Our Blog / Penney is an artist and designer living in Accra, Ghana.

I have been using cloth menstrual pads for a while now.  They are more comfortable, environmentally friendlier and more economical in the long run that disposable.  The ones I own are great but I was still relying on disposable for overnight because I had not yet purchased any of that size.  Well, instead of buying, I decided to make my own.
I looked at flannel at the store but realized I already have plenty at home.  I have some old flannel receiving blankets that even my baby girl has outgrown.  The great thing about using these is that I would have probably thrown them away thinking no one would likely want old spit-up stained blankets. Additionally, they are very soft from use and washing.  My inserts are made of old toweling and even my template is cut from recycled cardboard.  (The cardboard was narrow and that’s why the ‘wing’s need to be extended out.)

For heavy overnight conditions, I drafted an extra long pad.  My template utilizes the ‘wings’ design to hold the pad in place.  When I was satisfied with the dimensions, I traced template on the wrong side of folded flannel, taking care to extend and round out the ‘wings’ and cut out the pieces. ( I would recommend extending the ‘wings’ so they would cross the entire width of the pad.) The slit for the pad insert should only be traced on one of the 2 flannel pieces.  I first sewed around the stuffing slit and then sewed the two pieces, wrong sides together using a zigzag stitch, although it might be easier to sew the pattern and then cut out the pieces.  A serger would be very handing sewing these if you have one.  I then used a straigh stitch on the wings.  I used conventional snaps on the wings (not pictured.)  I placed them by experimenting with the fabric in hand.
The insert is just toweling cut out in a square about an inch shorter than your pad.  I then folded the outsides right and left edges 1/2 way to the middle and then folded it in again making a long rectangle as seen above.  I then zigzag stitched around the open edges. 
The free pattern is at the end of this blog entry.  
If the idea is interesting but you are not ready to sew your own; Glad Rags is a fine company to purchase ready made napkins.

Penney Hughes

Designer, artist, world traveler and mother.

So, what do you think ?