If you’re a nursing mom, you know that there are not many fashionable and functional tops out there for nursing that are reasonably priced. After having my little one last year, I quickly realized I wanted a nursing hoodie. I usually just wore a camisole and did the pull up method, but with a hoodie or sweater, that’s not quite as easy. I searched a few sites for inspiration and came up with a mod that works great for the looser relaxed cut tops. We just so happen to be testing the raglan add on pack at the time, so I used the Women’s Raglan as my base. This mod works best with thicker, more stable knits like French Terry, jegging (what I used in the tutorial), fleeced back knit, cotton Lycra, Ponte de Roma and so on. If using a knit with poor recovery, you will want to invest in some clear elastic.
First, you will cut two (2) Front pattern pieces on the FOLD. One will be your under layer and only needs to be about half the length. Measure from armpit to a couple inches below your bust. My example is approximately 9″ from armpit to bottom edge.
UNDER LAYER: Cut a “V” from about 2″ from bottom edge to top. You can also keep fabric on the fold and cut a diagonal line to create the “V”. Since knit does not unravel, you can choose to either leave the V and bottom edge raw, or finish the edges with your preferred method. You can also add a band at the bottom edge. I would recommend measuring the width and subtracting a couple of inches. This will help tighten the under layer and keep it under your bust.
TOP LAYER: Cut a semi-circle from each side. (tip: cutting the curves while the fabric is still on the fold will keep them equal) My curves start at approximately 4″ from neckline to 7″ from armpit however, you can adjust the curve to your liking based on your bust size and how deep you would like them.
Place top layer wrong side to right side of the under layer. (my picture shows opposite, as I later decided to use the wrong side of the fabric as the right side of my finished garment.) Baste neckline and side seams.
This is now your new front piece. Continue construction of the raglan as shown in the tutorial. Finished product = An awesome nursing friendly hoodie or sweater! Once you’re done nursing you can go back and topstitch the curves closed and have an added design detail that no one would ever know it was for nursing.
Followed this nursing hack? Or came up with something of your own? We would love to see it! Share your latest make on the Patterns for Pirates facebook group!