disposables and asthma.  Not cool. I have asthma and don’t want anyone to ever get it that doesn’t already have it.  It’s that much of a pain in the butt to deal with.

Next, I read this book.  If you have a baby or are pregnant, please do yourself a favor and read it.  I read it when my youngest was about to turn two and wished I’d read it sooner.  This book’s author did some research on little boys and the effect that disposable diapers have on their sperm count or temperature of the scrotum or something or other.   Eye-opening, to say the least.

On top of all that, disposable diapers equal big-time waste.  Basically, I didn’t want disposables on my kids anyway, and I surely didn’t want to add to the landfill gardens that decorate our present-day landscape.

Anyway, after using cloth on both the kids, I felt silly using disposable products on myself.  Kind of hypocritical, if you will. So I researched on the internet and found the DivaCup.  Interesting enough, I guess.  But still weirded out by something with an unknown make-up being used there.

After looking into it further, I found some photos of cloth menstrual pads.  And there’s the winner!  I had to make these.  (My son calls them my “mommy diapers.”)

Funky, practical, and enviro-friendly!
Funky, practical, and enviro-friendly!

So let’s make some.

First, we need to make a pattern. Make it easy on yourself or hard; you choose.  If you use pads, trace one and add wings.

From scratch, you can measure on your underwear where you like your pad to reach.  Jot down that measurement and get a piece of paper that’s an inch or so longer (for extra space when you turn and top-stitch).  You can also just use a regular piece of paper.

Whatever you choose, fold it in half and experiment with shapes, being sure to make “wings” that are long enough to clasp around the bottom crotch portion of your underwear.

Paper folded in half with half of pad drafted.
Paper folded in half with half of pad drafted. (Fold is on top.)

Now cut out your pattern and open up.

Pattern opened up.
Pattern opened up.

(I used a standard piece of computer paper and just lengthened the bottom and rounded it out by eye.)

Now that the pattern is complete (put this in your underwear and see how it fits, if the wings will overlap around the bottom of the crotch), we can gather materials.

I used:

 cotton fabric  (I like a busy print so stains aren’t as noticeable.)

And sew around your edges as close as you can.

Top-stitched pad.
Top-stitched pad.

Now I like to do some quilting to help anything that will be sitting on this pad to migrate into the middle and away from the edges of your underwear.

Quilting to make channels to collect flow and keep away from edges of your underwear.
Quilting to make channels to collect flow and keep away from edges of your underwear.

Time for snaps!

Completed pad, snaps, and snap pliers.
Completed pad, snaps, and snap pliers.

You will need two socket snaps, one female and one male per pad.  Don’t skip this step!  Not only does the snap help keep the pad from shifting while you’re wearing it; it also keeps it clean during travel.  (I will show you how later)

Line up your wings and decide where you want to install your snaps.  Make sure you have everything lined up as you want it before you snap!

The pad snapped as it would be when you are wearing it.
The pad snapped as it would be when you are wearing it.

Finished!

And look how easy this is to travel with:

1. Lift up bottom flap and fold.
1. Lift up bottom flap and fold.
2.  Fold top flap over bottom flap.
2. Fold top flap over bottom flap.
3.  Fold in right flap.
3. Fold in right flap.
4. Snap left flap.
4. Snap left flap.

You may be wondering how this will look if you’re wearing tight-fitting clothes.   Understandable!  It really depends on how thick you make the pad.  Honestly, though, you can’t wear painted-on yoga pants and think these will go unnoticed.  Save those for next week! Throw on a tunic over some tights, though, and it’s your secret!

Eco-friendly, no weird chemicals, and you get to spend your StayFree/CareFree/o.b./Tampax money on whatever the heck you want!  This is a good day!

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2 thoughts on “The Hippie Chick Menstrual Solution! (Discussion and FREE Tutorial)

  1. Thanks for this!!! I found your blog via a link on FB…I’ve been wanting to make my own but most tutorials don’t give the exact types of material…this is perfect. I can’t wait to make some. thanks!

    Like

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