Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nursing T-Shirt Tutorial from Cemamanlafée - In English!!

********Thanks for visiting my post. I love this shirt and hope the translation helps other moms to take advantage of Christelle's creation. I hope you will take the time to come by my other blog - Mommy Repeat - for tons of great ideas for fun with little ones. I even have a special section about sewing with kids!*********

Have you seen this super practical and seriously cute nursing t-shirt on Pinterest?

It is the creation of Christelle at Cemamanlafée, a French-language sewing and crafting blog. This t-shirt has been garnering quite a bit of attention on Pinterest, but seems to have left many anglophones wishing for an explanation of the process in English. With Christelle's permission, I thought I would provide one here. Below is the English-language translation of the tutorial. If you want to see some additional photos of the shirt, check out the original post or the PDF version.

Nursing T-Shirt in Striped Jersey Cotton - Tutorial (for European size 36*)

1. Cut the pattern pieces. (It is not even worth the effort for me to draw it for you): 2 rectangles 40 cm (16 in) long by 50 cm (19.5 in) wide for the front and the back; a band 135 cm (53 in) long by 20 cm (8 in) wide for the wraparound/shoulder part.

2. Sew a small hem on the top edge of the front and back pieces. (I used a rolled hem.)

3. While you are at it, keep going and sew a rolled hem on the two long sides of the long band. And while we are thinking of it, mark the center of the long band and of the back piece (top edge).

4. Gather the two short sides of the long band (elastic thread shirring).

5. Pin the two (shirred) ends of the long band to the upper section of the front piece (wrong side of the band facing right side of the front). This is the only tricky part of the process! I think the simplest way to do this is to stand in front of the mirror with four pins in your mouth. Place the rectangle for the front piece on your body (with the rolled hem at the top of the breasts), pin the first edge of the long band under the right armpit, then position the band correctly (without twisting the fabric) so that it covers (in this order): the right breast, the left shoulder, the back, the right shoulder, and you are back to the left breast. Place two pins under the left armpit and you've got it. Phew! Take everything off and you will swear that it does not look like much of anything and that you definitely made a mistake. You will check the placement of the long band a second time. OK, it is fine, even if it does not look like it. Leave the pins where they are and sew these seams.

6. Sew the front and back together (right sides facing, then turn it right side classic!)

7. Put the shirt back on and try to reposition the band to make a nice crossed neckline. Once again, you will think that you actually did mess up, that it is impossible. You will realize that you put your head through the wrong hole. Fix this and you will arrive at something wearable. Have someone help you or fight it out yourself to place two pins spaced 20 cm (8 in) apart at the meeting of the top of the back and the long band (so that the two marks made in the center of the back and the band come together.) Turn the shirt inside out again and sew between the two pins.

8. Sew a hem along the bottom edge of the shirt.

*I believe that european size 36 is equivalent to US size 4, but I have seen everything from a 2 to a 6 in my internet searches.


  1. Fine Katie, thank you for translation !!!

  2. so are you going to make one for yourself??

  3. What a great nursing top! I've been nursing for 7 years now, 4 different babies (with a couple of months break between each), and I haven't come across a better nursing top. THanks.
    Found you and following you on pinterest!

  4. I have made 2 of these tops so far (with fabric I had on hand) and bought more fabric today. These are so dang easy, and some simple math to size it for me. I have had to make one change to the pattern, sewing the top of the X together. Without that, when I raised my arms above my head, my boobs were coming out of the shirt. Great, easy nursing top! Wish I would have thought of it =-)

  5. Can someone show it on a person? I am confused where your arms go?

    1. Hi Erin. If you click the link above to go to the original French-language post, you will see more photos, including a few of Christelle wearing the shirt.

  6. Hi i really want to make this shirt but am no where near the size given. How would i measure to make sure i got the right size?