a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity

Homemade nursing pads


I forget even how I got to thinking about making reusable nursing pads myself.  I probably stumbled across a tutorial somewhere out there on the internets and decided “Hey!  Disposable nursing pads are nasty on the environment and the pocketbook!  Also, the reusable ones are expensive!  They look like a cinch to make!  I’m gonna do it!”

So, in another rampant demonstration of how I’ve got my priorities crooked as all get out, I made some nursing pads of my own! I give major credit to these three tutorials for guiding me in the right direction:

Passionate Homemaking / EHow / Amber Perry Patterns

Now, on to my own version!

Microfleece inner layer (left) for wicking moisture away from skin, and absorbent flannelette (cotton) layers for soaking up leaks!

For a full tutorial, read on!

Materials needed:

  • Microfleece (for inner layer) – prewashed
  • Flannel/flannelette (for absorbant layers) – prewashed
  • Note: you’ll need approximately three times as much flannelette as microfleece, since each pad will be made of one microfleece layer and 3 flannelette layers.
  • Disappearing fabric marker/pencil
  • Round item to trace (approx. 5″ to 6″ diameter)
  • Rotary cutter & mat (scissors may be slower but doable)
  • Serger (or sewing machine)
  • Thread
  • Fray Check (if serging)
  • Sewing needle (if serging — for tucking in the end threads)


Step 1. Using your round item, trace 2 circles of microfleece and 6 circles of flannelette. Cut them out with a rotary cutter on your cutting mat. Stack them directly on top of each other in the order shown.  3 flannelette layers, with one piece of microfleece on top.

Step 2. With layers stacked flush with each other, pin them together in 2 places. (This step became unnecessary as I went along, but do what makes you comfortable.)

Step 3. Serge around the edges, cutting off as little material as possible (1/8″ to 1/4″, just to even out the edges). To start, gradually angle the stitches onto the fabric. When you come back around to where you started, keep your initial stitch tail off to the right (so it gets cut off) and overlap your new stitches for about a 1/2″. Gradually angle the stitches off the fabric and the cut the new tail, leaving about one inch.

After serging, they should look like this!

Step 4. Pull on the tail to tighten the loose stitches from where you angled them off the fabric. If possible, try to isolate the outermost loop, as it will be the one that will pull those messy outer edges inwards. This part is not an exact science, so experiment with what works for you here.

Step 5. Using your needle, weave/sew in the tail (back through the stitches you just pulled tight).

Step 6. Dab some Fray Check on the overlapped/knotted area for good measure. Let dry 15-30 minutes, then trim off the extra threads.

Step 7. Enjoy!  Make a whole swhack of them!  I made 12 sets.

I am struck with how much they look like the pancakes we had this morning for Easter breakfast… Perhaps these could be repurposed as play food for a toddler once the leaky phase of breastfeeding is passed…?  I suppose it really depends on what fabric you use.  I happen to have got this purple/beige/grey microfleece on a super sale (70% off I think), and I figured they didn’t have to be pretty.

I’m sensing a theme with my recent posts, are any of you?  Perhaps I should rename this blog “A stitch in dealing with bodily fluids”.  Nah, doesn’t have the same ring to it.

9 thoughts on “Homemade nursing pads

  1. Can’t resist another “comment.” These are neat. Another ready for? Just so you know though.
    Not all new moms need pancakes. I know of one who never ever. As to the other about seeing you very soon. Ditto for me. Counting the days.

    • I think I had to read this comment through about 5 times before it made sense to me — I’m still not sure what “Another ready for?” means. 🙂 Maybe you’ve become such a stylistic writer over these last couple of years that you’ve entered a different dimension? 😉 Love you anyways.

      • Or maybe it’s just a Newfie thing…

        • I think I meant that this is a baby or new mommy project – ready for when you have a little one. So, it is another project that is getting ready for the this big event. – i.e. “A ready for.”

          Yes, perhaps I have become a Newfoundlander in some ways that I say things. Or, maybe I should have put punctuation around “ready for”

          Yr ambiguous Mom.
          I will see you soon.
          I loves you and I’yam ready ta c’mon over dere to see youse.

          • Crazy Newfies! I can’t wait to relish in your newfound(land) potty-mouth when you get back, too. Loves you too, ma.

  2. So do you put the fleece side toward your bra? Or toward your breast?

  3. Just wanted to let you know that I am going to “attempt” these one night soon and was going to reference your blog as the page where I found the tutorial. Please let me know if that is ok!!

    P.S. I also added your Stitch in Lime icon to my blog as well! Happy blogging 🙂

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