Knit Breastfeeding Poncho Tutorial

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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.

Look at that precious baby!
Look at that precious baby!

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).

NursingCover14. 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.

NursingCover25. 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.

HAPPY NURSING!

– Erica

 

15 thoughts on “Knit Breastfeeding Poncho Tutorial

    1. If you look at the bottom picture, the head will go through the right side where it is marked 15 inches (you are sewing the rest of that side). It’s hard to see from the instructions but when you sew it, it will be obvious. Let me know if you make one and if it works out!

    1. No, it’s too long and not tight enough. I’m sure you could alter it to make it work though. I had the same idea/hope.

  1. Will this design keep my sides covered? Since baby is underneath the poncho and there is no seam on the sides will anyone be able to see my skin from the side when I lift up my shirt to breastfeed?

  2. I just made one of these and I love it! So easy! I’m going to make these for baby shower gifts from now on. One thing I wanted to note, if you’re short but “blessed” in the bust area (like me) you might want to cut the length for tall/average to accommodate the “girls.” I did this and it fits perfectly!

  3. Any advice on how to adapt this to tandem feed twins? Any thoughts on how the dimensions would be different?

  4. Where does the sewn seam go when your wearing it? Off the shoulder and down the arm? I have the seam off my right shoulder and it does seem like that side is more exposed. I am making it for my daughter.

    1. Yes, the seam goes off the shoulder and down the arm. You can switch which side it goes on depending which side you are breastfeeding on. Let me know how your daughter likes it!

  5. I just made one and the seam going down the arm is not going to work for me, much shorter and showing more skin. I did however put the seam in the back, my front and both sides are well covered and the poncho comes down to the bottom of my back. I like this much better than any other kind of nursing cover I have used and can’t wait to use it/show it off. Looked at these online and they were about $33, mine….less than $10. Thank you!

  6. ‘t turn out so good. It was a lot of fabric to try and adjust just right while you have a screaming baby who’s hungry. I’m making these for both my daughters who are due in April 3 weeks apart! Back to the drawing board. Thanks for the tutorial.

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