Period Pants (or Period Panties)

Period Pants!…. (now I’ve got your attention):

Period pants, period knickers, period panties…. Oh goodness, I hate the word panties, but it does seem to be the term associated with period pants, unfortunately, it reminds me of the 90s and those tiny little thongs with synthetic fabrics and lace that cut you in two or the name people use for knickers, attempting to be provocative, but just ending up being cringeworthy because it is also reminiscent of the terms used for which these things are a very fine line..… ahem, I digress, anyway Period pants, what are they? As The Pad Lady I get asked this a fair bit, so what better place to start with this topic for my blog.

Period pants are the knickers you save for your period, but they are not those manky 6 year old baggy Marks and Spencers hip huggers saved for that time of the month. No, no, no, no, period pants are pants which are a form of protection allowing you to free bleed during your period into a reusable and washable pad. This pad, made with a layer or two of absorbent fabric and a waterproof layer, is sewn directly into your underwear.  They are brilliant as a cup back up, or if your period is unpredictable and you don’t want to be caught out, if you have light bladder weakness when you laugh, stand up or sneeze, or if you’ve a not too heavy flow then they are great for all the way through…. Just change your pants as you would a pad.

So, what makes The Pad Lady’s period pants so great? Well, we are now at a time where reusable menstrual products are becoming more commonplace. The fact that half of the population bleeds every month is not as taboo as it once was, this is also a time where the world needs to reduce its waste and where we are awakening by not only what we put into our bodies, but also what we wear on our bodies and how it affects us, with regards to menstrual items, this is particularly so and is surrounded by many contentious issues. The Pad Lady’s period pants are simply lovely, well fitting handmade pants made from cotton, well, cotton mixed with a bit of lycra or spandex, and they are also adapted from the SUAT scrundies pattern, which we all know is the comfiest pants pattern known to woman. Period pants (or period panties) need to feel nice, they need to look nice, it’s a time we are sensitive, we’re emotional, we feel vulnable and body conscious, we hurt, we ache, we’re hormonal, so if anything is uncomfortable or doesn’t quite fit properly at that time, it will be noticed …. To me, ThePadLady, it makes sense to adapt the pattern for cloth menstrual underwear, besides the cloth pad community have already adopted scrundies as their underwear of choice to wear with cloth pads, they are already ingrained in the community, they give great coverage, they look and feel great, so it makes sense. I’m not the only maker who makes from this stitch upon a time scrundies pattern, but I am one of a few in the UK at this present time (Waves to the other makers).

Another question I get asked is how to wash the pants and what to do with its contents. Well, you first rinse the period pants with cold water, or soak, then pop into your washing machine, with your normal wash (minimal conditioner) and then line or low tumble dry.  Seriously, it’s not as gross as you’d first think… trust me, I’m a convert too.  I find, personally, it humanises your period, it’s more respectful as you’re not just throwing your uterus lining away on a plastic coated bleached sticky thing which stays in landfill for like a zillion years. I’ve known some people of the cloth pad community take it one step further, after all this blood was once part of your body, a celebration of womanhood, so they collect it and water their plants with it on a full moon…. Yes, you heard right…..And why not, it’s more sustainable than feeding your tomato plants regular plant food, it’s cheaper and it contains some amazing nutrients…. I bet you’d get some beautiful fruit from your fruits.

On that note…. More on this subject later. It’s Saturday night and I’ve spent the week making Unicorn Scrundies and Period Pants (or period panties, ugh, that term)and I’m mostly happy with them, they look super cool and will make their owners smile (I hope) and feel a little less uncomfortable when they use them (for whatever purpose). I’ll be listing on Etsy tomorrow, fingers crossed. I make every pair myself despite currently working on a home sewing machine and overlocker who are, by the end of the working day,  shouting “Help Me, I’m not supposed to work this hard, or this fast”…… I really need to get industrial machines and there would be a lot less frustrations, problem is, where to put them, as I live and work in a top floor flat and how to finance them (watch this space).  My machines and OBSESSION with sewing machines through the times, with their different makes and functions will, I’m sure, become clear in future articles.  Anyway, I’m off on one again…..Speak soon. Rebecca (ThePadLadyUK).


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