How-To: Nursing Cover

by Kelsey Norwood

in Crafts,Tutorials


Making your own double sided nursing cover is a fun, easy, and inexpensive project. Here are some basic instructions.


  • 1 yard each of 2 coordinating fabrics
  • 20″ boning
  • velcro

1. For the nursing cover: Cut 2 pieces (one from front fabric and the other from back fabric) that measure about 24×36.

2. For the straps: Cut 2 pieces (front and back fabrics) 2″ x 3.75″ and another 2 pieces 2″ x 24″.

3. Sew the straps together using a 1/4″ seam, leaving one short end open for turning. Trim seam allowances and corners, and turn right side out. Press.

4. Baste a line of stitching at 1/4″ along one of the long edges of both front and back pieces.

5. Sew right sides together around 3 of the edges, and also just around the corners on the 4th side, as shown in the picture below. Press seams open and clip corners.


6. Using your 1/4″ basted stitching line as a guide, press down a 1/4″ seam allowance on both pieces.


7. Line up the two layers of the unsewn top edge and pin.

8. Locate the center of the fabric along the unfinished edge and the center of your boning. Align the two centers. Mark 1/8″ from the ends of the boning on the fabric with pins.

nursing cover tutorial instructions

9. Edgestitch the two layers together between the two pins to create the first part of the casing for the boning.

10. Sew another line of stitching 5/8″ from the edge, closing it off at one end, to finish the casing.

11. Insert the boning into the casing and sew the open end closed.

nursing cover tutorial instructions

12. Slide the straps in about 5/8″ right next to the boning on each side.

13. Starting from the outside, edgestitch the two layers together. Make sure the front and back are aligned around the strap. Sew around all 4 edges of the strap with an X in the middle.

14. Sew velcro on the straps wherever you need for it to fit comfortably.

I’m going to make another single sided one just for fun – I’ll let you know which I like better.

Good luck with this fun project! (One of these would make a fabulous baby shower gift in case you’re not planning on nursing anytime soon…) Enjoy!

{photos taken with a Canon Digital Rebel XSi}


1 Annette W April 28, 2009 at 6:57 am

I know some of my good friends feel differently, but I do feel it’s important to cover when nursing. My husband and some other men we know are actually quite uncomfortable around nursing moms when it’s obvious…I do feel it’s important to nurse whenever needed. It seems that these work much better than the standard blanket…thanks for sharing!

2 Kellie April 28, 2009 at 6:59 am

I was looking for this tutorial the other day, and now here it is, woo hoo! Thanks for a great tutorial!

3 Baba April 28, 2009 at 10:42 am

Another great baby shower gift to make for new mothers. Thanks for adding it to my list!

4 Emily Albrecht April 28, 2009 at 11:28 am

That is a great tutorial. I think I will try to make that before my baby comes, maybe after I find out the sex. That seems much easier than trying to hold a blanket when the baby is thrashing about. :)

5 Emily Albrecht April 28, 2009 at 11:32 am

P.S. Is there a picture of it finished or in use?

6 Kelsey April 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm

I haven’t completely finished it yet because I want to wait until I actually start nursing to know just where to put the velcro. When my baby is born and I have it adjusted to fit me just right, I”ll post a picture.

The first picture is the finished product – next time I would make it a little bigger, I think, although I guess I can’t be sure since I haven’t actually used it yet.

I will revise the tutorial as needed after my baby is born.

7 Cristina April 29, 2009 at 12:39 am

I made one of these for my friend, last year. I found that the boning made it hard to reverse it, so I took it out. I was looking online for some kind of solution to that and came across a woman that had used thick batting, instead of the boning. I haven’t tried it, yet. But, it may make it easier to reverse the thing. Just a thought!

8 Cristina April 29, 2009 at 12:41 am

One more thing, I used a D ring instead of velcro, so it would be adjustable.

9 Sue D April 30, 2009 at 9:20 am

I always admired people who could nurse discreetly while my babies always were fiddling with the blanket. I usually ended up going someplace private. This looks like it would work.

10 Amy April 30, 2009 at 11:56 am

Did you use something like this with your first baby? I’m expecting my third this fall, and considering making one this time around….

