Can’t find a maternity pattern that’s stylish AND nursing friendly? Sometimes, you gotta take the matter in your hands and make it yourself!
Here's one hack that fits both those bills.
First, print your Bookclub top pattern in your size. Measure your front middle piece's bottom edge and get two invisible zippers at least two inches shorter than that measure and matching the fabrics you intend on using. Note that full length zippers would make unneccessarily bulky side seams, especially if you intend on serging the them. You can of course use long zippers and cut them to the required length.
Cut your fabric pieces just as you normally would. Begin constructing your top. Once your front top and middle are sewn together, it is already time to sew in your zippers.
I recommend using wash away tape to hold the zippers in place, that and an invisible zipper presser foot really eased my game. Center your zipper on the seam allowance and match the raw edge of your fabric with the edge of your zipper's right side.
Repeat for the other side. Open, unfold and sew your zippers in place. If you don’t have an invisible zipper presser foot, be sure to sew as close to your unfolded zipper as you can. You really have to unfold the invisible zipper and sew as close to the zipper teeth so it really is invisible in the end.
Also, at some point, you will reach the zipper’s slider. If you're using an invisible presser foot, you can push the slider as far down as you can and stop sewing just when you reach it. If you're using a regular zipper presser foot, you can also pause your sewing while holding your needle down, lift your presser foot and move your slider so you shut your zipper closed. Your slider will then be away from the needle and presser foot. Continue sewing till the end of the zipper. Either method will work out fine.
Prepare your front bottom, put some wash away tape again on the seam allowances if you like.
Close your zipper and place it right sides together on top of your front bottom, still centering it. Repeat for other side
Open your zippers.
Notice that the zippers should not meet at the center. This part doesn’t need the extra bulk, your middle piece's point will be sewn just as usual.
Sew your zippers in place just like you did before, making sure to unfold your invisible zipper and sewing as close to its teeth as you can. Your seam should end about an inch from the point of the Middle piece.
Now, you will secure each end of you zippers and sew your Middle piece's point. Fold your zippers on themselves, as if they weren’t there and you were about to sew the middle and bottom pieces together. Clip or pin at each end and at the point of the V.
Sew as close to the ends of your zippers as you can, beginning at the side of your pieces and ending 1 inch past your zipper's end. I used a regular zipper foot for this part.
Your closure should look like this:
For the point of the middle piece, proceed likewise. Fold away and hold the remainder of the closest zip. Begin to sew your middle and bottom pieces together one inch from – and as close as you can to – the end of that zip, still holding the remainder of your zipper away from the seam. You should sew through that folded end and then only through your middle and bottom pieces.
Continue till you reach the point of the middle piece, rotate your pieces as you would normally do and pause. Fold away and hold the remainder of the second zipper. Resume your sewing till you go through that folded end and then 1 inch past that zip, still sewing very close to it. Cut the excess of zippers.
Your front bodice and hack is done! Go back to the regular instructions to finish your bookclub top!
(written by: Isabelle Couture)