Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Non-traditional nursing cover tutorial, both sewing and no sew

I found something like this online and even though they are very affordable, they are still outside of my budget, so I decided to make one of my own. Here is where you can buy one...it is called a baby bond.
Disclaimer:This is my attempt at a diy cover similar to the baby bond nursing cover for those who can't afford the baby bond, or want a more customized fabric, the design, however, is patented by baby bond. Items created using this tutorial are to be for personal use only, not to be made for profit.

Yes it is made out of knit fabric but you don't have to be scared to sew with knit if you've never done so before, you don't need anything special just a bit of patience. I suggest snatching an old t-shirt from the rag bag and practice with tension and speed if you've never worked with knit before, then go at it! Here is a great post written by Dana from the Made blog, should give you some great tips and hopefully the courage to jump in to this great project!

Here is how I figured out how to make it myself.
Knit Fabric preferably with a high cotton or other natural fiber content.
Some kind of hand sewing needle or Sewing Machine, you don't need a serger, or a walking foot, or a ball point needle, those things are nice but unnecessary. Or you could try a really good fabric tac(glue) or seam witchery*, if you do let me know how it works.
some way to measure, it doesn't have to be a measuring tape if you don't have one, a scarf or yarn would work.

Step 1) Find your fabric
I had some beautiful knit fabric lying around waiting to be made into something useful. But you don't have to buy new fabric, you could cut up a t-shirt, use an old moby that is starting to get too stretched out, etc. If you use new fabric wash it before cutting.

Step 2) Measure
I took a jersey knit scarf I had lying around and used that to measure. I actually made mine to big and I'm gonna have to go back and make it smaller.  Make sure that the fabric or measuring tape is firm against your body all around not sagging anywhere but also not stretched if your using a stretchy scarf or yarn to measure.
Measure from the outside of your right shoulder, over the nipple of the left breast under your left arm, around your back and up to the starting point. making sure the tape isn't so loose it is sagging.
I made my cover 10" wide but anywhere between 8" and 12" should be fine. If you have larger breasts you may want the width wider to cover as much skin as possible, if your an A or B you may feel swaddled if you make it too wide, so take that into consideration when choosing the width.

Step 4) Cut your fabric
If your fabric only stretches one way make sure it stretches along the length not the width of the band. If you are just using a t-shirt you can just cut 2 tubes from the body of the shirt in the right width and skip down to step #6 , Other wise cut 2 rectangles of fabric that is the length you measured and the width you chose, and one small rectangle, the strap, that is 1" longer then the width you chose and 2 inches wide (optional, look at step 7).

Step 5) Sewing
If you have a serger you can finish the edges if you wish but it isn't necessary, knit doesn't fray.
Take the first pannel and fold in half making a loop right sides together and sew across then turn right side out.
Take the other panel and with WRONG sides together sew the seam.
You now have 2 loops of fabric.

Step 6) More sewing
Put the loop with the seam on the right side of the fabric inside the circle of the fabric with the seem on the inside (wrong side like a normal seam). So that the seams are between the two loops. Lay the seams opposite directions and zigzag over the seam (click on picture below for a little more clearity).

Step 7) The strap
Take the small strip of fabric you cut turn in right sides together length wise and sew to make a tube, turn it right side out, tuck the last 1/4 to 1/2 inch inside on both sides, until it is the same length as the cover is wide place over the seam and tack it down at the ends on either side. This holds a burp cloth in place, but is totally optional.

*Fabric Glue/Seam Witchery option:If you don't have a sewing machine and don't want to hand sew you probably could use fabric glue, though, I haven't tried it myself here is what I'll be trying when I can attempt the glue method.
If your using fabric tac I suggest just using a t-shirt so you don't have to rely on the glue to hold seams (or you could use seam witch). Cut the body in 2 loops  in whatever width you want, don't cut the loops into panels just leave them, put one inside the other and put a line or 2 of fabric tac across it's width and press the loops together. Let dry and your done!
If your using seam witchery then follow the directions laying the strip across width wise between the two loops.

You are done!!! Enjoy nursing your baby anywhere, discretely, with eye to eye contact, able to see the latch is correct, and comfortably cool for both of you!

Sorry the action picture isn't good, Michael refused to cooperate after this picture.

If you are confused on any part of this just leave a comment and I'll try to clear it up for you!

Disclaimer:This is my attempt at a diy cover similar to the baby bond nursing cover for those who can't afford the baby bond, or want a more customized fabric, the design, however, is patented by baby bond. Items created using this tutorial are to be for personal use only, not to be made for profit.


  1. This would be a great present for a nursing mom, thank you for the instructions! Jewelz

    1. It has become my go-to gift for a new nursing moms! Your very welcome!

  2. I just heard about these covers today, and decided to search for a diy version. So excited to have found your site!! Expecting baby #4,and I've just added another sewing project. :D


  3. So glad you found me! your welcome to ask any questions! Enjoy your cover!


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