With only 6-10 weeks to go, I'm nearly done with maternity sewing. Once I finish my shirred reversible skirt and chartreuse cardigan jacket this weekend (which are both intended for post-preggo wear as well)--it's full speed ahead for breastfeeding wear!
My plan is to start with a few nursing nightgowns that can pass as dresses. I'm going to be feeding Cartoonist Baby every 2 hours in the beginning, and trying to nap as much as possible. It seems unnecessarily complicated to have to change my clothes every hour--but I want to look at least somewhat presentable for visitors.
And really, what is the difference between a dress and a nightgown, except that most nightgowns just aren't all that cute? With some exceptions--I'd totally wear a Belabumbum striped nursing gown (and I could make it for a lot less than the $100ish retail price!):
Actually, my current favorite maternity nightgown is not an official nightgown or maternity wear at all--it's just a stretchy cotton-lycra cap-sleeved polka-dot dress from a discount store. I wear it both for sleeping and for lounging around in on weekend mornings (you can see a bit of it at the top of this post). I could totally wear it out and about if I wanted to, especially in the summer.
I've already got the patterns in my stash, too. This is a modular nursing pattern--I've made it up twice already as a maternity sleep bra (with an full bust adjustment and extensive alterations to make it super-supportive) and would just need to attach the actual nightgown bit and maybe some cap or flutter sleeves:
Clearly stripes or polka dots need to be involved, right?
I have some striped fabric left over from the sleep bras, actually... I call them my Tim Burton bras. They don't look like much lying flat, but trust me that they fit fabulously!
And I have this nursing top pattern from the Ottobre Woman 02/2009 issue, which I could easily lengthen into a dress. It's a bit bland, but with cap or flutter sleeves and a fun fabric, it would be totally cute.
I also have plans for nursing bras with more serious architecture, plus tops and coverups and dresses that are too dressy for nightgown use, but more on those later.
P.S. Update from 2013: Once I actually had my baby, I didn't actually have much time to sew nursing nightgowns/dresses! I still get a TON of wear out of the nursing/maternity sleep bras I made shown above, but I ended up buying a few knit nursing nightgown/dresses from Japanese Weekend and wearing them to shreds. Here I am with my 3-day-old newborn in a nice black nightgown/dress hybrid that I pretty much lived in for the first week—it has a nice ruffled lettuce edge:
And here's a similar style available today with lace edging:
It's totally the little black dress for new moms!