Sunday, August 17, 2008

breastfeeding cover or nursing cover or hooter hider cover up (free tutorial)

These cover ups are called by many names; hooter hiders, nursing covers, breastfeeding blankets, modest mommy covers, breastfeeding covers, mommy covers or cover ups, etc. Some designs have patents, this specific design is a basic cover up with an extra band at the bottom to add weight. You are welcome to print this tutorial, email it, link it, share it with friends, make them, sell them, whatever... it's a free tutorial, feel free to modify it to fit your needs. Good Luck & have fun - (all feedback is appreciated for clarifications.)

The final breastfeeding cover up looks something close to this. The finished size is 38 inches wide by 25 1/2 inches long (including the band). The straps are 33 inches and 1 1/2 inches. There are 2 bows at the top where the straps begin, these serve no purpose except for embellishment.

Materials needed:

28 inches (of 44" width fabric - a basic bolt of fabric)

10 inches of a coordinating fabric

2 D shaped rings, size 1" or 1 1/4"(pictured above, usually sold in 4 packs)

18 inches or 1/2 yard of 1/2" boning (pictured below - sold in either white or black)

(Optional) ribbon or buttons for embellishments

The fabric pictured below has been washed in warm water, dried on a cool setting, and ironed. If you notice we only need 39" out of the 44" standard width - keep in mind that washed fabric will shrink (this cotton fabric shrunk 1 1/2 inches in width). It's a good idea to prewash all fabric before starting this project, to keep the basic shape from changing or the look & size of the finished product.

This is a yard of fabric, but again it shrunk (length) by 1/2 inch. I only used 28" inches but recommend buying an extra inch or two to allow for shrinkage.
I also recommend ironing all the fabric and using a starch on all folds. It helps to keep the seams nice and straight and will help the fabric stay folded when it comes time to making the band.
Step 1: Cut the fabric. The main fabric needs to be 28 x 39 inches.

Step 2: Cut the coordinating fabric. You will need 2 pieces; one to measure 6 x 39 inches (this will be the band at the bottom of the cover up) and the second to measure 2 x 39 inches (this will be used for the straps).

Step 3: Fold the 6" strip in half and iron.

(This is what the strip will look like after it is ironed.)

Step 4: Unfold the ironed strip, so you can see the crease down the middle section.

Step 5: Fold the bottom section towards the center and iron.

Step 6: Repeat with the top section.
(This is what it will look like with both sides folded towards the center.)

Step 7: Fold the strip in half and re-iron down the center.

(This is how it will look when it is done, the 6" strip is now 1 1/2") This is the bottom band. Set this aside for now.
Step 8: Fold the 2 inch strip of fabric in half with right sides together and iron.

Step 9: Sew along the edge.

Step 10: Turn right side out.

Step 11: Iron the strip flat with the seam running down the middle of the back. The strip is now 1 inch wide.
(This is what the reverse side of the strip should look like. This piece will be used for the straps. Set aside for now. )

(Optional step): Zigzag or serge the edges of the main fabric to keep from fraying and add weight.
(the width of my zigzag or serged edge is 3/8")

Step 12: Fold the zigzag or serged edge once and iron. Then fold again and iron.

(This is what it will look like.)

Step 13: Sew 1/8" from the edge of the side that was folded and ironed.

(The width of my finished edge is 3/8")

Step 14: Repeat that same step for the sides and bottom of the cover up.

(This is how the finished edges will look.)

(The boning pictured above has a natural curve to it. You want the bend to be on the right side of the fabric, going away from your neck.)

( This piece of boning is 1/2 inches wide.)

Step 15: Fold in the zigzag or serged edge (at the top of the cover up) once, iron and sew 1/8" from edge.
Step 16: Fold again at 3/4 inch and iron. Re-sew along the last seam (or the zigzag/serged seam).
Step 17: Use a lighter to round both plastic edges of the boning.

(This is how it should look.)

Step 18: Insert the boning into the cover up

Step 19: Feed it through the fabric until you reach the center, then pin it to hold it in place.

Step 20: Sew the fabric at both ends of the boning to keep it from moving. Remove your pin.

(This is how it should look with the right side facing up.)

