Kelly’s Closet Turns 14 {and They’re Giving Away Mama Cloth!}

KC14yrPinkLemonade

We are so excited to help Kelly’s Closet and DiaperShops.com celebrate 14 years of cloth diapering! KC has been my go to for modern cloth diapers and accessories since we started adding to our homemade stash a couple years ago.  Through them we have discovered CJ’s BUTTer, our favorite Thirsties diapers, and a plethora of other brands and products.

Kelly’s Closet first opened its doors back in April 2001 well before bumGenius, Rumparooz, GroVia and Thirsties even existed.  Kelly’s Closet is now home to almost 100 brands of cloth diapers, diapering accessories, and eco-friendly products for the entire family.  They are truly more than just a shop.  While located solely online, they give AMAZING customer service and product support that you won’t find in many store fronts.  They reach through the computer screen and engage with customers every day, providing cloth diaper education and support to thousands daily.

KellysCloset14yrsOn April 1st, Kelly’s Closet kicked off 14 days of giveaways to celebrate. Each day new items have been added and today I’m proud to bring to you a set of two Pink Lemonade Minky Pads.  These pads are fleece backed and are truly my favorite cloth pads!  They’re comfortable, stain resistance, and absorbent.  Not to mention, they’re super soft and pretty.  An even bigger bonus for me is that they were created by a WAHM, and that always gets big props in my book.

Be sure to follow both Kelly’s Closet & Diaper Shops social media pages for more chances to win.
Facebook: Kelly’s ClosetDiaperShops Cloth Diaper Support GroupThe Cloth Diaper Whisperer
Twitter: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Instagram: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Pinterest: DiaperShops
YouTube: DiaperShops1

Each giveaway will end at midnight ET on April 14th.

Use the link below to get entered and good luck!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b995e59b284/

 

*This post contains some affiliate links.  You can view our full disclosure policy here.
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Postpartum Mama Cloth

Postpartum Mama ClothIf you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that I’m a huge advocate for mama cloth.  I’ve raved about it, I’ve sewn it, I’ve converted several friends, and I practice what I preach and use it.

Many people have asked me if you can really use it postpartum and if I did.  I’d love to tell you that I proudly packed all my mama cloth and carried it with me to the hospital, but I didn’t.  I knew I’d be tired, I knew I had a history of postpartum hemorrhage and very heavy postpartum bleeding, so I took the ‘easy’ way out and packed a box of giant maxi pads.  However, I do wish I’d taken my cloth as it would’ve been far more comfortable.  The disposable pads did their job well, but they also caused more soreness and chaffing than my cloth does.  As soon as I got back home, I grabbed my cloth and it was more than adequate for my postpartum flow.

Which cloth pads work best postpartum?  It depends solely on you and your personal postpartum needs.  If you’re someone whose postpartum flow is like a regular period, you can probably get by with whatever mama cloth you currently use.  If you’re like me and those first several days are far heavier than a period, you’ll want to go with a cloth pad designed for postpartum use and then ease back into overnight or regular pads as your flow decreases. If you’re in between, a nice overnight pad will likely work well.  For me, one of the keys was that the pad be longer than what I’d ordinarily wear.  Postpartum care can be rough.  There will be vaginal and perianal swelling, you may even have stitches. A pad that is longer will tend to be more comfortable as the edge won’t be hitting any spots that are understandably very sore.  Longer pads will also give you more absorbency and can allow for a bit of a looser fit as their coverage area is wider.  I didn’t find tight-fitting underwear very appealing during my postpartum period.

If you’re handy with a sewing machine, I would highly suggest purchasing this pattern and making some of these for postpartum use.  What didn’t I love about the Mamma Can Do It Postpartum Pad pattern?  Nothing, I loved everything.  It really is a winner, and no, I wasn’t paid to try it or say that.  It’s longer than your regular flow cloth pads and it acts like a shell that you can reuse a few times without laundering if it isn’t soiled.  You can put an ice pad or a rice bag in it for relief from postpartum swelling.  You can use it with cloth pads OR disposable pads.  Heck, you could even fold up a flat or prefold diaper in a pinch and put that inside this shell.  The bonus of making your postpartum pads yourself is that you can customize the length and width to fit your preferences and needs.

