A couple of weeks ago I found a cute fabric which was white with pale blue and pink stars on it. I thought it would be perfect for the outer of some breast pads since it won't show through my bra, but is still nice and feminine.
There are plenty of tutorials around on how to make breast pads, but the best one I found was on Easy to Entertain's web blog. I particularly liked this one as it has a slight contour which means that (in theory) it should sit on the breast better.
I struggled a bit with what materials to use for the absorbent layers as there seemed to be no hard and fast rule about what was the best. Some people used flannalette, others used old cut up t-shirts and some used worn out bunny rugs. After a while, I made the decision to use white flannalette and some microfleece that was left over from some other craft projects. So long as there is a couple of layers of absorbent material, I guess it doesn't really matter what you use.
Although I used a tutorial, when it came to sewing the pads together I tried a couple of different techniques to find one that suited best. I found that using the sewing machine (as opposed to the overlocker) to make the entire breast pad worked best. I put my machine on a wide, reasonably spaced, zig-zag stitch to sew up the bit to make the contour and then used the 'serger-like' stitch on my sewing machine to sew around the outside. Here is a picture of the finished breast pads:
I am calling these ones my 'round-the-house' breast pads as I plan to make some that have a PUL (waterproof) lining in them for going out. I must say that the pads are more comfortable than I was expecting. Matty and I were mucking around trying them on for size and I stuck one in my bra to show him how it worked. Later on, I spent 20 minutes looking for the missing breast pad before I realised I was still wearing it *sigh*. I guess that's a good thing though!
I estimate that they probably cost me under $2 to make the four sets and although the disposable ones aren't overly expensive, I do feel better knowing that I am being kinder to the environment.