Being nearly 8 months pregnant, my latest projects have centered around baby - be prepared!
Somehow I got around to researching reusable nursing pads and their benefits compared to disposable. Turns out people LOVE them! I was going to just buy them but the nice ones are easily $25+ for 3 or 4 pairs and that wasn't going to work for me!
I found a blog that told me what fabric to buy and I was ready to make my own (be sure to read her blog for more information on the pads and their benefits)! Because she doesn't have pictures of the sewing process I thought I'd share what I ended up doing for mine.
NURSING PADS SEWING INSTRUCTIONS
2 Spools Wooly Nylon Thread (recommended)
*I ordered my fabric from "VancouverBamboo" on Etsy because it was a one-stop shop. I purchased 1-yd of each so I could make enough for friends as gifts (plus not all her fabrics had options for 1/2-yard increments). I made 6 pairs out of about 1/4-yard; purchase your yardage accordingly.
Serger (recommend - or can use zigzag stitch)
Washable Fabric Marker (Mark-B-Gone)
Circular Object (the size you want your pads to be)
Scissors, Pins, Etc.
Layout Your Fabric:
The fastest/easiest way to make these pads is to layer all your fabrics together, mark your sewing lines, pin, sew and then cut your circles out, leaving serging last.
First lay down your PUL fabric down with the shiny side up, then your hemp/bamboo fleece on top of that with the fuzzy-pile side up, then your bamboo velour on top of that with the soft-pile side up (soft side goes against your skin). The picture above shows you what all the fabrics look like in the order I just described.
Mark Your Fabric:
Use a circular object the size you'd like your pads to end up being (I used a bowl about 4-inches wide). Mark on your top layer of fabric using a washable fabric marker how many pads you'd like, keeping them close together (but leave at least 1/4-inch space between them). Place 4 pins inside each circle, far enough inside that you can sew around them without bothering to take them out as you sew (the fabric likes to move around a lot so keeping them in while sewing is important).
Sew/Cut Your Fabric:
Sew around each circle just inside your marked lines, about 1/8-inch.
Cut your circles out on your marked lines making sure not to cut your stitched lines (remember there should be a 1/8-inch "seam allowance").
I set my serger up for a 4-thread overlock stitch (most common) and put wooly nylon thread in each of the loopers. The wooly nylon adds to the softness of the pads but you can certainly use regular thread if you prefer. If you don't have a serger, use your regular sewing machine with a wide zigzag stitch and short stitch length.
Serge around each of your circles (without cutting anything off). Sewing circles can be tricky but my best advice is to pull the edge of fabric in front of your foot over right next to the cutter. Pull, sew, pull, sew, etc. Once you get to the end, overlap your stitching about 1/2-inch and sew off the edge with a dramatic turn, leaving about a 2-inch chain of stitching left.
Now you're ready to tidy up that extra chain of stitching! I recommend to not cut it as is, otherwise you risk unraveling over time.
First I threaded the extra chain through the stitching with a needle but doing so left a knotted mess at the base...
...so what I did instead was pull the chain towards the center of my pad and I did a small zigzag stitch back/forth a few times over the base of the chain just inside my serged edge.
It will look like this.
Then you can cut off the excess.
This picture shows you what the back (PUL side) and front (velour side) looks like. Super soft and wonderful!