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I’ve decided to do a flash mini sewing series in preparation for my weekly post next week. Three super short projects to prepare for baby. These nursing pads are the first of the 3-part series. Enjoy.
If you plan to nurse your baby, or are already, you’ll learn quite quickly that nursing pads are a necessity! I don’t think I need to explain what will happen if you don’t have absorbency between your (initially painful) tatas and your clothes.
Disposables VS Cloth
For some people, disposables are the way to go. You just pick ’em up at the store and pop ’em in. Most even have a nice little sticky strip to adhere to your nursing bra.
I’ll admit I’ve never actually purchased any for myself, so my only experience with them is from the free ones I received as samples.
I didn’t think they were that great, and the sticky strip never seemed to last a full day. Also, I found they should be changed more frequently because they would get all bunched up and not be as absorbent.
In this post I touched on our desire to be environmentally friendly, so it is only natural that I had planned on using cloth nursing pads from the beginning, so I had a few sets made up before Sweet Girl was born. There are places to buy them (Etsy, Amazon, even WalMart), but after reading a few tutorials on Pinterest and looking at a few pictures I figured they would be pretty simple to whip up.
And guess what? They are! So easy, in fact, that this blog post tutorial is going to be pretty short.
Now, I’ll admit I didn’t actually make any for this post. Notice how my sewing machine is nowhere to be seen. However, they’re so simple that I felt it wasn’t necessary.
There’s a few comments I’ll make throughout to
fill some space let you know my thoughts or different methods, so make sure you read through, even though the pictures would be tutorial enough!
Step 1 – Choose and Cut Your Material
The material combination I chose was a flannelette front, cotton/flannelette center, and PUL back. There are different materials that would work equally as well, but the key to a quality nursing pad is to keep the back water-resistant, the center absorbent, and the front moisture-wicking.
Hot tip – check your scrap bin. The people who are going to see these babies really won’t mind if the pairs don’t match or the print is something less than favourable!
Once you’ve chosen your fabrics you’re ready to start tracing and cutting. You’ll need 2 pieces of each type of material for a set of pads for a total of 6 circles. This is the most time consuming part, by far.
I used a peanut butter jar lid for size. The diameter of each circle is just over 4″. Don’t worry about them being perfect. Again, the ones who will see them won’t notice.
At this point, there is an optional step. You could cut a small triangle piece out from the center to one edge (radius) to give the finished product a slight cup to it (for a smoother look under your shirt). If you do this, sew up the radial line before stacking them together. I tried this on one set and really didn’t see the point in the extra effort.
Step 2 – Build a Nursing Pad Sandwich
Next you’ll want to stack the 3 layers together in a nice sandwich.
Line them up as best you can, but don’t worry too much if they’re not perfect. You’ll want the printed side of the PUL facing out, as well as the printed side of the top flannelette, like pictured in Step 1.
Step 3 – Sew It Up
Now you’re ready to sew it! You could use a serger to zip around the edges, but it’s not necessary.
Instead, use a zigzag stitch (I like to go a little on the narrow side) and get as close to the edges as possible without going off.
You could also add in the optional step here of cutting out a little triangle and sewing it up to make a slight cup.
Trim off your threads and any areas that aren’t close enough to the stitch and you’re finished!
There you have it, in 3 easy steps you’ve made yourself some inexpensive, reusable nursing pads! They’re comfy and easy to use – just throw them in with your regular laundry or with your cloth diapers to wash.
You may find that after a wash there is a bit of a waxy residue on the front if you use lanolin with them. I didn’t find that this affected the performance, so I kept using them the same way.
Let me know how this tutorial worked for you. Any opinions on the flat vs cupped versions?
Check out Part 2: Toothbrush Travel Pouch!
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