Friday, October 7, 2011

Tutorial: Reversible Nursing Cover

As you may have noticed, Ruth and I have been MIA for a while, lately. We’re sorry about that, but trust us, we have good reason! We are BOTH adding new additions to our families soon! I am 31 weeks along and Ruth is 19 weeks, and we’re both super excited.

In honor of this announcement, we have made ourselves (and another expecting friend of ours) brand-spankin’ new nursing covers. We all know that nursing a baby in public can be risky…you never know when you might flash the person next to you. Instead of giving the entire restaurant a free show, we have a tutorial for a really gorgeous cover.

We took inspiration from many sources and came up with a reversible cover, with a strong strap and bit of boning for air-flow and baby-viewing. The cover is finished with contrast bias tape, which we think is the icing on the cake. Wanna make one? Here’s how:

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Supplies Needed:
  • 1 yard of 2 contrasting fabrics, for the front and back of the cover
  • 1/2 yard of a 3rd contrasting fabric, for homemade bias tape, OR 2 packages of store bought wide, double-fold bias tape.
  • 2 – 1 inch D-rings
  • 15 inches of boning
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Cut list:
  • For body of cover, laying the 2 contrasting fabrics on top of each other, wrong sides together (so you can save a step later), cut a 26”x36” rectangle using the width of the fabric for the 36inch.
  • For long strap, cut a 2.5”x27” strip from both contrasting fabrics.
  • For D-ring loop, from one of the fabrics (your choice), cut a 5”x6” inch rectangle.
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To Make the Straps:

With the right sides together stitch the 2.5”x27” inch rectangles with 3/8” seam allowance around 3 sides leaving one of the short ends open. If you want you can sew the other short end at an angle. Trim corners for turning.

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Fold the rectangle so that the 6 inch long edges meet and use a 3/8” seam allowance to sew down the long edge only.

Turn both strap pieces right side out and poke out corners of the long strap piece so it looks nice. Press.

Topstitch around the edges of the long strap and short piece for a finished look.

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Slide the 2 D-rings onto the D-ring loop piece and fold in half. Using a zipper foot (if you have one) or moving your needle as far to one side as possible, stitch as close as you can to the D-rings to hold them nice and tight in the loop.  
Note: The D-ring loop is supposed to be wider than the 1” ring…this can make this step difficult, we know. Just work the loop around the D-ring and do your best. If you get a tuck, it’s not a problem.

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Put your straps together and admire :)

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To Assemble the Cover:

Lay both body fabrics, wrong sides together, baste around the entire cover body, all 4 sides, approx 1/4” to 3/8” from the edge. This will hold the pieces together and prevent shifting when you are putting on the bias tape.

Fold the body of the cover in half, long wise, and find the center top.

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Measure 7 1/2” in each direction from the center mark and place the long strap at one point and the D-ring loop at the other. The 15” in between is where the boning will go later. Baste the 2 strap pieces in place.

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Start your bias tape at the bottom of the cover, leaving a long tail for matching later, sandwiching it over the edge of the cover and stitching it on. Work slowly, making sure you are catching the under side as well as the top. When you get to a corner, stitch all the way to the edge of the cover and stop, clipping thread.

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Fold tape around the corner and make corner angles look nice.

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Start stitching again down next side, repeating at each corner.

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When you have stitched all the way around, stop and leave a long tail so the two ends of bias tape can be joined. Mark the place where the two ends meet and join them together, by either reproducing the angle (shown below) OR simply overlapping the ends, with raw edges tucked inside, and stitching them down to complete the edge.

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Admire your lovely bias tape, and double check that both sides of tape were caught all the way around the cover. If there’s a spot or two that didn’t get stitched, go back and stitch them down. Easy peasy.

Next, fold both strap pieces upward and box stitch them to the bias tape.

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Finally, you insert the boning by ripping a small spot near one strap and slipping the boning piece into the bias tape “casing”. Then restitch the spot you ripped.

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You’ve just completed a beautiful nursing cover than any cow (or human mama) would be jealous of. Feel free to nurse in public with no fear, knowing your cover is totally glamorous AND homemade! YAY!

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If you make your own we would love to see it. Please add it to our flickr group


  1. awww, it's so adorable, and big congrats for both of you!!!! :) :)

  2. Love it! Can't wait to make one for a friend this weekend! :)