Nursing Cover Tutorial

nursing cover tutorial
With all of my babies, my nursing cover was one of my most-used and most appreciated items. They make the perfect gift for a new mom, and can be whipped up in no time!

A stylish and practical nursing cover. The dimensions are slightly larger than most nursing covers, which gives added coverage and less chance of someone getting an uninvited sneak peek!

You will need:
1.25 yd fabric (home décor weight works best)
16” boning – in fabric casing – can be found in local fabric shops or online here (affiliate link)
2 D-rings – 1.25”-1.5” – these 1.5″ D-rings (affiliate link) are my favorite to use

Fabric pieces to cut:
one rectangle 28”x40” for main body
· one strip 4.25”x10” for neck strap
· one strip 4.25”x26” for neck strap

1. First we will complete the neck straps… Take 4.25”x10” strip of fabric and fold in half lengthwise right sides together. Stitch ¼” from edge along raw edges, forming a tube. Repeat with longer strip, but sew a curve towards the inner fold when you are reaching the last few inches of the strip. Trim seam allowance around curve close to the stitching line.

2. Turn each piece right side out and press flat with the seam going down the center of the strap. Topstitch ¼” from each edge on both straps.

3. Place shorter strap through D-rings, matching up raw edges. Stitch as close to the D-rings as possible, encasing them between the two layers of the strap.

4. On to the main body of the nursing cover… With your main body rectangle of fabric, fold and press upper edge (if your fabric has a definite pattern, ensure you know which side should be at the top!) ½” toward wrong side of fabric. This should be your 40” long edge. Fold and press again ½”.

5. Open up the folded edge and center the boning along the raw edge (I used black boning for demonstration purposes), with the boning curving away from you (sounds more confusing that it is… now’s a good time to take a look at the picture below). There should be 12” of the pressed edge on either side of the boning. Pin boning in place.

6. Stitch along upper edge of boning casing (depending on your boning, your stitching may need to be nearer the top edge). Stitch at either end of boning casing, ensuring that boning is completely covered by the casing. If needed, first trim 1/8” off of each boning end (plastic only, not the casing) to allow casing to completely cover the boning. This will assure OCD people like me that the boning will not move or poke through the casing or your fabric.

7. Allow the upper edge of fabric to fold over again the way it was pressed. With the right sides facing toward you, take each neck strap and tuck under folded edge, centering each strap at the edge of each end of boning. Pin in place. Stitch along lower edge of fold.

8. Press neck straps upward, away from the main body. Stitch along upper edge of main body, backstitching at edges of straps, securing neck straps in their final and upward position.

9. Fold and press lower edge of nursing cover ½”, fold another ½” and press again as was done with the upper edge. Stitch close to folded edge. Repeat with raw side edges.

Note: If you would like to add an interior pocket that can also be used as a burp cloth, simply cut a right-angle triangle piece of terry towel or chenille the size you would like your pocket to be, allowing enough fabric for a hem on the top edge. Hem the top edge, sandwich the raw edges of the triangle between one lower side and the bottom pressed edges before they have been stitched, and stitch the pocket right into place while you sew the bottom and side edge. I have personally never needed a pocket because it seems I always have a big diaper bag with me anyway and a separate burp cloth, but it’s a simple step to add if you think you might like one!

10. Thread the long strap through the front of the D-rings and back out again through one on the underside.

11. You are done, great job!

Give it away as a gift or keep it for yourself!

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  1. excellent tutorial! The only thing that I think I like is a pocket of some sort on the inside for nursing pads, lanolin, etc. Just a nice thing to have.

  2. Very nice. I will have to try this. Where do you get your cute home decor fabric? I love it. You are so amazing!

  3. Thanks for reminding me Jenn, I totally forgot I was going to add a note about making a pocket but it didn’t even cross my mind until you mentioned it!

    Maren, I found this fabric at JoAnn actually. I think I might use it for my own nursing cover too.

