I’ve been working to put together a guide to Tubie Pads! After years of feeling lost in the Tubie Pad world, I finally decided to jump in and bring you along with me! I’ve gathered pads from several makers. I’ll be sharing several things about each maker’s Tubie Pads over the next few weeks:
- My personal thoughts on the maker’s Tubie Pads.
- A bit of each maker’s story.
- The materials they use and special features that sets each of them apart to help you find the right fit for you.
- Lots of photos to hopefully help you get a full picture of what you are purchasing (on a human, front, back, etc.)
- Price and where to find the Tubie Pads.
- Lots of other nuggets of info depending on what each maker chooses to share!
This week’s feature is on Dana from Turkey Tot Customs! She is based in sunny Florida! I have talked so much with this sweet gal, and she is a pure joy! When I reached out to her about this project, she was so excited, immediately asked what I loved, then made an absolutely perfect set for me! I told her “florals, vintage patterns (gingham, stripes, etc.) and humorous novelty prints.” I’d say she nailed it! Look how cute!
I personally have absolutely loved these Tubie Pads. They were the first ones I received, and the first ones I ever experienced. They did not disappoint!
The texture on both sides is SUPER soft. They feel like a nice hug on my tubes. I love that there is no visible stitching around the center, as I feel it’s easier to wash the belly “goo” and crusty things that accumulate on the pad throughout the day. Without the stitching, those things don’t get entangled in the stitching that is on the center of some pads, which makes them easier to wash in my opinion.
I also like that they are sewn in a way that makes them automatically hug the tube, so there is no pulling each side to meet and snap. And the ribbon tabs are fabulous! Even if you don’t use them to undo the snaps, they’re still so dang cute!I also love Dana’s artistic eye. She puts so much thought into what color of ribbons and snaps she puts on, and it really shows. Her collections are works of art (you will see more below.) She also goes above and beyond to make your vision come to fruition, which I think is so amazing that she takes the time and energy to do! And talking to her is a pure delight!
I would absolutely encourage anyone who wants super cute, personalized, comfy, easy to clean Tubie Pads, to get in touch with Dana and place an order! They will bring so much sunshine to your life!
Let’s hear a bit from Dana!
What pushed you to get your start in making tubie pads?
“It wasn’t intentional at all! My good friend and babysitter for my boys, Kathleen, called me up one day a few years ago. Her little boy was having to get a gtube placed after a long struggle with reflux and aspiration. She knew I could sew kinda OK, and asked if I could make some cheap flannel tubie pads for him. I’m an ICU nurse, but I had never heard of a tubie pad. So after a few hours of searching and figuring, I thought I might give it a try. After a few false starts and a few times giving up, I finally figured out a way that made sense to me as a mom and as a sewist, and as a medical professional.
It became a hobby, and for a year I made a few pads a week for them out of scraps, and upcycled clothing. I got the idea for shapes, and started making holiday shaped pads out of fleece. A friend of hers saw them and asked if she could buy some. I had kept photos of the ones I had made, and I put them all up on a facebook page that I decided to use as an album in case anyone else ever wanted to see what I had made. So she picked out some things and ordered, and I had an actual customer, which was neat but unexpected.
She liked them a lot, and asked if I could try dinosaur shapes for a client of hers. I made my first dino shapes: a T-Rex, a stegosaurus, and a brontosaurus, and off they went.
When her client received them, she loved them so much that she posted photos of her little guy wearing them and linked my little Facebook page… and in two days I had 164 messages, and this little hobby became a full-time thing!! All by accident, and I still am amazed at how it all went down.”
What is your favorite feature of your tubie pads specifically? What makes you stand apart?
“My two favorite features are:
1 – The turned center.
It made more sense to me from a medical standpoint to not have any raw edges, fraying fabric, or rough edging against a tender stoma. Turning the center keeps it so soft and tidy. I have had a lot a feedback about this style of center helping to eliminate granulation tissue, so that has been a huge bonus.
2 – The ribbon tabs.
