It is very simple to make your own nursing vests, but if you’re not confident enough to do it yourself, you can purchase a (properly finished) version of this design through MilkChic.
NB. These instructions are provided to make nursing vests for personal use. The design is copyright to MilkChic and may not be used for resale or without permission.
Cropped Nursing Vest
This is the simplest design to make. It results in a cropped vest which goes under anything. It is less versatile than the full length version as it doesn’t cover your belly, but works well for a pull down style feed.
1. Buy a vest top with a neckline you like.
If you are big busted and need to wear a fuller cupped bra than you are used to, you may want a slightly higher neckline to ensure your bra is covered.
2. Mark the cutting line.
Wearing your bought vest top, mark a cutting point level with the lowest part of your breast (where your bra ends).
3. Cut a straight line as marked.
4. Finish. (optional)
You can finish the cut edge neatly but it is not necessary for a functional nursing vest – most jersey fabric will not fray.
Fig. 1: Cropped Nursing Vest
Full Length Nursing Vest
This is slightly more complicated to make. The final vest has 2 access vents under the bust and looks a little strange at first glance (see photo of an unfinished make your own vest!) but is incredibly versatile under clothing and works for all feeding styles.
1. Buy a vest top with a neckline you like (read guidelines above).
2. Measure up
Wearing the vest top without a bra, mark a point about 7.5cm / 3″ below the nipple. Cutting below the nipple line gives extra fabric to cover your breast while baby latches on.
3. Cut access slits
Cut 2 curved slits as pictured. The centre part of the curve should be at the line marked in step 2. The uncut section in the middle should be at least 5cm / 2″ wide.
4. Finish (optional)
You can finish the cut edges neatly but it is not necessary for a functional nursing vest – most jersey fabric will not fray.
Fig. 2: Full Length Nursing Vest