This post will deal with girly/womanly stuff, so any folks of the male persuasion may want to skip it.
We tried using cloth diapers with Thing One. That was back in 1998, and we didn’t use the intarwebs so much. There wasn’t a lot of support for that sort of thing otherwise (I don’t know if there was much support on the intarwebs, either), and we gave up pretty darn quick.
With Little Cat Z, we were much more successful, thanks to all the information available by 2005. That’s also when I was introduced to the concept of “mama fluff,” or cloth feminine hygiene products. I was intrigued, but I didn’t actually try them out.
My little Cindy Lou Who was also cloth diapered, which re-ignited my interest in women’s cloth. Still, I didn’t take the plunge.
Then, last year, I started The Change. Yes! No more periods! I’d exchange some hot flashes for all the mess. Except, one thing they don’t tell you is that it takes a long time, like 3-4 years before you actually experience menopause. In fact, the mess might get worse before it stops. Which is what I’m experiencing.
. . . That might be more information than you really want, though. (If you do want more info, this is a good place to start looking. Here’s another. And another. Both of which I found from the first one.)
Suffice to say that along with other things, I spot, all month long. Not necessarily every day, probably only about one out of four, but it could be any day.
I bought a box of U by Kotex Barely There Liners, and they worked pretty well, and it wasn’t a lot of waste when I had to throw one out that I didn’t really need. But it was waste, both of resources and my money. So, I finally took the plunge and made one pantyliner.
(And then Firefox closed for some reason and I lost half of my post. Which is why I’m supposed to write my posts in a word processor and then copy them, which I might have remembered if I hadn’t taken such a long time off from writing.)
I used the pattern from Little House Living. I cut the wings from a sleeve of an old t-shirt (men’s BVD, XL?), which fit it just about perfectly (there’s a little bit of the hem on one edge), and the liners from an old knit bedsheet. As you can see in the picture, my stitching was . . . imperfect. I was in a hurry (I needed it NOW), and I’m not the greatest at sewing with jersey fabric. I’m pretty sure the next one will be better. Then I used a very small sew-in snap for the closure.
My biggest concern with using cloth pads or liners was that they wouldn’t stay in place. They’d bunch up, or twist around, or slide all over. I wore it while shopping — and I mean over three hours of shopping, not just running to the corner store for milk — and overnight, too. And it stayed in place. At least, until a little while ago when, for some unknown reason, the front folded over. Oh, who am I kidding? I know exactly what the reason was. That little inanimate flap of fabric somehow knew that I was about to spot! Sorry, I know, TMI. Anyway, other than that, it worked just fine. Maybe if I did some straight stitches down the center of the length of it, that would give it some stability? Or add a layer of interfacing between the liner and the wings?
I will make more, though. I have a couple more t-shirt/bedsheet sets already cut out, and I also have a bunch of flannel that I actually bought specifically for this. I also have the Menstrual Pads by PaaPinden.dk pattern that I’m going to give a try. I bought a partial skein of some bamboo yarn (Be Sweet Bamboo) from someone’s stash to use, but it’s so nice that I don’t know if I feel right using it for something that is intended to be bled on. Of course, it’s only a partial skein, so I don’t know what else I’d use it for. Hmm.
Some things I plan to do for future liners: laminate the pattern, since it’s something that will get used many times; use tracing chalk instead of permanent marker to mark the fabric; use larger snaps, although I think the sew-in kind are fine — I’m not going to get one of those plastic snap setter things; make some larger, absorbent ones, using PUL from old cloth diaper covers I’ve still got for a leak barrier.
Yeah, I think I’m a convert.