Monday, March 28, 2011

Easy Baby Sewing Projects: A Nursing Cover and Baby Sling

With my son's due date fast approaching, I've decided to get busy on some baby related sewing projects.  First up was a nursing cover.  If you've seen these in the stores or online you know that they can range from $20-$40 or more, but really they are just a big rectangle of fabric so that seems pretty silly.  This is an easy to intermediate sewing project. (Intermediate only if using boning seems frightening, but really it's pretty darn easy).  I found a great online tutorial by Pinkatilly, and this is what I used for the most part in creating this cover.  The changes I made are mostly cosmetic.  Since I liked a white fabric, and it was a bit sheer, I decided to line my cover with orange and use orange for the straps.  I included pockets (there is one in each corner), and I used D-rings to make the necktraps adjustable.  The thing I'm most proud of about this cover is that I used an ice cream bucket handle as an alternative to buying boning for the neckline.  I promise that this works every bit as well!  I think this cover looks just as trendy as the $30 name brand nursing covers but it cost me a total of less than $5 to make.  ($1.50 for D-Rings, $1.50 for 1yd of white fabric, $1.50 for 1yd of orange fabric)

Next I decided to make a baby sling for messing around the house.  I have a nice carrier that I'll use for events that involve a lot of walking (one that sits on both shoulders!), but these informal slings are great for toting your baby around easily without wrapping yourself up like a mummy and spending 15 minutes just getting everything strapped together! I mostly followed the instructions found at this online tutorial posted by Karma Baby, although I found this diagram to be useful too.  
The one change I made to the pattern at Karma Baby is that I sewed down the french seam as you see in this picture (creating a hem like you would find down the leg of your jeans).  This is because this adds even more strength to the seam (and this seam will be holding my very precious child--so I want it strong enough to hold a 15 of them!)  After I finished the sling and tested it out with my daughter's baby doll, I decided to add a pocket.  Not sure what I'm going to put in there yet, but all mom's know that you can't have enough pockets and storage places when running around with small children. 
I'm not sure how much these cost in stores, but this one was virtually free to me because I used an old bedsheet (but not one that is threadbare!  Make sure it's strong fabric!).  It looks pretty long on my mannequin, but I'm sort of tall and my mannequin is really petite.  You want it to fit sort of on top of your hip, or wherever is comfortable for you.