Is not the sound you want to hear when you have a project that is actually turning out awesome, and you are managing to sew in ten-minute baby catnap-sized chunks, and it is just SO close to done, and...
I had snagged this tissue-thin unstable rayon-lycra jersey on a broken plastic piece of my sewing table insert while hemming, opening up a hole right over the bust area. I was not about to scrap this thing, given how hard it had been to cut out (like slicing through water, argh!), so I repaired it with a little hand-stitching, and I hope no one is looking close enough to notice!
The inspiration: Specialty nursing tops aren't necessary for breastfeeding – but I love them anyway. Any top that can be pulled up or down or unbuttoned can work... but I like to be able to get baby his lunch quickly without a cover, and I don't want to show off my belly. So easy access is key, and tops that open right above or right under the bust fit the bill.
Recently, I acquired a few nursing tops in a great front overlap style by Boob Designs, and while I love the way they work, I foolishly bought light, solid-colored ones that developed breastmilk stains almost immediately. Here's how the Boob Nursingwear tops function (in a smarter colorway, too):
So I decided to make my own versions in distracting stain-hiding prints.
Pattern: Jalie 2921 scarf-collar top (basically a knit version of a bow-neck blouse!), hacked with the So Zo nursing top tutorial. I'd previously made this fantastic top pattern (not hacked for nursing) in a floral and polka-dot version, both of which I wear, and get complimented on, constantly, so it is a real TNT.
Fabric: Slippery thin striped (rayon lycra?) jersey knit with good recovery that I got for free in a fabric swap. Horribly thin and unstable while cutting and sewing (I was swearing a LOT while cutting) so I can see why its former owner ditched it.
Size: Because I still seem to be shrinking slowly post-birth and this fabric is super stretchy, I decided to stick with my usual size even though my bust, waist and hips are all 3" bigger than last time I made this thing. Which is a size S (34" bust) overall, but a size V (37") for the bust and front sleeve armhole. My actual bust is 41.5" right now, so there's a lot of negative ease going on here.
Notions: 1/4" clear elastic for the bottom of the overlap and the top of the underlap. But I think next time I will use a heftier knit elastic, the clear stuff seems too flimsy to me for frequent nursing.
So it's maybe slightly TOO thin and clingy, but I think it will loosen up over time, and I personally rather a top be slightly too tight than too loose.
Instructions: Zoe's free tutorial was clear and thorough, and I found it easy to apply to this pattern I had already made several times. I did cheat a bit by just adding marks to my existing traced front pattern piece rather than creating new pattern pieces for the overlap and underlap, and it worked out fine.
Modifications: In her tutorial Zoe recommends the overlap ending 3/4 down the bust instead of under the bust, but I personally prefer the underbust line, so I moved it down. And the overlap front piece is split down the middle, but I made the underlap a single piece cut on the fold.
Construction notes: I made this all on the sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch, as I was visiting my mom and she doesn't have a serger. The fabric was so thin that it practically seemed to tear apart as I stitched, so I hope it holds up over time.
Side seam stripe matching win (nevermind the sleeves and shoulders):
How I found the time: I was visiting my parents when I cut and sewed most of this, and they held the little guy quite a bit while he was awake. I finished it when we returned to Brooklyn in very small chunks during baby's way-too-short naps.
Pretend nursing shot (baby was actually full, but you get the idea):
I've been trying to be more minimalist when going out with baby — no large bag, stroller, nursing cover, etc. So here I am about to pick up my daughter from Pre-K and take both kids to the playground... just wearing baby in a ring sling and carrying a diaper clutch with diapers, wipes, a change of clothes and my keys, ID and debit card. (My daughter wears her own small backpack with her Epi-Pens, water bottle and an allergy-friendly snack.):
Top: Made by Me
Leggings: Yummie Tummie by Heather Thomson compact shapewear leggings (scored on eBay for $3.50 due to a tiny flaw).
Diaper clutch: Skip Hop Pronto diaper changing clutch/station in a Jonathan Adler print, also scored on eBay.
Orange flats: Ahnu Karma ballet flats in Red Clay, bought on deep sale at Amazon. Ring sling: Sakura Bloom essential double-layered dupioni silk ring sling, can't remember the colorway as I bought it in 2010.
By the way, I do realize leggings are not actually trousers/pants/jeans. But since I don't have a single pair of non-maternity jeans that fit at the moment, I hope you'll forgive me. And these Yummie Tummie high-waisted tummy-control leggings are pretty amazing — thick and supportive and comfortable, and I immediately had people telling me "wow, you look great, getting in shape!" etc, even though my actual size and weight have not changed in over six weeks.
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