Nursing Shirt DIY

Nursing at Lagoon

Nursing tops can be a huge asset to those who want to nurse in public *discreetly*. But a quick search online shows that because it’s still a relatively novel product, it can be very pricey to own any, let alone enough to stand up to the demands of life with a baby!

Nursing in the middle of Costco

Enter DIY nursing top. Life changer for the financially responsible discreet nurser. Is that you? Read on!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A basic sewing machine
  • 3 t-shirts (with any kind of sleeve), with an identical cut
  • A pencil
  • Sewing scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Thread
  • Courage

Step 1: Measure

Measure and mark about two inches below the bust line

The first thing you’ll want to do is try the shirt on. Make sure you buy shirts that fit, but with a little wiggle room. Put the shirt on inside out. Once on, find your under-bust line. That’s the place where the bottom of your bra hits. Put a little mark on the seam about two inches below that line, right on the side seam, as shown. Remove the shirt, and lay it flat on top of the second shirt, and mark the same spots on that shirt as well, so that they are identical. 

Step 2: Cut

Take the third shirt (also inside out), and mark a line just under each armpit. This will be your throw-away shirt. Cut straight across from armpit to armpit, totally removing the top of the shirt. You can throw this part away. You’ll only need the bottom portion.

Here’s where the courage comes in! Chop chop!

Then, cut the seams off each side of the bottom half, so that you are left with two long panels. 

Next, cut your first two shirts. Cut along the seam from the bottom of the shirt, all the way up to the pencil mark you’ve made (about 2 inches below the bust line). 

Be sure to cut the front panel only! This shirt is a keeper.

Next, cut straight across these two seams, removing the front panel only.

I like to use a yard stick to press into the fabric, creating a nice straight line to follow.

Cut a small slit on each side (about 1/2-3/4 inch), to make a hemming edge, as shown:

Step 3: Pin

Using straight pins, pin the top flap upward the width of the slits you’ve cut (1/2-3/4 inch) and pin in place. Repeat with the other shirt.

On the shirt panels you’ve set aside, pin the tops of these down about the same width (1/2-3/4 inch) and pin in place. Be sure you are hemming them toward the inside of the fabric, as shown:

Step 4: Sew

Using a basic straight stitch, sew along the pinned seams you’ve made, being sure to back-stitch at the beginning and the end to reinforce the edges of the seam. If you’re nervous about sewing it flat, iron down the hem first. 

Place the shirt and the panel together, lining up the bottom seam, right sides together. Pin along the side seams.

Right sides together!

Using a zig-zag stitch, sew up the seams, from bottom hem to armpit. 

Zigzag stitch! You can also surge this seam if you have a surger.

Step 5: Breastfeed with confidence!

Turn the shirt right side out, put it on, and you’re ready to go! 

Just lift one side and pull down the under panel to nurse. It takes a little practice, but you’ll get it down in no time!
That is one happy baby!

The cost of a typical nursing shirt online is around $15-$30. I bought these shirts at Walmart for $4 apiece. So even though I had to use one shirt as a throw away, I’m left with two identical nursing shirts for $6 each! You can’t beat that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little tutorial! If you have any questions, you can comment here or email me at [email protected]! Good luck and happy nursing! <3