What a MONTH it has been! I conquered two HUGE sewing goals – jeans and lingerie! 2019 has really been a year of major growth and new frontiers in my sewing, which I honestly did not expect at the start of this year. I knew that I had some lofty goals, but as I adjusted to life as a new mama and a pretty big change in my schedule and “me-time”, I wasn’t quite sure where all of my goals would truly fit in. I’m so happy to say that I’m still here, making things happen, prioritizing my sewing (read: self care / sanity!) where I can, and continuing to add to my wardrobe primarily by creating, not buying!
Today, I’m doing something a little different here on the blog – not only am I sharing my first ever piece of me-made lingerie, I’m also going to share step-by-step how I hacked the Jordy Bralette into a nursing-friendly bralette! I don’t do a lot of pattern hacking, but this was a serious need in my wardrobe, so there was no hesitation hacking right into this one. I LOVE the outcome, and I am looking forward to making a couple more very soon to round out my bra collection.
The Jordy Bralette is the EXACT type of silhouette that I prefer in a bra – I have never been “gifted” in the bust department (in fact, I’ve quite enjoyed being pretty flat chested!), so a comfortable bralette has always offered all the support that I need. I prefer tops that have a deep or open neckline, so I prefer that the cups of my bra / bralette are not too wide or too tall. Over the last 10 months, I’ve been strictly wearing the soft, comfy nursing bras I purchased off of Amazon. Although they are certainly comfortable and functional…. They are not cute, and I don’t feel pretty when I wear them. The cups are wide and tall, which limits the tops that are available to me in my closet right now. They seem fairly heavily padded, which adds to my already more generous nursing mama boob size and really alters my silhouette as I know it. Function has been the name of the game since little one arrived, so I’ve just been moving along and making do. I never thought to question it…
Until (Br)August rolled in, and Sew My Style hosted this lovely month of lingerie sewing. I didn’t intend to participate at first, thinking that I didn’t want to sew up a pretty bra that would sit in my drawer for the foreseeable future. And then it dawned on me… Why not make one that I can wear right now? And here we are. I’ve been wearing this thing non-stop since I made it, and I am so excited to share this little hack. I can only imagine there must be other nursing mamas out there who need this!
Let me begin by saying that the Jordy Bralette pattern by Emerald Erin is a fantastic pattern. This was my first foray into lingerie sewing; sewing a bra has always seemed so intimidating to me, but I had nothing but confidence going into this project thanks to the fantastic instructions. I sewed the all fabric version in a scuba knit (yes – I know that this is not the actual recommendation for this fabric! Per the pattern, scuba is recommended for the foam cup option, but as I did not want to add foam cups to my bra, I chose to try out the all fabric version in scuba. I knew it was a risk, but it worked out perfectly for me.) I could not get my hands on Picot elastic in the time frame needed to make my bralette, so I also used plush strap elastic in place of the picot. Finally, I used a soft, standard 1.5” black elastic for my band rather than plush elastic, again due to local availability. I was very lucky that all of these substitutions worked well for me, but if you are concerned at all I would highly suggest checking out the kits and supplies offered specifically for the Jordy Bralette by Emerald Erin , or the supplies offered over at Tailor Made Shop for your bra-making needs. I’ve purchased from both shops now that I am planning more bralettes.
And now… A little nursing hack tutorial! To create a breastfeeding friendly Jordy Bralette, you will need to go ahead and gather the supplies as recommended in the pattern, with the addition of an extra 12” of plush strap elastic and one set of nursing clips. I’ve linked the clips I used below.
Begin by constructing the major pieces of your Jordy Bralette. Sew your elastic in place around the outside of your cups. The pattern instructions will include a small tail left available at the top of your bra cup, where your two sides meet in a point. Typically, this would be where you would attach a ring in the future. Instead. Go ahead and attach the flat piece of your nursing bra clip here. Thread your elastic from front to back of the wider side of the clip piece, as shown below.
Take the additional elastic and fold it back onto itself on the inside of the bra. Stitch into place. I used a zipper foot to ensure that my stitches were as close as possible to the edge of the clips. Repeat on the other side, and trim any excess elastic.
