Sew Over/Under: Nursing Bras Don’t Have to Be Boring

Editors’ note: The Sewcialists supports breastfeeding as a choice. The following post reflects our belief that breasts and breastfeeding are natural. Anyone offended by human breasts fulfilling their biological function should consider this their warning.

When I saw the theme of the month I knew I had the perfect project idea to fit. The only question was, could I be brave enough to volunteer for the assignment. The question of bravery coming into play as the assignment would end in me posing in a bra and posting pictures on the internet. I am a mother of two and I’m still coming to grips with the changes that has meant in my body. Therefore posing in my underwear is a bit daunting. I decided to go for it though because I wanted to make a nursing bra. Most nursing bras that I have seen in stores are all your basic staple items. I wanted to show that making your own nursing bras can open up all kinds of fun possibilities!

Sarah poses, hand on hip, in her Harry Potter Marauders' Map-themed nursing bra.

I had bought the Lana Bra pattern by Made for Mermaids back in February so I could make myself a lace bra for Valentine’s Day. Well, I somehow managed to miss printing one of the pattern pieces; I had everything else cut out but life happened and I didn’t get it done in time for Valentine’s Day. The project got shoved in a drawer and put on the back burner in favour of other projects. When I saw the theme of the month I decided it was time to dust off this project and try it again. This time though I decided it would be prudent to make a muslin out of scraps to get familiar with the pattern and bra making in general and work out all the kinks before moving on to my good, delicate fabric.

I had some leftover Maurader’s Map fabric from the Fabric Snob so I decided it would be fun to use it for my muslin. I followed the pattern line for which way the greatest stretch should run and ended up with my print being on an angle. It was just a test piece though, so I’m not worried about it. I thought it would look weird before I cut it out and did it anyway so that’s on me.

Sarah demonstrates one of the clips that allows nursing access.

I pieced the whole thing in one night after my kids were in bed and kept thinking I’m almost done, I can finish it… Well, I did… At 4:45 am! Oops. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep that night, but I was very proud of what I managed to accomplish.

I was quite pleased at how well it went together. For a few steps I referred to the Made for Mermaids Blog where they have Sew along videos posted. I did end up having to take the straps off and cut new, longer straps; I am long from the shoulder to the bust and even though the straps are adjustable they still weren’t long enough.

Sarah nurses her child, who lies across her lap. The nursing bra works!

I am really happy with how the bra turned out and I am looking forward to finishing my lace bra. There are so many options for colours, prints and types of fabrics to use for a nursing bra when you take the plunge into sewing your own.

Sarah is a Canadian mother of two. Her mother was a quilter and taught Sarah sewing basics as a child, but Sarah didn’t catch the “sewing bug” until she was pregnant with her youngest child and stumbled across a free pattern for maternity shorts on Facebook. After completing that first clothing project with her mother’s help, Sarah was hooked. Sarah started her sewing blog this year called Sarah’s Sewing Space. Sarah also enjoys photography and scuba diving with her husband and her father.