Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hooter Hiders

You Will Need:

  • 1 1/2 yards of fabric (if you want a different fabric on each side of your HH, then buy 3/4 yard of each fabric)
  • 2 D-rings for the strap (they should be at least 1" to 1 1/2" wide for a good, sturdy strap width)
  • Approx. 10 inches of boning for the stiff section between the straps that lets you keep an eye on your baby. (boning should span the space on your chest between your bra straps)
  • Thread to match your fabric(s)
  • An iron & ironing board

Making the Main Section:

  • Cut your fabric(s) into a 35"x25" rectangle. (Rectangle size can be adjusted for taller/shorter, larger/smaller mommies).
  • Place the right sides together and stitch all 4 sides together, leaving a 5 inch section open.
  • Through the opening, pull the fabric right sides out, and press.
  • Center the boning at the top of the fabric and mark where the casing will start and end.
  • Through the opening, insert boning and center between marks.
  • Stitch casing around boning.
  • Stitch opening shut.

Making the Strap:

  • For strap, cut a length of fabric approx 50" long, and between 3 to 4 inches wide (depending on the width of your rings).
  • Fold in half with wrong side of fabric out and stitch the long side and one short side together.
  • Turn inside out and press.
  • Cut a 4" length off one end (to hold the rings)
  • Trim long strap piece to desired length, and tuck and close any open ends on both strap pieces.

Putting it all together:

  • Insert short strap piece through both rings.
  • At one end of boning casing, fold 4" strap section over the top of the fabric so the ends are even on either side, and rings have plenty of room to move at top of fabric.
  • Making sure they are even, stitch strap ends to main body of fabric.
  • Pull one ring down to front of fabric so it rests on top of stitching just made, and stitch another line above it, creating a small casing (this will prevent the rings slipping through each other as you try to work the strap).
  • At the other end of boning casing, position one end of long strap piece even with the strap piece just finished and then stitch to fabric.
  • To complete the ensemble, weave loose end of long strap through both rings, and then back up through one and TA-DA! You're done!

Extra Tips:

  • It may be worth spending a little more money ($1 or $2) to buy a fabric that has been slightly coated to resist moisture and stains. I prefer a fabric that is just the tiniest bit stiff for better ventilation, but some women prefer softer, lighter fabrics.
  • The boning that seems to work best is RIGILENE. It goes for about $2.99/yd but you will need less than 1/3 yard for one HH so it works out to be a little less than a dollar.
  • Another boning tip. Hot gluing the ends of your boning and/or sewing the casing slightly longer than the boning will prevent the plastic strips inside the boning from poking through the fabric over time.
  • Large, plastic "o" rings are cheaper and just as cute to use for the strap. Plus, using these rings eliminates the need to sew a casing on the short strap to separate the rings.
  • To help your HH maintain its shape over time and washing, continue the bottom stitch line of your boning casing around the entire perimeter of the fabric, creating a sort of 1/2 inch "hem" (It's best to do this before sewing on any strap pieces!)

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