  4. Great post. I ended up not following the instructions exactly (I wanted to make a reversible one) but it was still a great starting point for dimensions, placement, etc.

    And I love how clear your instructions and pictures are. Look forward to trying out any other tutes you post… (and have already posted!)

    P.S. I assume you don’t mind that I linked to your tutorial on a recent post?

  5. great tutorial abby! i just used it, i like your way of doing boning better than the other tutorial iused.

    the pocket i put in mine is a square and it is to store nursing pads in. (i don’t use it though because i don’t require them) i”ve never heard of using a triangle for a burp cloth.

  6. great tut. I just had a friend ask if I can make one and hadn’t looked up a tut on this yet, here your is. Thanks.

  7. I’ve made a bunch of these for friends and I always line them with satin material. The babies just love it against their face when they’re nursing and it stays cool when it can get stuffy under there.

  8. love the tutorial… I’ll be linking soon from my blog ( :)

  9. Thanks for the great step-by-.step tutorial. I made two for my daughter and daughter-in-law, who are expecting and am making them for shower gifts for girls at church

  10. Thanks for the great tutorial! I can’t find any nice home dec fabric here, but our quilt shop has the most beautiful fabrics and great batiks. This will be a gift, so I want it to be really nice – does the extra weight of the home dec fabric make a big difference? My choice is kind of ugly home dec, or pretty quilting fabric.


  11. Thanks Terry! I personally prefer home dec fabric, but if you find a nice stiff quilting cotton it should be okay. I know a lot of people that use quilting cotton rather than home dec fabric. I like the stability of home dec fabric, but if you can’t find anything cute near you, I would go with the cotton. Just make sure it’s not too “soft”, and more crisp. Hope that helps!

  12. Thanks so much for the quick reply! The baby shower is Saturday, so I’ll go shopping tomorrow. I saw someone online using flannel – that seems about as soft as you could get. I wish we’d had something like this 30 years ago when I was nursing my babies! Thanks again. :o)

  13. Hello, thanks for the tutorial. I have this problem where the boning falls forward so you end up with a scoop neck opening and the fabric is not held open. Do you know what would cause this? Are you actually sewing on the boning casing? I am using a boning with no casing.

  14. Hi Mika, I always recommend to using boning with the casing. This should add some stability to the fabric around the boning and keep the boning in place, and help with the boning “caving in”. Also, if you are not using a heavy enough fabric (I recommend a home dec weight) this could also cause the fabric to not be stable enough to support the weight of the boning. Hope that helps!

  15. I think I FINALLY figured out that my boning is falling because the straps are not sewn overlapping with the boning. Yay! Now for some more sewing…

  16. I made one and posted it on my pregnancy blog. It’s so cute and after seeing the professional ones up close I really like that it’s a bit larger. Wonderful pattern. Thank you.

  17. Thank you for your wonderful tutorial :) I just finished one for someone and it looks great!

  18. Thank you for this,…I am a beginner sewer and may try this one tomorrow, your tutorial has b eautiful pics and easy instructions!!!, I dont think the pocket is necessary so I’m not worried. Once, again, your tutorial is the best online. Thanks

  19. I have made several nursing covers (we call them HOOTER HIDERS!) and the feedback I am getting is: do use the 16″ boning. Some of the tutorials call for 12″ , some 14″, etc. My DIL says she ‘fights’ with the 12 in one and tends to not use it. I am redoing the boning for her in that one, although I hadn’t made it originally. Also, she was given one that didn’t have boning, just stiffened fabric and that doesn’t work at all, especially after repeated washings.

    Also, make the pockets a wee bit bigger and I put a small piece of elastic in the top so the nursing pad (or whatever) doesn’t fall out easily. Just some FYI from experiences!! :)

    Great tute! Thanks so much! Love these aprons!

  20. This is an amazing tutorial! I am going to use this to make a nursing cover for my friend’s baby shower next month!
    Love your blog! I’m a new follower. :)

  21. Thanks for the super clear instructions- I am a very beginner sewer and excited for such a great looking nursing cover!

