MAKING YOUR OWN PADS
When it comes down to it, you could use ANYTHING made of cloth as amenstrual cloth - old socks, washcloths, whatever. But if that doesn'tappeal to you, you can sew up special cloths for your period.
You don't have to know how to sew well, but you should be able to usea sewing machine to do this, and be willing to experiment. Remember, thereis no wrong way to make menstrual cloths.
Buy a yard or two of soft cotton flannel at the fabric store. This isthe fun part, because flannels come in lots of patterns and colors. I havea preference for green plaids. I think dark colors work better simply becausethey don't stain as quickly.
There are two basic shapes that I use: the classic rag, and the pad.Follow the links to see drawings of these two models.
The Classic Rag is a cloth that is folded in your undewear. A basicmodel starts out about as big as a washcloth, a rough square. A maxi-ragwould be more rectangle shaped, longer so that it can fold more times.Cut it out with your cloth folded in half, so you have two matching layers.Put the two pieces back to back so the soft fuzzy sides are facing out.Sew these two layers together all the way around the outside edges. I useda zig-zag stitch to keep the edges from fraying. You could hem the edges,but I was worried about the hems being too bulky and uncomfortable. Zig-zaggingthe edges isn't very classy looking, but it's worked so far. Fancier sewingmachines might have some sort of a finishing edge.
To make the rag more absorbant, I cut out another double piece of flannelthat was as long as the first secton, but not as wide. I folded the edgesof this piece under a bit, put it on top of the first piece and sewed downeither side of this second piece, attaching it to the first. This createsa more absorbant center, without creating bulk in the front and the rear.Hopefully the illustration will make this more clear.
This is shaped like a disposable pad - you could use one to trace aroundfor your pattern, although I like to make mine wider than the average pad.Draw the shape of your ideal pad on a piece of paper and use it as a pattern.Fold you cloth over into as many layers as you want your pad to be thick- two to six would be reasonable. Cut all of these out using the same pattern,and sew together around the edges with the zig zag stitch, or whateveredging stitch is on your machine .
For extra absorbancy, add a core of terry cloth to this basic design.This piece of terry would be cut smaller all around than the flannel pieces,and placed in the middle of the flannel layers. Then sew it into placewith a normal stich straight through the flannel layers , followng itsedges all the way around, so that it makes a little oval shaped puff inthe middle of the pad.