What if you don’t sew?  No, fear.  The lovely cloth pad makers out there have you covered with postpartum pads available for purchase.  Pink Daisy has postpartum pads available with stay dry tops or organic cotton tops.  Pink Lemonade pads are some of my personal favorites and they have some truly gorgeous 13″ postpartum pads that work great.  Wee Essentials is another personal favorite.

Can cloth pads really work for your postpartum flow?  Absolutely!  They can work great and they can make it a little more comfortable because sitting on plastic, even if it’s cotton topped, is just not fun.  With lush fabrics like minky, postpartum care can be far more comfortable with cloth.

*Some of the links provided in this post are affiliate links for which I will receive a small portion of the sale.  You don’t have to use these links to make a purchase, they just help support our blog if you do and for that we thank you!  You can view our full disclosure policy here.

Sewing Tutorial: Mama Cloth Wet/Dry Bag

Wet/Dry Bag TutorialThis tutorial is a simple no measurements needed sewing project that will enable you to create a wet bag to hold both clean and dirty mama cloth.  Wet/dry bags are nice when you are on the go because you have one convenient place to store both your used and unused menstrual products while you’re out.

The mama cloth wet/dry bag we are creating in this tutorial has one large opening at the top that is secured shut with hook and loop tape.  You could also alter the pattern and install a zipper here.  The large top opening is designed to hold your dirty items.  There is a large pocket on the front with snap closures designed to hold your clean items.  There is also a handle that has a snap closure so that it can be hung not only on door knobs or hooks, but also towel racks or even the toilet paper holder.

You can choose whatever fabric design you like, the bag just looks like any other clutch so no one would ever know what is inside unless you showed them.

Materials Needed

  • Waterproof PUL fabric – amount will vary based on how large or small you want your bag to be.
  • Hook and loop tape (or zipper if you prefer a top zipper closure)
  • Snaps and Snap Pliers or Press
  • Sewing Machine
  • Polyester Thread
  • Scissors
  • The PDF tutorial with fully detailed and illustrated instructions.  Print the file as fit to page or follow along on-screen.  Click here to download file:  Mama Cloth Wet Dry Bag.

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Mama Cloth as a Gift

Mama Cloth As A Gift*Please note that in the USA the sale of cloth pads is regulated by the FDA and there are fees associated with selling cloth pads in and to the USA.  Don’t get yourself into trouble by gifting or selling in the USA unless you have gone through the proper licensing.*

 

I often get asked by friends and online acquaintances about natural, green living products.  Whether it be cloth diapers or mama cloth, friends sometimes refer others to me for more information.  I’m happy to share the knowledge I’ve gained about these products and am always glad to convert someone to a greener life.

What is the easiest way to get someone to try something new?  Give it to them for free.  I’ve found that some women are interested in mama cloth, but they are not interested in the higher cost associated with the transition to using it.  Sure, a disposable pack of pads is cheaper in the short-term, but any cloth pads you buy can normally be used for years and are actually cheaper.  The same goes for tampons vs. cups.

As an avid sewer I often do ‘fabric cleanups’ to use up scraps from past projects.  Cloth pads are fantastic for using up flannel, fleece, hemp, and bamboo scraps as they’re small and even lend themselves quite well to piecework when needed.  Now I’ve probably got you wondering if I really give cloth pads as a gift for birthdays and Christmas.  And I don’t.

When I gift  pads I prefer to do so as a starter kit so that the person can get a feel of what using cloth is really like.  I usually include five shells with about ten inserts and this will be enough for someone to get a decent feel of what using cloth is all about.  It’s also important to provide education with the pads.  Information on how to use, store, and wash pads is important.  Information on how much absorbency is generally needed is also quite helpful.

