One of ISEE’s big projects is to empower young women to attend school. Many girls leave school when they start menstruating as they have no way of keeping clean. Through a partnership with Days for Girls, ISEE is travelling with sanitary kits that can last up to 3 years when properly washed and maintained. After attending a Women’s Health workshop, all participants receive a kit in a colourful drawstring bag that contains 2 shields, 8 washable liners, 2 pairs of underwear, a wash cloth and two resealable bags for storing and washing the pads.
We need sewers to make these kits! You can sew certain items or the whole kits depending on what you want to do. Organize your sewing friends and help keep these girls in school! It is a well researched fact that educated women help move their families and communities out of poverty. We will happily give you the required fabric to make the kits.
If you are making these kits, please check that you are printing the pattern at FULL SIZE and that you are following the instructions carefully. If you topstich too far from the edge for the shields, the pads don’t fit in. If you pin the shield pieces together, the PUL is compromised and the kits may leak. We really appreciate your help but we must insist on careful assembly or else the girls get a product that is not effective and that does not fulfill their needs.
The girls love bright colours! Please do not use flannel that is pale or white as the stains embarrass the girls and they don’t use the kits. We cannot use fabric that has pigs on it and we avoid words and animals as much as possible. Bold patterns/colours are required.
We also need tracers and cutters so if you can’t sew but you’d like to be involved, we’d really appreciate your help. We will provide you with all the material and tracers so all we ask of you is your time.
Here is the link to the patterns for each component:
These are made from towels that are cut into 8″ (or so) squares and serged (or the edges are finished). This is a great way to use up those older towels!
These are squares of flannel that are sewn together then folded into the holders. The pattern calls for 2 layers of flannel sewn together but if you have older flannel sheets that can be cut up, you can add a third layer to make it a bit thicker and add extra protection. Days for Girls is now insisting on the Serger version to ensure quality and durability.
These are the most complex pieces of the kit and require a bit of effort to make sure they are well shaped. It is important when you make these that you use a pencil to push the edges out so that the ends are rounded and the sides are sharp. They need to be top stitched to keep them well together.
The pockets need to be stitched across the edge to prevent them from being pushed out of shape. The girls have mentioned that the pockets are becoming loose which can cause the pad coming out of the shield.
Inside these shields is a layer of PUL which is a waterproof fabric that is used in washable diapers. If you are making the shields and you cannot find PUL, please let me know and I will provide it for you. It is much cheaper for ISEE to purchase it in bulk through Days for Girls.
Thanks to the generosity of Days for Girls Okanagan, we can use their snap machine for the shields. We will happily collect the shields from you and attach the snaps. Please do not use velcro as it is too scratchy for the girls!
These kits are packaged up in drawstring bags. We ask that these are made in colourful material.
The girls at Living Hope show their Days for Girls kits, July 2012