Well, everyone… personal time. Some of you may even consider this TMI time (aka overshare time), but nevertheless, I have something to share with you. I use a menstrual cup instead of tampons and pads! And to any of you who are now picking up their jaws off the floor, I want you to know that it’s GREAT! I bought it about three or four years ago based on concerns about tampons and their toxicity for my body, their high cost, and their environmental impact, and I’ve never looked back since. The brand I have is the DivaCup, which is the main one available in North America (a nearly identical product is available in Europe called the MoonCup). It has been a fantastic investment that has not only saved me money, protected me from exposure to toxins, and reduced the amount of waste products flushed into our sewers, but it has played a huge part in me getting over any squeamishness or ignorance I previously had about my body. Thumbs up.
But this post isn’t about my period or my newfound feelings of appreciation for the workings of my uterus. It’s about how much I hate the name DivaCup. Particularly, the word diva. It grates on my nerves (in this context, at least). I mean, do I really want to associate the experience of having my period with thoughts of sassy “don’t go there girlfriend”-types singing power ballads? To use a very applicable quote from Will & Grace, “as Aretha said to Gloria, Celine, Shania, and Mariah during Divas Live, ‘Are you trippin’?’ ”
All this is to say that I love the DivaCup but can’t stand the tiny drawstring bag it came with, because, unfortunately, it has the word Diva written all over it. So I made a new one. (There, three paragraphs in and I finally get to the point. Oof.)
The original DivaCup bag (left) and my new one (right).
It’s basically the exact same as the original (minus the unpleasant product name and general falling-apart-ness). So if you’re as disheartened as I am with the word diva, and yet really love this product in all other ways (as do I), know that you do not have to suffer in silence. You can make your own replacement, and it’s really easy. Check out what I did after the jump!
Step 1. Cut out two rectangles of cotton fabric, approximately 4 1/4″ by 5 3/4″ (I started with 6 1/4″ but had to cut off the extra). For both pieces (one pictured), fold and iron the long side seams about 1/2″ inch, and the top flap (which will become the casing for the drawstring) down about 3/4″.
Step 2. Pin the two pieces together with the right sides facing. Pin the top flap down.
Step 3. Sew the side seams as close to the fold line as possible (erring on being just outside the crease, if anything). Sew only as high as where the top flap (pinned down) begins). Sew the bottom with approximately the same seam allowance (1/2″). Clip the corners.
Step 4. Turn that puppy inside out, and poke out the bottom corners with a pen lid or something pointyish.
Step 5. Serge or zig-zag stitch across the top edge of each side (the top flap edge that was folded down). This is just to prevent fraying — this edge will be hidden.
Step 6. On each side, with the side seams folded in, sew down the top flap approximately 3/4″ from the folded edge (note: in this picture, I used a dark grey thread, and ended up sewing too far down, around 1″ from the edge — I unpicked it and trimmed the serged edge by reserging it, taking off about 1/4″ on each side, then adjusted the side seams accordingly. Sorry for the mix-up in the pictures! You’ll see later that when I did it properly, I used white thread and didn’t sew so far down.)
Step 6b. It should look like this from the outside once one side is done. Do both sides, obviously.
Step 7. Find two pieces of coordinating cord or ribbon, approximately 13″ long.
Step 8. Attach a safety pin to the ribbon and thread it through the front casing at the top of the bag.
Step 9. Turn the bag over and thread it through the back casing, too.
Step 10. Repeat with the other ribbon in the opposite direction so you can pull on all four ends and tighten the opening of the bag.
Step 11. With the bag uncinched and flat, knot the ribbons close to the edges of the casing.
Step 12. Trim the excess from the ends of the ribbons and apply Fray Check sparingly to the cut edges.
Step 13. Put your menstrual cup in the bag, pull the ribbons to tighten, and bask in the joy of never having to associate the word diva with your period ever again!