  22. I finished this tonight for my daughter. I will try to post about it soon and link back to you.
    Thank you for the great tutorials!

  23. I love this cover– I use it all the time! Thanks for sharing. Btw, love the new photos. It’s easier to see the seams and understand what to do :)

  24. Loved your tutorial!!! In spite of many problems in finding the right materials here in the province of Milan – Italy – where I live(see boning, D rings and a nice home decor fabric pattern), I managed to sew your fabulous nursing cover by using alternative solutions: a double layer of standard cotton, 2 O-shaped rings in zink-coated metal and the base of a stainless steel crutch…Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

  25. Thanks for such easy to follow directions and great pictures to accompany the instructions! This made for a great gift for a good friend! I am excited to make another one for myself once I find out boy/girl!

  26. I made 2 of these cover ups for myself and they are great, but i think if i made them over i would make them 5 inches longer. When walking and breast feeding it doesn’t cover all the way to my pants line, thus exposing a little tummy.

  27. I’ve been on the search for a nursing cover tutorial w/D RINGS!! I have even sat in front of the sewing machine and have already found your turoail to be the easiest!! THANKS!! :D

  28. Great tutorial. Wonderful pics… mine turned out just like yours! :)
    The other tutorials I looked at were a little sloppy, but your’s really comes out professional looking. Only thing I would add would be to melt the ends of the plastic boning with a lighter so that they don’t eventually poke through.
    Thanks again!

    1. Awesome advice … the boning always comes out after multi washes. Nothing hurts worse than getting poked in the neck — Never occurred to me to melt the points into a dull edge —AWESOMENESS

  29. I just made this nursing cover for my sister and her son to come! It took me exactly 2 hours and I am a very beginner sewer. Thank you for keeping it so simple! I love the finished result!

  30. Thank you so much for this tutorial, I made 1 for myself took about 2 hrs but Im a beginner. I love using it thank you.

  31. I like to make these with really heavy interfacing instead of boning (about 2″ wide and 10″ long). It is more flexible and works great!

  32. I just finished two of these for my DDIL (expecting grandchild #4 any day!) using your great tutorial. I copied a ready-made one several years ago, but I really like how your instructions have you secure the boning to the apron casing first. Made it so much easier. Thank you for sharing! I really enjoy your blog, too!

  33. I just made one for my sister-in-law and I love how it turned out! And it was so easy even I could do it, now that’s saying a lot! Thanks for the great directions and pics!

  34. Great Instructions for this nursing cover! I have all the materials and can’t wait to try it! Great pics too btw. Thanks!

  35. I just bought all my fabric and was wondering do you wash yours first? I bought a solid color 100 percent cotton to line it with so the little one doesnt get distracted. I dont want the decor fabric and the plain fabric to was differently. If i washed would I cut the same measurements still?

  36. Michelle – I usually am too lazy to pre-wash the fabric, but the correct answer would be yes, if you are planning on washing it after it’s made and as you use it!

  37. Wow! My mom is very good in sewing something like this and even bags too. Hmm I’ll tell her about this, coz I’m sure this will be a great help and an additional knowledge to her. Great tutorial, eh.

  38. I love this tut. You inspired me to make myself one this week, but I lined it with “satin” as another comment had suggested and I ended up using belting instead of boning and it is great! I went out today and bought more fabric and made 2 more covers for friends. Thanks!

  39. Thank you so much for the step-by-step tutorial! I’m making this for a friend who really appreciates home-made thoughful gifts and is in need of a cover :) I also used the extra fabric to make a small bag to store the cover in or be used for something else!

  40. Thanks for the great tutorial. The pictures helped a lot. I just finished a cover for my sister, and I’m going to make another for a friend. Do you mind if I post a link on my blog?

  41. I loved how easy your instructions were to follow! I didn’t have D rings or boning, so I made my own D rings out of thick gauge wire and the boning out of the rim of a quart-sized yogurt container!