Continue to follow the pattern instructions. When you are ready to sew your wide plush band into place, pause!! Here you will insert an additional piece of plush back elastic, as seen below. This will be the piece that maintains the integrity of the bralette’s shape, holding the band and strap together when you unhook the cup to nurse your little one! Make sure that the plush side is going to be against your skin. I used a 7” cut of elastic on either side, but found that I trimmed off about an inch on either side, so I would suggest using less. As you can see in the photo below, I placed my extra piece of elastic just a small bit in from the outer edge of the cup. As I have worn my bralette, I’ve noticed that sometimes this leads to this extra elastic peeking out the side slightly. I would suggest placing your extra elastic piece about ¾” to 1” in from your outer cup edge. Once you’ve pinned your elastic where you’d like, follow the pattern instructions to sew your cups to your band.
The next part was tricky for me to wrap my head around, and took a lot of trial and error before I was positive that I had everything working in the right direction! Follow the pattern instructions to sew your slider in place. You will now take the strap and thread your clip into place. You’ll want to be sure that the plush side of the strap will remain against your skin and that the seam where you’ve connected your strap to your slider will stay underneath when the other end of the strap is looped through. To achieve this, turn your strap plush side up, and thread it through the wider mouth of the clip, with the clip itself facing away from the slider. I’ve tried to capture this in the photos below.
Follow the instructions to loop your strap back through your slider. I paused here to make sure everything was going in the direction I wanted it to. Clip your two clip pieces together as they will be once you are wearing the bra. If all is going well, things should look a little something like this!
If all is well, go ahead and follow the instructions to sew your straps into place along the inner back band. You’re almost done! Remember that random piece of elastic I had you add inside of the cup earlier? Here’s where that comes into play. Thread that through the more narrow opening of the clip. This opening should be down toward the cup, and should be empty at this time. Be sure to thread it from front to back, so that plush sides will be touching when sewn down.
And that’s it! Follow the pattern instructions to finish construction… You should have a fully functional nursing bralette! Although I made my Jordy Bralette in the all fabric version (in a bit of a rogue scuba, as I mentioned before), this nursing bra hack will work with any version of the Jordy. Quite honestly, this hack would likely work with many different bra / bralette patterns. But as I’ve fallen pretty in love with the Jordy, I’ll just be sticking to this one for now!
The scuba I used for this project is a bright, beautiful, tropical print from Stylish Fabric. I originally planned to just make my bralette out of this fabric, but as the Jordy takes SO little fabric, I had plenty of my one yard cut leftover and decided to make myself a matching pencil skirt! Though I don’t necessarily ever plan to wear them solo as a set, I’ve been feeling quite sassy knowing that my bra matches my skirt… Underneath my cami, anyways!
I’m not quite up to showing you all modeled photos of my Jordy, so instead, here’s a little bit of a sneak peek of it underneath my trusty black Ogden Cami. I hope this tutorial helps someone out there whose new bundle of joy is causing them to feel a little frumpy about their wardrobe options. The beauty of sewing is that you can find a way to make whatever you feel is missing from your wardrobe! Happy hacking!!!!
Bralette: handmade by me
Pattern: Emerald Erin – Jordy Bralette
Fabric: Stylish Fabric – Black and Tangerine Tropical Floral Prints on Crepe Techno Fabric
Skirt: handmade by me
Pattern: Patterns for Pirates – Pirate Pencil Skirt
Fabric: Stylish Fabric – Black and Tangerine Tropical Floral Prints on Crepe Techno Fabric
Top: handmade by me
Pattern: True Bias – Ogden Cami
Fabric: a really lovely black slinky remnant from JoAnn Fabrics
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine
Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint Machine Needles – Size 70/10
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
Dritz Nursing Bra Clips
Dritz Lingerie Strap Slides / Rings
Though the fabric used in this post was generously provided to me by the great team at Stylish Fabric, all words and opinions expressed are my own, as always! Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! I appreciate each click! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth