Nursing covers are not for everyone, but if a cover helps you feel more comfortable breastfeeding in public, you might be glad to find these instructions to sew your own “Bebe au Lait”-style nursing cover. Heather at Sleek Mama created these detailed pattern instructions and sewed two stylish covers for just $8!
• 1 yard of fabric
• D rings. They are the rings that you can adjust your strap with. They are in the shape of a D, hence the name, and come in silver or gold. I got the 1 1/4 inch size, but you could go a little bigger.
• Corset Boning. It comes in white or black and it comes in different strengths (or stiffness). I chose the stiffest one they had and bought 1/2 yard. It is 1/4 inches wide.
• Of course you need thread. The entire project cost me $8 to make two, the fabric was on sale and I had the thread.
1. First, I cut the fabric 26 x 38 inches. The finished product is 24 x 36 inches (that’s the size of the original Hooter Hiders) so cut it a bit bigger so you can sew the hem around. This size is perfect because the longer side wraps around your sides under your arms and covers anything that might be sticking out.
2. I cut the strips for the neck straps. The longer one I cut 31 inches long (this seems just a little long to me as I have a lot of excess when I make it the right length for breastfeeding) by 3 inches wide. The shorter strip which will hold the D rings I cut 10 inches long by 3 inches wide. Here are pictures of the straps below:
3. To sew these, I just sewed down the middle turning the fabric under (you can see on the long strap my stitch down the middle). I sewed the long strap to a point by just folding the corners down and stitching over. I sewed the short strap the same way and just put the D rings on the end and sewed the fabric over. The raw ends of both straps will be sewn into the hem so you don’t have to worry about finishing them.
4. Now set the straps aside and sew a hem around 3 sides of the large piece of fabric (leaving the top, or one long side, unsewn). I just folded the edge under and sewed around, no pinning needed because I just held it as I went.
5. Next I sewed in about 10 inches on one side of the top where I will put the straps and boning. I then put one strap with the raw end folded under the hem and sewed over it.
6. Next you want to put your boning in between where your straps will be. All you need to do is place the boning under the hem and stitch the hem just like the other side. Make sure you put the boning in so the curve is going to face the right way (It will have a definite bend/curve to it). The distance between my straps is about 13-14 inches.
7. Next, sew your other strap on and then finish stitching until the end. I did make another stitch on my straps above the original stitch (see in picture of short strap above) to give is reinforcement.
View from back:
View from front:
Boning in neck:
8. Now you can add a little pocket to the bottom corner on the backside. I didn’t do that yet on this one, but what works really well is to take a baby washcloth (I bought some on clearance) and sew it on three sides. That way, you could put breast pads in there and use it to wipe your little one’s mouth or your breasts if you need to.
The finished product:
Heather insists she is not an expert seamstress, and this project took her just 30-45 minutes!
For other DIY breastfeeding and baby gift projects, see:
~ Knitted Nursing Tank Top
~ Pullover Crew Neck Baby Bib
~ Baby Bib with Neck Ties
~ Ring Sling
~ Nursing Necklace
~ Nursing Pads
~ Baby Booties
~ Cloth Diapers
~ Nursing Pillow, Nursing Shirt, Nursing Bra and Pumping Bra, Cloth Diapers, and More