This lightweight cover gives you privacy during nursing while a boned neckline allows eye contact between you and your baby. The wide neck strap is very comfortable and trimmed to fit perfectly avoiding the need for D rings or Velcro that can snag clothes and cause injury. The unique cutting and construction utilizes all of a ¾ yard cut of fabric and can be completed in 30 minutes or less!
What you need
¾ yard cotton fabric
12 inches coiled poly boning
1. Trim each cut edge to make them straight with the grain. An easy way to straighten the edge is to take a snip through the selvage and rip it. Cotton quilting fabrics always tear straight with the grain.
2. Trim off the selvage edges (selvages wash differently and will make your hem wonky if you leave it on.)
3. Cut a 6 inch by ¾ yard width off one selvage side of the fabric. Save this piece for the neck strap.
Making the neck strap:
4. Press the 6 inch strip in half lengthwise (making a 3 inch wide strip.) Open out and press the raw edges to the center. Press in half again. Your strip should now be 4 thicknesses and 1 ½ inches wide.
5. Stitch close to the edge down each side of the strap. Set aside.
Hemming the Body
6. On the bottom 3 sides of the cover, press under ¼ of an inch twice. Top stitch close to the edge.
7. On the top side press under ¼ of an inch and then ½ an inch.
8. Find the center and pin 6 inches on either side of the center.
9. Pin the neck strap piece in place tucking the raw edges under the hem. The outside edge of the strap should be on the pin. Try it on to adjust length of the neck strap. You want it long enough to get it over your head easily, but short enough that you are covered while nursing.
10. Top stitch the 12 inch section close to the edge, double stitching over the neck strap sections. Stitch across one end near the strap as a stop line for the boning.
Adding the Boning
There are many different types of boning available. The boning used for this project is made from polypropylene and sold by the yard covered in white cotton casing. This boning has a natural curve in it from being coiled on the spool that can be ironed straight for building corsets. The curve is perfect for this project so we will leave it as it is. You can slip the plastic boning from the casing it came from or stitch the casing ends shut for this project.
11. Slide the 12 inch piece of boning into the casing just made making sure the natural curve will hold the fabric away from you when you have it on. Stitch on the open side of the boning to hold it in place.
12. Finish hemming both sides of the top of the cover. All done!
Add a corner pocket
This pocket is great for nursing pads. Cut a 4 inch square of fabric and fold it diagonally to make a square. Tuck it under the corner of your hem in step 6. You can make it out of flannel or terry cloth for an absorbent wipe for milk drips.
Make it reversible
1. Use a second ¾ yard piece of fabric and make as for steps 1-5. Place the two fabrics right sides together with the neck strap sandwiched between and pinned at 6 inches from the center on either side. Leave a gap for turning as shown.
2. Turn right side out and press. Stitch a 3/8 inch casing for the boning.
3. Stitch the end of the boning in place and slip stitch the turning opening closed. Top stitch around the bottom 3 sides of the covering. All Done!
Piece the Front
Cut the top piece 20 inches by 36 inches wide and the bottom section 8 inches by 36 inches wide. Sew them right sides together and serge or use a French seam. Stitch a ribbon over the seam if desired.
There are lots of possible variations for the nursing cover. Use your scraps and your imagination!