Nursing Cover Tutorial

Hi Lil’ Luna friends! Rach H here…. Did you know that I got to meet Kristyn a few weeks ago at SNAP? (Read about it here)! It was such a treat to meet her. She is so incredibly friendly and I just love her. She took me under her wing and introduced me to all sorts of fun bloggers. And it was so much fun introducing myself as the “sewing contributor on Lil’ Luna!”
Today, I am going to show you how I make a full coverage nursing shawl, (one that wraps all the way around you), with elastic andsewn-in boning. With the boning, you are able to see your sweet little bundle of joy while nursing.
Full Coverage Nursing Shawl Tutorial

When I gave birth to my first baby girl, I was also a middle school sewing teacher at the time. I knew I wanted a nursing shawl, so in between class periods, I fashioned one for myself. (See my original tutorial here). A full coverage nursing shawl is my #1 must-have baby item. It makes me feel so in control and confident while nursing, because I dont’ have to constantly check my back to make sure nothing is “hanging out.” With a shawl like this, you can even nurse inconspicuously in public. The only thing missing from my original tutorial is the boning! I love the shawls that have boning, but the only ones I’ve seen would never work for me (they only cover the front of you, and the baby pulls at the edges of the shawl). I’ve scoured the internet for a tutorial like this, and I haven’t found one! So I hope this comes in handy for a lot of you. And if you don’t know how to sew, or don’t have time, or are looking for a great baby shower gift, I am currently selling these in my Etsy Shop!


1 yard main fabric
1/2 yard accent fabric
2 yards coordinating ribbon
heat and bond (width of ribbon)
17 inches boning
24 inches elastic (1/4″ wide)
thread, measuring tape, safety pin, iron, etc.


1. Wash and dry, then iron your fabric.
(You should probably do this, but I usually don’t)!
2. Cut your fabric.
Main fabric: Cut it in half on the fold parallel to the selvage. You will have 2 pieces appx 36 x 22.
Accent fabric: Line up edges at selvage and cut on the fold. You’ll have 2 pieces 36 x 7.
  3. Time to connect the 2 pieces of the main fabric and the 2 pieces of the accent fabric. Do these steps separately. With right sides together, sew a seam up the sides that are 22 inches and 7 inches, respectively, at the edge of the presser foot. Then finish off the raw edge. (Here’s where you can pull out your serger if you have one. If you don’t have one, then you can zig zag the raw edges. I just got one! But this tutorial is shown with the edges zigzagged). Your pieces now
measure 72 x 22 (main) and 72 x 7 (accent) inches. Press to the side. Here’s a picture of the 7 inch piece.
4. Now we’re going to focus on the accent piece. We need to hem the bottom edge. Fold and iron 1/4″, then fold and iron 1/4″ again. Stitch.
5. Still working with the accent piece, we’re going to sew the ribbon on. (Sometimes I skip the following step, but if you want, you can iron on fusible heat and bond to reinforce the ribbon; same idea as interfacing on fabric). Now you’re going to sew the ribbon to the accent piece. I am very non-technical with this part. I use the edge of my throat plate as a guide at the hem of the fabric, and line up the presser foot to the left side of the ribbon, with the needle moved to the left, to sew the first edge of the ribbon down. (Of course there are more technical ways to do this, aka: measure the distance of the ribbon and pin it, but I am too lazy)!
Here’s the final result of the ribbon sewn on.
6. Now its time to sew the accent piece to the main piece.
(This is a preview of how it will look).
You’ll put the two pieces that are 36″ right sides together and sew a seam at 1/4″. If you are lucky, both of these edges will be the selvage edge, and you won’t need to edge finish them. In that case, press open the seams. Or you can edge finish them.
7. Now sew up the side seam, to connect the shawl into a circle. Sew with right sides together, edge of presser foot, then edge finish and press. Make sure the seams from the accent piece and pointing down when you sew this seam. Also, make sure the 4 corners match up (where the accent pieces meet the main piece).
8. Time for the casing! On the top edge of the shawl, you’ll iron the raw edge down 1/4″. Then you’ll fold it over again appx 1/2″ or 3/4″ and iron.
9. Time to sew in the 17 inches of boning. First, see how the plastic pokes out? We don’t want it to penetrate through the shawl later on down the road, so scoot the fabric back and snip a little plastic off (NOT with your sewing scissors)! Now that it’s just a tad shorter than the fabric part, there is enough space to sew and close it up.
Here it is sewn closed. Do this on both ends.
 10. Now we’re going to add the boning into the casing. So unfold the casing once, and place the boning centered between your two side seams. Make sure the curve is facing you. Pin the edges, and sew lines where the straight pins are in this picture.
Here’s how it looks sewn in.
11. Now you fold the casing back down, and sew it all the way around the shawl. You are going to leave two 1 inch openings, so you can later thread the elastic into the casing. The 1 inch openings should be next to each end of the casing.  Hopefully the following two pictures will help that make sense to you.
12. Top-stitch the entire length of the nursing shawl, backstitching at a side seam. (Take caution sewing near the boning. Sewing through the plastic could break your needle. Use a zipper foot if you’d like).
13. Now it’s time the thread the elastic through the casing. Attach a safety pin to one end of your elastic, and insert through one of the openings you made. Thread all the way around until you reach the other opening next to the other side of the boning. Pull the elastic through.
Here’s how it will look with both ends of the elastic hanging out.
15. Sew a straight line where the elastic meets up with the boning. This will secure the elastic in its place.
16. Cut off the extra elastic, and sew the opening of the casing closed.
Can you believe it? You are done! Bravo, great job!
In case you’re wondering, I got this fabric at Hobby Lobby. I generally like to make my shawls gender neutral, so moms can use them for future babies.
Remember, you can stop by my Etsy Shop if you’d like to purchase one of these shawls. I currently have this fabric for sale, but I will be adding more fabric styles and colors soon.
Have a wonderful day!
Stop by Family Ever After and say hi!
Isn’t Rachel cute?! LOVE her!

