Re useable Cloth Pads aka RUMPS are pretty easy to make and are a really good project for beginners. There are heaps of patterns available but it is also quite easy to draft your own. The exposed core style is also a good starting point. They are a little bit time consuming but if you get into a few good habits as outlined by some of these tips you’ll soon be set for making the leap into bigger projects.
- Make sure your machine tensions are set properly…..more often than not the bobbin tension is set too tight. Set this tension first and then make adjustments to your top tension based around this.
- Clean and oil your machine on a regular basis. Fluff caught under the needle plate does not help at all and will throw your stitches out or miss the stitches completely.
- Start with the correct needle, for sewing RUMPS using printed quilting cotton I generally choose a 80/12 universal needle. When you are actually sewing remember that speed isn’t important at all. Just take your time and go slow, you’ll make less mistakes that way. Unpicking wonky seams sucks.
- Use polyester thread!!! It helps to prevent wicking. Cotton will definately wick!!! Avoid using cotton thread!!! Polyester thread comes in a massive range of colours and the inexpensive spools are fine for this purpose. Choose a colour that will closely match your fabric selection. Contrasting thread colour will make the smallest mistake in top stitching stand out horribly. For example, white thread on black fabric. Unless you are really accurate with your topstitching or it’s part of the intended look I wouldn’t go there.
- Use PUL if you can, and have the knit layer facing up. For some reason it has become normal practice to have the PUL laminate facing up instead. Always have the knit layer facing up because it helps prevent liquid wicking through to the bottom. That’s what the polyester layer is there for, to wick moisture away from all the little needle holes and stitches pierced by the needle on your sewing machine.
- Use Starch. Starch spray is the bomb. Believe me. You can make an inexpensive homemade version using either tapioca starch powder, cornflour or even just normal wheaten flour. The bonus is that it is a natural product and it will wash out without any dramas. Also, Use an iron for pressing your fabric pieces. An iron combined with a spritz of starch spray will get all the creases out. Your finished piece will be as close to perfect in shape as could possibly be just by using an iron. Reuse an old spray bottle and make a mixture using 1 tsp starch to about 400mls of water. I like using tapioca starch, it gives a crisp finish. This crisp factor makes the sewing of stretchy and difficult fabrics such as minky and bamboo velour a breeze without even having to go near a walking foot, which brings me to my next tip.
- Use a normal or standard sewing machine foot. Walking foots are for quilting. Plus they are pretty expensive and you will probably have to buy one especially. If you try to reverse or back stitch with a walking foot you’re probably going to be breaking a few needles at some stage which you really don’t want to be doing. It can do damage to your machine and is especially freaky when a broken needle tip flies into your face.
- Sew on the line. Trace your pattern and then cut a rough seam allowance after. You will get a more accurate shape if you sew on the line rather than follow an included seam allowance. Especially for small items such as cloth pads with lots of curves.
- Clip corners before turning right sides outs. You will notice a huge difference in how the fabric will lay flat and how much better the end product looks, without all the crinkles. Give the fabric a quick press with the iron for super crisp edges before finally top stitching. Crisp edges are always nice.
- Use clover clips for holding thick layers together in the final stages of construction. I only just recently discovered these and they’re brilliant. Using a chopstick to stop the layers from shifting when sewing also helps a lot.
Hopefully, these tips will help out if you do decide on making some RUMPS, and if you choose to use the Mishmash pattern be sure to take some photos and share them….would be cool to see what you make!!!