Some time ago, I wrote about the sewing we don’t share, and how we should all celebrate the humdrum a little more. Well, dear reader, I didn’t take my own advice. Over the summer I made a few items that, for very silly reasons of self-censorship, I ummed and ahhed about posting.
So, some months later, I’m just going to come right out and say it: I made sanitary towels!
And do you know what? They delighted me as much as any pretty dress. Seriously, I smiled my way through the project and after I was done, cut out a load more.
If your barfometer has ricocheted off the planet at the thought of menses I am sorry (not sorry). But if you would like to learn more about my travels with lady products, then let me know!
Will I share on Instagram? At the time of writing, I’m unsure – for the same reason I can’t quite bring myself to share the Megan Nielsen Acacia Pants I made. They are excellent and I am, again, delighted with them – perhaps disproportionately so – but they will probably stay, quite literally, under wraps. Despite the fact I have previously lamented keeping our less exciting makes to ourselves, there are some things I just don’t want to parade (not to mention the fact that black viscose jersey pants stretched out on a table look very ropey indeed).
So, why did these seemingly dull (and according to some sensitive souls repugnant) sewing projects spark so much joy? I’ve really tried to get to the *cough* bottom of it, and this is what I discovered: making things from scratch you previously considered impossible to make from scratch – the things that fall into the category of ‘I buy them’ – is a uniquely satisfying proposition.
Moreover, this is the kind of excitement I got from making an item of clothing back in the day. Arguably, the novelty of making your own clothes never wears off. I’ve said it before, and it’s worth repeating: there’s magic in that there sewing! But, the truth is excitement levels do tail off. The literal thrill of reproducing an item you thought happened magically in a factory somewhere else, of learning that you can do it for yourself, is unmistakeable. But that astonishment does not last forever.
It is that astonishment that the manufacture of my own briefs and sanitary products delivered. The pants, in particular, look identical to the ones I normally shell out at least five pounds per pair for every blue moon. I made them out of literal scraps (I cut across, along and against the grain to fit all the pieces on, and they work fine). I edged them with some stretch lace I bought before my daughter was born (too many moons ago…), and which I subsequently thought might never get used. Win win win slam dunk!
The sanitary towels were made in an experimental mood, largely driven by a combination of ‘well, it’s lockdown, what have I got to lose?’ and ‘I will never need to make anything nice to wear ever again’ (this not-at-all-melodramatic last one has, unsurprisingly, proven untrue). They were made out of the most beautiful scraps of Cloud9 jersey, some old and unsalvageable t-shirts, and some ancient bamboo nappy liners. The sewing is not neat; I did not expect to love them quite as much as I do.
If you’re interested in making your own pants or pads, I can wholeheartedly recommend it – they’re a particularly great sew if you’re not quite feeling it at the moment, and making something useful might get your sewjo going again (I’ve written more about ways to get your sewjo back on track here and keeping your sewing habit up here).
If you’d like to know more about how I made them or whether they’re worth the bother (I’ll spare unsuspecting readers the details, but they are surprisingly good), then let me know – I would be happy to write a post pointing you towards the tutorial and patterns I used alongside some top tips on cobbling them together.
So, where do you stand on sewing for your nethers? Does it seem like a waste of valuable dressmaking time or are you keen to get cracking on something for your eyes only? Do let me know in the comments!
UPDATE 29/12/2020: I’ve now written a post on making and using these pads – head over here to read more!