So here goes my first tutorial! This is my take on a nursing cover and a little travel bag for it. I haven't actually ever used one of these, I always used a blanket but I thought why not make one, other moms rave about them. I had all the supplies except for the boning so it cost me a whopping fifty cents. If you were to buy all the supplies I'd say it would cost about $10 to $15. Take advantage of fabric store coupons and you can make it even less expensive.
I'm going to try giving detailed instructions with lots of photos in case you're a beginner sewer. If you're experienced or even after you make one of these, you can stream line things, make your own short cuts, skip pressing and pins if you're comfortable with it. But for the sake of the beginner I took the time to pin and press and show all the little things that after a while become second nature. Please be gracious toward me and if there is anything that needs clarification please don't hesitate to ask. Here we go!
1 yard cotton quilting fabric, washed, dried, pressed with clean cut even edges
Coordinating thread, I use either Mettler or Gutermann - cheap thread gives me headaches
1 pair of silver D rings, 1 1/4 inch wide
1/2 yard corset boning (or more specifically 14"), I used white 1/4" plastic boning that was covered in interfacing material that measured 3/4" wide- it's lightweight and washable
1" square of Velcro (only if you're making the travel bag)
I use 1/4" seams. Top stitching is 1/8"
Begin and end all sewing lines with back-stitching.
It's helpful sometimes to start your sewing 1/4" or 1/2" in from the edge of the fabric, back-stitching, then sewing forward.
Cut out your pieces. Here's a quick sketch of the layout.
Main Cover: 38" x 26"
Strap A: 3" x 30"
Strap B: 3" x 5"
Bag: 6" x 43" (or whatever the remaining peice measures to be)
We'll begin by preparing the straps. Fold the long strap lengthwise with right sides together, press. Sew a 1/4" seam along the length leaving the short ends open.
Attach safety pin to one end and pull through.
Press seam open so it's in the middle of one side.
Tuck about a quarter inch of fabric in on one end, finger press, and top stitch all the way around three sides, (one long side, tucked in end, other long side), leaving the one unfinished end. Repeat with short strap.
Take the short strap with seam side up and place D rings on finished end, fold fabric over and sew the end as close as you can to D rings. (When the loop is too big the rings flop all over the place and it gets annoying when trying to tighten it). Set straps aside.
Take the main cover piece and press a 1/4" double fold over hem on three sides (one long side and two short) leaving open what will be the top edge. I have made pressing guides out of cut strips of file folders to help me when I press for these little hems. Basically I lay down the 1/4" strip just below the edge of the fabric, fold my fabric over it and press, pulling the paper down the length as I press. Then I just fold the fabric over one more time and press. Perfect 1/4" hems!
Sew hem closed along the three sides.
Here's what my corners look like. One end is just folded over the other. If a bit of raw edge pokes out on a corner while you're sewing just tuck it in and sew it down.
Now to put it all together. Lay the main cover wrong side up with top edge towards you. Place the unfinished end of the straps about 10" in on each side along the top edge and about 1/4" inch down, pin in place. Make sure the seam side of the straps are facing up. Place 14" length of boning along top edge between straps. Either move straps or trim boning so they all fit next to each other without overlapping. Also make sure boning is curving up. Pin everything in place.
**Please note: My "short strap" is going to look longer than yours. I started off with a longer piece, realized how dysfunctional it was and shortened it to the length you have and what you see in my finished photo a the top.
Fold edge down once and then once again, pin everything in place. This top edge should measure a hair over 3/4 inch wide.
Sew down the length on both sides of the edge about 1/8" in on each side, sewing down the straps to your main cover as you go.
Loop long strap through your D rings and you're ready to go. You're done! You've made yourself a nursing cover!
Now for the bag:
Take the 6"x43" piece of fabric and fold in half with right sides together.
Sew 1/4" seams along length of one side and about an 1 1/2" around the open end. Repeat on the other side. You should have an opening about 2 1/2" at the top. Trim the four corners.
Turn right side out, use a turning tool or something like a chopstick to push out the corners. Press and sew an 1/8" top stitch along the top edge with the opening, sewing it closed as you go. Fold the other end over about 8 1/2" and pin.
Sew along the 8 1/2" sides. Turn bag right side out and press.
Center one half of the velcro on the flap about 1/2" down from edge. Sew around all four sides. Center other half of the velcro on the front of the bag about 1/2" down from the bag's opening. Sew around all four sides. This can be a little tricky because you have to be careful to have the bag open as you're sewing on the velcro. This is where the velcro with the sticky tape backing is helpful to hold it in place as you sew. Sometimes it's nice to touch up the fabric with an iron after your done making a project, just make sure NOT to iron the velcro - it will melt!
You're now done with the bag! Congrats!
Now to fold the cover and stuff the bag:
Fold cover in thirds.
How great is that! There's even enough room to keep a breast shield, pads and a little tube of ointment.
Please let me know if you've found this tutorial helpful. I would love to hear feedback...may help me to decide if I should do more tutorials or not. They are quite time consuming but I'm willing to do them if you all find them useful. Enjoy!