My DIY nursing cover

I really like making my own things. It makes me feel crafty and accomplished. I also love that I can customize whatever I’m making to suit my needs much better than trying to find something that would work.

I knew I’d need a nursing cover if I planned to nurse in public at all — I am not comfortable having my shirt up and my boobs exposed (or not) in public. I searched for some nice ones, and I found tons of options. There were a few that I really liked at Babies R Us with some nice patterns. They were $36 though, so I decided to wait to see if I’d need it before buying one.

Well, my friend breastfed her son and is pregnant again. She wanted a new nursing cover and found a tutorial that she said was super easy to make and turned out perfectly. Thankfully she shared it with me and I got down to sewing my own nursing cover. I bought everything I needed for the nursing cover, as well as all the fabric I needed for the Ring Sling I’m making for $40 at JoAnn’s Fabrics, and nothing was on sale. I believe everything I needed for the nursing cover was about $15.

Now, part of the reason my cover cost more than the woman’s in the tutorial is two fold: 1) the fabric was not on sale and I didn’t have a coupon and 2) I have an aversion to things that don’t look pretty on both sides. You see, the original tutorial has a definite wrong and right side. I really hate making something that shows the backside of the fabric. So, I bought enough fabric to essentially make two cover so I could line the back side of mine.

So the first thing I did differently was cut two pieces of fabric to 26″x38″ and sewed them right-side together, turned them right-side out, and sewed a finishing seam around the entire thing. Essentially I had a square of fabric that was pretty on both sides.

I then made the neck straps with the same fabric of the “inside fabric” to help tie everything together. I also did these differently than she did. I used the same measurements (both of which are too long in my opinion — I’ll explain then), but ironed them in half (right-side in) and sewed down the top and one side. I then flipped them right-side out and ironed flat. I just hate having all that thread and seems showing. One thing I noticed is that the short strap with the D-rings on it should be much shorter than she suggested. Where it is, it sits very far back on my neck. I’d rather have more so toward my chest.

Now for the top. She said that she sewed her first strap 10″ in; however, her picture shows the boning as centered on her cover. That is definitely more than 10″ in (I believe it was more like 13″ or so, but do not quote me on that). I just measured the top and centered everything. If I had left the first strap at 10″ in, then the cover would have had lots of extra fabric and coverage on one side, but not enough on the other. Centering made a good amount of coverage for both sides. I’m not 100% sure that is correct for a nursing cover, but it worked for me.

So what I did was place my straps and boning on the top part of the cover and folded down the top to create the pocket I needed for the boning. I pinned the straps in place and put the boning aside. I did not take pictures of this, so hopefully my instructions are clear. Basically, I sewed the straps with the unsewn ends tucked up inside the new “hem” I was making at the top. I made this hem close to an 1″ wide. Then I slid the boning into the pocket I created between the two straps. I then pinned the straps up, so they would stick out of the top of the cover.

Finally I sewed one more line across the top. I did this all the way across, making sure to sew down the straps. I made this seam as close to the boning as possible, ensuring that it would not move around when washed. You can see the double seam in my second picture. I cut off all the extra strings of thread and voila! my nursing cover was finished. I think it’s adorable and it cost at least half of what a store-bought one would cost. I’d say it took me about an hour to put the entire thing together, even with my extra steps. It was super easy.

Now for the fun part: the pictures! I have two. The first one is a picture of the cover hanging from a door knob so you can see the entire thing. The second picture is a close up of the fabric because I love it. I’ve loved it since I first saw it over a year ago, but I could never figure out what to do with it. This was the perfect solution! Something I’d use, but not something for which the print would be too big. I’m very happy with it. :)

Full shot

Close up


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