Sunday, January 19, 2014

DIY Breast Pads

One of my newly acquired skills last year was learning how to sew. My wonderful husband bought me a sewing machine for Mothers Day and I was excited to make plenty of blankets and burp cloths for baby. One of my must-haves after a baby are comfortable, effective breast pads. My sister-in-law had given me some cotton ones after Hannah was born that were just wonderful. Unfortunately I had given those away with my breast pump before we made our bare bones move to Montana. I figured there had to be a way to make my own, so I sat at my sewing machine and got to work.

Since I was still a newbie with sewing and understanding different fabric and their benefits, I asked at my local fabric store which material would be best for such a project. I was told that flannel is soft and absorbent, and fleece would probably help with preventing the breast pad from leaking. I wanted an extra layer of protection and was told that I could indeed do two layers of flannel, but even basic flannel is quite spendy...I needed a cheaper option. Enter the $5 pack of microfiber cleaning towels from the automotive section at Walmart. These were large and cheap...I did a little bit of research and found out that microfiber is extremely absorbent and is used in cloth diaper kits as well as other projects, but should never be used directly on the skin, as it will definitely dry out your skin. So, for this project, using a microfiber cloth to add a bit more absorbancy to the breast pad is perfect. 

First you want to select your material. You need *maybe* half of a yard each of flannel and fleece material. I already had the fleece on hand from when I made a blanket for my niece, so I cheaped out and just used that.


These are the microfiber cloths I got from Walmart-a pack of five for $5

Once I had my fabric all selected, pre-washed, and ironed, I began cutting the circles out. What I did was take a CD, trace a bunch of circles on to the material, and used my rotary cutter to cut the circles. I ended up with this: 

I cut enough circles for 12 sets of breast pads, or 24 total breast pads. Then I layered the material like this: 

So, each breast pad has one circle of fleece, then one circle of the microfiber cloth, and another circle of the flannel. When you are assembling the pads, place the flannel face down, then add the microfiber, then add the fleece face up. They come out looking like a little fabric sandwich:

Sew the pads with a regular straight stitch as close to the edge as possible. Trim off any excess, careful not to snip any stitches. If you wish, you can go back over the straight stitch and do a zig-zag stitch, but I have not found that to be at all necessary. Toss these in the wash and you have a finished product!

These are a little rough around the edges, but they are so incredibly comfortable! They are soft, absorbent, and cute. I have no problems with leakage and wash them with my regular laundry. I'm not the best at sewing and I'm still getting my feet wet, but this sure does beat those plasticky disposable breast pads!