I was thrilled when Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs asked me to be part of her Remix the Stitch blog tour celebrating the one year anniversary of Straight Stitch Designs. After perusing her patterns, I settled on the Ballard because I had an idea on how to remix it into a nursing friendly top. I actually figured out two ways to make the Ballard nursing friendly and reversible and convertible to a non nursing top! How’s that for versatility?
To make a nursing friendly top out of the Ballard pattern, you have to begin by cutting it out differently.
Cut out two back pattern pieces, one for the open back pattern, and one for the closed back pattern.
You will need to change the neckline to make it reversible. Raise the neckline on the front pattern piece by 1.25 inches and lower the neckline on the back pattern pieces by 1.25 inches.
When it’s time to sew the shoulders together, layer the two backs and one front piece like this:
Closed back (right side up)
Open backs (right side up)
Front (right side down)
When you sew up the side seams, sew up the sleeves, then do NOT catch the closed back piece in the side seams when you sew the front and (open) back pieces together. This is how you will get access for nursing your baby. Like this:
When you sew the hem band, be sure to catch both layers of the back pattern pieces.
When you pin the neckband to the shirt, place the neckband seam on one of the shoulder seams so your shirt will be reversible.
When you sew the neckband, be sure to catch both layers of the back pattern pieces.
To make the button up (or snap) version of the reversible, nursing friendly Ballard, most of your steps will be the same.
Cut out two back pattern pieces, one for the open back pattern, but cut a straight instead of curved line. Use the farthest parts of the curve and draw a straight line from the top to the bottom. Like this:
When you fold over the edges of your open back pieces, you will fold over enough width to create a button placket (or if you do snaps, use the 1/2” recommended) Also, I would suggest ironing in some lightweight interfacing to help your buttonholes maintain their shape.
After you have assembled the shirt, make buttonholes and sew on buttons. Or use snaps as I did.
I did not cut my Ballard as I suggest you do above, so you can see some gapping across the front. If I would have had enough fabric to cut the pattern piece underneath of the same fabric this would not be as noticeable. So you can learn from my mistake and cut yours wider! The next nursing friendly Ballard I make will definitely have a button placket up the front/back.
Yes, I’m having some front/back confusion because I made these Ballard tops reversible! That’s because the back is so fun and the front is so cute, I wanted to be able to wear them either way after my baby is finished nursing.
This photo is my tribute to Kimberly because she’s always laughing and so beautiful on the pictures on her pattern covers!
I actually had some shoes to go with this outfit, for once! My sister would be proud!
Be sure to visit all the other stops on the Remix the Stitch blog tour. Oh, and there’s a giveaway too!
Tuesday, September 8th: Meg Cookin’ and Craftin’ | Jennifer Ginger Peach Studio
Wednesday, September 9th: Ajaire Call Ajaire | Heidi Handmade Frenzy | Stacey Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts
Thursday, September 10th: Melissa Rebel & Malice | Annika Näh-Connection | Abby Sew Much Ado
Friday, September 11th: Katie It’s Hard to Hear Up Here | Jane Buzzmills | Lisa Mabey She Made It
Saturday, September 12th: Elena Randomly Happy | Allie Indiesew | Jess If Only They Would Nap
Monday, September 14th: Jaime Made By Jaime | Lauren BASTE + GATHER | Sara Made by Sara
Tuesday, September 15th: Audrey Skirt Fixation | Teri Fa Sew La | Hayley Welcome to the Mouse House
Wednesday, September 16th: Emi Just Add Fabric | Rachael Imagine Gnats | Teresa Dandelion Drift
Thursday, September 17th: Kaysie | KZJO’STUDIO Rita Conversas de Hermanas | Stephanie Swoodson Says
Friday, September 18th: Andreia In a Manner of Sewing | Nienke Pienkel | Abbey Sew Charleston
All links to Straight Stitch Designs are affiliate links because as you can see we LOVE this pattern, and have our eye on several more, so if you click through on our link, we may eventually make enough money to support our pattern habit!