A scarf with enough fabric to drape over a nursing baby is a simple concept. I’m not sure why it took so long for the trend to shift from moms tossing a blanket over their shoulder (possibly tucking it into a bra strap so it doesn’t slide) to wearing an infinity scarf that definitely won’t fall off because it’s around your neck.
Here’s how to make an infinity scarf that doubles as a nursing cover.
- 1 yard of knit fabric
- measuring tape
- a sewing machine
- matching thread
Choose the right fabric
When you go to the fabric store, what you are looking for is a knit. A knit fabric is stretchy, like a t-shirt, and a bit harder to sew, but the beauty of it is that the edges look ok when they are raw.
They simply roll up and disappear. When you pull gently on the fabric, the edge will roll. Here, the top edge has been tugged to demonstrate.
Because this basic approach to making a scarf means that the “wrong side” of the fabric will be visible sometimes, I first purchased a double sided fabric, thinking it would look cute to have stripes on one side and dots on the other.
I ultimately decided that this fabric would be too thick if worn doubled around one’s neck. I went with a very lightweight knit that, although the pattern is printed only on one side, looks okay if you see some of the backside, which in this case is just white.
Another smart choice would be stripes, which would be the same on both sides, or a solid color, which would be most versatile as a fashion accessory. The fun part of this project is picking the fabric.
Since fabric comes in yards, usually 56″ wide on a roll you only need a yard. (If you are clueless in the fabric store, ask for help finding the knits — you don’t want woven fabric intended for quilting.) Expect to spend about $9 on fabric, but so often (sew often?) the chain stores have major sales, I won’t be surprised if you find knit fabric for a lot less.
Measure and cut the fabric
After looking at the dimensions at many of the infinity nursing scarves sold on Amazon, I realized that there’s no exact size. What seemed to work is sewing fabric into a loop that is 30 inches wide and 28 inches long.
In other words, start with a strip of fabric that is 30 inches wide and 57 inches long. Fold it in half as in the photo above and sew the right sides together, creating a tube. Turn it right side out and you’re done.
I asked the folks at Bebe Au Lait, makers of many infinity scarves why they, with their access to manufacturers and engineers who could concept a scarf much more sophisticated than my entry-level sewing skills, didn’t have a pattern that hid the fabric’s wrong side, and they said a scarf with two layers was too thick. So I felt excused by the experts to keep it dead simple.
An infinity nursing scarf on Amazon costs about $20 (I like this one) so this is a rare case of a DIY actually saving you money. Unless of course you get sucked in at the fabric store and buy more things than you planned.
If you do this project, and bring baby with you, check Rookie Moms Challenge #4 off your list.
About that issue of covering baby up while nursing: I don’t care.
What I mean is, I understand if you don’t care to cover up. You don’t have to hide your nipples as far as I’m concerned. I bet your nipples are the best nipples — and the most functional — on the block!
But if you are thinking your father-in-law might feel more comfortable if you had a scarf to hide under, consider it a gift to him. Heather was embarrassed to be embarrassed about nursing and she had a distractible baby so these sort of quickie cover-ups were extremely useful.
My friend Jenny did me the huge favor of modeling the scarf with a live nursing baby, as she verbally confirmed that it’s a nice idea, but she DOESN’T CARE.
It certainly doesn’t make breastfeeding easier. Especially when your blogger friend is like, “Hey, can you nurse your baby right now this minute on this bench and wear this scarf. Great, thanks!”