Oliver + S

Add invisible zips to front/ side seams for nursing?

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    Little_Anj @Little_Anj

    I have been sewing away whilst on maternity leave for my kids and would love to sew something flattering for my current shape.

    The problem is I am currently nursing a little one, and intend to continue for a while yet. I am very very over nursing singlets as my “go to” or having to wear heaps of awkward layers when I leave the house.

    You must know what I mean…

    Anyway, to those that have made the cappuccino dress: would adding two invisible zippers one in each of the front section seams (that zip down) work for easy access (if you know what I mean)??

    I have been looking around on the internet for non maternity patterns and am stuck, and I loved this top when it was released but is impractical straight of the pattern.

    So I took another look at ready to wear for how they turn regular tops into nursing tops and saw this idea for panelling.

    I am short and full busted, with a post baby belly πŸ™‚

    Nicole @motherof5

    May I direct you to this post?


    Personally, I am happy to pull my top up. If you make it in a slinky knit it will work well.

    Rpankow @excytin

    Here’s a post that Rae had put together for one of her patterns. This might give some idea as to what others have done.


    Another gal had done something similar with a dress by putting in invisible zippers in the seams.


    Good luck and enjoy that little one! πŸ™‚


    meleliza @meleliza

    I’m not sure I like the idea of zippers so close to sensitive areas. Tired mommy brain and squirmy hungry baby seems like an accident waiting to happen. Also, it could be fidgety. I always liked nursing clothes to work easily. I don’t know what a singlet is, so I’m assuming you’re not in the us I could direct you to several stores that carry really nice nursing clothes. My favorites are knit tops that have some kind of of wrap section that pulls aside or a faux cowl neck that pulls down and springs right back up again. A faux empire waist type is also nice. I invested in a couple of nice ones because it was worth it to me to feel presentable at a difficult time.

    I think zips in Cappuccino might work, but I think it would be awkward. Also, it’s worth noting that although this seems like a loose fitting top, it really only skims the body. So it won’t really have a lot of extra room for the post baby jelly belly. Whereas the nice knit tops are super comfy and offer coverage.

    Anna Maria Horner has two nursing top patterns in one of her books. I made the one and it’s really sweet.

    meleliza @meleliza

    Fwiw, this was one of my favorite companies. Wore very well and sometimes you can buy them used on ebay: http://www.japaneseweekend.com/Maternity-Nursing-Tops-and-Nursing-Bras-s/6.htm.

    with love Heidi @with love Heidi
    Little_Anj @Little_Anj

    Thanks heaps ladies, you always seem to amaze me at the wealth of knowledge!

    I think I will be spending my spare time today clicking through links πŸ™‚

    (Oh, no I am not in the US. I am in Melbourne, Australia)

    meleliza @meleliza

    I’ve been mulling this over – because the seams of cappuccino are in the right place – and while I wouldn’t want zippers, I think another kind of closure might be worth a try. Something like an extra panel, or basically really large seam allowances that can overlap somehow, be pulled aside when needed and rearranged after. This is brainstorming and I’m still thinking….

    Violaisabelle @Violaisabelle

    I think this would make a lovely maternity and nursing dress, the style lines are perfect! πŸ™‚ Back 3 years ago, I did chat about this, briefly, for the Portfolio dress, you can find that discussion, here: http://www.sewlisette.com/forums/topic.php?id=60 . The zippers would work or you could do a different fastener. If you read that link, and this was for me, I would personally choose a center nursing slit, with access at the sides, where the seams are on this dress. I would probably choose a patterned fabric and line that top panel as well as make the underneath center panel, in the same fashion fabric, so as to not draw attention to the openings. I might use a couple of snaps on the panel, that would not show on the outside of the dress, or possibly hook and eyes. There are some great hook and eyes available these days, I might be inclined to try a few of those, if I didn’t want the snap. The obvious would be, NO Velcro or hook and loop tape, since those create noise that disturbs babies and draws attention to your dressing. πŸ™‚ The center slit in the underneath panel would sit nicely and be hidden by the top panel being lined.

    I will check with my daughter in law and see if she wants one of these dresses, and if she does, I will happily put one together.

    I hope you treat yourself to a lovely new nursing dress! πŸ™‚


    mlinton @mlinton

    Your idea reminds me of a “tutorial” I saw when looking for ideas with my last baby. Here is a link: http://mylifeonthedivide.blogspot.com/2012/03/normal-0-microsoftinternetexplorer4.html

    The style lines are similar to this pattern, but the center is left open and then there’s a second center panel with an access hole for nursing.

    Obviously you’d need to do some redrafting, but just to give you a visual idea…it might be helpful. Good luck! I’d love to see what you end up doing.


    Tamara @justsewit

    Oh Carol what a lovely surprise to see you have popped on. How I have missed your posts.

    All these links to look at during my after lunch chill time! Very exciting to know what others can suggest.

    I love the washi variation – with the tie hiding the obvious zip. I think that a zip down the middle seam would be fine in terms of no accidents with sensitive areas but I am not sure about the aesthetics of it though.

    Michelle that tutorial looks really interesting. Going to spend some time reading that through. I am wondering if the cappuccino pattern could be altered a little to incorporate this method? But I am guessing it would be better made in a knit – it would be more comfortable and forgiving I should think.

    And Megan Neilson is a maternity/ nursing pattern genius! I lived in cross over tops when I had my first two. Her ideas mix it up a bit and I plan to make good use of them.

    There’s lots of food for thought here little Anj. I hope you find a solution that is perfect for you.

    Little_Anj @Little_Anj

    Thank you all once again. You have given me plenty of ideas of things to try.

    I will piece together the pattern tonight and get started on a muslin.

    Each of you have provided great links, and ideas and feedback and I hope that I end up with something that is up to the quality you all inspire!!


    Nicole @motherof5

    Do let us know, won’t you?

    I am having #6 and usually feed for a long time. Any great pattern tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Little_Anj @Little_Anj

    Okay, so as promised I have uploaded some pictures.

    I ended up going with snaps rather than a zipper and I am happy with the result!


    The front section


    I added 6 snaps to each side, that stop about two thirds of the way down from the collar to the pockets.


    The camera focussed on my thumb, but I sewed a few stitches in between each snap on the front, as they are on the inside and I didn’t want to see them from the outside, nor to have the panel flip out or have a seam down the front.


    I did a full FBA, and also blended between sizes in the middle and arms to accommodate my figure…

    It is the best fit of anything I have ever made for myself ever!! πŸ™‚


    I mostly followed the instructions for assembling the dress, however I went off on a tangent for the front panel.

    I overlocked my edges so the snaps would work without having to do a double fold on the snaps.

    The underside (side panels) were blended to the next size to gain the extra “fold” for the snaps and to sit under the front panel rather than next to it.

    The side was sewn folded then snaps added


    The centre section was folded once, then snaps added to the underside only.

    For the collar, I sewed the centre on, then the back/sides. Right at the centre, I sewed the extra width for the sides under the front panel.

    It was hairy to do and took a practice run (made from an old doona cover) to nut out how to do it.

    Overall, I am happy. It works well both as a nursing dress and also for expressing at work.

    It is super comfy and the dress is easy to make as per instructions, but I definitely recommend a practice before cutting in to your good fabric!! πŸ™‚

    Happy to answer questions if I have totally confused you.

    vothgirl @vothgirl

    Thanks for this, I’m going to try it!!

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