Saturday, July 6, 2013

Pinterest Project: Homemade Nursing Tank Top

When I was pregnant with Jadon, I thought that I would return to my "normal" wardrobe when I left maternity clothes behind. However, after he was born, I realized how cumbersome normal clothes can be for breastfeeding.

I'm pretty modest when it comes to feeding Jadon. I have no problem nursing in public, but I always use a cover. I prefer shirts that have a "criss-cross" bodice that can be moved to the side for feeding. I hate lifting up my shirt if I'm not wearing a nursing tank top underneath because I don't want to expose my middle.

Not surprisingly, nursing tank tops cost more than regular tank tops. The few nursing tank tops I own started showing signs of wear after only a few months since I wore them all the time. I found myself looking longingly at the unused ordinary tank tops in my drawer when I put my laundry away.

Then, one fateful day, I absentmindedly typed "diy nursing tank top" into the Pinterest search engine. I was thrilled to see that other nursing women had gone before me in making the nursing wardrobe easier for everyday life. The solution was so simple I was surprised I hadn't thought of it myself.

I tried the technique on one of my ordinary tank tops right away. I simply cut the straps so that there was about an inch left, and curled it around to create a loop. This loop could easily be attached to the front panel of any nursing bra.

However, after I glanced at the available tutorials, I noticed that everyone had a solution for the front of the tank top, but said nothing about the straps on the back! If there was no way to attach the back of the tank top to the nursing bra, wouldn't the back of the tank top eventually fall down your back?

I found that the back was only a problem if the tank top was especially loose. Tighter-fitting tank tops stayed up on their own, for the most part. As one of my loose-fitting tank tops was falling a lot, I set out to fix the problem.

My solution involves a pair of buttons and some thin elastic.

Most adjustable tank tops have a little plastic circle for the strap to feed through on the back. Save this little circle to anchor the elastic.

If you don't have thin elastic lying around, you can also use a small hair tie. Whichever you use, loop it to the plastic circle, as pictured above.

Finally, on either side of the original back straps, hand-sew the plastic loop and a button to the tank top. The elastic piece can now be pulled around the back of the bra strap, keeping the tank top from sliding down your back.

My back solution can probably be improved upon. For example, it's a little difficult to loop the elastic around the bra strap by yourself (that is, if you're already wearing the bra). Maybe I don't really need the little plastic circle (the thrifter in me wants to find a purpose for everything!). Depending upon the fabric, and the size of your button, you might get an annoying "button bump" sticking out of your back.

I'll update this post if I think of something else for the back of the tank top. In the meantime, I'm definitely open to ideas.


  1. Great idea! I will definitely be re-purposing some of my tanks! and I was just looking online for a new nursing tank...

  2. Thank you!! I've been trying to figure out how to manage the back as well! I will have to try this. I considered a snap, but had a similar problem--how do you do it yourself??

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