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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

nursing cover {tutorial}

There are a lot of "baby things" out there for new moms to buy. Heck, wander through Babies'R'Us just once and you'll get overwhelmed. 
And me being the crafty {read: cheap} almost new mom that I am, I easily found several things that I could make for a fraction of the cost...

And here's one! 
Nursing covers just like this one sell for about $40. Instead I paid $5 in materials and about 45 minutes of my time. Plus I got to pick out my own fabric, which was an added bonus because I thought all the store bought covers were kind of ugly.


 - 3/4 yard of fabric
 - 12 inches of boning *
 - 2 D-rings {usually in the sewing accessories section}
 - sewing machine/thread
 - scissors

*I didn't have any boning on hand, so I used some piping. Works just as well.

Note: Every time I do a post that requires sewing with a machine, I feel like I should keep reiterating that I really know almost nothing about what I'm doing. I'm 100% self taught on my machine and I really only know how to thread the needle and bobbin and how to sew a simple stitch in forward and reverse. That's it. All those other buttons make my head hurt.

And yes, this post is picture/instruction heavy. But that's just because I'm obnoxious and meticulous. 
{you probably already knew that}
Don't let the details scare you!

First up, trim any selvage off your fabric.

From the same edge, trim off a 3" strip. This is the material we'll use for the straps so feel free to set the rest of the material aside while we sew those first.

Fold the strip of fabric in half {lengthwise and right side in}. Pin it and sew the edges together with a 1/4" seam.

 Center your hem and then iron your strip so the seam edges are open.
{this will help it look the best and lie the flattest}

Now cut a 9" piece off of your strip.
Take the longer piece and trim one edge diagonally. 
You should end up with this:

 Sew the diagonal end closed with a 1/4" seam.

Now turn both of the straps right side out.
{this takes a few minutes - I also had to reiron them flat afterwards. Make sure those seams are still centered.}

 Grab your shorter 9" strap. Slip two D-rings onto it and fold your fabric in half. Sew a seam under the D-rings to keep them in place.

Now high-five yourself because the straps are done!
Grab your larger piece of fabric to make the body of the nursing cover. You should have a rectangle with two shorter edges {the sides} and two longer edges {the top and bottom}.

First up, we want to hem the two side and bottom edges.

To do this I lay it right side down, fold about 1/2" over and iron that down...

Then I fold it over again and iron that down. Pin it too.
{I don't always pin this part because I'm a maverick (read: actually I'm just lazy)}

Now you can sew the seam without any edges being exposed.

 Do the same with the bottom edge and other side.

 Next we move on to the top edge, which is where the straps get attached. 
First, do your 1/2" fold and iron down, then fold again and iron down - just like the other three sides.

 Now, find the center of your top edge and the center of your boning. Line those up.


 Slide the boning under the last fold you ironed. Pin it to keep in place.

Your two straps are going to slide in on either side of your boning. Place your shorter strap {with the D-rings} on the left and your longer strap on the right. Slide the open edges in under the fold right next to the boning. Pin in place.


 Make sure with your long strap that the hem is facing down.
Here's what you should have:

Now sew that top hem closed! That will make boning should be secure and your straps attached!
 Lastly, we just need to fold/sew our straps so they face the proper way.

Fold your strap up so it lays over that top hem you just closed. Pin in place.

Flip your cover right side up and sew a small rectangle to hold your strap in place.
Technically you can do this from the back, but I like to do this from the front so I can make it look a little better.

And you're done!! When worn the boning/piping should create an opening so you can look down at your little one while they're nursing. Straps are completely adjustable for comfort.

Sorry, this is ridiculously hard to model. Especially when you have a 9 month pregnant belly instead of an actual kiddo. But you get the gist...

And let's face it, firetrucks and dinosaurs are cute for Jake, but Mommy wanted a nice looking cover to use. This still has "boy" colors, but with a definite feminine flare. 

Here's another print I used:

Customizing everything is just another perk if DIY!

I've made several of these for myself and even one for a friend of mine. Kelly is due with her little boy within days of Jake and I. We have the same OB, went to the same newborn classes and have been comparing first time mom notes for awhile now. So it was no brainer that I should toss one of these and some burp cloths in with her shower gift.

One step closer to being ready for our fellas to get here!

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