The Perfect Nursing and Maternity Dress

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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 šŸ˜› !

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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 toĀ try and coordinate my camisoleĀ 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 modeledĀ as a top, and I struggled to find examples of other peoples’ creations with it – hence this post!Ā 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 finishedĀ cutouts above the waistband that provide sufficient access.

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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!

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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.

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SoĀ 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 theĀ inside.
  • Took 1.5″ off the shoulders of the modesty panel to removeĀ gaping and have itĀ come up high enough.
  • I also needed 2.5 yards of fabric as opposed to the required 2 yards.

I used Riley Blake’s Idle Wild Floral knit by Pattern Anthology. I hoarded it when it first printed. They ran another print since there were so many requests for it, but it is in limited supply. I see there is still some available at Peekaboo Pattern shop,Ā HERE.Ā If you want it hurry! (affiliate link)

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6 comments

  1. Thank you so much for you blog post. You have made it a beautiful dress.
    I’m in the same boat, and couldn’t find enough pics to convince me.
    I see that I will be making a few of these for my nursing days šŸ˜šŸ˜

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