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Lift Up Nursing Hack

Hi everyone! I'm Laura and I usually blog at Today I am sharing my post about a lift up nursing hack I did on the Virginia Dress, using Amelia Lane Designs Fabric!


The cutest double brushed poly just stocked at Amelia Lane Designs and it’s name is Portland!

I wanted to wear as much of it as I could because it’s just so darned cute. So I made myself a maxi length Virginia Dress from 5oo4 Patterns.

I added lift up nursing access as a "hack" meaning an option that is not in the base pattern, so I added the feature myself. This hack method can be used on any knit fabric pattern that has a waist seam. It offers a bodice that lifts up to expose a bodice underneath that has a lower neckline and can be pulled down by stretching. Fabric with good recovery (meaning it comes back into its shape after being stretched) is recommended.

I tested the Virginia back when it was released and made a bunch of tops/skirts/dresses during testing! See that post on my site Link: Virginia blog

You should never experiment with your good fabric, always make a draft out of cheap fabric with similar stretch. But I really just can’t seem to follow the rules lately. My stubborn streak is really showing itself so far in 2019!

So I went ahead and folded the skirt pattern piece to make it straight instead of flared. I wanted more of a romper look and I like how it turned out.

Then I added a nursing access layer. I also doubled the waistband so it had twice the thickness to support the weight of the skirt.

For the nursing layer, I just traced the bodice pattern piece (love that the full bust adjustment is built in as an option!) to make a copy, then lowered the neckline significantly.

Photo shows where I have traced the pattern piece onto a new piece of paper so I will still have my original for the outer layer. On the traced piece, I am finding the neckline (on the fold) and I measured about how far down I would want the center and then drawing a line to mark that, then smoothing that line out with a curve.

Then I hemmed the neckline of the under piece, all the way up to the shoulder, so that it would make the shoulder narrower and keep it out of the neckband.

When attaching the shoulders, put the under bodice piece behind the front bodice piece, right side of the under piece to wrong side of the front piece and sew all three shoulders together. All three armcyes should match up.

I cut an extra waistband piece that will go on top and not be attached to the skirt. I am pinning and attaching that waistband to the bottom of the outer front piece. Because I cut this piece the same height as the waistband piece that won't be folded, this band will come out half as tall as the real waistband connecting the bodice and skirt.

Then I recommend attaching the front skirt to the front under bodice piece, the back skirt to the back piece and doing the side seams all together. That way you catch the sides of the front band in the side seam and they lay down. If you attach in the round the sides of the band will be raw (I didn’t take my own advice unfortunately – I didn’t realize until it was too late)

Bam! Nursing access!

You may want to put elastic in the hem of the neckline of the under piece depending on the recovery of your fabric. I chose not to.

By the way, I had a 3 yard cut of the fabric and I used it for all pieces (including the ones you don’t see, like the lining on the waistband) and I have about 2/3 of a yard left (I'm a size XL FBA/2XL for reference).

This fabric is so cute! I want to make 7 more dresses out of it! What other patterns should I do?

Here is my personal affiliate link to the Virginia Dress/Skirt/Top Pattern:

Affiliate links are a great way to support sewists who inspire you with their makes! Pattern companies offer us a small percentage of their sale price (no impact to the buyer's price) when our link is used. If you were planning on picking up a new pattern anyway and someone's make inspired you, it's a great way to help the buy their next yard of fabric to try something new, that may or may not turn out! If you would prefer not to use the affiliate link, simply remove the question mark and characters that follow, no one will be offended :-)

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