Today’s Love That Look: Nursing Hack for the Laundry Day Tee
Hi! I’m Sneha Nirody Monga from Sewingcurves.com, and I’m so glad to be sharing my little hack for the Laundry Day Tee. I’ve recently had a baby, and have found that breastfeeding while out and about is really hard if you don’t wear a special top with nursing access. Such tops often run upwards of $50 brand new, which I definitely don’t want to spend when I can sew!
My absolute favorite pattern is the Laundry Day Tee, which is an extremely flattering style for new moms. I set about brainstorming how to add nursing access to the pattern without sacrificing the easy flow of the top.
I then came across this $158 tank from Love Comma that looked perfect! The secret slit for nursing access is in the fold behind the pleat. Here’s how I did mine – it’s easy as pie! For this example I used a heavy 250gsm Rayon Spandex I sourced from our local fabric district.
Print and prep your pattern pieces.
- When nursing, it’s better to go with the size that you measure at when you’re most engorged, so try and measure in the early morning.
- The front and back of the Laundry Day tee are a single pattern piece. Cut the back from your fabric first, since you’re going to modify the front. Alternatively, trace or print two copies of the front piece.
- Add paper to the center where the fold is. We need to add about 12″ in width, all along the length of the fold, and about 3″ above the neckline curve. In the diagram, the added paper is shown in red. I like to use my daughter’s roll of cheap art paper, which most of us have lying around the house.
- I am assuming that the distance between the bust apexes are 8″. Please measure yours and if it is significantly different, you might have to do the math. Referring to the points marked in the photo, extend the neckline (A) and hemline (B) horizontally by 8″. (C,D). Mark off 4″ (center point of the extension) (E,F). Draw a vertical line joining the 4″ and 8″ marks (join E,F). The line at the 8″ mark (CD) is the new fold line. We have now prepared for an inverted box pleat.
- On the line EF, make two marks 2.5″ and 7.5″ from the neckline (G,H). Between these marks is the slit you will make for nursing access. The length of the slit is up to you, but don’t make it too big or it may gape.
- Fold the extension piece along lines AB and EF, in an accordion fold. Line AB now meets CD. Cut the excess paper above the neckline, following the curve of the original neckline. This way, when you sew the pleat, the curve lines up nicely. Also cut the excess paper below the hem.
- Cut this new front from your fabric, making sure you mark off the points and lines you drew. You will mirror your points A,B, E and F on both sides of the fold. I love using Crayola’s washable markers for marking my fabric, it always washes off. I don’t trust any other brand, though. Please check that it washes off before using on your good fabric.
- Fold the front pattern piece RST, along the center fold CD. Sew from point A down about 1″. Backstitch to secure. You can skip this, but the pleat will gape if there’s too much negative ease.
- With Right side of the fabric facing you, bring point A to meet point C. Point E now lines up with the neckline curve. Pin and baste within the seam allowance. Repeat for the other side of the front.
- Continue construction as instructed in the pattern.
- When you’re done, wear your top and check if the point G and H fall where you prefer for nursing access. If not, please adjust them. Cut a slit between the points. There’s no need to finish the slit as you’re working with knit fabric, but you can zigzag around the slit if you so desire.
That’s it! How easy was that? I hope you like this nursing top you can make for yourself! Once you’re done nursing, just sew up the slit close to the edge and you can continue to use it. You don’t have to ever go without an LDT in your closet!