If you sew, you can easily make your own pads from our free patterns:
Adjustable Absorbency and Liners
Hidden Contoured Core, Overcast Edge
Exposed Contoured Core, Overcast Edge
Exposed Core, Overcast Edge

If you’re an avid sewer who wants to advocate for the use of cloth menstrual pads, you can use your scraps to make cloth pads for curious friends.  I never suggest giving cloth pads to someone who hasn’t expressed an interest, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of friends who do have an interest and a desire to try something new.

Below you’ll find a two-page informational sheet that I include with my mama cloth gift packs.  This sheet is written for sets with the adjustable absorbency pads as I find these are the most versatile and fit a wider array of menstrual flows.  I normally include different toppers so that the new user can get a feel of stray-dry toppers and flannel toppers to find what they like best.  I even fold the top pad and do a different array of inserts to show the new user how they work.  This is detailed in the sheet and can give you a guide on how to present the gift.  However, you can also use the sheets as a guide to create your own informational cards if your gifted sets differ from those detailed in the sheet.

Feel free to print them and use them, just please don’t sell them.

Mama Cloth Information Sheet:  Mama Cloth Starter Kit.

Cloth Pad Tutorial: Adjustable Absorbency and Liners

AdjustablePadTutHi again!  In addition to our ‘pads three ways’ tutorials, I’m adding this adjustable absorbency pad and panty liner pattern.  Like the other patterns, this pattern will be free.

I’ll show you how to create an absorbent shell that can be used for light days or as a liner.  We’ll also be creating wingless liners to add to the shell to boost absorbency or wear on their own.

What You’ll Need

  •  The pdf containing the patterns and tutorial:  AdjustableAbsorbency&Liner.  Please print the patterns actual size and DO NOT scale them down or ‘fit to page’.
  • Fabric for the pad body top (shell):  flannel, jersey, or any other cotton or absorbent material.
  • Fabric for the pad body bottom (shell):  anti-pill or blizzard fleece.  These thicker fleece types naturally repel liquids and make a good water-resistant bottom while providing a non-slip surface against your underwear.
  • Fabric for the pad core and liners.  You want absorbent fabrics for your core.  These could include cotton flannel, cotton birdseye, cotton terry cloth, bamboo, hemp, etc.  Basically any thirsty fabric will work. Just remember that if you use microfiber or zorb, be sure to sandwich them between fabrics that are safe to be against the skin.
    You may also want to add anti-pill or blizzard fleece as a bottom layer to some of the liners as this will help them to stay put in your underwear if you choose to wear them without the shell.

    Bamboo and hemp are good choices if you want a thinner pad as they are thin, but absorbent. 2-3 layers of bamboo or hemp will give you medium flow absorbency; use more for heavy, postpartum, or overnight.

    If you use flannel, 6 layers would be a good medium flow.  You would want to add more for heavier absorbencies.  For the shells pictured, I have sewn a three layer flannel core into the shell.  Each of the liners pictured have three layers of flannel as well for buildable absorbency.

  • Sewing machine and notions (thread, needles, scissors, presser feet, etc)
  • Snaps – metal or plastic. Plastic will be more durable, but metal may be easier to get. I have used KAM snaps here. They are really fantastic quality and the pliers are easy to use.  I use a size 20 socket and stud, with size 16 snap caps.
    Plastic snap pliers can all be found at JoAnn Fabric.  I have seen metal snap pliers at Wal-Mart.
    If you can’t find snaps, dry cleaners or alteration shops can often apply them. Or you can use Velcro or a diaper pin if you have to.

If you have a serger, obviously you can do all this on the serger as well.  Learn more about cloth pads here.  Happy sewing!

Cloth Pad Tutorial: Hidden Contoured Core, Overcast Edge

MamaClothThreeWaysWelcome back again!  This is the third and final tutorial in a series of three showing you how to sew cloth pads with overcast edges three ways:  exposed core, exposed contoured core, hidden contoured core.

