My college roommate is expecting her second son next month and she challenged me to make a nursing cover for her. She was telling me about how expensive nursing covers are even though they are really just a piece of material with a strap attached. The designer ones sell for $30-40! I didn’t know anything about nursing or nursing covers since I don’t have a baby, but I’m always down for a good challenge so I took her up on it!
I did some research on what makes a good nursing cover. I polled my mom friends and asked what was important to them and this is what they said:
- The cover needs boning at the top to allow the mom to see the baby and provide ventilation for the baby
- Light weight fabric is important so that the baby doesn’t get too hot. But the fabric has to be thick enough so that it’s not transparent
- Because nursing covers often get thrown into diaper bags, the fabric should be pretty wrinkle-resistant
- A busy design pattern on the fabric also helps prevent it from being see-through
- The nicer nursing covers have a terry cloth or burp cloth sewn into the corners
- Some nursing covers also have pockets sewn in
There are a lot of great thorough tutorials out on the web on how to sew a nursing cover if you do a google search so I don’t want to do a full in depth tutorial here, but I took the basic concept and added a few of my tweaks to it. A weeklater, I sent my friend this prototype:
The back (burp cloth pockets are sewn into the lower corners):
This was a fairly quick and easy project. I was able to whip one out in less than an hour. The materials needed are:
- 24″x36″ piece of rectangle fabric (I used Amy Butler) for the main piece
- 2 strips of fabric cut at 5″ wide for the straps
- 18″ piece of boning (the stiffer the better) which you can buy at any fabric store by the yard, they come in rolls next to the velcro and elastic
- 2 2″ D rings (not pictured)
- 2 7″ squares cut from 100% cotton flannel for pockets
I sewed 1/4″ hems around the sides and bottom edges and inserted “pockets” in each of the lower corners. I made the pockets out of 100% cotton flannel so that they double as burp clothes, too. The mom can just use the corner of the nursing cover to wipe the baby’s mouth!
I folded the top edge over at 1.25″ inches to create a hem and slipped in boning to create some stiffness. Because the boning is curved, it helps provide ventilation and allows the mom to watch the baby:
For the straps, I folded the strips in half right sides together like a tube, then flipped right side out, then top stitched along the edge. Two D rings attached to the end of one strap:
Make sure to attach the straps securely to the cover with an “x” since the mom will be yanking on it repeatedly to take it off and on, often with just one hand:
Sew both straps onto the top edge on either side of the boning:
After I sewed the nursing cover and mailed it off to my friend, she sent me a few of her comments. I’ll make these modifications the next time I make these:
- My friend says she is right handed so its easier for her if the D rights were on her right side (this is something I would not have thought of!)
- I would extend the boning a little and sew them into the base of the straps. This would make the boning a little more durable.
- I’d secure the D rings a little tighter. Because I didn’t sew it tight enough together my friend says that sometimes the straps loosen up.
The total cost of a cover that I made was less than $10! (I got the Amy Butler fabrics on sale last year) These were far cheaper than the ones they sell at the store and so easy to make. And now I know more about nursing covers than I ever need to know!