Step 21: Top stitch the sides of the straps at about 1/8".

( This is how it should look when it is done. Set aside.)
Step 22: Unfold the band, turn in the edge and sew a 1/8" seam, repeat at the opposite end. Refold the band.
Step 23: Insert the bottom finished edge of the cover up all the way into the band.

Step 24: Pin in place and sew 1/4" seam from the edge. Remove the pins.

Step 25: Top stitch along the outer edge at 1/4".

(This is how the cover up should look at this point.)

Step 26: Thread the strap through both D drings and zigzag or serge the edge. Length can be between 2 inches to 4 inches.

Step 27: Sew as close to the D rings as you can to keep them close to the end of the strap. You may want to handstitch this part if it is easier.

(This is what the smaller strap should look like)

Step 28: Finish both ends of the longer strap. Turn in twice and sew at 1/8" from the edge.

Step 29: Attach (sew) both straps to the top of the cover on top of the boning. Pin & sew.

(Optional step: Add embellishments. This is what it will look like when the longer strap is threaded through the D rings.)
This is what the finished cover up looks like.
Be liberated my sisters and feel free to nurse in public without people oogling "the goods"... -Maren


The AZ McMillans said...

Great tutorial Maren! It's very easy to follow. And the finished product is so cute. I'm sure many people will get good use out of this.

Stacey said...

I'm still making yours....I know....sorry the move put everything on hold. :) I can't wait to finish them. I set up my sewing area today.

Stacey said...

I'm still making yours....I know....sorry the move put everything on hold. :) I can't wait to finish them. I set up my sewing area today.

Abigail said...

SO.....Wonderful I love the pics and is much easier to follow. You did such a good job, but I still think I want you to make mine. :)

Karla said...

Thank you for a great tutorial. I have made 3 so far. One idea I saw at a baby shower was to sew a small pocket in the bottom on the inside. Storage for a few breast pads or other small item. I did this on my last one for my daughter.

Sadia said...

Thank you for a wonderful tutorial. I just made one for myself and it turned out fantastic! The instructions are very clear and easy to follow. I made mine for less than $6.50 (except for thread). I really love the way it turned out. It is so much worth it to stitch your own rather than buying for $35.
Many thanks again !

kathy said...

thank you for the pattern - i added a pocket on the inside right side for my daughter to put her nursing pad in while she is nursing her son :)

Grams said...

Beautifully done tutorial. I'm off to the fabric store. I'm sewing one for my daughter. Thanks for sharing your skills.

Grams said...

Stitched up one of these for my daughter this afternoon. Can't wait to give it to her this weekend. She just used a blanket with her first baby. This is going to be so handy.

Anne said...

great tutorial...i appreciate all the pictures you took of each step since i'm definitely a visual learner! i'm planning on making one of these for a friend! :o)

Tracy said...

super tutourial thank you. Also where did you get great seam blue thing

Mrs Coops said...

Fantastic! I was going to buy an Udder Cover, but then saw your site and think this is so much better! I'll get onto it as soon as I can borrow my mate's sewing machine!

Weights in the bottom two corners and a little pocket are a brilliant idea, too!

Kurso said...


I'm working on one of these right now! I was wondering where you got the plastic strip or boning? Yours looks great!

Maren said...

Hi kurso, I got the boning at Joann's. You usually find it with all the sewing notions. At my store they put it next to elastic by the yard. The workers at your local sewing store should be able help you find it. Good luck and you live in one of my favorite places to visit. JH is amazingly beautiful. We love camping in Yellowstone and the Tetons. Glad you stopped by.

Tati said...

Out of all the patterns I found online this is by far the best and easiest! I can't wait to try it out, hopefully today! Thanks

Jodi Lee said...

What is the name of the measuring tool you are using when pressing and sewing, looks like a handy gadget.

Jodi Lee said...

Love the blog! Good descriptions with the pictures. What is the tool you are using to measure when pressing and sewing?

Anonymous said...

great tutorial. I am working on one today for my daughter. I really like the idea of an inside pocket for pads or kleenex. Thanks for all the photos! Marge

Ronni Cook said...

Thanks. Great help. Just made one for my daughter. I lined mine with flannel. Nice and soft for baby.x

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