Monday, December 30, 2013

Nursing Cover and Burp Pad

Breastfeeding your child in public in the beginning can be very intimidating especially with an inadequate nursing cover.  For my first daughter I purchased a nursing cover and I was just not happy with it so I set out to make my own.  What I love about the ones I have made is that they are wider so cover more easily and also that the stiff part along the top is longer so that it is easier to see my baby.
My sister in law is due with her third boy (!) in about a month and I really wanted to make her something she could use.  I had previously found a yard of University of North Carolina material that I wanted to use for her since she has not only a Bachelors degree but also a Masters and Doctorate from UNC.  I can't believe that she has made it through 2 kids without a nursing cover, so hopefully she finds this one very useful.

Materials Needed:
Cotton Fabric of choice - If you would like just the nursing cover then you need 3/4 yard of 44 inch wide cotton fabric (make sure it isn't see through).  I like to buy a yard of the fabric and then I have enough to make a corresponding burp cloth so that you can coordinate while nursing in public ;).
Set of D- Rings
1/2 yard of boning

To make the Nursing Cover cut your fabric at the 3/4 yard mark if it isn't already cut to this length.  Along the length of the fabric cut off two - 4 inch strips.  If you fabric is 44 inches wide this will leave you with the body of the cover that measures 36x27 and two 4 inch wide strips.

Start with the strips that will be come your straps.  One of the strips you will leave 27 inches long and the other strip you can cut off a 6 inch long piece (so your piece will be 6x4). Fold both pieces lengthwise, right sides together and pin in place.  For the longer (27 inch) piece you will sew along one short side, and then down the length of the strap.  Leave the bottom end open and turn it right side out (this is a tedious process). For the shorter strap you only need to sew along the long side and can leave both ends open, turn right side out.  Once you have both right side out, I like to sew along both sides, this gives it a little bit more body and is a nice decorative feature.  Place to the side for later.

The body of your nursing cover will be 36 inches wide by 27 inches long.  I have a serger, so I like to just serge the edges and then fold over once to create a half inch seam.  If you do not have a serger, you can easily just turn your raw edges under twice creating a half inch seam.  Once you have all edges pinned (you can press them at this point if you want to) determine which end is the top of the cover so that you can place your straps and boning.  
You will want to insert your boning under the seam so that it is centered in the cover, and so that it curves up towards you, pin underneath the boning to keep it in place.  You will then insert the raw edge of the long strap to the left of the boning (with the wrong side of the fabric up) and pin it in place.  

Take your two D rings and thread the short strap piece through the rings, matching up the two raw edges.  Place both raw edges underneath the pinned seam to the right of the boning.  
At this point I like to go ahead and sew my seam all the way around the cover making sure to capture both straps.  Once you have sewn all the way around, turn both straps up so that they stick out of the top of the cover.  You don't want to pull so that the edge of the seam pulls up, just turn it up and pin in place.  Once you have it pinned, sew a square around the pin to keep the strap turned up and in place. You may also want to sew along the top of the boning with a zipper foot so that you casing for the boning is night and tight, this will depend on how wide your boning is but you just don't want it to flip around on you.

 Finally to secure the D-rings in place, use your zipper foot and add a seam right under the D-rings, this will keep them from slipping around and the straps coming undone.

 Your nursing cover is now ready to be used in public!!!  I like to use the scrap from my yard of material to make a burp pad.  I use the cotton on one side and I really like to use terry cloth on the other side as it is very absorbent.  I also make my slightly 8 shaped so that it curves in by your neck, but you can make it however works best for you.

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