Breastfeeding Links

Contact Us  

Converting RTW

Elizabeth Lee Designs

E-mail List

Fabric Sources


Kwik Sew Patterns

Pattern Sources

Pattern Updates

Sew Alongs

Sewing Links

Sewing Tips

Show and Tell

Swap Day


Mom nursing their babies NMSL RTW T-Shirt with Panel I
This is how I did it:  I bought a RTW t-shirt (on sale for $2.50
- I love a bargain!) and cut a center slit in it, then zigzagged all around
the edge.  (Try the shirt on to mark the top and bottom of the slit.)

Then I backed a fabric panel with muslin - stitched right sides together, left
an opening, turned, pressed, and topstitched.  I put the shirt on and held up
the panel to me, and used a piece of soap to mark all four corners.  When I
took the shirt off I squared up the markings and sewed the panel on.  I
stitched the top and bottom, and a little way up and down each side.

The panel was on sale for $1.99, and I only used one square, the muslin was
cheap, and my finished shirt cost me around $5.00 and a little time.  The
panel has a cow on it, BTW, how appropriate!  <vbg>

I have another one ready.  I just cut a square out of a cute fabric and the
muslin, but I never have gotten around to sewing it.  I'm going to make
matching shorts out of the rest of the fabric, and a shirt and shorts for my
little one.  Won't we be the rage - IF I ever get it done!

Blessings on you,

P.S.  The pattern that you can use to make a t-shirt is #108.  It's a drop
waist dress and you just leave off the skirt to make a shirt.  I think you
could use the principles of EL patterns to make a regular pattern a nursing
top.  Just cut a center slit and make an overlay pattern using the front piece
as a guide.

Submitted by Kelly S. with additional comments by Angi Z. and Lisa M. from NMSL

Additional Comments:

> Anyway, I cut out a panel and backed it with muslin.  I just cut a
piece of
> muslin the same size as the panel, sewed them together right sides
> leaving an opening for turning.  I turned it right side out and
pressed it,
> then topstitched all the way around, which closed up the opening.

Angi responded:
You can also use regular fabric and cut it about 14x14"...instead of a
panel per se'

Lisa--I personally have used a 15 x 15 panel, due to my very large breast

> I put on the shirt, held the panel up and marked where I wanted it
with a
> slice of dry bar soap (great for marking, and it washes right out!)

Laying the tee on my ironing board makes it real easy....I place the
panel on the front of the shirt 2' below the middle of the
neckline...and about 5"down from the neckline/shoulder
intersection... pin in place... i have found these measurements to
work on about all sizes of tees!!!(and to enter it up i measure the
space from the side edge of the panel to the arm/sleeve seam... on
each side and center it accordingly.)  These measurements through trial
and error.. I once put a panel on and it was horribly crooked!!

Lisa said:  I personally placed the panel where it looked good on me, since
when I centered it on the t-shirt, it was off center.  I do go down about 5".

 I evened
> up the markings, and cut a slit right in the center of the shirt.  I
> the edges of the slit, and sewed the panel on the front of the

I measure down 3 - 3 1/2" down from the neckline and mark it...
measure down 8" from that mark and mark again and cut between marks
(this is all done on the CF)
Lisa said:  I cut the slit first.  I also cut two slits rather then one, I
just used a short zigzag with the shirt turned to the wrong side, worked
great! I used a nylon snap to close them, right in the center.  I
whipstitched around the snap and found they are very durable.  I also found
that I personally needed to add a nylon snap between the panel and one on
the shirt, below the fullest part of my bust, to keep the shirt from
gapping to much due to my large bust.  Since I did this, I probably did not
need to add the snaps to the openings, but chose to anyways!

> sewed the top and bottom edges, around the corners, and along the
sides a few inches for security.

I found for most fabric panels or preprinted panel sewing down 2" on
the sides at both top and bottom work great.. one panel I used was a
bit larger so i sewed down a bit farther on each side .. still worked
great! I also have been putting in sew in snaps at the sides .. only
catching the lining in the top snap so no to show through to the
panel front... I have a tendency to gap with my chest size and this
alleviates this and gives me more security!!!  These snaps are very
inexpensive and come in regular metal and also (I have been told
recently, though haven't seen them first hand... a nylon in white and

 It works great and is really cute.  Plus the whole thing
> cost around $5.00 and about an hour or two of my time.

BTW... be sure to PREWASH muslin!!! I made the mistake of forgetting
on my first two shirts!!! (I ALWAYS PREWASH EVERYTHING... can't
imagine why I forgot.. must've been too excited!!) Anyway, the panel
go tall distorted the first time I washed the shirt.. had to remove,
un-sew the lining and re-sew a new one one because the muslin lining had
shrunk 1 3/8"!!!!

Lisa said:  I used an old white sheet that I had for the panel backing, it
worked out GREAT!!!  I used a sheet that was bound for the rag bin, and
didn't have to prewash it, since it had been washed many times over!  :-)
The lining will not or rather should not be seen anyways, so it doesn't
really matter what color or shape it is in!

Please contact the Webmaster if there are any problems with this site.