Flannel and Muslin
To purchase now: Flannel and Flannelette are a loose weave cotton fabric that shrinks when washed. Flannel is thicker; Flannelette is a thinner lighter weight flannel that is sometimes called baby flannel. A bolt of the fabric in white is fairly affordable or it can be purchased by the yard and stored in a space saving vacuum bag.
It makes diaper material when cut to size with one extra inch all around as a seam allowance, stitch a hem all around to make it last through washing and wearing.
Feminine napkins are made by cutting three pieces 9” by 5”, fold one in half and stitch down one side, turn right side out to make an absorbent center pad. place tube in center of on piece of the two remaining pieces of fabric ( yes, on top!). Sew around the edges of the three pieces of fabric on three sides, long side, top ,long side. Turn right side out or tube channel in! fold under raw edge of bottom of pad and stitch shut.
Strips cut from the fabric are great absorbent bandaging material.
Two squares cut 36" and sewn on three side then turned and stitched shut is a baby quilt.
Rectangles cut from the fabric at 9” by 5” and hemmed on all four sides and stored flat in bulk can make great toilet paper substitute material. It is soft, absorbent and washable.
Diapers and toilet 'papering' should be rinsed when used to remove any deposits that can be rinsed away. As in the “olden times” as far away as the 70’s! they should be stored in a tightly lidded container with enough water to cover all the pieces deposited. We called them “Diaper Pails”. My mother instructed us to put in a gallon of water and a cap full of Lysol disinfectant to soak the diapers to keep them from mildewing until laundry day. Never soak the diapers in bleach because it can “eat” the fabric. Use bleach when washing the diapers to whiten and disinfect them.
Muslin is the perfect cotton fabric without any flannelling or felted softness it is just plain cotton fabric. It is used for curtains, quilt backing, summer shirts and shorts, skirts, shifts and dresses, tablecloths, dresser scarves, pillow cases, lining fabric for light to medium weight fabric as a stabilizer. As you see, I am familiar with the uses as I “cut my teeth” on muslin.
The first embroidery I did was on a muslin pillowcase I sewed. The first lace edging I used, my grandmother showed me how to pull the threads at the edge for a frayed edge then pull threads several inches inside the edge to create a lace effect. Look it up , or Google it as thread pulled lace.
You can use the pulled threads to sew with on the fabric or sew on buttons or do mending.
A square of muslin is a tourniquet.
Muslin strips were cut and rolled for bandaging as part of the war effort. Ladies got together to cut the end to make a straight edge, rip in strips and roll the fabric for packing and sending off to the front.
A bag can be made by cutting a piece of muslin 24” by 12 “. Fold the fabric in half to make a 12” by 12” square. Sew along the two raw edges. Fold the top over 1/4” then fold again ½”. Stitch from the seam to about ½” from to center fold. Turn bag over and stitch the folded hem from the center to about 1/2 “from the seam. Cut 2 pieces of cording about 24” long. Put a large safety pin into the end of a length of cordage. Thread the cord through the tunnel you made from the seam all around back to the seam, and out the space left from not stitching the hem closed. Tie a knot to close the circle of cordage. Run the second cord from the center opening through the same tunnel all around back to the center opening and knot the end. Turn right side out, pull the two knots and you have a drawstring bag.