the bag being made
and here it is finished with a very happy Naomi, she's going to use it for her ballet and tap shoes :-)
Cut out a long rectangle the full length and width of your pad for your inner core (the cream coloured bit above). It won't be seen if you're making an all-in-one so colour doesn't matter here. Depending upon the thickness of my fabric I usually make this three or four layers thick. Sew the layers together around the outer edge.
Cut out a top and bottom layer in your chosen outer fabric. Cut out a layer in PUL if you're using this.
Put your top layer on the table with the pattern facing down over and place the inner core on top of it where it should go in the centre. Sew the core to the underside of the top layer. Go around the edges first and then up and down the middle two or three times. This helps to stop the core from rucking up. If you look carefully at the made up blue checked one above you will see the sewing lines going up and down.
Place your bottom layer on the table with the pattern facing the table. Then place the PUL layer on top of that. Put the top layer and inner core on top of that and then sew around the outside edge only - so you have the inner core attached firmly to the top layer and then the top, PUL and bottom layers are all firmly sewn together around the very outer edge of the pad. The core is not attached to the PUL or bottom layer.
If you have an overlocker that's great. I don't but know a couple of people who do and have used theirs. If I make some at home I tend to fold a cotton edging binding around the outer edge and sew it on. For lots of people just ordinary stitching around the outer edge would be fine. Give it a try before putting cotton edging on. If the edges feel uncomfortable you can always add an edging then to conceal the stitches afterwards.
Now you just need your fastenings. I hand sew mine on. Some have just one popper, some have two. Some are side by side for added strength and some have two so that you can adjust the gusset width. Some people use velcro but I've not tried this yet. Buy decent sized press studs. Little ones can un pop under the strain!
I have never actually made one of the insert ones although I do have a few and some of those are handmade. I suspect if you've made it this far you will be able to adapt the above. The only thing I have noticed with them is that some have an envelope opening the full length of the pad like this
whereas some have a line stitched an inch or two from each end to make the opening smaller. Smaller openings make them trickier to boost the layers but once in the core pads feel more secure.
I have pads which have been used on an almost monthly basis for the best part of eight years and there is still lots of life in them. As well as all the environmental factors you can save yourself a lot of money too. You're also a lot less likely to get thrush using cloth too.
I hope this all makes sense. Just shout up with any questions.