    I loved how my cover turned out and if you don’t mind will be posting it and a link to your tutorial on my blog Thank you!

  42. Want to say thank you so much. I made a nursing cover through your easy to follow instructions and I’ve been using it for over a year!

  43. First let me say that I love your blog- I have made several items from your tutorials! Now, I have a few questions about this nursing oover. I am almost finished but when sewing the sides at the end, the corners are really thick. I am using home dec fabric like you suggested. Is there a trick to not having bulky corners at the end? Also, my strap is really long- I have to pull quite a bit through the d ring to get a good neck/chest fit. It looks like on your pic that my “short” strap is much longer than yours. I went back and double checked but mine is measuring 10 inches like the directions called for. Any suggestions? Regardless, I love the cover! I’m just a perfectionist when it comes to sewing! Thanks in advance for your reply! Love the blog!!!
    [email protected]

  44. Shelly – if the corners seem extra bulky, I sometimes trim just a small triangle off each corner after I press the edges over – just make sure to leave enough that the edge will still get caught in your seam. That definitely helps though with extra thick home decor fabrics.

    As far as the short strap goes, if it’s cut at 10″, it will be 5″ when folded in half, and then after being tucked into the top seam, it will extend approximately 3″ upwards. If it seems like your pulling a ton through the D-rings, I’d say definitely shorten the strap (if you haven’t already sewn it in!). For myself, I sometimes do, but like to leave it a bit longer for the tutorial so it will for sure fit all sizes, or if it’s for a gift so that they have the option. I like to have the cover as tight around my neck as possible, so you’re probably like me, but I know that a lot of ladies prefer it to hang lower and looser :). Hope that helps!

  45. Love this tutorial! My first son was always trying to rip off the blanket I was using as a cover. I usually caught it before it exposed anything, thank goodness. I’m hoping to get one or more made before this baby comes so that doesn’t happen again. I really love the boning too so they’re not smothered under a hot blanket while they’re trying to eat.

    I also added this to a list of my favorite baby related tutorials.

  46. I love the tutorial as i read through it and know instantly that it is a project that i can make.

    i am a beginner at sewing. i shall try to make it when i get materials. Also, the pictures are amazingly clear and explanatory on their own.

    Keep it up. A wonderful tut.

    Will continue to follow you on this blog for more ideas and advices on sewing.

  47. Hi, I have just made one of these following your tutorial this evening and it took me 1hr tops! Great easy project. I used a much lighter apparel fabric and found that to be best for a summer baby. It’s prom season so I couldn’t find fabric covered boning at my local joann, so I got some of that needlepoint plastic mesh material, and cut it into a strip of 16″ x 3/8″. It worked great. Another thing I did was add a terry cloth triangle to the inside of the right bottom corner. My friend says her hooter-hider has one of these and it comes in really handy to wipe up any spit up if needed. Thanks again! have a great day.

  48. Great tutorial! I just made my nursing cover last night! It came out beautifully! My husband was pretty impressed (it’s one of my first sewing projects). I told him it was because your tutorial was so clear and easy to follow.

  49. Another idea is to put a triangle of (2 thickness)flannel on the inside corner to wipe the babies mouth if need be or sew a pocket in the corner of the cover up so you can fold cover up and end up all folded into pocket. It keeps it neat and clean and easy to put into bag.

  50. Thank you for this tutorial!! I just finished making this and I added a strap to go around my waist and snap on the other side. My daughter is 4.5 months old and moving a lot so this will help keep it in place.

  51. Just wanted to say thanks for the tutorial! I’m a beginner sewer and am surprised at how good mine came out! I think I’m gonna love it. :)

  52. I’m not sure if this has been covered already in another comment but I’m curious what kind of fabric you used. I love the look and weight of home decor fabric for this project but I’m afraid that since virtually all of it is dry clean only I may be on the wrong track. Your tutorial looks awesome and I really want to get started on this cover but I would hate to buy a fabric that might crock or shrink … any suggestions?

