A nursing cover is a huge asset to have as a new mom as you begin exploring the world of breastfeeding. I have been making my own for several years now. I love to give them as gifts to new moms because they are so nice to maintain privacy and comfort on the go. Nursing covers can be relatively expensive and easy enough to make in the comfort of your home with some basic supplies and simple sewing skills. I usually spend no more than $8-10 for all the supplies necessary for this project. Here is a little tutorial of my most recent cover for your use. This is a large nursing cover, measuring about 42″ x 30″ in the completed product. Most of the standard nursing covers on the market are far smaller and make it more awkward to keep yourself fully covered. I purposefully made this latest one significantly larger to test. The recipient shared that it was a huge improvement! You can certainly adapt the pattern to your own needs by adding extra or decreasing in size as desired.
1 1/4 yards fabric of your choice
19” inches in length of 1/2 inch wide boning (the same material used in bras)
1. Wash and dry your fabric to pre-shrink it. Iron as needed.
2. Cut out a rectangular shape of roughly 45 inches in width by 33 inches in height.
3. Cut a 3 inch by 42 inch strip of fabric for the neck strap from the base of your fabric.
4. Now you will begin to sew around the circumference of the fabric for the nursing cover. I find it easiest to fold over the edges of every side by about 1/2 inch (tucking the bare edges under twice for security, a double fold). No need to be perfect. I iron the seam as I made my way around the fabric so that it is secure and ready to be sewed. For the top edge (where the neck straps will go), make it more of a 3/4 inch fold, which will allow sufficient room to sew in the boning and neck strap.
5. Take the nursing cover and sew a 1/2 inch seam around the 3 sides. You can do a zig zag pattern if desired for fun. Do not sew the top side!
6. For the neck strap: Take your 42 inch by 3 inch strip and fold in half lengthwise with the right sides together. Sew a thin seam at the very edge of the fabric for the total length of the fabric. I like to swerve the line inward at the end to make a point for easy tying. Leave a little freedom at the beginning for easy reversal of the fabric. Trim any excess fabric. Then tuck the fabric through the opening at the bottom (using a loop turner or a safety pin attached to the open side) to reverse the fabric and bring the right side to the front.
7. Once inverted to the right side, cut the neck strip into two sections, one equally 8 inches in length (as seen below) and the other the remaining 34″ in length. The 8 inch portion will be for the D-rings and the 34 inch strip will be to tie through the rings to adjust the nursing cover to the right distance from your body. It provides a little window so you can peek in at baby during nursing.Once cut, insert the fabric through the d-rings on the shorter portion.
8. Add the boning: Now take the top edge of your nursing cover (the one that is not sewed over), and tuck your boning strip underneath the fold, directly in the middle. You will want to measure from each side to make sure the distance is equal. Pin in place. Do not sew yet!
9. Add the neck straps: Now place the two neck strap pieces at opposite ends of the boning. I like to place them halfway over the edge of the boning to keep everything secure. I usually attach the long strap to the left side of the boning and the short strap with d-rings to the right side of the boning. Tuck the edge of your neck straps underneath the fold and pin everything in place.
10. Sew all along the bottom edge of the fabric from side to side. Add a second seam at the top of each of the neck strap portions for extra security (as seen in the image below).
A photo of the completed neck line
11. Tie the long strap through the buckles and your nursing cover is complete!