Be sure to go to Family Ever After for more fun projects from Rach, and

for more information about her please go HERE.


Lil' Luna
Kristyn is passionate about sharing ALL things creative! From recipes and tips to crafts and DIY projects, Kristyn loves to share with her readers how to be creative and how to do things simply. When not creating, she is busy going on adventures with her 5 children (ages 7 to 6 months) and with her best friend/husband, Lorin.
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About Lil' Luna

Kristyn is passionate about sharing ALL things creative! From recipes and tips to crafts and DIY projects, Kristyn loves to share with her readers how to be creative and how to do things simply. When not creating, she is busy going on adventures with her 5 children (ages 7 to 6 months) and with her best friend/husband, Lorin.

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  1. 1

    Wish I had known how to make this when my little guy was still nursing! (He weaned one year ago today – sad how I remember that.) I would have loved the full coverage. Especially since once they become more active they tend to pull the apron out of the way exposing you to the world. lol Great tutorial Rachel!
    Jill @ Create.Craft.Love. recently posted..Motivation Monday #10My Profile

  2. 2

    Great Nursing Cover, and tutorial! :)
    Hilani-Handmade by Hilani recently posted..Belt Up Do {Tutorial}My Profile

  3. 3

    What is the name of the fabric you used on this nursing cover! ? I love it!

  4. 4

    This is fantastic. I earned with baby #1 that the regular nursing cover is not enough. I don’t even know how many people I flashed. I am making this for baby #2.
    Michelle recently posted..Homemade Play DoughMy Profile

  5. 5

    I just finished following this tutorial to make one for a friend who is expecting in two weeks! I plan to make at least three more, if not more than that. It seems like everyone I know is having kids, so these will be great gifts! Thank you!

  6. 6

    You forgot to include step 14 but I went to your original tutorial to get it :) Just thought that you might want to know. Thanks for the tutorial, so easy and cute!

  7. 7

    Are you selling these anymore?

  8. 8

    hi… i’m from indonesia… i love your tutorial… i’ll make this one for my baby girl… i

  9. 9

    This has to be the most ridiculous nursing cover I have ever seen. It makes mom look like the main event at the circus! How on Earth is this less conspicuous than just nursing out in the open? I think I’d rather just risk flashing a boob. Fewer people would notice.

  10. 10

    Was excited to make this and now that I’m done, I’m not going to make another one like I planned. It’s cute, and great if it works for you, but it is going to be quite a project in itself to get it on and off with a little one. I’ll probably play around with it by cutting the back down the center, maybe replace the elastic with more ribbon. I do like the idea of full coverage though.

  11. 11

    Try adding terry cloth triangles to the corners
    . Weighs down the edges to keep it covering and handy burp cloth !

  12. 12

    Awesome tutorial!! I love all the pics for each step. I am a new sewer and am going to give it a shot. If it all goes to heck I’ll order one from your shop :). I’ve been told that the “peephole” makes a big difference in a nursing cover.

  13. 13

    Thank you so much for the perfect instructions and design! I have been searching for something just like this since in my last trimester with my second. I had the common nursing cover before with the small sheet and loop. I wanted this exact thing with boning to still see and allow no one else to see anything.

  14. 14

    Very good tutorial, thank you for sharing

  15. 15

    How does an half yard (18 inches) cut into to pieces that are 36 x 7? What am I missing before I go buy the fabric? If the fabric is 44 -45 wide, the main piece cut in half can make 36 x 22. That makes sense. But the half yard? It either becomes 9 x 44 with the raw edged together or 22 x 18 if you place the salvages together as instructed. Can’t see any other possibility….

  16. 16

    Hi! I was just wondering if you are still selling these? Thank you!

  17. 17

    THANK YOU for posting this! With my first child I had the most useless cover! I was hanging out all over the place and he tugged at the edges constantly. I can’t wait to make this cover for my second child! Brilliant! Just what I was looking for!

    • 18

      I really hope this helps. I know it’s so hard to nurse and not feel like you’re flashing the whole world, so this tutorial totally helps. 😉

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