One thing I tend to do is buy up new fabric prints and then hang on to them forever and never make anything with them. Then they aren’t really cool anymore. Or, the print might still be awesome, but everyone has already seen them and sewn with them and moved onto something else, so I feel like I missed the boat. I bought some Washi to make a Washi dress with and never did. I bought some and old lace to make myself shorts with and never did. I won a charm pack of Briar Rose and had a quilt planned out, but . . . well, you get the picture.
When one of my favorite artists, Leah Duncan, released her Tule fabric line, I carefully chose two fabrics to order with a few possible projects in mind, but nothing definite. This gorgeous Meadow Vale Dark is exactly the type of fabric that I’d hoard forever, constantly changing my mind about what I wanted to do with it and then never using it in the end. But what’s the point of having such beautiful fabric if all it’s going to do is sit on the shelf?
I was looking through Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings (affiliate link), the same book I used to make this nursing top, and was intrigued by the other nursing top included, the Four Corners Blouse. I wasn’t convinced that it was my style or that it would be flattering on me, but I wanted to give it a try anyways since I’m trying to find ways to give my nursing wardrobe some variety. I debated whether or not I should use my precious Meadow Vale fabric or not. What if I didn’t like the top and ended up wasting the fabric?
Well in the end I decided to just go for it because letting it sit on my shelf would be a waste as well.
The construction of the top is really quite interesting – all the pieces (and there are quite a few) are rectangles! So there are no pattern pieces to trace, only rectangle measurements. I made some obvious changes to the pattern, 1. I omitted all the buttons and button loops. They are purely decorative anyways and I like to keep it simple. 2. Instead of using a contrasting fabric for the placket (in between the boobs), I used the main fabric to avoid drawing more attention to the chest area.
I also made the straps narrower and lengthened the top and made a few other changes here and there. This top is made with a panel in the front that acts as a nursing cover that opens up when you untie the ties. Pretty creative and sneaky!
The downside though, is because the front panel isn’t connected to anything at the sides, I noticed that when I was picking up things, say, children for example, it would flip up easily and expose my tummy. Not good.
I can’t say that I love this top, but I am glad that I gave it a try and I will definitely wear it. Mostly layered up like this to give me a bit more coverage. I think this fabric might have been better as something simple like a Wiksten Tank or an Everyday Skirt, but knowing that I probably would have just let it sit in my stash indefinitely makes me feel like using it was the right decision. And I do love opening up my closet and seeing this lovely fabric begging me to put it on 🙂
Do you have any favorite nursing top patterns? I’m trying to sew more for me, but need to keep it breastfeeding friendly so I feel like my choices are pretty limited. I have a few nursing hacks in mind, but I’d love to hear your suggestions as well! And if you have some fabric in your stash that you are saving away for a special occasion, I dare you to just use it in your next project! You might be really glad you did!!
Have a great weekend!