Today we will sew the hidden contoured core pad, the third pad pictured on the left hand side of the screen.

What You’ll Need

  • The HiddenContouredCoreOvercastEdge pdf.  Download by clicking the link. Follow along on your computer, or print out.  Please do NOT sell the pattern. I have provided it free of charge to help mamas who want to try mama cloth but cannot afford it.
  • Fabric for the pad body top:  flannel, jersey, or any other cotton or absorbent material.
  • Fabric for the pad body bottom:  anti-pill or blizzard fleece.  These thicker fleece types naturally repel liquids and make a good water-resistant bottom while providing a non-slip surface against your underwear.
  • Fabric for the pad core.  You want absorbent fabrics for your core.  These could include cotton flannel, cotton birdseye, cotton terry cloth, bamboo, hemp, etc.  Basically any thirsty fabric will work. Just remember that if you use microfiber or zorb, be sure to sandwich them between fabrics that are safe to be against the skin.
    For the pads shown, I have used three layers of bamboo fleece.  Bamboo and hemp are good choices if you want a thinner pad as they are thin, but absorbent. 2-3 layers of bamboo or hemp will give you medium flow absorbency; use more for heavy, postpartum, or overnight.
    If you use flannel, 6 layers would be a good medium/heavy flow.  You would want to add more for heavier absorbencies.
  • Sewing machine and notions (thread, needles, scissors, presser feet, etc)
  • Snaps – metal or plastic. Plastic will be more durable, but metal may be easier to get. I have used KAM snaps here. They are really fantastic quality and the pliers are easy to use.  I use a size 20 socket and stud, with size 16 snaps.
    Plastic snap pliers can all be found at JoAnn Fabric.  I have seen metal snap pliers at Wal-Mart.
    If you can’t find snaps, dry cleaners or alteration shops can often apply them. Or you can use velcro or a diaper pin if you have to.

If you have a serger, obviously you can do all this on the serger as well.  Learn more about cloth pads here.  Happy sewing!

Cloth Pad Tutorial: Exposed Contoured Core, Overcast Edge

MamaClothThreeWaysWelcome back!  This is the second tutorial in a series of three showing you how to sew cloth pads with overcast edges three ways:  exposed core, exposed contoured core, hidden contoured core.

Today we will sew the exposed contoured core pad, the second pad pictured on the left hand side of the screen.

What You’ll Need

  • The ExposedContouredCoreOverCastEdge PDF.  Download by clicking the link. Follow along on your computer, or print out.  Please do NOT sell the pattern. I have provided it free of charge to help mamas who want to try mama cloth but cannot afford it.
  • Fabric for the pad body top:  flannel, jersey, or any other cotton or absorbent material.
  • Fabric for the pad body bottom:  anti-pill or blizzard fleece.  These thicker fleece types naturally repel liquids and make a good water-resistant bottom while providing a non-slip surface against your underwear.
  • Fabric for the pad core.  You want absorbent fabrics for your core.  These could include cotton flannel, cotton birdseye, cotton terry cloth, bamboo, hemp, etc.  Basically any thirsty fabric will work. Just remember that if you use microfiber or zorb, be sure to sandwich them between fabrics that are safe to be against the skin.
    For the pads shown, I have used three layers of bamboo fleece.  Bamboo and hemp are good choices if you want a thinner pad as they are thin, but absorbent. 2-3 layers of bamboo or hemp will give you medium flow absorbency; use more for heavy, postpartum, or overnight.
    If you use flannel, 6 layers would be a good medium/heavy flow.  You would want to add more for heavier absorbencies.
  • Sewing machine and notions (thread, needles, scissors, presser feet, etc)
  • Snaps – metal or plastic. Plastic will be more durable, but metal may be easier to get. I have used KAM snaps here. They are really fantastic quality and the pliers are easy to use.  I use a size 20 socket and stud, with size 16 snaps.
    Plastic snap pliers can all be found at JoAnn Fabric.  I have seen metal snap pliers at Wal-Mart.
    If you can’t find snaps, dry cleaners or alteration shops can often apply them. Or you can use velcro or a diaper pin if you have to.

