Sunday, July 23, 2017

Purple Tiger Dress with Nursing Hack

It's been awhile since I've written a nice, non dramatic sewing post! This dress is one I actually made back in March for my Grandmother's 90th birthday party, but it has gotten a ton of wear since then! 

I love breastfeeding but I also love dresses, and if you have breastfed before- or been around anyone who has breastfed, you know that your entire wardrobe becomes about how to get to your boobs. Unfortunately, this cuts out a lot of the dresses in my wardrobe and dresses are just so easy- you don't have to worry about your layers moving, or if they match right, dresses can be accessorized "up" or "down", and I always just feel more put together in a dress. 

Granted you can always wear shirt dresses (which I do) and there are a couple companies that make some super cute nursing friendly dresses, but plus size nursing dresses can be few and far apart (and expensive) and honestly- I really enjoy making my own clothing, so I decided to make my own breastfeeding friendly dress- out of some amazing Tula Pink  crouching tiger fabric

I started with one of my go to patterns- New Look 6723, I've made about five dresses from this pattern, all with different modifications so I knew how the dress would fit and it's a pattern I'm comfortable messing around with, but honestly you could modify any similar pattern.  

I decided to try out a snap down style (using Kam Snaps, with a modesty panel. This isn't a tutorial, and my explanation of how I made this isn't fantastic-  but I hope the pictures help you if you want to give this a try. 

To achieve this I cut the regular back pieces in the fabric and the lining, and for the front of the dress I split the front bodice into two pieces - the main bodice and the strap. 

Then I cut a full length bodice out of the main fabric and the lining fabric and two short bodices- (for the modesty panel) out of a stretchy fabric. My short bodices come to empire length on me, I figured they would sit nice and flat this way- and it does but in hindsight I wish I used a thinner knit fabric. 

 I sewed up the bodices the way the pattern instructed, and attached the main fabric straps to the modesty panel. When it came time to attach the front and back I sewed the modesty panel section to the back at the shoulders and then sewed all three layers at the side seam. This seam was a little bulky but after I serged it and trimmed it it was ok. I added the kam snaps to the straps and the main bodice. 

I also lowered the back just for fun, and added a patch pocket- because I really like to have a pocket. 

I hope this makes sense, and if you are trying it out and run into a spot of confusion shoot me an email (ktocknell (at) gmail (dot) com) and I'll try to talk you through it! 

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