Monday, September 21, 2015

Nursing Things

  So, no baby yet! But I do have a couple of things I've sewn to wear once she's made her appearance. Firstly, a nightgown:

  This was pretty simple- I lengthened and flared my basic tee pattern to below-the-knee length, created cutouts in the front, and added an overlay with an elastic casing that hits about an inch below my ribs.

  Unfortunately, I made a grave miscalculation.

  My tee pattern is drafted for at least 30% stretch, while this fabric has closer to 10%.

  That means that the nightgown is too tight across my bust, which means it's pretty useless for nursing! The sleeves, which were initially regular short sleeves, were so tight that I cropped them to almost-cap length.

  So, sadly, this one probably won't get worn much!

  I also made a nursing bra. I've made 3 or 4 test versions that were non-nursing and altered as I went to get something that fits much better than any of my ready-to-wear, but not as perfectly as I feel it could. I used the Shelley bra pattern in size 38E with quite a lot of changes. I converted the lower cup to be one piece instead of two, took out a wedge at the lower center front of the frame. took wedges out of the top back band pieces at the underarm, added to the band at the center back, and flattened the cross-cup seam dramatically, as it was very poky.

  I also added an inner powerbar (out of powermesh but only because I didn't have enough of the main fabric) that sits slightly lower than the outer powerbar, and connected that to the strap, while the main cup is only connected to a nursing clip.

  I used a custom-dyed kit that I wasn't particularly pleased with... I'd used a kit from the same shop before and the lace was much wider, perfect for this pattern, as well as having gorgeous embossed powernet. This one just had plain powernet and the lace was too narrow. I was planning on lining the top piece with the main fabric for sturdiness anyway, so that wasn't a huge deal, but it doesn't look quite as nice as it would with wider lace.

  I paid extra to get extra finish elastic, but didn't receive any extra. I made it work by shortening the fabric straps by a few inches. I also paid extra for 3/4" band elastic, rather than the usual 1/2" elastic. After I had all the pieces cut I realized that the band elastic was actually 1" wide. The pattern recommends trimming the elastic just under the cup and sewing it down under the channeling if it's too wide, so that's what I did. Unfortunately, the elastic is fraying out from under the channeling, and it's going to have to be replaced at some point. The wider elastic is also a bit less stretchy, so the band is a little too tight.

  This fabric has a bit more stretch than is recommended for this pattern, so I doubled the fabric layers to add stability, which also gave me the opportunity to finish the inside of the cup nicely on most of the seams.

  The end result is pretty decent! I didn't enjoy making it, but it will definitely get a lot of use.

  I have another of the same kit in grey, so I plan to make another of these but widen and lengthen the band and frame so I don't have to trim the elastic and so it isn't too tight, and hopefully that will be closer to what I want.

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. You did an amazing job and the bra is beautiful.

    1. Thank you! I do love the color- I was worried that it would show through but so far that hasn't been a problem at all!

  2. Wow. Undergarments are something I can't even imagine making--that is one pretty bra!

    1. Thank you! It was really fiddly and not enjoyable to sew, but a good deal of that was the way the fabrics and my machine interacted.