Friday, October 25, 2013

Nursing Cover, DIY

When I gave birth to my twins, I was bound and bent that exclusively nursing them was the way to go! And although I did just that for most part of their first year, at first I was nervous about how I was going to cover up with twins! Truth be told, I nursed SO often (some would say like a cow,) in that first year that I stopped caring about covering up. I only ever nursed one at a time except for maybe a couple of times that we tried football style and it just did not work for me, or them. So I was nursing a baby every hour. Literally. I got so sick of that cover that I just didn't care at times, and to be honest, I never did have a single person come up to me and tell me to cover up. My hunch is that they took one look at me and knew if they said a single word, I would tear them a new one and just squirt some milk in their eye, just for an extra measure. ;) Common, 2 babies vs 1 mom? Yea, didn't think so! But before I became confident didn't care about showing off my hooters, I sewed up a really simple nursing cover to help ease my fear of showing em off.
WARNING; After 6-7 months, it was nearly impossible to keep the nursing cover covering myself as my boys hated it and just kicked it off. Many, MANY people may, or may not have seen my beautiful bussums! If you are a first time mom, you have been warned.

When my good friend Jess first told me she was pregnant, and that she wanted to nurse, I knew I was going to whip this up because;
1. It was practical.
2. It is super easy to make, and super inexpensive!

This is what I used;
- Old piece of fabric from remnant pile at fabric store (a little more than 1 meter)
- Half a meter of boning, also found at fabric store
- 2 metal hooks/rings (mine were rectangle for this project)
- Scissors
- Iron
- Sewing machine

Fabric pieces cut up.
1.) I cut two strips of fabric, wide enough to fold in over each other when sewn. To make sure they were the right width, I folded the fabric cut side towards each other, and held the metal hooks up to it to make sure it was the right width and would slide easily through the fabric straps.

Measuring straps before sewing them up.

2.) I then took out the rest of my fabric and set up my iron, and ironed the bottom and side edges of the fabric. I folded them over twice. Fold it in once, then over again a second time so the end is not sticking out and no fraying will happen. I did this also to the 2 straps I cut. You could also sew the straps, fabric design sides together, then turn it inside out and you would have your two strips for your strap. Either way, ironing makes it a LOT easier when it comes time to sew! Not necessary but so worth it. Then I sewed the bottom and sides of the big fabric piece, twice, so it had nice clean edges and wouldn't fray.

I sewed twice around the edges to make sure they wouldn't fray.

3.)  Then I took the fabric, and folded it in half so I could figure out where the middle of the fabric was, and I marked it at the top, also the side that has not been sewn yet. I did the same thing with the boning. Then I laid out both the fabric, and the boning, and matched up the marks I had made in the middle. I did this so I would know where to sew the boning in, right in the middle! I also marked about an inch or more from the top because the fabric was going to be sewn down over the markings and you will need these marking to know exactly where to place your boing when you thread it in.

Folding fabric in half to mark the middle.

4.) After I marked the fabric, I folded the top down just a smidgen, this will avoid fraying, and then I folded it down about half an inch (you can use your boning to measure how large of a strip you will need to thread the boning in.) Then I sewed it in place, so that I had a long strip along the top, open on both ends to thread the boning into place.

Little hole to thread boning
The hole should be just big enough to slip the boning through!

5.) After threading the boing into the middle, I sewed over each end of the boning so it wouldn't move around and would stay in place. Almost done!

6.) The bottom of the nursing cover is done, now for the straps! Sew the straps up. Take one strap, fold it over twice so again you have no fraying edges, and place it directly next to the boning. I folded the bottom of my strap so that it was the same size as the tube I made to thread the boing through so it looked very clean. I then Sewed the strap into place creating a rectangle, and then again, creating a big "X" inside the rectangle to reenforce it. I then did the same thing to the other strap on the other side of the boning.

My straps sewn up. I cleaned them up with an extra set of stitches along the edges!

Side 1 with strap sewn in, directly next to boning and the big "X".

7.) Then, I took that same strap and put on the two metal hooks at the opposite end that I just sewed onto the nursing cover. I folded over the end, twice, and folded it back onto the strap on the other side of the hooks so the hooks would stay in place and not move up and down the strap.  (see image below)

8.) Than I just attached the other strap in the same way, making sure the ends won't fray and I was done! You should able to take the one strap and weave it through the two hooks so it is secure and adjust it as necessary.

The best part about this project is that it only took my a little over an hour, and I am no pro sewer so I would say this is probably the easiest sewing project I have ever taken on!
The price break down;
Boning = $3.50 per mitre. (half a mitre used)
Fabric = had in my stash, but anywhere between $3-$15 for 1 1/2 mitres
Thread = had in my stash
Metal hooks = $1.49
Everything else I had, sewing machine, iron, scissors.

So it cost me under $5 to make this nursing cover because I had a lot laying around, but is easily done for $10 if you have no extra fabric and need to hit up the fabric store!
And the best part? It is home made and appreciated a 1,000x more than a store bought gift. ;) At least, thats how I justify it!

Now I'm off to the pumpkin patch with my boys and to enjoy a much needed relaxing weekend! Which actually means more packing, 4 weeks until the big move day! Happy weekend everyone!

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