**I followed the tutorial video posted by The Sustainable Mama with a little twist of my own preference**
I noticed something today…
I can’t afford designer clothing. Well, I’ve never worn designer clothing to begin with, but that’s because I’ve never been able to afford it. Not even in my life BC (Before Children).
Not only that, but the only pieces of maternity clothing I’ve purchased for myself has been two pairs of dress pants when I was working as a TA while pregnant with my son, a belly band, and 2 nursing bras. The rest has all been handed down from friends or my sister (thank goodness we’re about the same size pregnant)
With number 3 on the way, I wanted 3 things from my wardrobe that have been lacking with my previous two excursions into early motherhood.
1) comfort– I rock the T-shirt and athletic shorts and either running shoes or flip flops most of the time, except for when I swap the shorts for jeans and the shoes for Chucks. That’s just me. Has been since middle school, with a few modifications as age inevitably strikes me, so if it’s not broken, I don’t plan to fix it.
2) accessibility– nursing sucks. No pun intended. It hurts, my babies aren’t good at it (both of them required double frenectomies) and it’s awkward to do in public without showing breast, belly, side, or all of the above (especially in the aforementioned T shirt). I’m not a LaMommy. I don’t feel comfortable bearing it all (in fact, baring it to my husband is what landed us in this situation in the first place) to feed my baby, in public or at home (because my son has reached the age of anatomical curiosity and while we’re more frank with him than most of our friends to their kids, we still would like to preserve some modicum of his innocence). I don’t care how many people say it’s the most natural thing in the world, I don’t care how many breast beanie hats women force onto their unsuspecting newborns’ heads, and I don’t care how many Instagram pages post pictures of it- I’m not one of those people. End of story. So I want discretion, modesty, decency and propriety (1 Timothy 2:9) without having to have a blanket or small tent with me every time my child gets hungry.
3) proper fit– like I said, unless I buy a bunch of large tees, I have to revamp whole wardrobe from my usual into empire waisted, plunging necklined, “bump hugging” (I hate the term “bump” by the way, almost as much as the word “preggers” ugh. Tacky much?) spandex blends that I’m just not interested in. And again, why nursing mothers are expected to spend $60 on one shirt when they’re at the point in their lives when they require the most frugality I’ll never know.
Solution: I made my own daggone T-shirts with built in nursing flap (for lack of a better word).
I left some extra room in the bust for obvious reasons. And as a matter of preference, I chose to add some elastic on the sides to make a gathered, less sloppy look. Plus stretch is always a good thing in a maternity/nursing top.
So far I’m very pleased with how they turned out.
I have about 5 more to do of different colors or styles, but this general pattern of combining 2 shirts to make a single nursing shirt is just brilliant.
2 shirts = 1 nursing shirt, or 3 shirts = 2 nursing shirts.
I got these shirts on clearance for between $1-$3 each. In total, they cost me about $40. Since the cheapest nursing top I found online was $26, I’m calling 7 tops for $40 a big fat win.
I like the Ts for every day wear and the tanks to layer under jackets or sweaters, or “sleeves” as I call them for church. This way I don’t have to expose any more than necessary, and no more awkward hoisting up of the shirt to reveal my recovering abdomen! Yay! This DIY gets 5 stars from me.
Sewing is a life skill I think everyone should possess to a certain extent as I can be my own tailor and adjust my wardrobe as I need to without paying someone to do it for me.