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How to sew reusable cloth pads

1. GATHER MATERIALS: Collect the necessary materials including fabric (such as cotton or flannel for the top layer, absorbent material like cotton, bamboo, or hemp for the core, and a moisture-resistant layer like PUL fabric), snaps or Velcro for closure, and sewing supplies (scissors, sewing machine, thread, pins, etc.).

2. PREWASHING: Before cutting and sewing, it's essential to prewash the natural fiber fabrics to prevent shrinkage that could distort the final product. You don’t need to prewash synthetic fabrics like polyester fleece and PUL, but it also won’t hurt them. 

3. CUTTING: Use a template or pattern to cut out the desired shape and size for your menstrual pad, from the chosen fabrics. You'll typically need 1 piece for the top layer (2 if you are doing a hidden core), one or more for the absorbent core, and one for the moisture-resistant layer. For full pattern sets:

5 images showing the steps of how to sew a reusable cloth menstrual pad

4. LAYERING: trace the sewing outline of the pad shape onto the back of the top layer and then sew the core onto the back of the top layer, centered within the line you drew. Stack the fabric layers together with the right side of the top layer and the right side of the moisture barrier facing each other. Pin the layers in place to prevent shifting during sewing.

5. SEWING: Using a sewing machine, sew on the line that you drew, leaving a small opening for turning it right side out. Trim off the excess seam allowance with pinking shears. Also, snip into tight corners to prevent puckering when you turn the pad right side out.

6. TURNING & TOPSTITCHING: Carefully turn the pad right side out through the opening, gently pushing out the corners. Once turned, sew around the edges of the pad again, known as topstitching, to close the opening and create a neat finish.

7. ADDING A CLOSURE: Attach snaps or Velcro to the wings of the pad to allow for easy closure around underwear. To know where to place the closure, fold the wings around, determine the desired snapped width, and then poke the awl through the wings while they are in the perfect position. I use size 20 KAM snaps. 

8. FINISHING TOUCHES: Trim any loose threads and inspect the pad for any missed stitches or imperfections. Admire your work and post the results in the sewing group!! 

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