One item I had been looking for all summer was a black maxi dress...and not just any black maxi dress, but one with short sleeves (not sleeveless) and one I could nurse in with minimal contortions or exposure.
I saw this one at Target and thought it would do the trick, but at $30, I wasn't going to buy it until it went on sale. Then it went on sale and was instantly gone in stores and online.
I continued to keep my eyes open but kind of gave up as the summer wore on and I didn't see anything I liked.
Then, at the end of August on a quick trip to Walmart to pick up a few things, I spied a rack full of maxi dresses on clearance for $5! I grabbed four that I thought I may be able to nurse in and and took them into the fitting room (with all three kids). There was only one that worked for nursing, it was black AND had short sleeves...the only problem was that it was a 1x...too big! I brought it home thinking I could alter it to make it work...I tried it on for Tony and realized that it would be a bigger project than I wanted to attempt. Bummer, guess I'll take it back. Then my genius husband made this comment, "but that would be some cheap fabric."
Of course! Thankfully, the next time we were in town a couple days later, there were still some left so I picked up another. First, I cut the sleeves off the dress and removed the ugly beading. Then I opened up the front seam of the dress some more to make it even easier to nurse in. Next, I took my favorite shirt pattern and made a shirt out of the skirt of the other dress. I made a casing and put elastic around the waist of the shirt. Then I hand sewed the necklines of the dress and shirt together.
Perfect! The elastic nicely gathers the extra fabric of the too big dress and I can lift up the shirt part to nurse while still keeping my stomach covered. Now I have a modest and baby-friendly black maxi dress! It worked great for the end of the summer and will layer nicely with a cardigan for the fall and winter!
|finished dress with shirt part lifted to see nursing access (white tank under dress for contrast)|
If you can't find a $5 maxi to refashion, I think this tutorial would work really well for the under layer also.
Anyone have any favorite "baby-friendly" dress recommendations?
Linking to Modest Monday at the Modest Mom Blog & Thrifty Fashion Thursday.