It is finally ready! This baby of mine has been in the making for 6 months now. Almost as long as it took me to make the real baby...
I didn't think I was going to breastfeed Zoe at first. I was sure I would have some kind of issue with it, whether it would be physical or mental. But as it turned out, the only issue we did end up having was with Zoe being tongue-tied, which was quickly resolved by wonderful lactation consultant my midwife sent me to.
Since my early days of being a mom revolved around feeing the baby all. the. time and I was dead tired, I found that having a comfortable t-shirt was key. Unfortunately, my finds at local maternity stores did not meet my high standards. They were either too short, too tight or too scratchy...
I like to say that being able to sew spoilt me. I know what I want, I know what fabric I want it made in and I know how I want a garment to fit. So I found myself missing my old t-shirts...
Then while browsing online one day I stumbled upon this layered t-shirt idea and I thought I could do it... So once Zoe was asleep, I got to hacking. It took me a few weeks to finally get it, and once I did I decided that I will need to share my findings with other crafty nursing moms.
I wanted to create something that can be easily stored on your computer and can be a reference material whenever you need it. No more searching internet for that one link you remember seeing back in the day. So I took the time to create this PDF tutorial for you. I just didn't realize I would take months to do it and end up second-guessing myself and everything I knew along the way.
Let's talk about the design of the t-shirt! The t-shirt consists of two layers, which are secured at the shoulder seam. The cropped t-shirt layer floats above the bottom tank which has deep armholes. This allows for easy and convenient nursing access.
I intentionally left the hems of both layers and sleeves raw, because who has time for that when the baby naps for a little bit at a time, am I right?! So raw hems are not only a nice design detail, but they also speed up the sewing process.
I made the t-shirt I am wearing in photos using fabric gifted to me by Harts Fabrics, as I am a part of their Harts Street Team. I chose to make the top layer in a different colorway to showcase the design of the t-shirt, but you don't have to do it. The t-shirt looks great when made in the same fabric!
For fabrics, I recommend jersey knits with spandex for a good recovery. I tried this hack in 100% linen fabric and it did not turn out well. Because the t-shirt is stretching a little bit with use, spandex content and good recovery are key.
I used this tread organic bamboo knit for the top layer, and basic black bamboo knit for the bottom layer. This fabric is silky and just so luxurious! I find bamboo knits and cotton/bamboo blends are my favorites for this hack.
For the pattern, I used Lark Tee by Grainline in scoop neck variation. Lark Tee is one of my go-to t-shirt patterns, but I have tried this hack on a few other patterns as well and it turned out great.
I am really hoping one day it will be a stand-alone pattern. I already have drafted a t-shirt that I like so I am on my way there, but it will certainly take me a few more months to get it done. In the meantime, if you are a confident pattern hacker, or just feeling ambitious and have a favorite t-shirt pattern, this tutorial is for you.
I really hope you find it useful and easy to follow. I tried my best to explain the hacking and sewing steps as straightforwardly as I could. However, if you find something is unclear or you still have questions, please reach out! I will be more than happy to help out.
And if you do end up making nursing t-shirts using this hack, please use #aznursingtee and tag me on Instagram @anna.zoe.sewing so that I can see your makes!