Monday, June 22, 2009

Make a Nursing Cover from Dollar-Store Materials

One of the easiest and most useful baby items you can make for yourself is a Nursing Cover (aka a Hooter Hider). There are dozens of tutorials for this project out there; the difference in mine is that all (or at least nearly all) of the materials may be obtained at a Dollar store, and the total cost should be $3 or less.


* Receiving blanket from the dollar store (or an existing receiving blanket you aren't using for baby, or piece of nice flannel or cotton of the same size, purchased on sale at the fabric store. In the latter case, you'll need to serge or otherwise hem the other three edges.)
* Roughly 2 ft of ribbon, preferably grosgrain
* 12 to 14 inches of nylon boning from the craft store (see picture). It's $3.29/yard at my local store, meaning you need just over a dollar's worth. You could also use a pipe cleaner, as long as you sew your casing with open ends so it can be removed for cleaning. You could also use one or two extra long plastic zip ties fastened together for a double thickness.
* Extra Credit: 1 or 2 baby washcloths (which come 3-4 to the pack at Dollar Tree)

* Scissors
* A few pins
* Sewing Machine
* Needle and Thread

* Lay out your blanket, and locate the center of the long side by folding it in half. Mark with a pin.
* Take your piece of boning, pipe cleaner, zip tie, or whatever you are using for stiffening, and center it across the midpoint of the blanket on the wrong side. Fold the fabric over approx. 1/2 inch and pin in place at either end. Make sure the curve of the boning is facing "outwards" towards the right side.
* Cut 2 ~10 inch pieces of ribbon, and tie a solid knot about 1/2 inch from one end of each piece.

* Pin the un-knotted end of the ribbons to either end of the boning. You may want to fold the ends under once or twice to hide the raw edge.

* Sew by hand or machine from one ribbon to the other, making sure not to run into the boning since your needle will not appreciate it. If desired, sew all the way along the long edge of the blanket: I just did the 12 inches or so in the center.
* If you've used a washable "stiffener" (i.e. not a pipe cleaner), you may wish to sew shut the opening at both ends so it will not come out. Otherwise leave it open so you can remove the pipe cleaner for washing.

* Lay your two sections of ribbon out such that they cross near the ends with the knots overlapping. Take a ~2-3 inch piece of ribbon and tie it tightly around the two pieces. You now have an adjustable strap: just pull on the knotted ends of the ribbon to change the size.

* That's it! To use, simply slip the ribbons over your head and drape the whole blanket over the baby and the pieces of your anatomy you wish to conceal during nursing. When baby gets bigger, give him the blanket as a "superhero" cape. Just be sure you supervise to avoid choking!

* Extra Credit: Fold a washcloth into a triangle and sew into each bottom corner of your cover. Place right sides together and sew the two outer edges of the triangle, then turn right side out and sew across the hypotenuse. Now you Always have a burp rag to wipe baby's face after nursing! :)


Heather - said...

I was going to try making these with zip ties. Thought about using two zip ties and making a ribbon casing for them so they'd be more boning-like...

Kama said...

I would like to see a final picture of what it looks like...