It's sometimes tough-love when you get pregnant. You can't fit those favourite clothes of yours in the later months, then when you get attached to some of your maternity clothes your body begins to shrink back a little after pregnancy and the clothes don't look so good anymore, or stay up without a belt. One would think that all the dress-size-issues would disappear after you've been pregnant.
Alas, there are a number of happenings which make life not so boring. If your belly is swollen from a C-section or anything else (perhaps a baby was in there), then it may take a little while longer for it to 'mellow', if it does at all. So I found my maternity clothes were still handy for quite a while. In saying that, I know people who have bought maternity clothes when they're not pregnant, and that is entirely 100% OK. Let's be honest, they really are just so comfy. There are no rules.
But... many of the Mums out there will know of another clothing-issue which doesn't get talked about very much. I heard a little about it while I was pregnant. It's the issue of having clothing that allows 'easy-access' for breastfeeding. I thought I'd be ok with all my knit singlets and sweaters...
I was ok, mostly. But then I truly found out that there were tops of mine that just didn't work. They especially didn't work when I was in a cafe or in public somewhere. It's not such a pretty sight when a lady has to 'hoik' up her whole dress and expose her cute knickers to feed her baby. One of my favourite dresses was sadly included in the 'discard-until-not-breastfeeding-anymore' pile. Did you notice the 'was'. Heh heh, I got brave enough to use my scissors on it.
I bought some double-sided satin ribbon, found my stash of metal snaps, grabbed my scissors and switched on the sewing machine...
I'm so stoked with how it turned out. I took the photos above under really bad light, my face is err, well, my face!
This isn't really a proper tutorial, but hopefully it might show you how I did it enough for someone to attempt it themselves.
Put the dress on and mark where you want the bows to sit. Then take it off and measure to make sure both sides are even. Cut straight across the front of the shoulder-strap. Overlock or zizgzag in the ribbon, into/onto the bottom cut piece. Overlock or zigzag all raw edges.
Pic 2 & 3
Fold back and iron the edges so the hem will be about 1cm wide. I sewed along the ribbon about 1cm away from the edge (before I ironed it back) so it was attached more strongly to the dress. Then sew just under 1cm away from the folded edge, and back across it again about 5m away from the folded edge. You can see this a bit closer in Pic 4.
Lay out the dress flat like this photo (below) and mark where the snaps should go. Make sure they are placed so the strap isn't lengthed or shortened - the gap between should be around 2cm after the edges have been hemmed up. If you do want to adjust the length of the straps, remember it could make the dress hang very differently to the way it should, just a little warning incase you're not fully sure about it.
Tie the ribbons into a fancy knot (above where the snaps have been made) and voila! You now have a breast-feeding-friendly dress.
Go back to the very first two pics at the top to see the finished result again.