Hello! It’s Tammie from Sewing-4-Sanity sharing my Dublin Dolman tie-front nursing hack!
All of the normal supplies per the pattern PLUS elastic (1/4”, 3/8”, or 1/2” depending on your fabric choice…I would do wider elastic if your fabric is heavier/thicker)
1. Measure from your shoulder to under your bust. Now take the bodice pattern piece and measure from the same point in the shoulder the length of the measurement you just too. Add 2” to that and this will be the line you cut for the top part of the bodice. This is what mine looked like (note I didn’t actually cut the pattern piece, I just folded in a new cut line):
2. Now for the bottom part of the bodice, you want to cut 2-3” above the cut line you used for the top of the bodice (this is going to help create a bit of an overlap when you’re finished so you don’t have any belly showing!) I used about 2” in this picture, but I used ½” elastic and for the next one I would make the overlap a little more so I would do 3” instead. Here’s what mine looked like:
3. The next piece we need is going to be the part that ties. I didn’t have a pattern piece for this, but essentially I cut what looked like a cow utter (or an upside down bell curve) on the fold (so you have symmetrical ties). I made the flat edge about 2 x my seam allowance. Then, so we can have a clean finish we will need two…so trace the first one you did (remember they are on the fold!). This is what you will have:
And if you open them up, they should look like this…
4. Sew the two tie pieces together, right sides facing, leaving the straight side open.
5. Flip the tie pieces right sides out.
6. Sew the raw edge of the tie pieces to the bottom of the bodice, right sides facing. I wanted my tie pieces to be off-centered, so I sewed them to one side, but you can also have the tie in the middle. Hem the remaining raw edge of the bodice piece. I did not use elastic, but if you want it to fit more snuggly, you can add clear elastic here.
7. Now take the bottom piece of the front and create a casing to fit whatever size elastic you plan to use at the top of the piece (this is the part that will end up overlapping with the tie).
8. Cut a piece of elastic 1” less than the length under you bust where the bottom part of the front will fall. I found the slight negative ease helps prevent drooping.
*Alternatively, if you do a gathered back option, you could just create a casing all the way around.
Thread the elastic through the casing, tacking it down on both side.
This is what it will look like:
9. To finish the front part, you need to match up the back piece of the shirt and your two front pieces. Start at the arm seam and pin the top part of the front bodice to the back. Then starting at the bottom, match up the bottom front piece with the back. They will overlap and should look like this:
10. Sew together as pinned and repeat for the other side. Tack down the overlap on each side and finish the garment per the original pattern instructions!
11. Here’s what it will look like when you’re finished!