Another resort collection - first up, a Bento dress

Hello lovelies. I'm rather excited as this week I'm a guest writer over at the Oliver + S blog, where I get to rhapsodise about one of my favourite patterns, the Bento tee. It was quite fortuitous in timing as I wanted to use the Bento to try a sleeve adjustment inspired by the fabulous Abby, another Melbourne seamstress, AND I have an upcoming little tropical holiday coming up with my beloved where my sartorial needs are becoming quite specific and niche as this bebe keeps growing. My guest post deadline was just what I needed to get the job done.




As seen on Abby's tutorial the adjustment involves extending the depth of the armscye quite signficantly, to below bust level and allow nursing access through the side of the tee/dress. I must say most of the RTW nursing gear I find pretty depressimo and I have been busily planning away for some practical clothing for summer that makes nursing easy but that is still something I get pleasure from wearing. I just can't come at the visible horizontal slash access that is the standard for so much nursing gear, so instead I am embracing the surplice neckline, the draped neckline, the button-through shirt and the RTW nursing camisole for the summer. And, via this frock, sleeve access!


This was the easiest adjustment ever. I traced off my medium Bento tee pattern, added an extra 15cm depth from the top of the shoulder about halfway through the sleeve, and extended the length to knee length, adding an extra 1.5cm width from waist to hip for a little more bump room on each side. The sleeve cuffs had an extra 30cm added (2 x 15cm). Construction was exactly the same as for the tee.


The fabric is a beautiful quality Japanese cotton-lycra from the Drapery. I decided some lycra content was wise for recovery from being stretched by the belly (for reference I'm 24 weeks in these pics). The extra weight of the fabric in the cuffs required them to be tacked down to prevent them unfolding - I did this by hand at 4 points around the cuff. Adding that extra depth to the armscye means some flashing of bra is inevitable, so I will be pairing this dress with a nursing tank (or a long line nursing crop bra if such a thing exists, I suspect not!). Do let me know if you spot a neon pink nursing tank anywhere - I rather like the idea of a flash of colour.


I may make another version - I suspect the fall of the sleeves will be a little better in a knit with more drape, but otherwise I'm thrilled with the finished dress. The style reminds me a little of the Sea Change top too - and definitely stylish enough to be worn well beyond nursing I hope!


Comments

  1. Love it! Stripes suit you. And I loved your ode to Bento... such a good pattern!

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  2. Love it! A bit confused about how to get your boob out through that armhole. I must admit I'm headscratching. Maybe shove baby through the armhole? No? Bwahahahaha

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    1. Don't make me send you the photo I sent Anna! Some things seen cannot be unseen! Hahahahaha!

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    2. Bwahahahahaha, this made me laugh my head off!!!

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  3. I actually quite like the drape of these sleeve cuffs! I know it's not ideal to be flashing bra, but I'm a big fan of intentional flashes of bra-type tops (bralettes or sports bras or cropped tanks, etc) vs trying to hide the fact that you wear undergarments, so I support your search for a neon pink nursing bra!

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    1. Thanks Saki! Yes, I don't mind the flash of a nice bra or crop either - I was even considering drafting a low side tank in an attempt of layered insouciance.... I figure if I make it in stripes it'll be chic!

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  4. Such a cute dress!!

    I saw your post on Oliver+S and it reminded me that I keep meaning to try the Bento pattern.

    I was quite overwhelmed with all the nursing clothes options, and after 11 months of nursing I now know that one can nurse in almost anything (with the exception of closed high neckline dresses). I have 1 nursing knit top (the henley type) and I wore it a few times in the early weeks after birth but since then I only wear regular clothes (with nursing bras, and yes they are all awful looking).

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    1. Thanks Delphine - it's good to know! I'm actually really excited about my spring-summer sewing list because it really is just stuff I'd already wear.... now to get cracking!

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  5. Love this combo of stripey dress, metallic slides and rainforest tote - great bump styling ;o)

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    1. Thanks Colette - it feels like a very 'me' outfit, which of course makes me happy! :)

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  6. Oooh I've been on the hunt for some good t-shirt patterns - thanks for sharing this one!

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  7. This looks awesome, and so do you!!! I'm nearing the end of my nursing journey for this baby (12.5 months, wooo hooo), and I'd agree with a Delphine that you can nurse in just about anything. I lean a lot towards separates, but made cute linen Willow tanks and very "me" swingy tees and tanks. All with nursing bras underneath! I do really miss wearing dresses that don't have buttons though, so this is super cute! Maybe for baby #2 I'll make one of these!

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    1. Thanks Katie - gosh you've done well! Thanks for the tips xx

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  8. Love this, and I love the sleeves. Great idea. I preferred a looser style top for BFing, that I could just pull up. I wore them over cheap rtw camis that I pulled down (cheap so that if I stretched the neckline it didn't matter too much, but actually they were all fine!). I could never get on board with official nursing wear either. It looks kind of weird. Hope these sleeves work well!

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    1. Thanks Helen - fingers crossed it's a winner. I'm keen to have a bit of variety in style, and some nice things to wear out and about too!

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  9. Hey! This looks great, and congrats on the upcoming babe.

    On the nursing bra question, the grotesquely-named Hot Milk Lingerie has a neon-ish pink nursing bra in both a foam cup style and a sleep style bra. (I'm 25 weeks, and the second time none of my bras fit I just went ahead and bought nursing bras the next size up, hoping they'll take me through the next 9 months or so.) Not sure if they ship outside the US and Canada, but they may!

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    1. Thankyou! Just left a comment on your tent Ogden! Haha! I'll check out the hot milk bra thanks - yeah it's a foul name, my husband killed himself laughing when he heard of that brand!

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  10. Sarah - you're looking great! Check out Cake Lingerie. Their cotton candy sleep/yoga bra was all I wore for most of my time bfing Laura and again with June, and looking them up just now, they do hot pink!

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  11. what a clever idea! and of course you're looking gorgeous. Have I mentioned before how much I adore that bag?? hmmm, I believe I have. ADORE I tell you :)

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    1. Thanks lovely lady! Yes she’s a great bag - and that fabric is from Spotty - you could totes copy my tote!

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  12. Hi,
    Fabulous collection .
    Love to see this ..
    Want to see more ..
    Khas Store

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