If you have a serger, obviously you can do all this on the serger as well.  Learn more about cloth pads here Happy sewing!

Cloth Pad Tutorial: Exposed Core, Overcast Edge

MamaClothThreeWaysThis is the first tutorial in a series of three.  I’ll be showing you how to sew cloth pads with overcast edges three ways:  exposed core, exposed contoured core, hidden contoured core.

We will start with the exposed core pad, the first pad pictured on the left hand side of the screen.

What You’ll Need

  • The ClothPadBodypdf  (print actual size, not fit to page) Approx. 7.25″ wide and 9.75″ long. You can always adjust them to your personal needs. Just don’t sell the pattern.
  • TheClothPadCorepdf   (print actual size, not fit to page) Approx 2.8″ wide and 9″ long.  You can always adjust them to your personal needs. Just don’t sell the pattern.
  • Fabric for the pad body top:  flannel, jersey, or any other cotton or absorbent material.
  • Fabric for the pad body bottom:  anti-pill or blizzard fleece.  These thicker fleece types naturally repel liquids and make a good water-resistant bottom while providing a non-slip surface against your underwear.
  • Fabric for the pad core.  You want absorbent fabrics for your core.  These could include cotton flannel, cotton birdseye, cotton terry cloth, bamboo, hemp, etc.  Basically any thirsty fabric will work. Just remember that if you use microfiber or zorb, be sure to sandwich them between fabrics that are safe to be against the skin.
    For the pads shown, I have used three layers of bamboo fleece.  Bamboo and hemp are good choices if you want a thinner pad as they are thin, but absorbent. 2-3 layers of bamboo or hemp will give you a medium flow absorbency, use more for heavy, postpartum, or overnight.
    If you use flannel, 6 layers would be a good medium/heavy flow.  You would want to add more for heavier absorbencies.
  • Sewing machine and notions (thread, needles, scissors, presser feet, etc)
  • Snaps – metal or plastic. Plastic will be more durable, but metal may be easier to get. I have used KAM snaps here. They are really fantastic quality and the pliers are easy to use.  I use a size 20 socket and stud, with size 16 snaps.
    Plastic snap pliers can all be found at JoAnn Fabric.  I have seen metal snap pliers at Wal-Mart.
    If you can’t find snaps, dry cleaners or alteration shops can often apply them. Or you can use velcro or a diaper pin if you have to.

If you have a serger, obviously you can do all this on the serger as well.

Learn more about cloth pads here.

Clicking on the first picture below will make the photos larger so you can scroll through them as you go.  Or you can download and print the PDF:  ExposedCoreOvercastEdgePadPDF.  It is free, I just ask that you don’t sell the pattern. Happy Sewing!

Mama Cloth – What Is It?

MamaClothMama cloth…  Menstrual cups…  I had been menstruating 13 years before I heard about reusable menstrual products.  When you get ‘the talk’ you’re told about pads and tampons. That’s it.  No one mentions an entire line of reusable products that are more comfortable, eco-friendly, and economical.

The first time someone told me about mama cloth, they didn’t do it in a very positive way.  And I was instantly turned off.  No way was I going to reuse a pad, even if you did wash it.  Actually, no way did I want to wash something with blood all over it.  That was gross right?   WRONG!

My curiosity about cloth pads got the better of me and I decided to do more research.  Turns out there were a lot of options out there.  Users of mama cloth swore that they were comfortable.  Users of reusable cups said they barely noticed their periods at all.  I was intrigued.

My foray into mama cloth happened while I was pregnant with my second child.  Pregnant women know the insane amount of liners you can go through.  I sewed up a few pads with adjustable absorbency and I loved them!  They were far more comfortable than their plastic backed disposable counterparts.  And they were much more breathable.  I have continued to use mama cloth since, almost two years ago.

