I’ve never been one to wear long dresses, because “floor-length” skirts hit me awkwardly above my ankle, and I hadn’t thought to sew one for myself until now. It turns out, I LOVE them. All that slippery polyester jersey swishing around my ankles feels elegant, and it looks so dressy, even though it is as easy as putting on a pair of PJs. Win!
Another problem with RTW maxi dresses, they all are spaghetti strapped. I am not a spaghetti strap kind of gal. Commercial patterns have the same problem. Or if they do have thicker straps, I haven’t been a fan of the skirt.
So, I found a style of top I liked (McCall’s 6070) and changed up the skirt.
These tiered skirts are really easy to make. Including 1/2″ seam allowances, the top-tier was made up of two rectangles 24.25″ high by 30″ wide, the middle 12.75″ high by 42″ wide, and the bottom 13″ high by 59″ wide. After a 2 inch hem, it hits just above the floor when barefoot. I haven’t worn a dress or skirt this long since my wedding day.
But wait, Jodi! Why did you call this dress as the “Nursing Ninja”? It’s not even black! Well, I added some super sneaky nursing openings to it. I’m not a fan of “pull to the side” necklines of nursing tops. They always stretch out of shape for me, and leave me feeling WAY to exposed on top.
(I wrote up a tutorial on how to add these openings to a top. See here.)
If all those changes were not enough, I also tried my hand at a “FBA”, a full bust adjustment. According to Palmer & Pletsch, my top size is a 14 and I should adjust it out to a 18 in the bust. (Thank you, Gladys.) and a 16 in my lower ribcage. (And we aren’t even going to talk about my size 20 hips.) No wonder nothing ever fits!
I traced off a size 16 bodice (front & back), and added 1 1/2″ to width of the bust at the “apex” using this method. (Added tissue is in green) This adds a dart to the side. So I moved it to wear the original gathers are similar to here. (Added tissue in blue). The finished result fits me fairly well. It is still a bit baggy along the neckline. I’m not sure why. No worries though. I’ll get better with practice. If would like to share any FBA tips, I would love to hear them.