Saturday, September 11, 2010

My DIY Saturday Project

I realized years ago when I tried to make one of Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals in 30 minutes that I need to allow extra time to complete certain things.  (It took me about 45 minutes to finish the 30 minute meal. :))  So, today I took that into consideration as I took on the task of making my own nursing cover. 

I am by no means an expert seamstress.  My grandmother, who passed away about 5 years ago, started to teach me some basic sewing techniques when I was in high school.  She was a great seamstress.  She made several of the special dresses that I wore to ring dances and proms.  She helped me make a dress about a year after Steve and I were married.  That was the last series of sewing lessons I can recall her giving me. 

I pulled out my sewing machine, that has been packed away for the last 3 years, and I spent at least 30 minutes trying to make a bobbin and how to get the thread from the bobbin thru the sewing base.  I told Steve that the patterns that I saw on-line said I could finish the project in an hour.  I was going to give myself two hours. 


After I got my sewing machine ready I pulled out the supplies I picked up yesterday at the fabric store.  I got one yard of a fun piece of fabric, a package of D-clips, and a spool of brown thread.  I got all of my supplies for ~$8.  The package of D-clips had 4 clips.  I only needed 2, and I didn’t use the whole spool of thread.  I could easily make another cover for just the cost of the fabric (~$3.50).



I didn’t have a pattern, but I had seen suggested measurements for the three pieces on several websites.  I cut the large piece to 24”x36”.  The two other pieces were for the strap, the longer one was 31”x3” and the shorter one was 10”x3”.




I started by working on the straps.  I folded the piece of fabric in half lengthwise with the right side of the fabric touching.  I then sewed it together along the long side and one of the ends.






I remembered a trick that Granny taught me.  I used a knitting needle to help turn the fabric over to the right side so I could close up the remaining open end.  I attached the D-clips to the unfinished end of the shorter strap by just sliding them on and then folding it over finishing that seam.  I left the open end unfinished on the longer strap.  You will see why in a minute.  :)



I had seen this piece of cream fabric in my sewing supplies when I was looking to see what I had available the other day.  When I was working on my cover I felt like the one piece of fabric I bought on Friday needed something else to give it a more finished look and to give the fabric more body.  This piece of fabric matched perfectly!  Since I now was sewing together the two pieces of fabric I didn’t need to finish the ends of my straps because I was going to sew the raw edge inside the cover.



I also decided to take a terrycloth washcloth that had brown and blue circles and attach it to the cream side of the cover to use as a pocket.  I am planning on using the pocket to hold nursing pads when I am feeding my little guy.  I used the terrycloth as opposed to a scrap of fabric from the front of the cover so that I could use it to wipe off his face if he spit up a little while he was eating. 



I could envision my grandmother laughing at me and shaking her head “no” while I was trying to sew the straps to the top of the cover.  It took me three attempts before it dawned on me that because I was working with the “wrong side” of the fabric that I needed to allow the straps to hang inside the pieces I was sewing together.  I didn’t get a picture of that step, but here is a picture of the straps attached to the cover.  I positioned each of the straps 3.5” from the center of the fabric.

The last dilemma that I had was how to close up the seam between the straps.  I had left that area open to turn the fabric onto the right side.  I knew that Granny would have probably sewn the seam shut by hand.  I didn’t think I could get it to look neat if I did that so I opted to use some no sew hem tape that I had.  I just pressed the area, applied the tape and pressed it again to seal it shut.


So after running into a few bumps in the road, eating lunch, and feeding Michael, I finished the cover in about 4 hours.  I would have been close to the 2 hour window if I hadn’t decided while in the process to add the second piece of fabric and the pocket.  I am happy with my finished product, and I think Granny would have told me, “good job”.  I still have thread and another set of D-clips, who knows maybe I will make a second one for myself or as a gift for a friend.

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