Sleep/Nursing Bras

In my effort to make-all-the-things for baby, maternity, and home, I knew I’d want some sort of nursing-friendly nighttime wear. I’ve heard that…leakage…can happen if you don’t have nursing pads while you sleep, and obviously you need something to hold them in place. Not to mention that it was becoming pretty apparent early on (in the first trimester) that I’d need some sort of nighttime wrangler o’ boobs, anyway. I’ve never seen the point of soft bras, prior to this whole maternity thing. They aren’t supportive enough for me (at least in my admittedly narrow experience), so why bother? If I need a bra (aka if I’m awake at all), I need a bra. If I don’t (aka I’m asleep), then why wear half-a-bra?

Welp, when you reach a certain point, it becomes obvious how helpful having a sleepy-time bra could be. I actually tried sleeping in a sports bra, but the racerback style has always hurt my neck after a while, and I woke up with the worst headache. I decided to look into making a sleep bra for myself, and eventually settled on the Sweet Blossoms nursing bra. There wasn’t that much info in the way of reviews, but it looked fairly simple and straightforward, and bonus points for it being nursing-friendly. So I gave it a shot, using the largest size “Lily”, as my jumping off point. (The sizes are all named after flowers, but it’s pretty clear which is the biggest and which is the smallest when you’re looking at the pattern pieces.)

The pattern is a digitized version of a hand-drawn pattern. It’s not schmancy at all, and to be perfectly honest, if I’d known how low-budg it was, I doubt I would’ve dropped 7 bucks on it when there are more professional patterns available. Not that there was anything wrong with it, I just expected more than the hand-drawn pattern pieces and the jumping-around kind of instructions that came with it. But regardless, I did buy it, so then I had to at least try to make it work.

My first attempt yielded something that I wouldn’t call wearable if it was supposed to be worn in public (like a swimsuit or something), but it’s okay for sleeping in. The front is just 2 identical pieces, mirrored and with a great big overlap, and the back is like a regular ol’ tank top (again, better for my neck and back than the racerback that my sports bras have).

Nursing Bra 01

Nursing Bra 03

The overlap on the front allows the nursing access for sleepy feeding times, I guess (having never nursed, admittedly).

Nursing Bra 02

There’s elastic all along the edges, but it’s not really that secure.

Nursing Bra 04

In addition to there being no real support on the bottom, the elastic just doesn’t pull tight enough to offer the coverage I’d feel more comfortable in. So yeah, I couldn’t wear it out in public, but for sleep it’s probably fine.

Nursing Bra 05

And for internet posting, I guess. Geez that’s an embarrassing picture, but look! Duncan is peeking out from under my arm in the background. There ya go, saved by dogs!

My dressform shows it a little more like it’s supposed to look, I’m pretty sure.

Nursing Bra 06

Nursing Bra 08

And just for funzies, here’s how the nursing access is supposed to work, too.

Nursing Bra 07

Since it feels like the armholes and neckline could stand to be tighter/smaller, I decided to try going down a size and adding an FBA for my next try. I did a 1″ FBA, although I’m not really sure if it counts as a 2″ because the front pieces are doubled, or…? I also opted to make it a camisole for sleeping in, mostly because I had the extra fabric leftover, so meh, might as well. I cut the front with an extra 6″ in width and then just gathered it when attaching the “band” elastic.

Nursing Bra 11

Nursing Bra 13

As you can see, it comes up higher and I feel like it has a bit more coverage for the arms and neckline, but it really doesn’t feel that great. I think I still might just hate soft bras. And again, because I guess I like exposing my dressform or something:

Nursing Bra 12


Inside out again:

Nursing Bra 09

And me wearing it again:

Nursing Bra 10

Comparing this picture to the first one, it really doesn’t look much better, does it? Oh well, it’s a thing to sleep in, who cares. I wouldn’t say I’m happy per se, but I’m satisfied with it. I can’t figure out how the hell the overlap/underlap is supposed to sit across my chest, but that’s true of all wrap tops. I can never get the hang of wrap dresses and surplice tops and the like. I doubt my baby’s going to be judging my nursing bra, anyway, haha!


About Kristi

My theme song is *crickets*.
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5 Responses to Sleep/Nursing Bras

  1. Tanit-Isis says:

    Good luck! I just slept on a towel for, well, months. >_< but I am pretty small-busted. (I feel the same way about soft bras, though.) these look like they'll be functional, though. Would tighter or heavier elastic help the edges feel more secure?

    • Kristi says:

      I was sort of wondering if I got even wider elastic for the band, if that would help. I think I used either 5/8″ or 3/4″, but I don’t know. I think I just won’t really feel that secure in a non-underwired bra, no matter what. It’s just not what I’m used to, you know? Like trying to get used to soft cup bras when you’ve always worn foam cup 😀

  2. Darlene D. says:

    Kristi, I was the same as you — I couldn’t imagine the point of non-underwire. I even bought underwire nursing bras while pregnant thinking I would use them. Nope. I have a rotation of four ‘sleep’ nursing bras that I wear all day, every day now, eight months postpartum. I have worn an underwire literally twice for a combined total of like five hours. They don’t really feel secure but the others are too painful while nursing. Good luck!

    • Kristi says:

      Oh yikes, I hope that’s not the case for me, because I just finished making an underwired nursing bra haha! I guess we’ll just have to see what happens. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Bra-making Fool | KristiCraft

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