Sunday, February 19, 2012

DIY Nursing Cover/Wrap

For those of you who have had babies in the past couple years, you have probably either had a nursing wrap/cover, or wished you had!  I didn't have one with my first baby 4 years ago, and I hated trying to keep a blanket up on my shoulder while nursing.  With my second, I found a tutorial and made my own!  I have made quite a few of these in my day, and have gotten much better at them!  My first couple nursing wraps did not come out exactly as planned.  The top wouldn't stay up, the buckle would invert and slip, etc.  I'm going to share my tips, tricks, and pattern with you so that you can avoid the same mistakes when making your own cover!

Whether this is for yourself or for a new mommy-friend, I hope you find these to be a fun & frugal sewing project!  You can make one of these for under $10 easily! 

Also, I would say that this is beginner project.  I have very little skills with a sewing machine, so if I can do it, so can you!  Also, because of my lack of sewing knowledge, please forgive me if I do not communicate by using proper sewing names or terms.  I don't know them :)

First, you will need 1 yard of any fabric that suits your fancy.  You will have some leftover.  If you want to do 2 wraps, buy 1 1/2 yards, and just make sure you plot out your cuts first so that you can get all the pieces for 2 wraps (1 1/2 yards is just enough for 2 wraps as long as you cut it properly).  You will also need a set of D rings and 14-16 inches of boning.  You can find both boning and D rings at any fabric store (for reference, here is what boning looks like in a roll on Amazon, and here is what a package of D rings look like).

Cut your fabric into one each of the following three pieces:
  • 23"x36"
  • 3"x9"
  • 3"x23"

Now, starting with the 3" strips (which will be the straps to your wrap), fold both sides in and then on top of each other like this:

Mine usually end up a little less than an inch wide.  Sew these from end to end. Once you have your two finished strips (the 3x23 & 3x9), you will need to finish the ends.

On the longer strip, fold the end of one about 1/2 inch in, and then fold again.  Sew across to make the end look finished.  It will look like this:


Next you will need to place the D rings on the smaller strip.  Fold the end of the small strip in about 1/4- 1/2 inch.  Fold again.  Wrap the folded part around BOTH D rings and sew to attach it to the strip.  I like to sew across this part twice to make sure it's nice and secure.  It is very important that you sew as close as possible to the D rings in order to avoid them inverting when being worn (which would cause the strap to come loose and fall off).  It looks like this:

Note: Because one end of each strap will be hidden in the hem, there is no need to finish the other ends.

Now that both of your straps are complete, you can begin to sew your rectangular cover piece.  Start on any corner, but just make sure to leave a long side for last.  You will place the boning in on the long side at the end.  Starting on a corner, fold in about 1/2 inch, and then again so that your edges are hidden.  Begin sewing around the edges of the rectangle.  

As you near each corner, remember to fold in the edge of the next side ahead of time.  Stitch all the way to the end, back-stitch across the corner, turn your fabric to the new side, back-stitch again to the other side of that corner, and then begin stitching across the next side.  Since I'm sure that sounds exceptionally confusing (and is hard to describe), here is a picture:

Basically, you just want to make sure that the corner will be smooth and not come undone.  If you make that happen, then you're doing well :)

Now, the last side.  The last side should be the long side of the rectangle, and this will be the top of your wrap.  This will be the tricky side.  Now, your boning needs to be centered on the top of your cover with the straps on each side of it.  Depending on the width of your seams, and the length of your boning, there may be some variation to where the "center" lies.  My suggestion is that you measure to make it even.  My straps are usually somewhere around 8 inches or so from the ends, however, like I said, this can vary based on how thick or thin you hemmed the sides. 

Once you know how far in to place the straps, continue sewing along the last side.  Tuck the first strap in and under the top hem.  Sew through it, and then turn your fabric to sew a square around the part of the strap that is lined against the top hem.  Now, as you continue to sew through the top portion, you need to add in the boning to the inside of the hem.  It is VERY important that you sew as close as possible to the boning.  Your seams around your boning MUST be tight, or the boning will not curve properly!  This includes the side and bottom seams!  As you near the end of the boning, push the boning in nice and tight, add in the second strap (place it in and under the hem just as before), and sew a square around the strap to secure it to the hem.  Below, if you look closely, you will see my "squares" on the straps.  My index finger is pointing to where the boning is located (I've already sewn it into the fabric).

Finally, wash, dry (it is dryer safe), and iron the edges.  DON'T IRON THE BONING.  You now have a beautiful nursing cover for yourself or a friend!  Like this:


I made this one as a gift for someone I know who's about to have a baby. These make awesome baby shower gifts!  Enjoy the tutorial, and please comment if you have any questions! 

(Should this still seem overwhelming to you, but you want a cheap/frugal option for a nursing cover, be sure to check out the deal HERE...enter ENBABY at checkout and you will just pay shipping for the cover which is around $12.  It's a great deal if you can't sew!  But really, I encourage you to give it a shot; it really is quite simple!)


  1. I remember when you made your first one, I thought where were you when I was having babies? Oh yea, you were babysitting mine :)

  2. Awesome tutorial, thank you so much! I just had a baby 2 months ago and my mom bought me one for$35, crazy expensive. I want another one and decided I can make it myself. This is so helpful and looks so easy that I want to make a couple more for gifts.

  3. Noel-well now you can make some for those younger mommas! I loved every moment of babysitting your kids for you! I used to dream that I would someday have a houseful like you!

    HopefullSkinny-you are most welcome! Thanks for stopping by! I hope yours turn out beautifully! I have made a few for gifts, as well, and quite a few for myself ;) Have fun!

  4. hi, great tutorial but could you give me some pointers as to how to achieve a thicker band design where the boning is as displayed on your end product - as it looks like its thicker than half an inch as per your instructions. Just started sewing as a hobby and would really like to add this for my nursing cover. much appreciated.

  5. Hi Rebecca! Welcome to the fun world of sewing! In the second to last picture above you'll see my finger on the top band with the boning inside. It does look a little thicker than 1/2 inch. If you look very closely you'll see the stitching surrounding the boning. The band/hem is thicker than 1/2 by a little, but the stitching is right about 1/2 inch in order to tightly hold in the boning. You can essentially make your "hem" around the nursing cover any thickness you'd like. Then, when you get to inserting your boning, add another line of stitching to hold it in. It will appear to be thicker than it really is. As long as your boning is held in tightly, you should not have any problems with it drooping down or flipping over when wearing it (my first ones had these problems!) Does that make any sense? Best of luck to you! Let me know how it turns out!

  6. thank you so much :)

  7. What type of fabric do you recomend? I have seen several that used cotton but aren't there different kinds? For example, one type is a thicker weight. I am very new to sewing. Thanks.

    1. Its all based on how the fabric is made to be honest with you Denise-some prints are thinner than others. Check out your local craft store explore the different fabrics they offer and hold it up to the light see how thick it is. Darker colors are better in my opinion but its all based on what you like.

    2. Sorry, Denise, I must have missed your comment or I would have replied sooner! Holly is right, you can really use whatever material you like. I always feel the materials and hold them against my body to see if they are too thin (ie will anything show while nursing). Most cotton materials will be fine, but some might feel heavier or lighter, so just go with your personal preferences!



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