I love breastfeeding. I mean, getting teeth was hard on us both, and in the early days I felt like I spent my life glued to a chair, but overall, it suits me.
What does NOT suit me, on the other hand, are most clothes that are “breastfeeding friendly” or made specifically for breastfeeding. Usually too small in the cup area, or too baggy in the waist, or clearly made for supermodels who recover in their postpartum period like a rubber band! My baby is 8 months old now, and the World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding for well over 8 months. So while I’ve made it quite far, I intend to keep going. My wardrobe it seems, has yet to realise this.
We’re in summer, Christmas is approaching, and I can no longer resist the innate desire to wear a maxi dress. I can, however, resist the urge to buy a maxi dress that is feeding friendly, for upwards of $50; I’m an op-shopper at heart. But stylish feeding friendly (FF for shortsies) clothes are a new phenomenon (as several older, wiser women in my life reminded me while I was pregnant…”they didn’t have those while I was feeding!”) so I am yet to find a FF summer dress in an opshop. Sadface!
But I am resourceful! My mother taught me how to very crudely sew. I can use scissors, kind of handstitch, and have extensive experience breaking machine needles on sequins (sorry Mum). I now own a sewing machine, and have had almost a year to fiddle around with it, stitch basic stuff, and learn the art of YouTube tutorials.
I made a dress once from a pattern. There are no photos. I also discovered that day that quilting cotton is definitely not what you want to make a dress out of. But needless to say, sewing a dress from scratch isn’t really my go-to. But opshopping, and basic stitchwork…turned out to be!
Thank you Salvos, in two different towns, for providing the goods and the inspiration. Browsing the summer dresses, I found this beauty: possibly a size too big, but with such potential!
The flowy thing around the neckline provides ample cover for sub-par cutting and sewing, and milky messes of course. $6.
Next salvos, I stumbled across a matching set of vintage zips. All black; easy to colour match 😂 50c.
A few days later, I got around the trying the dress on, and getting a rough idea of where I needed access… Then out came the scissors! Next, I used a recollection of how to stitch zips on (oops, I shouldn’t have cut the holes first) and voila!
Custom made feeding holes. Could they have been positioned better? Probably! Could they have been bigger? Definitely. Did I have the time to spend perfecting them? Absolutely not; it’s already summer, and style waits for noone.
Obviously I’m joking, it’s all about the comfort.