When I was sewing exclusively for Kathleen, the circles were just circles with snaps and no tabs. She asked me one day to try to move the snap location in a little so she would have some fabric to grip when she was trying to unsnap them; it was difficult to undo the snaps without causing irritation to her little guy’s site. Moving the snaps didn’t work so well. So I added the ribbon tabs under the snaps to use as grabby little pull tabs. And it worked! They are really neat, and they also let me add more color and detail to increase the cuteness factor!”
What materials do you choose to make your tubie pads with? Any specific reasons for why you choose the ones that you do?
“My standard is using quilting cotton for the tops, and anti-pill fleece for the backings.
I have used flannel for the tops, also satin, knit, poly blends, shirting, but I eventually eliminated those fabrics. Quilting cotton has the most reliable shaping to it: other materials don’t go through the machine the same way, and can be very difficult to work with, which makes it aggravating, and the pads inconsistent. I find quilting cotton washes well, and holds the shape of the pad the best. I also prewash, dry, and iron all of my fabrics before I sew with them to remove dust, residues, extra dyes, and to pre-shrink the material so that the pad doesn’t shrink up weird if a customer dries it in the dryer.
As for the backing, I used to use flannel. It was inexpensive and thin, so the pads wouldn’t be bulky. But I found that flannel wears fast – it can get pilly and stiff the more it is washed. I came to prefer fleece for the backings. Although it is more costly, it holds its color perfectly and doesn’t fade. It’s also pliable – easy to reshape the pads for air drying and easy to stretch and manipulate it under a tight button. Plus it is super soft and absorbs well.
I have used bamboo velour and bamboo fleece as well, on request.
For the snaps I use KAM plastic snaps, and for the ribbon I use ¼ inch grosgrain. I tried using satin ribbons a lot in the past for the color availability, but I don’t find they keep their shape well like the grosgrain ones do.”
What is the best way to order from you?
“My Facebook page that can be found here.
- People PM me with screenshots of my previous work, and message with general ideas of what they like or specific requests. And if I don’t have something they want, I shop and purchase what we like!
- Facebook has now approved me to have a “shop” feature on the page that will function as an online store. I’m really excited about it, as it will make it easy to share ready-to-ship items, which I am excited to begin to offer.
- I like the facebook site because it lets me treat TurkeyTot almost like a blog and keep it really personal. Friends and customers can comment and share things to the page, and that makes it so much more valuable to me than just having an online storefront.
I have an Instagram but it’s more for fun and to share photos – @turkeytotcustoms”
How much are your tubie pads, and how are they sold (individually priced, sets, etc.)
“They are sold individually.
Circle pads are $3 each.
Adding a name or wording is an additional $1.
Using bamboo fleece backing is an additional $0.50.
Port covers are $5.
Fleece shaped pads are $6.
Line covers vary by size, and are $25-35.
What are some of your favorite collections you’ve made?
“These are my top three faaaaaavorite orders to go back and look at. They are just sooooo pretty.”
Send me a snap of a favorite Tubie Pad of yours that you’ve made that you’d love to personally wear if you had a tube yourself!
“If I wore any myself, I would want visually fun ones like these- with rhinestones, metallics, and glitter, or bright like the color sets above. Or llamas! Coming soon to the site upon re-opening!!”
Just like it’s fun to see an artists studio, it would be so fun to show people where your pads are created!
This was a Dana specific question, because I just had to ask!
Why the name, TurkeyTot Customs?
“Good question! It’s what we call our kids. TurkeyTots! It started with my oldest when he was an infant. We called him a little turkey and a little tater tot. Eventually the two got blended together.
When I was trying to come up with a business name, oh my word. Friends and family all weighed in. Everyone had an idea and nothing was right. One morning I called, “Hey, little TurkeyTots, come to breakfast!” And lightbulb! Winner.”
I am so glad to have had Dana as a part of this project! I am very excited for her Facebook shop to re-open sometime later this month!
I hope you all are having a great week!