The Mother of Invention

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. I think irritation is the mother of invention. Only because I think in many cases “necessity” would be a strong word..

I don’t really “need” a robot vacuum cleaner, but its irritating enough to clean up after kids and pets that someone invented the Roomba. We named ours Myrtle – because the girls thought she looked like a turtle. Get it? No, me neither. But my floors are a lot cleaner now..

This must be especially true when it comes to baby products. Diaper wipe warmers? Really?

Then again, there are a lot of cool baby products out there, and I have to say that even though my oldest is only 10 (10.5! she chimes in) they make way more cool stuff now than they did then!

Like the stroller that just holds the infant seat then folds away light and small in your trunk – love it! Car seats with multiple cup holders and extra padding for those sleepy floppy necks. The boppy, in all its cozy incarnations.

What does this all have to do with my little sewing venture? Two words: nursing covers.

About a year after I had finished nursing my third baby, we were at a family gathering and my cousin had one of these “new-fangled” nursing covers and I was instantly in love. Ok, I was instantly jealous. No more overheating with a heavy blanket over my shoulder? No more baby pulling the blanket off to see the world? No more big sister pulling the blanket off to see the baby? 🙂

So one of the first things I did when I found out I was pregnant with baby #4 was to look for nursing covers. I loved the idea, but wasn’t too keen on any of the patterns I saw out there. (Naturally the one my cousin had, which was beautiful, was retired by then)

So what’s a crafty mom with 75 bolts of fabric in her sewing closet to do? Well, obviously make them myself!

I made several for my own baby, several for friends as shower gifts (something in the water – everyone I know was pregnant at the same time!) and finally decided to put my own spin on them and market them.

One of the things I changed from the first design was using a wide belting for the rigid open neckline – still rigid enough to hold itself open, but not something that would become irrevocably bent when thrown in the washing machine or unceremoniously shoved into the diaper bag, you know, when you have “help” packing up.

Another thing I noticed with the first ones I made was that my baby loved to pull on the strap while she was nursing. I remembered a few years ago when there was a craze for “nursing necklaces” – something for baby to play with so that she wouldn’t pull on blankets, clothes, etc. So I put the two together, and now I make the nursing covers with an extra long adjustable strap. There is a snap closure at the end so you can even attach a toy or binky. (My girls liked to have a binky as soon as they were done nursing, kind of like a cigarette…, well, never mind..) So baby can’t pull the nursing cover off of you because its secured around your neck, and she’s discouraged from trying to pull the bottom corners up because she has her own toy built in. Ah, the joys of multitasking start so young….

So there is the history behind my nursing covers. If I can figure it out, the next evolution will involve keeping baby more interested in nursing than what’s going on around her, but we’re not there yet 🙂

You can find my nursing covers in my store, currently available in 16 prints, but really its wide open. If I have the fabric, I’ll make you a nursing cover out of it. Let me know what you’re looking for and we’ll find one you like! You don’t “need” it to be the perfect pattern, but admit it, it’ll make you that much happier to shlep it around for the next few months!


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