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Imagine trying to use one of these beauties!
I looked at a few online tutorials and came up with my own version of mama cloth for my friend. Then, I made a whole stash for myself. I couldn't resist. Is it weird that I actually looked forward to my next visit from Aunt Flo so I could try them out?
Making your own mama cloth is easy and inexpensive, especially if you repurpose fabric that you already own. To start, you have to design a simple pattern. I made mine with a disposable pad as a model.
First, I traced the pad onto a simple paper grocery bag (my favorite choice for pattern material). Then, I held the pad perpendicular to the tracing, and marked where the ends of the pads landed. After setting the pad aside, I drew concave curved lines to connect the tracings. This pattern will be used to cut the outer layers of the mama cloth. You will also need a pattern for the inner absorbent layers, which is just an outline of the model pad.
Use your pattern to cut out two pieces of flannel (I used old receiving blankets). I recommend having two different colors/patterns on your flannel so you can remember which side is the absorbent side. With the "right" side of the flannels facing in, sew a seam around the edge of the two pieces, remembering to leave a small gap (about 3 inches) for inserting your inner layers. Flip this "pocket" you created inside-out.
Next, cut out your inner layers. You have a LOT of fabric options for this part. You can use t-shirts, towels, washcloths, flannel, or combinations of these fabrics to create your absorbent layer. I also like to include a waterproof layer so I don't have to worry about any leaking. Some people use fleece or wool for waterproofing their cloth diapers, but I don't know how they would work for mama cloth. I chose an unused super-shammy (why not?) as my absorbent material, with a backing of PUL (same material used for cloth diaper covers) to make my mama cloth waterproof.
Whatever materials you choose, sew them to each other so that they stay together. I ran a seam around the middle of my oval. Then, insert your inner layers into your outer "pocket."
Now you have to close the gap you left open. Tuck in the edges of the two flannel fabrics and pin them to each other. Before sewing the gap closed, I like to sew all the way through my inner and outer layers. Since you can't really see what you're sewing, you have to feel for the edges inside to make sure your seams actually go through the fabrics.
Next, sew a seam around the outermost edge of your flannel fabrics. This seam not only closes the gap, but keeps your flannel fabrics from shifting too much when they are worn and washed.
I LOVE my new mama cloth stash for several reasons:
1. They are much more comfortable than disposable pads. I don't feel like I'm wearing a mini diaper.
2. They are WAY more cute than disposable pads.
3. They don't shift around at all because the flannel is not a slippery fabric against cotton underwear.
4. They fold up nice and small for travel and storage.
5. They have the same wash routine as my cloth diapers, so I just toss them in the same load with my diapers!
6. I don't have to buy pads month after month...or worry about running out!
Needless to say, I don't think I'm ever going back.