Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to Make Your Own Nursing Cover

Since having Little Bean, most of my craft time has been diverted to baby things. This post will be about how to make your own nursing cover. This is slightly more involved than the simple rectangles of cloth with a neck loop that you can buy at Target etc, but it is well worth the extra effort. I have used mine many times and it works great! Of course now the little guy thinks we are playing peekaboo and he tries to take it off... little stinker ;)

What you will need:
1.25 yards cotton (the fabric I used was 45" wide)
Thread to match fabric color
2" D ring
18" of boning
(you can see the D ring and boning in the directions below)

*Cut out the pieces above. I began with a piece of fabric that was 45"x25." If your fabric is 44" wide, there is no need to add extra fabric. I often sew the same way I cook - I make things up as I go, so please feel free to adjust the measurements as you see fit!

*Place the 45"x25" piece of fabric wrong side up. Fold and press the edges up 1" all the way around. Then roll the edges under to create a 1/2" hem around the entire piece. Pin and sew.  (I don't have a pic of this step, sorry!)

*Next take the two strap pieces, fold each in half length wise and iron. 
*Open back up and fold each long edge into the center, iron, then fold back in half. Press in the short ends 3/8." Pin and top stitch around both pieces. 

*Slide the short strap through the D rings and fold in half. Stitch to hold the rings in place. 

*Fold the pocket piece in half with the right sides together, forming a 6.5"x7" rectangle. Stitch a 3/8" seam allowance around the open edges of the pocket leaving a 2" hole along one side so you can turn the pocket right side out. Iron flat. 
*While many patterns have you sew the pocket onto one of the outside bottom corners, I personally found that having it on the inside and in the center was the most convenient. This way my nursing pad stays put and can't be kicked out by active little feet, and I can easily reach it with either hand. 
*I simply folded the cover in half twice to find the center, however if you'd rather measure go right ahead :) 
*Pin to the inside of the cover (or wherever the pocket would be most convenient for you) and top stitch the sides and bottom of the pocket at 1/8." On my machine I lined up the edge of the pocket with the inside edge of the presser foot. This will close the hole that you left open when turning the pocket right side out. Also, keep in mind that because you are sewing the pocket on the inside, there will be stitch lines on the outside in the front. Initially I thought this would bug me, but I made the bobbin thread match the fabric and it's barely noticeable. 

*Next, find the center point at the top of the cover. Pin the center of the boning to this point on the inside, just below the edge of the fabric. Pin out from the center until the entire piece is held in place. Make sure that the boning is curving in such a manner that it makes the right side (the outside) of the cover pop out.

*I used the zipper foot to stitch the boning into place.

*Now, my mother taught me to never leave a raw edge showing, so I chose to cover the ends of the boning. This step is optional for you. If you want to cover the ends, cut two 2"x2" squares. Fold in the edges so they meet in the middle and iron. Stitch over the exposed ends of boning. Don't actually stitch the boning itself, it will snap your needle in half.

*Ok! Last step! Measure 2" in from each end of the boning and pin a strap onto either end. Stitch on directly below the boning, and, druuuum roll..... you're done!

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