I’m back with the second hack for my sewing breastfeeding blog series! Hope you all liked the Kyoto sweater that I showcased last week.
This week I have been hacking the Chalk and Notch victory tank. This top is a classic camisole top, which is also nicely wide at the hem. Great for me as I am a pear-shaped lady anyway, but also because right now that shape means it is fitting over the growing bump!
I absolutely love this hack! The appearance is still one of a normal cami, and definitely does not look like a breastfeeding top! Another fantastic thing about this pattern is that it comes with two cup size options – A/B cup which is a simple straight up and down cami shape, and C/D cup which has added bust darts to help with shaping. Especially with growing breast sizes due to milk supply, this additional fitting feature is brilliant!
I have found that breastfeeding tops that lift up are usually made with a cheaper fabric underneath (shop bought of course). These feel very unflattering and exposing when you lift the top layer up. This leads to me feeling uncomfortable, especially during the LONG feeds that babies love to have while out and about.
An amazing thing about sewing is we can take inspiration from the shop bought clothes, recreate them in better quality fabric. So, for this top I have used the same fabric for both layers. I personally think that it looks subtler when I lift it to feed. It’s almost unnoticeable that I am breastfeeding.
So, for this hack you will just need:
- The Chalk and Notch Victory tank
- Your fabric
- Sewing supplies
- Ruler, paper scissors and some extra paper
This hack is all about changing the lining layer, so it’s really simple and doesn’t need extra supplies really.
Another great thing is that Chalk and Notch have identified where the bust point is for this pattern, and we will use this information to help us.
(Also welcome back to “pink baby” dolly (the name my daughter calls her) – my glamorous side kick for this blog series!)
Right, let’s get to the hacking…
- Cut out all your paper pattern pieces. We will be hacking only the lining, so put everything else to the side.
- We want to draw a line which is parallel to the grainline through the bust point. So, measure from the bust point for your size straight across to the grainline (which is drawn on to the pattern piece). Note this. Mark this distance all the way down the grainline. Join these points so that you have a line going from the shoulder all the way down to the hem.
- Cut down this line in order to make two pattern pieces. We need to add a 1cm seam allowance to both pieces along this new cut line. Tape some paper to the pattern piece and extend the pattern by 1cm.
- Cut out your pattern using your chosen fabric. You will now have a main front and back, a lining back, a lining “front middle” (on the fold) and you will need TWO “front sides” (the lining piece with the darts).
- Sew the darts for both the lining and main.
- Overlock the edges of the pattern pieces (or finish using your preferred method – zig zag stitch or cut using pinking shear scissors)
- Pin the side-lining pieces to the centre lining with right sides together. Sew the lining pieces together using a 1cm seam allowance. For me I sewed from the shoulders down by 6 ½ inches, and from the hem up by 9 inches. This leaves you with a section unsewn of approximately 9 ½ inches, which is your breast access.
While you are pinning (pre-sewing), I would suggest laying the fabric across yourself and seeing if these amounts work for you.
- Pin the lining front to the lining back at the shoulders, wrong sides together. Sew.
- Repeat for the main bodice pieces, this time with right sides together. Sew.
You will now have two bodices, like the picture below…
(note, the side seams have not been sewn yet!)
- Lay the main bodice down with the right side facing up. Place the lining wrong side down on top of the main (right side of the lining will be facing up). Pin with the neckline. Sew the neckline and clip the curves.
Laying the lining this way means you will have the right side of the fabric showing when you lift your top to feed.
- You can now continue with the main instructions from Chalk and Notch as to how to finish the rest of the top (you need to pick back up the instructions from step 6 – understitching the neckline).
I hope you like my latest hack, and feel inspired to make your own breastfeeding victory tank. Please share them if you make your own – I would love to see them!
See you all next week,
Love, Abigail x