Making Cloth Pads
Which Style?

   - Tops
   - Core
   - Waterproof
   - Backing
On a Budget

Design your own
Pattern layout
Pattern Resizing

   - AIO Hidden Core
   - AIO channels
   - Pocket Pad
   - Base+Insert
   - Fold-up pad
   - Boostable pad
   - Belted pad

About Cloth Pads
(At About Cloth Pads
How to use them
Cloth Pad Washing
Pros & Cons
Cloth Pad FAQ
Tips and Help
Where to buy Pads
Starting a Stash
Selling Pads
Cost of Pads
Pad History
Making your own Cloth Pads - Fold-up Pads

With this style you can choose to have the winged smooth part touching you, so it resembles a normal AIO pad, but with the folded up part against your underpants. Or you can wear it the other way up, so the winged part is against your underpants and the fold up part against your body. There are advantages and disadvantages to either way.
Winged/flat side up
  • More comfortable, as the smooth side is against you.
  • No flapping foldup bits to unfold and bunch up
  • You can put a strip of PUL on one 3rd of the foldup for waterproofing if needed (saving PUL)
  • You could boost it with a removable booster (waterproofed or not) folded up in the fold section if needed
  • You may leak onto the wing where there is no absorbency
  • You won't be able to see easily if you are bleeding onto the foldup bit or not
Winged/flat side down
  • Absorbency is right against your skin where you need it
  • You can refold for a light flow to get a clean surface
  • You know where you are bleeding, so you can tell if you're about to leak off the foldup section
  • You can have waterproofing through the whole pad shape, to limit leaking just like in an AIO pad.
  • Foldup part may flap about or move while wearing or when pulling underpants down to go to the toilet, and may not feel as comfortable.
To make a fold-up pad If you are having the foldup part on top, you will need less width to the wingspan, because it's not snapping around the thicker layers. If you make the kind that has the foldup part underneath, you'll need less PUL if you want to have it waterproofed.
First you take your winged pad shape.... cut 2 of flannel/flannelette, or if you want a heavy absorbency pad you can do one layer terry/fleece and one layer flannel or cotton (I find the terry/fleece is difficult to sew one layer, but adding the extra flannelette layer helps).....if doing a waterproofed foldup-on-top one, cut one layer of the waterproofing) and sew or overlock/serge them together. So you basically just have a really thin pad.
Then cut out a rectangle that is as long as the pad is, and 3 times wider than you want the crotch width to be when the pad is snapped. Eg if the length of the pad is 11.25" and the crotch is 2.75", the rectangle needs to be 11.25" by 8.25". For a light absorbency pad cut 2 of flannel/flannelette (which gives a pad of 8 layers flannel in total), or for something heavier use 1 layer hemp/bamboo with 1 layer flannel or cotton.
If you want PUL on the foldup part, sew that on now. That PUL strip should be the length of the fold up bit but a little less than 1/3 the width (eg in this example you'd want 2.5in wide). Sew that down on the inside side (if that makes sense) - you might want to use a zigzag so the edge stays put.

Then sew or overlock/serge around the edges of the foldup part to finish that off.

Then you fold the trifold section up and place that onto your winged piece, so it's in the centre where you want it to be.... and then unfold it and pin it on (so you're only pinning the winged part and the part of the trifold that will be sewn to it)

Flip the pad over, and you should have this

Now you have to sew down the centre to sew the 2 parts together. You can do this however you like... you can sew straight down the centre, or a wavy line, 2 parallel lines or a rectangle - it's up to you. Personally I find a wavy line is good because it's hard to get an exactly perfect straight line down the dead centre of the pad, and waving the line means you're sewing more of the pad parts together, but still leaving a little bit of an air gap for faster drying. (one line is free to flap about more to dry faster, but the stitching would be under more strain than having 2 lines/rectangle etc.....)
So opened out, you get something like this:

And you finish up with a fold-up pad that has waterproofing in a strip down the back.

If you wanted to, you could make it with something fancy like velour in place of the PUL strip, and wear it with the foldup part facing upwards, so you don't need as much velour as you would in a whole pad. Or you could use some microfleece as water-resistant backing in just that 1/3 section like I have used PUL.
If you want more absorbency, you could make a booster to slip in there. You could even make the booster longer than the pad (so it sticks out the ends) so that it can catch leaks at night... or make PUL backed boosters for times when you need the extra security and don't have any in the pad. (C) Obsidian 2002-2010. All rights reserved
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