Nursing tops can get expensive once you go beyond a simple nursing cami, so this time around I will be trying to make a few different styles. I have made a tank style, but you can opt to use the existing sleeves and have a nursing t-shirt. I was greatly inspired and influenced by this tutorial on sleepingbaby.net.
You will need two t-shirts, I bought mine new because I really liked this eggplant color. I removed the pocket and then traced around one of my favorite tanks with chalk.
If you are making a t-shirt styled top you can skip this step. I will be making the t-shirt version of this and I like to reshape the neck and shorten the sleeves to make it look more like a top and less like a tee.
Using the other shirt I cut out a matching overlay for the front. I tried the shirt on and marked when I wanted the overlay to end and then used that as a reference when I cut out the bottom. If you are making a tee consult this tutorial. I left the bottom seam of the shirt so I could use it for my drawstring casing. I also cut out two 1 inch wide strips for my ties.
I sewed the overlay on to the shirt at the shoulder seams. I cut two small slits in the bottom seam on the overlay and threaded a strip through the center to the sides. I pinned the right sides together and sewed the side seams, treating the front and the overlay as one piece and catching the ends of the string in the side seam.
To finish the armholes and neck edges I cut 1 inch wide strips of the left over shirt. I folded them in half the long way and pressed them. I put them on the right side of the arm and neck holes and stitched them down. Then I pressed the seams toward the top and edge stitched on the right side. It kind of makes a mini-facing, see the picture.
After it was finished I marked where I wanted the nursing openings and cut slits in the bottom layer of the front. The finished tank looks like a tank with a baby doll tie. It’s super easy to untie the bow and lift for nursing access.
It would be easy to make this style from knit fabric too. If you do decide to make the t-shirt option it would be a lot simplier to start with premade shirts.
This shirt is finished, but I keep thinking it needs something else, some sort of embellishment, so I may have to work on that a bit more. If you have any ideas or tutorials for other nursing tops let me know! Have a super crafty weekend!