When The BookClub top was released, I instantly thought I could hack it into a nursing top... in three different ways!
You can read about the first way HERE (link this word to the first hack: https://www.ellieandmac.com/blogs/blog/bookclub-top-maternity-hack).
My second idea was greatly influenced by the Petal top I made for this other blogpost (https://www.ellieandmac.com/blogs/blog/sewing-tips-how-to-prepare-your-sewing-around-little-children).
How about mashing the Bookclub and the Petal top?
Here’s how to do it.
First, print both patterns in your size. If you don’t plan on doing a normal Petal top some day, you could leave off the back bodice, sleeves and neckband pieces. Cut the Bookclub top pieces, but not the panel and the front from the Petal top just yet.
Print again the top and middle part of the Bookclub bodice. Fold the seam allowances up.
Tape the top pieces together, do so for the middle pieces too.
First, we will adapt the panel from the Petal top. You can see here
that the Petal top isn’t as large as the Bookclub top if you align both patterns bottom point of the armscye. Fortunately, in my size, the length to be added on the left is about the same as the margin, but you might have to tape another piece of paper there to help. Trace a new center line to cut on fold, lengthening the neckline at the same time.
Aligning the Bookclub bottom piece, you can also see that the side seam doesn’t have the same shape and that the piece length also differs. Since we’ll be using the Bookclub top back bodice, we will trace the panel to follow the Bookclub top lines. Cut along the new lines you drew.
Then, take your Petal top front. Find the center of you Petal front and align your Bookclub Top piece center with it. Align the shoulders lines too. You will have to draw a new neck line and a new armscye. Follow the Bookclub piece and trace the new neckline and the armscye.
Place the Bookclub middle piece, seam allowances folded and trace the new armscye.
Trace also a dotted line along the bottom side of the middle piece, seam allowance still folded up. 3/8" up from that line, trace your new seam allowance for what will become your new front bodice bottom piece.
Finally, using the Bookclub bottom piece again, trace the same side seam as you did on the Petal panel piece.
Cut your new Petal front along the lines you just traced.
The last piece to modify is the panel binding. Use this equation to lengthen it:
(Former binding length x New panel neckline length)/ Former panel neckline length
Here are the new pieces you should have:
I’m a big fan of folding my pattern pieces to minimize the number of paper used. So here’s how I create my new front bodice bottom piece. There’s only a small line to cut just down the full line traced on the Petal front piece. Here are the pattern pieces you should now have.
The hard part is done! Cut your pieces in your fabric. DO NOT FORGET that the petal parts are mirrored. So once your colorblocked parts are cut, unfold your big redrawned Petal front piece, flip it and THEN cut it. Here’s an example of what you should have on hand.
Assemble your back bodice and your sleeves as per the Bookclub top instructions, then do so for the Bookclubbed petal front too. It should look like this.
Hem both petals and follow the Petal top pattern instructions to assemble the panel and to join it to the petals.
Sew the shoulders, the sleeves and then hem your shirt and sleeves and you’re done!
For my next version of this shirt, I would add a little to the seam allowance of the middle front piece (the V) as to make a bigger hem. My actual shirt isn’t as symmetrical as I’d like him to be. It’s still stylish and completely functional though! The DBP and mystery-feels-like-bambo-lycra lilac fabric are so soft and stretchy, it’s a dream to wear and to put to good use.
I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine!
(Written by: Isabelle Couture)