Sewing so easy even I can do it: Nursing Shawl

Nursing Shawl 18

Okay so it’s official: I’m going to be an aunt (again).  This time, though, unlike my lovely instant nieces Tego and HG I get to meet this niece or nephew at birth!  Krystopf and Atlas, the expectant parents, are coming to visit at the end of May.  It’s my big brother’s first time in Newfoundland, though Atlas was here back around the time of Doodle’s Newfoundland Express.  And neither Atlas nor I will let Krystopf forget the fact that SHE bravely came to visit us (by herself!) when she was a just brand new girlfriend, and HE (my own eldest brother) can’t organize himself enough to book a flight.  But for reals now they are coming and I couldn’t be more excited!  It’s a very brief trip but we’ll be sure to cram it with all sorts of fun stuff.

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While I fully plan to have their wedding present (from last July) finished before they get here,  I thought I would also get cracking on some baby-related things they might find useful in the near future (the baby is due in October).  Now we know that if you put me in front of a sewing machine I am likely to break it.  Like for real.  But this one I think I can handle, because it involves sewing precisely one line.  Even I can do that.  I hope.  Anyway, this post also kicks off my new Kidlet category here at Ali Does It.  Who says you can’t do it yourself when there’s children involved?

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What we’re going to make today is a nursing shawl, and it’s so simple it’s almost stupid.  But the great thing about this shawl (I think) is that it’s an easy (and fashionable) alternative to nursing bibs and trying to gather blankets around your shoulders and whatever.  And it covers your back, too, like a stylish poncho.  And it’s small enough you can just jam it anywhere in your bag.  And it doesn’t wrinkle.

Start off with some fabric, a nice jersey knit.  I found two that I liked, this pink cotton and then a silky gray polyester blend.  They were $2.99 a metre, which struck me as a good deal.

Nursing Shawl 1

After washing and drying the fabric (to remove sizing and get any shrinkage out of the way), fold the fabric right-side-in along its width (which should be about 60 inches (or about a metre and a half).  This will leave you with something about 30 inches wide.

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Because fabric stores cut this stuff very quickly, the edges are not exact.  I lined mine up as best I could and then used some sharp sewing scissors to cut along the outer edge to make it more square.

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Next, use a measuring tape to measure 25″ from the outer edge and pin several times to mark your place. This will run perpendicular to the folded edge.

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Cut along your markings so you are left with a rectangle that is about 25″ x 30″ (or 25″ x 60″ if you unfolded it).

Now you’ve got one folded edge and three open edges, right?  From one corner of your folded edge, measure 13″ along an open edge and pin to mark it.  This will be the head hole for your shawl.  Pin along the rest of the fabric to hold it in place.

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Now all you have to do is sew along that line, from the edge of the head-hole to the end of the fabric.  It’s only 17″ of sewing.  Of course, my sewing machine and I don’t get along.  And so rather than throw it across the room I just did these by hand with a needle and matching thread and it took no time at all.

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Then you just flip them right side out and they’re done.  Jersey knit doesn’t fray so you don’t have to worry about hemming the other sides (though you can if you want to, or embellish them with ribbons or whatever you would like).

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It’s a nice comfortable, breezy fit!

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At this point, Fussellette laughed and said, “I’m not fit yet for motherhood.”

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Thanks to Fussellette and Teddy Two for being my models!

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Author: allythebell

A corgi. A small boy. A sense of adventure. Chaos ensues.

8 thoughts on “Sewing so easy even I can do it: Nursing Shawl”

  1. Just came across your blog; love this post! I’ve been trying to get myself to learn how to sew & I think this might just get me over that hump of “wanting to do it” and just do it! Thanks for the post!

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  2. Great tutorial. I think you might mean parallel to the folded edge? That’s the way the looks in your picture but I could be suffering from ‘baby brain.’ I guess I’ll know for sure after I try to make it . . .

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  3. Great tutorial, I guess.
    But we need to normalize breastfeeding, and part of that is encouraging moms to nurse uncovered. It can be a little never wracking the first time, but it gets way easier. Well meaning family members giving nursing covers is telling the new mom that she is expected to cover up, even when around close family and friends. Probably not what you meant by this gift at all, but every single time I see covered nursing being encouraged by another woman I get just a little more pissed off.

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    1. Hi Humble,
      While I can see where you’re coming from, and I would never insist that anyone cover up while breastfeeding their baby, I know that some are uncomfortable baring their torsos in public places. In addition, some babies get easily distracted while feeding (especially if their routines have been interrupted), so putting a bit of a darkened covering on the baby can help him or her to focus on the task at hand.

      So while this tutorial may have angered you, keep in mind that others may have found it helpful, because every parent and every baby is different.

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