Wednesday, March 5, 2008

For Women Only

If you are a boy... stop reading now. I have no idea why any male would read my blog, but on the .001% chance that one accidentally happens upon this blog, here's your warning.

Really. No boys allowed. Don't worry girls, its completely G rated for you- but no boys allowed.

Last warning.

Okay, Ladies! I was trying to decide whether or not to post about this. My momma thought I was a "little crazy" for this... and hubby thought I was "alot crazy". Lol. So I'll try to do this as tastefully as possible. As a girl who definitely wants to cloth diaper, I find this much along the same lines. If I'm not willing to put those nasty chemicals up against my, Lord willing, future babies' bums, why would I put them on me? Not to mention the fact that this will save money and save the environment :) I found this website that sells women's "monthly supplies" that are chemical free and reusable. But WOW! Those prices! Gasp! That was never gonna happen. So I tried my hand at making my own and found this tutorial that helped me figure out the logistics.

First I took some lilac flannel from the ol' stash that I bought a year or so ago. I would have loved to use a fun print like on the Glad Rags website, but I couldn't justify going out to buy something that I already had... hmph. :)

I traced the shape of some of my own "products" and added wings. I then used this as a template for the rest of the project.

I needed Ari's help, of course.

For the actual pads, make the bottom piece larger so when you put it all together, there is an overlap flap. I zig zagged the edges twice since I read it would add too much bulk to sew the outside and turn it inside out. A serger would have been great to have, but this worked just fine. Mine aren't very pretty... but that doesn't bother me!

Then I cut 2 flannel squares out, zig zagged them together, and did a little free form quilting (Ha!) Here you see my sad attempt at a heart. Wow. Terrible.

This you tri-fold to make an insert.

And of course, you must sew a snap on the flaps to make everything stay in place. After working on these all morning, I will say, hand sewing on snaps is the most, ahem, patience trying part of the whole ordeal.

For a pantyliner, just don't leave the back open- and only use the 2 layers of flannel.

Since I used stash flannel that I think cost me 2 dollars, and stash snaps that were gifted to me... this was literally a no -to extremely low- cost project!

I know this is a pretty personal subject, but I never would have thought about it before- so I had to share the inspiration.

Saving exposure to chemicals? Great!

Saving money? Fantastic!

Saving the environment at the same time? Fabulous.


Caroline said...

Hey Lauren Christine! Thanks for a great and informative post -- and don't worry about being shocking; it's nothing to be ashamed of. : )

I like the idea of making my own supplies though I have yet to try it.

A website with more details on environment impact and ideas to make your supplies is here: but I must say that I do NOT agree with all their politics!

[Caroline/ciseaux from S&S boards]

Christine said...

You did a terrific job. I really want to make some too! I am not very talented with my sewing machine, but I am trying learn the basics. Blessings!

Mackenzie said...

Lauren, Lauren, Lauren!!! I do this too!! :D And you know what's wonderful about them?? Most women find that their periods are shorter after switching to these...the disposable ones are treated to be super absorbent, but they go beyond that and make you bleed more!! :-O I personally went from 9 to 5 days... :-D I actually just bought fabric earlier this week to make myself some new ones for postpartum...I tend to spend a bit more on a pretty flannel for these, since I find it's nice to know that what you're using is pretty. :) The chemicals are a big thing for me...shall we say that it's similar to getting straight bleach on your hands...only *ahem* not on your hands? OW!

I would suggest (though you might have already read this), that you change your soaking water every morning, that helps keep soaking out any stains, and prevents 99% of odors. If you have any questions, do feel free to e-mail me... I've been doing this almost exclusively since I was about 13! (and we use cloth diapers too, which is another thing I love to talk about! ;)

LD said...

Ok you crossed the line. I mean, I knew the day was coming, but I was totally not expecting it to be so soon. You should read the supercinski ( blog - you two have a lot in common!

As for me, I'm sticking to tampons. I hate pads. Bring it on, toxic shock syndrome :)

Serena said...

Hey, that's exactly what I did! I traced some of my disposable products and added wings! I didn't have any flannel in my stash, so I bought some cute kitty flannel with pink stripes...super girly! Oh, and the snap is definitely the most time-consuming (argh) part.

I've been using these for over a year now, along with the Diva Cup, since I'm a heavy bleeder. Though, it's true what they say: you DO bleed and hurt less when you use the wonderful cloth pads/reusable products. I just used a zigzag stitch, too, and mine have held up very, very well. Tilly mentioned soaking water, but I must admit, I've never used soaking water. I don't mind if they get stained, though. She also mentioned postpartum pads--this is on my list of things to sew up in the next few months (I have until the end of August, so no rush), but I'll be brave and post photos when I'm done! I've been wanting to do a post about this for quite a while, and since you have done so, I have no excuse for not doing the same!

It is wonderful the amount of money that I've saved on disposable products. Not to mention the extreme benefits of less pain and bleeding! I only keep a few disposables in the house in case a visitor needs one.