The Basics

  • Cloth pads come in a variety of shapes/lengths/widths just like disposable pads.  If you sew your own, or find a WAHM willing to do a completely custom pad, your options are truly endless.
  • Cloth pads come in a variety of absorbencies just like disposable pads.  Liners, light flow, medium flow, heavy flow, postpartum, overnight, etc.  It’s all out there ready to purchase.  There are also pads with adjustable absorbency which is something you won’t get with disposable products.  These pads have a body (or shell) that you slip your absorbent core into.  So you can add more layers as needed.
  • If you are prone to rashes or chaffing with disposable pads, that will likely go away with cloth pads.  Cloth pads don’t contain chemicals like their disposable counterparts and they are breathable.  Pads backed with fleece or wool and containing no PUL are especially breathable.  Any type of heat rash and chafing I had with disposable pads completely disappeared with cloth.  I don’t get that sore feeling after wearing them that I did with disposable pads.
  • Since cloth pads have no chemicals, they can also reduce your flow and cramping.  I’m no doctor, but I have talked to many women who use cloth pads and/or menstrual cups.  And most of them say that they’re flow, cramps, or both decreased after switching to reusable menstrual products.  The simple explanation is that there are no chemicals in the reusable products while there are in the disposable counterparts.  The chemicals can be an irritant to many women and your body needs to flush these chemicals out of your body – thus a heavier flow and more cramping.
  • When you’re out, you can store dirty pads in a waterproof makeup bag.  Most cloth pad retailers also sell small wet/dry bags designed to hold dirty pads and clean pads in separate pockets.
  • Cloth pads are pretty easy to care for.  And if you do it properly, they will last YEARS, saving you a lot of money.
  • So how do you care for them?  If you cloth diaper, you can rinse your pads in cold water and throw them in your dirty diaper pail.  Rinsing them actually isn’t even necessary, but it does help prevent staining.  If you don’t have cloth diapers to wash, you can get a small wet bag, or one of those tiny trash cans that you often see at ice cream parlors for sample spoons.  These trash cans are sold at the Dollar Tree and many other retailers.  Again, rinse in cold water to help prevent staining, and throw them in the pail.  Store your dirty pads here until the end of your cycle or whenever you are ready to wash.  I wash mama cloth every other day with my dirty diapers.  Before you wash, rinse them again in cold water (Some prefer an overnight soak with a bit of vinegar and cold water.  Just note that vinegar CAN break down PUL if you use a pad backed with PUL).  Throw them in the washer on their own OR with regular laundry.  Just don’t use fabric softener when washing mama cloth as it can cause repelling and greatly diminish the pad’s absorbency.  Hang dry, or throw them in the dryer.
  • What about staining?  Some materials are more prone to staining than others.  Pads topped with microfleece, suedecloth, and minky are actually rather hard to stain.  Natural fibers like cotton, hemp, and bamboo stain more easily.  Rinsing with cold water before placing in your pail or wet bag helps reduce staining.  If your pads do stain, soaking in oxi-clean or sunning them with lemon juice can help remove the stains.  And remember, a stain DOES NOT mean that something is dirty.
  • An added bonus?  Cloth pads come in lots of pretty colors and prints.

MamaCloth2So, are you curious?  Below you’ll find a list of places to purchase reusable menstrual products.  I have also created free patterns to make your own menstrual pads and liners which are linked at the bottom of the post.  Try your hand at sewing your own cloth pads!  It’s a fairly easy project and you might just like the results 😉

Cloth Menstrual Care Retailers
(This is just a small list.  You can do a google search for reviews and retailers to suit your own menstrual care needs.  Not all bodies are shaped the same, not all cycles are the same.  But there is something out there for everyone.  Check your local area for retailers as well. Cloth diaper stores and natural health care stores are great places to look.)

Pads

Cups

Wet Bags

Cloth Pad Patterns

Wet Bag Patterns

*Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links provided are affiliate links