I am currently breastfeeding baby number two. Having comfy clothes with easy nursing access is incredibly important. Whenever I see a new pattern pop up in my Facebook feed (I’m in a number sewing pattern Facebook groups) my immediate thought is “Can I breastfeed in that?”
Patterns for Pirates has a number of nursing hacks for their patterns on their blog, which includes a hack for their Raglan tops. It is designed for their Relaxed Raglan top, but also works for their Slim Fit Raglan.
So far I have made 3 of these tops, all using this wonderful fabric from The Fabric Snob. The first for me and the other two for friends. The way the shirt works is there is an upper layer and an under layer. The under layer has a deep V neckline and is the length of a crop top. It is attached to the sleeves normally. The upper layer has a cut out next to the breasts and is attached to the upper layer at the neckline and anchored to the under layer at the sides.
For mine I didn’t use clear elastic in the access points or the under layer so I need to be careful about making sure I get everything back in place when I’m done nursing. Sometimes is looks a little bunchy and I have to adjust things but I haven’t once accidentally flashed someone (unless you count when my curious baby pops off my boob and looks around, but that isn’t the shirt’s fault).
For shirts 2 and 3 I put clear elastic in the access point of the outer layer and in the “V” and bottom of the inner layer.
This shirt works really well for nursing and I have had a few people tell me that they didn’t even realize that it was a nursing top until I started feeding my daughter. One of the things I love about this pattern is that it can be made with long sleeves. For some odd reason it is hard to find long sleeve nursing tops so I tend to spend the winter in nursing tanks and cardigans. I had every intention of making myself a few longs sleeved nursing tops over the winter but my Christmas sewing list was extremely ambitious and followed by 3 friends having babies (which means sewing baby gifts!) so I didn’t get to it before spring arrived.
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