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Nursing Cover

March 13, 2012

About three years ago, well after I finished nursing my oldest but before my youngest had arrived, I took a yard of stretchy pink material and tacked it together into a quick, makeshift nursing cover.  My eldest had taught me that my children were not going to be like other, more elegant children I saw nursing–mine were going to try and pull the cover off of me at every turn.  And while I am entirely comfortable nursing in public if necessary, I am not comfortable nursing in public while showing everything I have to offer.  What I created was a nursing cover that wrapped all the way around my body so that my daughters couldn’t pull it off of you no matter how much they wanted to.  And it worked!  Well, the one I made for myself was thrown together at best.  Nevertheless, when one of my best friends saw it, she declared that she wanted one when she had a baby sometime in the future.

This weekend I had the wonderful privilege of going to the baby shower for her first child–a little boy I can’t wait to meet.  And I was more than thrilled to offer her a nursing cover I had made her–although hers, unlike mine, had been made with time and care to be beautiful as well as functional.  I tried to find a fabric that was fashionable to make it more of an accessory for her and less of a baby item.  In the back of my mind were the many complaints I have heard from new moms and dads as well as my own that diaper bags always look so babyish (unless you pay a premium for fashion).  After all, it’s not a bag for the baby, really.  I had also learned a few lessons from my own nursing cover:

1) More fabric is better than less fabric–those little hands are amazing at pulling covers away from your body at inopportune moments.

2) Lightweight fabrics are best–the lighter and more breathable the fabric, the less you (and the baby) will feel like you are suffocating under the summer sun.  And in Florida, this consideration takes on epic proportions…

3) Extra fabric draping at the neck not only looks nice, it makes for easy peeking down when you need to see what on earth the baby is up to at the moment.  Some women seem to never need to look down and can just do everything blindly by feel.  Even after two babies, I never got that proficient at nursing.

I finally found a pretty black and blue abstract floral pattern that seemed to fit that balance of baby boy and mom.  I picked out some funky buttons that would add a little accessorizing–although I didn’t think about the fact that they would be too large to fit in my button hole attachment for my sewing machine, thus forcing me to hand sew the button holes.  And I decided to go with black bias tape to give the edges a nice finish.  I used two yards of material and kept it folded in half.  The fabric was so lightweight that this kept it from being transparent and gave it a more finished look since you always saw the right side of the fabric even if it folded back on itself.  After folding it in half and pressing it, I draped it carefully and placed the buttons and buttons holes to try and let it lie naturally.  The fit I ended up with actually gave it a nice cowl neck look, and it almost looks like a shawl.  The end result was something I felt would not be totally embarrassing to wear in public.

At her shower on Sunday, I eagerly anticipated her reaction.  She was excited to get a nursing cover and, at first, didn’t seem to realize that I had made it for her myself.  (Remember, she had seen the original, haphazard version).  Her happy surprise and delight in the fabric and the design absolutely made my day.  There is something so special about giving someone a gift that you put a little piece of your heart into and then seeing them thrilled with it.  I bought about eight more yards of fabric to make a few more covers for other friends I know who are getting ready to have babies, and I can’t wait to see their reactions as well!

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From → Sewing

3 Comments
  1. Aeoliana Elliott permalink

    I can’t wait to use it!!! Thank you for one of the most thoughtful, beautiful and functional gifts we received.

  2. Very cute!!! I think I might like one of these one day. 😉 And also a lesson in using a sewing machine.

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