A few months ago three girl friends and I were sitting around talking after an evening of preparing for one of their wedding (sorry, my grammar is awful there). The subject of pads and how terribly expensive they are came up. The words, "Unless you use reusable cloth pads like me!" burst out of my mouth. Let's just say it was a foreign concept to them, but all three are some of the loveliest, loving women you could ever meet so I didn't feel TOO embarrassed...I don't know if it has to do with not having any sisters, and having parents who do NOT talk on such subjects, but it's so much easier to talk about this type of 'stuff' on the internet!

Sarah said...

What a fantastic idea!! I hate asking my husband to go get my monthly "Supplies" (it's so embarassing!) this is a great idea; better for you, better for the environment, and cheaper. Plus they are prettier. :) Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this!

Sommer said...


This was great! I must admit the idea of making and using my "own" products has always been a bit bizarre to me. But, I seem to be getting more and more natural in my thinking.

Question...are they pretty absorbent? If you are a heavy type, do they hold up well? I am going two years with no mentrul(sp?), but know it will be I am curious:-)


Mackenzie said...

Sommer, I'm not Lauren, but I thought I'd share my $.02 with you! :) I'm a *very* heavy bleeder... like, I have to use the "over night" or even the Poise (for ladies with bladder problems...think 2 maxi pads stacked!)...The best part about the flannel pads is that they are completely adjustable...especially with that envelope back style. Put in more layers for heavy times, fewer for lighter's so great! I'm going to do a post on the ones I make for postpartum...but I'll keep using the same ones for once my cycle comes back, since they're so adjustable! They're similar to Lauren's, but the insert part is somewhat different. Anyway, I hope that helps!! I'll let Lauren have her blog back now... ;)

Natalie said...

If I ever get a washer and dryer I'm going to try this. I agree that the chems really can't be very good for you, but I'm not die hard enough to hand wash mine. It has been on my mind though because even when I'm not on my period things can be a tad "moist" (blush), and I tend to use just regular ultra thin liners alot.

LD said...

Good gravy you have a lot of "green" women who read your blog! I thought FOR SURE you and Rachel Supercinski were the only two people on earth who were into this! I actually heard about this a long time ago but I didn't tell you for fear you would jump on the bandwagon. Funny.

Just so you know, if you come visit me you MAY NOT wash those things in my washer. Nor your child's dirty cloth diapers. Just FIY - you need to bring a bucket. Ok fine, I'll let you use my bucket. :)

I love you!

Laura said...

Lauren, thanks for posting on this; I've been meaning to try cloth pantyliners for a while now but I kept putting it off. Your instructions give me a far clearer idea of what to do to make my own! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren Christine! What a great idea!

By the way, I have nominated you for a blog award over at my blog!

Anonymous said...

P.S.- You can pass this award on to 10 other people if you'd like to! :)

Sommer said...

I have given an award to you too, Lauren:-) Stop by any time!

Lots of love,

Anonymous said...

Dear Lauren and ladies,

I am very excited about this post, and would really like to try making my own supplies. We have been trying to swich over to less and less chemicals in our home, and I can already see wonderful health effects. I have always had painful periods, and pray that this would be a natural way to aleviate some of that.

I do have a couple questions though. How do you discreetly use these with a houseful of brothers? i.e where do you keep the soaking container/pot? and what do you use for a container?

Thanks so much for posting about this! I am very encouradged!


Lauren Christine said...

Ann- I am so glad you were encouraged. I know there is no "scientific" reason I can think of that would cause a less uncomfortable time of the month, I can honestly say that I had less cramping than ever before. That was a welcome change! I didn't actually have a soaking container, but I just rinsed them out in the sink and placed them in the dirty clothes. I happened to be doing a load of laundry every other day, so this worked out well since I could wash them quickly. It was definitely a change- and I ended up using disposables a few times. But hopefully as I get more used to it, I will be able to leave those behind. As long as you can assure yourself of some uninterrupted time in the bathroom and laundry room, your brothers should remain ignorant of the change :) I know my poor hubby definitely didn't want to know the particulars. Tee hee. I think I'll keep my eye out for some sort of tin or something to use as a soaking container. Thanks for the sweet comment!

Jodes said...

I am also encouraged by your post about this! I've been thinking about trying to make my own for some time now, but never got the courage. Now I think I'll really give it a go!

JodieR from S&S

Jessica said...

I'm a little late, but I am so encouraged to see this. :) Between my three sisters and myself I spend quite a bit of money every couple of hopefully I can convince them to give this a try.
Thanks for sharing, Lauren!
Jessica/Miss Jessica from S&S

Mrs. Deering said...

Hi there,

I'm a new reader, but I thought I'd share my findings on the subject!

I have used the Diva Cup for around 4 years now and I love it! There are times when I actually forget that it's that time of the month when I'm using it.

I am not being paid to advertise either. :)


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