I've made several pads over the years, and through some trial and error I've finally figured out what works. You'll need a few pairs of well fitting briefs (think granny panties), some old washcloths, and snaps (I love my snap press, so much better than sewing them on). Optional is waterproof fabric like PUL, and old t-shirts.
Trace your favorite disposable pad onto some paper or cardboard to make your template. Then start cutting out the pads. I find that either three layers of washcloth or two layers of washcloth topped with two layers of t-shirt works well and will still make it through the sewing machine. Layer your fabrics, and if you're using it put the waterproof layer on the bottom and the t-shirt on top. Serge or zigzag stitch around the edges. Trim any excess, and you have a pad!
|Pad snapped into the panties.|
Now install a male and a female snap on your undies at the same distance apart as on the pads. Use some extra material to reinforce the snaps when you install them, again to prevent the snaps from ripping out.
Done! You can change out a pad as needed, and fold it in on itself to prevent a mess. You'll have to change more often than with disposable, so make plenty - I suggest a pair of undies for each day, and a half dozen pads a day. I prefer doing more laundry versus sewing more pads, but you'll figure out what works for you. Speaking of laundry, I just throw them in with the towels.
|Snaps on each end - fold it in on itself for transport|
|Finished pad - it doesn't have to be pretty, that's up to you, you're the one looking at it. I go for functional.|