11 Kelsey April 30, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I didn’t think about the boning making reversibility an issue – I mostly made mine double sided so I wouldn’t have to finish the edges… but it definitely is not reversible because of the boning. I like the batting solution, thanks!

12 Kelsey April 30, 2009 at 9:48 pm

If I was in public, I just used a blanket. I’m anxious to see how I like this method – it seems much better because it allows you to see what’s going on without using your hands. It’s a very simple project, so try it and let me know what you think!

13 Maggie M May 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm

You always have such great tutorials. I’m going to try and make this nursing cover for my niece. She had her first child in January and is still a bit awkward about nursing in public. I like the way your nursing cover looks, much better than a big square fabric piece in front and a tie around the neck, like I’ve seen. Thanks :)

14 Amy JO Trager June 26, 2009 at 10:41 am

I just bought the fabric to make this today! I’ve still got a few months to get it made. I’m going to make it 2 sided, with a fuzzy inside where the baby will be and a pretty silky outside that everyone will see. I’ve never seen boning before…I guess I’ll have to ask. I might try the batting idea first, since I already have that on hand. But the boning is supposed to be placed near the front of my neck once it’s on? Have you been using yours much the past few months?

15 Kim September 25, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I used one of these with my last a couple of different styles and have of course used the always available blanket too; however, the nursing cover is much easier to keep in place.

I have three comments, the first is about the boning. The purpose of the boning is so you can observe your baby and also to provide ventilation so the baby gets some fresh air under the cover and can see you when they are old enough to want to establish eye contact. It can prevent them from always trying to bat the edges of the cover away (always at an opportune moment, of course).

Second, either the velcro or d-loop strap closures work but the d-loop strap should already be closed and just adjusted after lifting the strap over your neck. Velcro works especially well if the strap is single and wraps all the way around the neck to fasten over the right shoulder. Put the rough side on the cover and you can place more than one smooth strips on the strap, making it adjustable if necessary.

The last comment is that adding a pocket at the base and/or some fabric/trim that can be used to weigh down the bottom or even just the corners can help to keep the blanket from being blown/batted off of the baby. I like the addition of flannel, terry cloth, a t-shirt knit, or diaper cloth at the base or corners on the inside of the cover. this gives both weight and also a nice drying area should the need arise. The pocket can hold nursing pads and/or burp cloth and hand sanitizer wipes, especially with the addition of a velcro flap these items can be stored making mobility easier. Each of my children was different and our routines were different but after I had more than one child, the ability to nurse while moving around the house, although not ideal, was essential.

16 Kelsey September 26, 2009 at 7:44 am

Thanks for your in depth comment – you have some excellent ideas, so thanks for sharing! I really like the idea of having a pocket. I’ll have to do that on my next one. And it’s true, when you have more than one child you don’t have the luxury of sitting to nurse all the time. Thanks!

17 Heidi October 27, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Thanks so much for the free tutorial. I am absolutely pro breast feeding (if that is an option) and (both my husband and I) always appreciate and respect the mom’s who choose to cover, and what a great option with a baby peek-a-boo hole so they can watch mom too. I like the idea of the pocket on the inside corner, however I am wondering how large it should be?

18 Sara B. March 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Made it, love it, used it tonight! :) Thanks for sharing!!! Bought extra boning yesterday to make some for my friends. I’m a big fan of breast feeding and encourage everyone to try it!

19 Heather Ratliff July 6, 2010 at 6:37 pm

I’ve been looking for a pattern online. Thank you so much! I just used a blanket with my first daughter and, while it worked ok, having something attached to me will be nice with the second baby, especially since I’ll have a 2.5 year old running around too!

20 Shannon December 1, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I made one of these with a different tutorial and the boning just flops in the front? Does anyone have any idea why? It’s about 12 or 14 inches long, I can’t remember exactly. How do I make it stick out a little better? Does that make sense?

21 erin August 7, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Thank you for this tutorial … the pictures are so helpful! I recently purchased one, thinking it would just be easier to not make one, but I did not look carefully enough and it does NOT have boning! Might as well be using a blanket. So, I think I will make one after all so I can see my little guy!

22 Kathryn September 14, 2011 at 11:54 am

I wish I would have looked for a tutorial like this before I bought two nursing covers for way too much money. I will be using this tutorial next time around :)

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