While I’m taking a “maternity break” I’m going to try to write up a few hacks to the women’s shirt patterns I have in my shop to make them nursing friendly.
First up to get a nursing hack is the new release the Women’s Henley!
I used a dark charcoal and lighter grey rayon spandex blend from Walmart and a floral cotton jersey from Girl Charlee for the placket and hood lining. I suggest using a knit with some spandex in the content for the main body and especially for the the modesty panel because you will be pulling on it throughout the day. The spandex will help your fabric have enough recovery to not stretch out throughout the day.
This is a super easy hack, that will leave you with a very functional nursing shirt that you can totally wear after you’re done nursing and no one will even know it has breastfeeding access! You can even choose to only lengthen the placket and be done! But I prefer to have something above and below if I’m going to go to the trouble of making a nursing friendly hack 🙂 So I added a quick modesty panel to lift up.
To lengthen the placket I held the front pattern piece up to myself and made a small pencil mark where I’d like the placket to end. Then measured from the center neckline to my mark- add 1/2″ for seam allowance. I used about 11.5″ length on mine (but I am tall and wear a DD before nursing ;), so that is why I suggest just holding it up to yourself and marking!)
You follow the same placket construction method as the pattern. Here is mine all sectioned off the same as the pattern calls for.
I didn’t have any buttons that worked well with it on hand…so for now at least I will leave it open…and works great with the modesty panel I added.
For the modesty panel I went with the easiest method, so I didn’t have to work my EXTREMELY tired, sleeping with a newborn brain too hard ;). I just cut a 2nd front piece and made it 2″ longer then I cut my placket length. This way the panel would go slightly below my placket opening even left all the way open after hemming the bottom.
I just hemmed the top neckband (I turned under 1/2″ and again 1/2″ (I knew I liked a bit lower neckline then the Henley so I double folded).
For the bottom I serged on a thin 1/4″ or 3/8″ elastic I had on hand to add some weight, stability and ensure good recovery after lifting up all day. I would’ve prefered clear elastic, but I didn’t have any on hand…this did work fine in the end 🙂 just a tad bulkier.
Then I folded the bottom up 1/2″ and again 1/2″ and hemmed down.
Place modesty panel and front shirt both right sides up, lining up all the edges (shoulder, armscye, side seams)- note your shoulders of the modesty panel will be narrower because we hemmed the neckline, but when you will also loose 1/2″ of the main front when you attach neckline or hood. Throw some pins in to hold in place, or baste in place.
Now you can continue to construct the shirt just as the pattern guides. Here is a shot of the inside with modesty panel.
Enjoy your easy nursing access and look perfectly cute at the same time! 🙂
I’ve been enjoying mine! I wore it to my baby girl’s 2 week check up! I felt comfortable and pretty put together for having a 2 week old! My only regret is making it long sleeve—- I’m always SO HOT when we nurse—- the next one will be short sleeve with a cotton blend that breathes well 🙂