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.