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Breasfeeding and Summer Dresses
CConverse
CConverse
Beginner
New York USA
Member since 4/29/11
Posts: 96
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Date: 4/29/11 10:45 PM

I just love my 2 month old son. I also love flowy, light sundresses in the summertime. I'm hoping my decision to breastfeed won't cause me to have to sacrifice said dresses! I've had a hard time finding things in stores that a) flatter the new-mommy-pooch and b) are compatible with breastfeeding.

Basically they have to easily open in the front - which requires a button down the front, or a sort of cris-cross neckline that can be pulled to the side. So it would need to be stretchy too. It also has to cover up an ugly nursing bra. And hopefully, it will be flattering, as it's going to take several more weeks of crunches before this pooch goes back where it came from. The hope is to feel a bit more feminine and delicate than I do now in my sweats and t-shirts...


I was looking at a few patterns, something like Butterick 5319, or simplicity 4170 (the lil jacket would be great for the office). The dresses on the retail market have got me returning to my sewing machine after approx. 15 years so...

Ideas?

mastdenman
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mastdenman  Friend of PR
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 1/12/04
Posts: 6178
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Date: 4/29/11 11:07 PM

Elizabeth Lee Designs creates patterns for breastfeeding mothers. People who have used them say these patterns worked well for them.

------
Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

EveS
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EveS
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Michigan USA
Member since 11/26/06
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Date: 4/29/11 11:11 PM

Honestly, I didn't wear a lot of dresses when I nursed. I hated fussing w/ buttons and clearly, hiking a dress up was NOT a good solution. I DID wear a lot of tunics. I didn't wear a single button-down anything. That said, it can be done. Make sure you go for a knit, preferably one with very good stretch and recovery since you'll be asking a lot of it, and yes, a cross-over type bodice is a great solution. If you pick the right fabric, it will be pretty easy to just slide the bodice over.

Have you done a search of the boards for "nursing tops" or similar search phrases/words? There have been some good threads on the topic, and some great ideas on how to modify a pattern to work for nursing.

Good luck and enjoy that baby!!

------
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it - Chinese proverb

CConverse
CConverse
Beginner
New York USA
Member since 4/29/11
Posts: 96
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Date: 4/29/11 11:23 PM

Thanks for the suggestions! And I am loving my little boy, he is amazing

TanitIsis
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TanitIsis
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Alberta CANADA
Member since 3/17/10
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Date: 4/29/11 11:34 PM

I wore some button-front dresses (any shirt-dress pattern would do)... not the most modest option ;). Or something strappy and stretchy I could just pull down. I am a big fan of empire-waists at the best of times, which is very forgiving of that post-partum pooch :)

mamafitz
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mamafitz
Wisconsin USA
Member since 8/24/02
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Date: 4/29/11 11:39 PM

i wrote a review a few years ago on an OOP kwik sew pattern that i modified to be nursing. you could use any closely fitted tee pattern:
kwik sew 2643

i also made kwik sew 2694 into a nursing top:
kwik sew 2694
(i don't know if that pattern is still in print)

to make either into a dress, just lengthen it. jalie has some nursing tops, the criss cross top comes to mind. ELD patterns are ok. they can give you ideas on how to do nursing access, but personally, i think they are oversized and frumpy. you can pretty much convert any pattern to nursing, you just have to figure out what type of access you want.

between my 3 children i nursed for 13+ years, and i did not give up dresses for that whole time.

------
Linda

Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves, and of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times.
-- Betsey Johnson


http://mamafitz.blogspot.com

Speech girl
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Speech girl  Friend of PR
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Georgia USA
Member since 5/11/03
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Date: 4/30/11 8:05 AM

I spent 6 1/2 years total breastfeeding --3 kids--and wore a lot of skirts and tops, but rarely dresses. I would only wear nursing dresses --regular dresses were impossible to nurse in without halfway disrobing.
Button down dresses are hard for public nursing, unless one wore a tank top underneath ( too hot for that here, but might work where you live).
My suggestion would be to get a pattern for a nursing dress or a top that you can morph into a dress. Or check out the mother wear website to see how they make their openings on their nursing dresses and modify a regular dress pattern. I never was crazy about the Elizabeth Lee styles, but perhaps one of their patterns would be useful as a guide.

Enjoy your time nursing your little one! Edited to add: Here is a link to mother wear's nursing openings:

Types of nursing openings
-- Edited on 4/30/11 8:09 AM --

------
Kim
formerly mikkim
http://girlwithatimemachine.wordpress.com/

3KillerBs
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3KillerBs
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North Carolina USA
Member since 7/1/08
Posts: 699
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In reply to mastdenman


Date: 4/30/11 8:20 AM

Quote: mastdenman
Elizabeth Lee Designs creates patterns for breastfeeding mothers. People who have used them say these patterns worked well for them.

These patterns are marvelous. I can't say enough about how versatile and easy to use they are.

When I pass through the right weight range I still pull them out and use them by cutting them without the openings. I even got a compliment yesterday on one I adapted from #108 by moving its waistline to a more modern placement.

During my nursing years I was frequently able to breastfeed my babies without anyone being aware at all. We had a business then and did trade shows. I could use the professional-looking #109 and nurse the baby while using my free hand to demonstrate products.

------
3KB

"The combination of physical strength and moral sincerity combined with tenderness of heart is exactly what is wanted in a husband." Amelia Peabody Emerson

CConverse
CConverse
Beginner
New York USA
Member since 4/29/11
Posts: 96
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Date: 4/30/11 10:10 AM

Awesome ideas. I liked the Kwik Sew 2694 which looks like it could easily have a modesty panel worked in with openings for access. Looking at all the suggestions is getting the creative juices flowing... exciting to get back into sewing after all these years

Leu
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Leu  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
New York USA
Member since 1/21/10
Posts: 335
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Date: 4/30/11 11:17 AM

I am working on Jalie 2787 right now for Baby Brother due in June. I nursed my first for a long time and found very little out there that I liked as far as nursing wear (clothes or bras).
I'm not done yet, but so far Jalie 2787 is easy enough I'm going to make a few and I feel confident--as a beginner--to make some changes.
First, I am expanding the front panel by a few inches on each side and an extra inch along the bottom to wear the shirt as a maternity piece.
Since the front panel is the last thing you attach, I *hope* after baby is born I can seam-rip this panel off, re-size it for a flattering post-baby-but-not-preggo-anymore fit. I imagine it will be a little gathered, not as fitted as the images on the pattern packaging.
Finally, I think that with a little trial and error, this would make a great summer nursing dress as long as the weight of the material didn't pull the nursing access into view.
HTH

Leu

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