Monday, August 15, 2011

Nursing Cover

So I promised a tutorial for a nursing cover. So here we go....

**You need 3/4 yard of cotton fabric. Any pattern will work, but you need to keep in mind this is for coverage. So make sure you can't see right through it.
**1/4 yard (9 inches) light boning
**2 "D" ring buckles
**Small piece of fusible interfacing (5"x5")
**matching thread

Cut your large piece of fabric to 25" x 36". Then cut the neck strap 18" x 3", the other side of the neck strap (to hold the buckle) 4"x2" and a pocket at 5"x5".

Starting with the large piece, fold over side 1/4", iron and then again 1/4" and iron (the ironing step will save a lot of headache when it comes to sewing and it makes it look less "homemade"), so that the edge is inside. Sew right down the middle of your 1/4 inch fold over. Do this to both sides of your fabric, keeping in mind that it is longer than it is tall. Do this also to the bottom of the large piece.
Now onto the top. Center your boning on the fabric and mark about 1/2"  to the side on each end. Fold down 1/4" and iron as you did the other sides. However the next fold will be different. You need to fold it down 3/4". Make sure your boning fits inside the seam. Once you fold down and iron the top. You need to tuck your boning inside the seam into your marks and pin it in place. Then you will sew right along the edge making sure you sew your boning into the seam. Once you finish sewing your seam go back and sew about 1/2" on the ends of your boning to keep your boning in place.

Next we will work on the straps. First the 18"x3".  Fold the fabric with right sides together and iron. Then sew down the edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then fold up one end of the strap, iron and sew. Trim the seam allowance close to the thread but be careful not to clip the thread. This will make it lay a little bit flatter. The next step is turn it right side out. I used a chop stick and found it very useful. Basically just keep stuffing and stuffing until you get it right side out. Be careful not to strain your seam too much. Use your pencil or chop stick to help get the corners all the way out on the end. Once it is turned to the right side you will fold, iron and fold and iron the other end. Just fold 1/4" and another 1/4", iron and then sew. Then you have the main part of your strap complete.
Next is the short part of the strap that will hold the buckle. Just like the first one, you will fold it with the right sides together, iron and then sew a 1/4" seam allowance. Then fold up the bottom, iron and sew. And again, turn it right side out. Now we will fold the unfinished end down about 1/4", iron. Then fold that same end again about 1 1/2" and iron. Before sewing this seam you will but the D ring buckles in place. Put them both together in the fold and sew down, again I use a 1/4" seam allowance.

Now we will sew the straps in place. Pin each strap in place. One at each end of your boning at the neck of the nursing cover. Then simply sew into place. I like to use 2 rows of zig zag stitches to firmly attach the straps.

Next, probably the easiest part is the pocket. The pocket will be used to hold pacifiers or nursing pads while nursing. I have seen a terry cloth fabric used here but I think the same fabric you used for the rest of the cover will work just fine. So we start with the 5"x5" square of fabric. Fold over each side 1/4" and iron. I then iron on the fusible interfacing. This gives a little more strength to the pocket and also eliminates a little folding, ironing and sewing. Trim the edges of the interfacing so that it is not hanging off the side of your pocket. Now, you simply sew it into a corner. It is nice to have it in the right side of the nursing cover (from the mom's point of view) if the mother is right handed or vice versa for left handed.  Simply place your pocket in the corner and pin in place. Then sew along the right, bottom and left sides of the pocket making sure to leave the top open (so you can use the pocket) :)

Iron it all and Ta Da! Easy Nursing cover at a fraction of the cost that you can buy one for. I also enjoy the fact that you can make some other things to match the nursing cover.

I don't have detailed pictures of each step at this point but I will take and add pictures of each step after I complete my next nursing cover.

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