One of my favorite things about knowing how to sew is that it can solve problems. I’m a fairly boring and practical person, so if sewing can fix a problem for me or make something easier, I’m all for it! I’ve been frustrated with the lack of nursing friendly dresses in my closet lately, and finally decided to make a maxi dress that would still be easy to nurse Hattie while wearing.
I used my Seafarer Top pattern for the top of the dress. I obviously only used the top portion, cutting it off just under the bust. I also brought the armpits up higher to make a tighter armhole.
I hadn’t planned on the necklines being gathered, but after sewing the top pieces together, it was too loose and gaped on the front and back. I ended up adding elastic, stretching it as I sewed it to the necklines, and it worked out perfectly! Another happy accident in the books :).
The elastic makes it super easy to pull down one side of the dress top at a time, without stretching it out. The shirt I’m wearing underneath is also a hack – it originally was a long undershirt, but after I had Lola I cut it to just under the bust and added an elastic casing so that I could easily pull it up for nursing with this maxi dress. It was such a quick project and has been so handy!
For the bottom of the dress I just traced the skirt of another well-fitting maxi dress I have. I sewed the bodice to the skirt with a 3/4″ seam allowance and then made the seam allowance into a casing where I threaded elastic through to synch in the waistline.
The fabric I used is a nice sturdy ponte de roma from Girl Charlee that I’ve had in my stash, and is so comfortable to wear! I used up every last inch of the yardage for this dress and had to do some creative cutting, which meant not being able to perfectly match the pattern at the side seam allowances, but it always feels nice to use an entire piece of fabric, doesn’t it?