When Mila was born I made my own traditional nursing cover, and I was also given a nice one as a gift. However, in practice, these nursing covers posed many challenges- if Mila wiggled or if it was windy the cover would move and expose me. And let’s not forget that it didn’t cover my back, so if I was wearing a top that I had to lift, then I would expose my back to everyone. And have you seen what a cotton nursing cover looks like after it has been stuffed in a diaper bag for a few weeks/months? Just a little wrinkly….
Before Teegan was born, I ran across several different variations of nursing ponchos made out of jersey knit on Etsy and I instantly fell in love.
Nursing with Mila was never easy because I didn’t make a lot of milk (because of lupus), but I managed to breastfeed her until she was 10 months old and I found out I was pregnant with Teegan. Unfortunately, when Teegan was born, my lupus was much more active and my body was in general a lot sicker, and I didn’t make any milk AT ALL. I pumped and pumped and cried and cried, but eventually realized that it wasn’t going to happen. Teegan wouldn’t even be here if I hadn’t taken so many medications to keep my lupus controlled, and so, it wasn’t that surprising that my body was tired and just couldn’t do anymore. And then when I broke my leg I realized it might have been a blessing in surprise because my body needed the calcium to heal.
I’ve been able to gift some of my breastfeeding ponchos to friends who recently had babies. And you never know, maybe I’ll get to use one if we have a #3 someday.
So, here’s how I made my new nursing poncho:
Most jersey/knit fabric is 57-62 inches wide (as compared to your standard quilting fabric that is 44 inches wide), which makes it about 30 inches wide when folded selvedge to selvedge. I recommend getting a lighter weight jersey, especially if you live in a warm climate, because your baby may be under this material for a considerable amount of time while nursing and we don’t want him to overheat.
1. Buy 1 yard of your favorite jersey/knit material.
2. Lay out your yard of jersey material on the floor folded right sides together, with selvedge edge to selvedge edge. The cut sides should be about 30 inches and the folded side should be 36 inches.
3. For an average/tall size woman, cut your jersey at 31 inches (if you are petite I would recommend cutting it around 29 inches, but remember you can always go shorter- you can’t go longer).
4. On the right side mark 15 inches up from the folded edge and place a pin. Continue to pin the material together from this mark out to the selvedges.
5. Sew a 1/2 inch seam where you have placed your pins (from the selvedge edge to your 15 inch mark). Turn the poncho right side out and you have a nursing cover that stays put!
YES, there is only one seam to sew to make this poncho! And because of the nature of jersey you don’t have to finish the other seams. This might be one of the easiest things you ever make.