I’ve been searching for a good nursing dress pattern since before I got pregnant. I realized that for the last 3 years I haven’t worn many dresses, and when I do there is always that realization that I can’t just start nursing my baby as easily as I can when wearing a shirt.
Yes I’ve been nursing for over three years, non stop. It’s been more than 1,100 days straight, with no end in sight 😛 !
I first started drafting my own dress starting from a t-shirt pattern, and hacking it into a crossover front with plans to add a empire waist maxi skirt. However my muslin of the crossover front was just not working for me for the same reasons I haven’t found a pattern that I’ve wanted to try. The necklines ends up being too low for my comfort and I don’t like to have to try and coordinate my camisole to the dress.
I recently came across the Amber Nursing and Maternity top by Megan Nielsen. At first it didn’t register that this was the dress I was looking for. The listing has it modeled as a top, and I struggled to find examples of other peoples’ creations with it – hence this post! The lack of reviews made me hesitant to try, but I have heard good things about the designer so I went for it and I’m sure glad I did! The modesty panel is the answer. I haven’t seen a pattern with one and this is a great design. The unique shape of the panel has finished cutouts above the waistband that provide sufficient access.
I love that it can be worn both as a maternity dress and not. The above picture confirms I will be wearing this after the baby comes!
Another detail I absolutely love about this dress (in addition to the modesty panel) is the pleated skirt. The pleats are really delicate and provide a more feminine touch than simply gathers in my opinion. I also feel that the pleats allow for more belly growing room to come from the sides and prevent the dress from riding up as the pregnancy progresses.
So this dress is a huge win for me and definitely one I will be making again!
I made the following mods to the pattern.
- Took 2.5″ off the length (I’m 6′ tall, so I mentioned this one to the designer.)
- Added 3/8″ to the bodice to account for some of my height.
- Added a second waistband to the inside for more structure and fewer exposed seams on the inside.
- Took 1.5″ off the shoulders of the modesty panel to remove gaping and have it come up high enough.
- I also needed 2.5 yards of fabric as opposed to the required 2 yards.