Rags! Rags?  Rags!

If you have even the most rudimentary sewing skills,you can make yerself some wicked comfy pads. My fabric of choice is anold 100% cotton flannel shirt -- often 25 cents each at the Salvation Army.Polyester content is highly undesirable because liquid will bead up andrun right off rather than be absorbed. Old terrycloth robes and towelswork very well too.

You will need:

1.Make a pattern. You can get one online from Many Moons, or you canjust trace an existing pad, fabric or disposable. Just pick a shape youlike. I prefer the Glad Rags design, which is like an envelope with insertsyou can slide in to make it thicker, and it has wings that snap or velcroaround the crotch of your undies. My instructions will follow that design.

2.Cut out your fabric. If you make your own pattern, make sure to leavea half-inch for your seams on all sides. My favorite design has 5 pieces:the back, two front pieces, and two inserts. Just try a few things tilyou get one you like -- I had to make a bunch of pads before I got it exactlyright, but these things are really functional no matter what they looklike.

3.Finish edges.  The only edges you need to finish are the edgesof the two front pieces that form the envelope -- go ahead and do thatfirst.

4.Finally:  Placing right sides together, pin or baste the two frontpieces (they should have some overlap) onto the back piece. Stitch! Forthe inserts, I just fold up a piece of fabric that fits into the envelopewhen doubled. Fold it up and stitch! What a breeze. Sew snaps or velcroonto the wings and you're done. My first rag took me a couple of hoursto design, re-design, fuck up a few times, and sew. Now that I have itdown the whole deal takes less than an hour.

To wash: Once a pad is soaked with your flow, stick itinto a container of warm water to soak for a few hours. Wash them in hotwater and line dry or stick in the dryer. Use the soaking water to wateryour houseplants & rosebushes -- they love it! But I've heard thatmenstrual blood kills orchids so leave them out of it.

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