Finally! An Adequate Nursing Shawl

Many breastfeeding Moms will tell you: nursing shawls can be less than modest, especially if you have a feisty, flailing little one.  I found an easy pattern online for a BIG nursing shawl, and whipped it up in no time.  Keep in mind – I’m a beginner.  You can do it!

I can hardly wait to use this one!  Come wind or waving arms, I’ll be covered.  🙂  The best part is, it saves us money.  Most things you make yourself will do that.  Have you seen some of the exorbitant prices companies charge online for a simple square piece of fabric?  As we say in my family, “Good NIGHT!”

The pattern comes from Lindsay, the Mom who writes Passionate Homemaking, one of my favorite blogs.  I’ll add the link to her sewing instructions at the bottom of this post.  My version will show a general glimpse of the process plus my alterations.  Lindsay’s pattern will be more thorough, if you’re looking to sew this.  Give her whole site a browse while you’re at it.  She does a great job!

The project begins with measuring and cutting your favorite lightweight cloth into an almost-square.  It will look huge.  That’s the point.  I chose a feminine pattern that works for nursing a boy but helps me still feel girly.

Yep, that’s my high-tech straight-edge system.  Pot holders.

I have this nice remnant from the fabric now.  Any ideas what to do with it?  It MIGHT be long enough for a cloth belt if I shrink a LOT after the baby’s born…

Lindsay’s instructions include cutting off a long, narrow strip to be used later for the neck strap.  Using a zigzag stitch, the large remaining piece is finished on both sides and the bottom, leaving the top edge unfinished for now.

You’ll have cut off an 8-inch piece of the neck strap for the small loop, where you can attach D-rings.  I say can because I didn’t like them and ended up doing something different.  The neck strap itself is simply sewn together inside out, turned right-side-out, and pressed flat.

Easy so far!

Lindsay’s pattern calls for a piece of boning, so that while you’re nursing your little bambino, you can peek in at his or her sweet face (or flailing arms as the case may be – and if that’s you, don’t give up!  It is absolutely possible to nurse a feisty baby when your own body is not cooperating either.  Maybe I should write a post about that.)

There’s the boning, with a pin to mark the exact middle.  The same is done on the top edge of the shawl, and both are pinned together:

The whole thing fit together wonderfully – better than I imagined.  After pinning the top edge over the boning, the neck strap is pinned to one end of the boning, and the 8-inch loop to the other end of it.  Both pieces are tucked underneath the boning for added security.  I’m sorry I forgot to take a picture of that.

Now you’re free to finish the whole top edge, all the way across, adding an extra line of stitching to the neck strap and adjustable loop to help keep them in place.

As for that loop…  Lindsay’s pattern, like most, requires D-rings to secure the neck strap.  I did put these on at first.  For some reason, mine did NOT want to hold the cloth in place.  I think I bought the wrong size.  My super-strong hunking husband bent the D-rings for me and took them off so that I didn’t have to do any seam ripping and re-sewing.  Thanks, sweetie.  🙂

I already know how I like a nursing shawl to fit, so I just tied a fashionable knot in the loop and neck strap.  Ta-da!  Done!  Thank you Lindsay for posting such a useful project.  I’m looking forward to nursing baby #2 in complete peace and privacy. 

To follow more exact and detailed instructions, please click on this link for Lindsay’s version:

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2011/05/make-your-own-nursing-cover.html

Happy sewing and thank you for reading The Full Vine!

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