I am seriously thinking of making the switch. I sew so I can make my own. What are the best absorbent ones made of, how many should I make and ...other good to know stuff about switching to cloth pads.
I think the best is to make the surface flannel (100% cotton of course!) and the soaker a really thick terrycloth like a good towel. If you want a waterproof layer, IMO nylon is more comfortable than PUL, but it's slippery so you'll want to put more flannel on the outside so it doesn't slide around in your clothes.
I made the switch a few months back and I will never regret it! I also sew and I made all my own from scraps from sewing cloth diapers, mainly. My favorite kinds are 2-piece like these: http://www.amazpadz.com/products.htm
I used wool for the holder, but I have a few out of polyester fleece, and they work great, too. The wool doesn't need to be very thick, I made some out of thin wool sweaters and they work great. FYI you will only need about 2-3 holders total. I can sometimes get through one whole cycle with the same holder.
I use almost all recycled materials for the absorbent pad. Things like wash cloths, kitchen towels, baby towels, flannel sheets, etc. work great for the absorbent pad. I've found that if you are using stretchy fabric, it works best to pair it with something non-stretchy for stability. I like to top them with cotton velour because it's so soft. I made all of my pads super quick-dry just in case I need them washed and dried in a hurry. What I do is cut out the pad in a kind of hour-glass shape, then serge two layers together. I usually pair two different kinds of fabric like terry and flannel, or whatever. For light days, I'll just use a pad with only 2 layers. Then I also make heavier pads by taking these 2-layer pads and sewing the edges together on one side only. I have some that are 4 layers, and some that are six. I have a pretty heavy flow, and I've never needed more than six layers of fabric, but that would also depend on the weight of fabric you are using (I usually have some thicker terry in there). So the multi-layer pads are sewn together like an accordian so that they open up flat in the wash. I hope I am explaining this right, if you can't picture it, I could probably take a picture so you can see what I mean.
For the closures, most of the ones I've seen use snaps. I've tried snaps, but I think I like velcro (aplix is better and cheaper, you get it online) better. It seems less bulky too me, and faster to use. For the multi-layered pads, the aplix is sewn only to the bottom layer. I use the loop side on the absorbant pads, and then the hook side on the wool holders. Since I have to wash the wool by hand anyway, I don't have to worry about the hook side eating up the wash. washing the wool is easy, I just get it wet, lay it flat on the counter, rub it down with a bar of wool wash soap or glycerine soap, rinse it out, and lay it flat somewhere to dry. You only have to do that once a month, obviously.
Now, about the holders: I made the kind that wrap around your panties and secure, but last month I thought about it and decided to just set aside 2-3 pairs of underwear to use at that time of the month. Then I cut off the wings of a holder and sewed it right to my underwear. That eliminated some bulk and now I don't have to worry at all about the pad shifting. It stays right where I put it!
For washing, I just keep a bucket of cold water under the sink, and I toss a pad in there when it is soiled. If you are out and about, just bring a little plastic bag or a nice waterproof wetbag in your purse to put your soiled pad in, then throw that in the water as soon as you get home. Dump out the water every day and add new cold water, otherwise it will get funky. Soaking my pads like this makes it so I don't have any stains at all. At the end of my cycle, I just dump them in the wash and that's it. (if you do cloth diapers, you can wash them in the same load.) When I first started with cloth, I didn't have enough pads to last my whole cycle, so I had to wash them before my cycle finished. Now I have enough.
Anyway, hopefully that will help you get started. Another popular kind of pad you can use is the all-in-one pad. Here is what it looks like and some instructions to make it: http://www.diapersewing.com/clothpads.htm
This site might also be of help to you, www.diaperpin.com Click on the link to the left labeled Forums, scroll down and you should see a sub-forum labeled Cloth Talk. A lot of WAHM who make diapers and pads are members there. Tons of experience and experiments go on there. I hope it is of some use to you.
I made my own. I used PUL for the bottom, flannel for the inside, and microfleece against my skin. I also made a few using hemp for the inside. Those are incredibly absorbent (used them for post-partum pads). I have three of the thick ones and 4 thin ones. I have a short period with a light flow, though.