  53. Anon – I always prefer to use home decor weight fabric for my nursing covers, but I know that some people use cotton and like it as well. For me, I like the stiffness and weight that the heavier fabric gives to the cover. And I can’t guarantee that it’s always the case, but I always machine wash my home decor fabric and have never had a problem – you can always test a small piece of fabric in the washer first if you’re not sure how it will wash.

  54. I love this tutorial! I was able to borrow my sisters cover (with boning) for my first and i couldnt imagine life without it! But now we are both pregnant and i now will HAVE to make my own:) i will be using elastic for the neck though-ive never had good luck with D rings. Very much looking forward to starting this first project on my new sewing machine:)

  55. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial…I made this one for my sister inlaw a couple of years ago, she loved it! ~~Robyne~

  56. I just finished my first one and it turned out so nice that I am planning to make several more.
    Thanks for the detailed tutorial.
    A big hug from Colombia


  57. I have made several of these and thank you for the instructions. They always turn out nice. I did modify just a bit. I do a 14 inch boning instead of the 16.

  58. I’m finishing up my first nursing cover, and the only issue I had, which was quite frustrating, was the direction of the boning. Your instructions said to pin it so it’s curving away from me…so if it gets turned down twice, it’s still turning away from you, and in the reverse of how you want the final product. It seems like the boning should curve toward me when pinning it down, so it’s turned down once, and then once again, still curved toward me in the final product. I really do not feel like tearing it out, so I decided to fold it a third time and leave it at that. Thanks for the tutorial!

    1. The arc of the boning should be faced away from you, if you do it this way you will end up with a beautiful nursing cover.

  59. Thank you so much for this tuturial. Very easy to follow and I’m very happy with the end product even being a beginner

  60. hi! i love this tutorial and made one for a friend, which turned out great. i want to make another one with a satin lining but wanted to ask how you would go about it? i was thinking just tucking it under the boning and topstitch. Then fold it in with the side and bottom hem? would that be the easiest/correct way? thank you!!

  61. This is a wonderful, very easy to follow tutorial! Thanks so very much. I made one for my best friend for her baby shower in under 3 hours. Next time i will use a heavier weight fabric or add a lining. Cheers!

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  63. I just made my own version of this in about 2 hours (Having to frequently stop due to my 2 little ones :) ). My finished product is about 32″x 42″, I wanted it to cover a little bit more than the normal nursing cover, so it’s kind of like a cozy blanket too. I couldn’t find the material that I really liked in the Home Decor fabric so I used two layers of flannel-cotton. (Hot pink chevron pattern/Hot pink solid) I really like the weight of it. I made one long strap and did a button closer, I can never figure out the D-rings when I’m rushing to nurse and I didn’t want it to end up in a big knot in the back, like so many of my store bought ones. For all the material (Except for the D-rings) I spent ONLY $8.50 at Joanns!! Way cheaper and its exactly what I wanted! Thank you for the inspiration!! (Here is a link to where I posted it on a Babycenter board, my screen name is: MissPauline08 )

    1. so, i have a stupid question. i’m making this for my daughter who just had her first. is it 28″ wide by 40″ long? I have material that has a picture on it so it has to go the right way..

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  66. Brilliant tutorial thank you. I just made one for my sister who was due yesterday (still waiting for an appearance). Instructions are simple to follow and end result is lovely. I had tonnes of fabric so I made mine reversible with some tiny alternations.

  67. I just want to thank you for this tutorial. You have a talent for defining the instructions that I am easily able to read, see the photo and implement it. Today I made two of these and they truly are going to be such great gifts for my sis in law. she is excited to be getting a “Kinga Creation”. 2 Thumbs up:)

  68. I just made one for my daughter in law out of seersucker fabric – it is hot hot hot in Texas summertime! I couldn’t find boning so I used a narrow strip of plastic canvas and it worked great. I went very slowly over the canvas and the sewing machine needle just slipped between the squares rather than piercing the plastic. Thanks for the great tutorial!

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