Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thrifty-Fun DIY: Make Your Own Nursing Cami

There are lots of things that I like to splurge on.  I will totally spend that extra five bucks for the big rolls of Charmin toilet paper vs. generic.  I will go to the fish monger at the grocery store and have him pick out my fish and wrap it up vs buying it pre-packaged and frozen.  I'd rather buy the Annie's Mac n Cheese than the Store Brand...

However... I do have a bit of a problem.  I WILL NOT buy something that I know I can make for cheaper at home.  I can't do it.  Especially when it is SO EASY to do yourself, and takes about 15 minutes.

When I first found out I was pregnant I was adding way too many items to my baby registry on amazon.com, and I found this super cool nursing tank top called "Undercover Mama".  Basically, it is a tank top without straps that attaches to your nursing bra, and it will turn any shirt into a nursing shirt.... See?


Well, It also retails on amazon for 25 bucks each.  I'm sorry... It IS a genius idea.  But I'm not spending 25 bucks on it...

**DISCLAIMER:  I AM NOT SELLING THIS IDEA.  JUST SHARING ON A PUBLIC BLOG FOR FREE.  SINCE THIS IS NOT MY IDEA, I AM NOT SELLING IT IN ANY WAY...**


Anyway, this is how you make one... 

YOU WILL NEED:
1 fitted camisole of your choice
1 spool of thread that matches your new camisole
1 hand needle
1 seam ripper
1 pair of scissors

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First, go to the store and buy a fitted cami of your choice.  I prefer the ones at Forever 21.  Their Basic Knit Tanks are great.  I love that they are long enough for you to layer but thin enough you don't feel like you are wearing a lot of extra fabric.  Plus, they are long enough to tuck in if you prefer.  The fact that their most expensive type is $3.80 totally helps my idea of them being the best too! :)  I got 2 in white, one in black, one in heather gray, and one in a cute white and tan stripe.  The idea is that you can wear them under any of your shirts, so all you have to do is lift up the top layer and the bottom layer (your nursing tank) keeps your torso from hanging out all over and allows the top layer (your shirt) to hide any boobage that might be exposed.

You want to make sure that your tank top's strap is perpendicular (that's my big word use of the day...) to the back of the tank top, so when the strap is removed in the next step, it doesn't look funny. 



see how the strap is perpendicular to the back of the top?
See?  See??

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Using a SEAM RIPPER carefully detach the back of the strap from the back of the tank top making sure you are only removing the stitching from the strap and not the hem of the top.



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Once your strap is detached, use your scissors and cut your strap so it is about two inches long from the front where it attaches to your cami.


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Loop it around and attach the end with your needle and thread.  Make sure that your stitches are secure, so go over it a few times.  I like to follow the pre-sewn line on the hem to camouflage my own stitching.




Repeat on the other side and you are done!  

When you are ready to wear, attach the loops to the clips of your nursing bra and throw on your top layer shirt.  When your babe is ready to nurse, pull up your top layer, unhook your bra and the loop, and nurse without showing the world your ta-tas and your exposed post-pregnancy muffin top.  When babe is finished, reattach the loop to the clip, and then pull your top layer back down. :)  




Easy Peasy.  And it only cost you $3.80.

64 comments:

  1. VERY clever and crafty Mel. That's a good one. Too bad I'm finished having babies - that is such a neat idea.

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  2. This is an awesome idea!! And so easy! Thanks Mel!!!

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  3. How are you such a genius?

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  4. You just saved me from spending a ton of money! THANK YOU! :)

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  5. I am thrilled to save so much money and can't wait to get started! Pregnant with our 2nd.

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  6. This is amazing! Thank you.

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  7. First of all, great tutorial, found you on Pinterest. Never would have thought of something quite this genius, as I had never even seen the brand name tops!
    Anyway, did you find that with some nursing bras this method made the neckline too low? I've gotten a few of the Forever 21 tank tops to do this with, but in trying them on with one of my nursing bras it seems like if it sat down where the clip is the neckline would expose part of my bra above the neckline, leaving it way too low to wear under something like a V-neck tshirt...

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  8. OMG...fantastic idea!! Love it and I'm trying it tonight with a few of my old tanks!

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  9. i made one from a OP tank from walmart, but instead of looping the strap like shown here, i used the buttonhole maker on my sewing machine, and it works great too. the problem with the op tops is that the back is not straight across like the like the tank shown, i have to sew the back so it is straight across.

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  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I found you on Pinterest, too. I'm a first-time mom to a 5-week old baby and nursing clothes aren't in the budget, so I've been washing my ONE nursing cami constantly! This is genius!

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  11. Pinterest find..., big big THANK YOU!

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  12. About to pull out my seam ripper and make one (or a few) right now!

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  13. This is awesome! I can only find the striped tanks from forever 21. Do you know the name/number of the solid colors? Thanks!

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  14. AWESOME!!! I have some undercover mama's and they are pricey I was just about to purchase more but forget it I'll just make my own =) THANK YOU!!!!

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  15. Thanks for the great idea! I am pregnant with my first, as are 2 of my best friends. I went and bought 12 camis at Forever 21 to make into undercover mamas this weekend. They have really bright colors right now, so fun. Great gifts and great idea. So excited to get started!

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  16. Awesome idea, loved it and helped me save. But instead of cutting the straps I kept them. What I did was follow the looping up front, but with the rest of the strap I Tacked it to the armpits of the Cami. So later on in the future when I am done nursing I can undo the Tack and use the Cami with out the nursing bra.

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  17. Such a great idea!! I am having my baby any day now and this will come in very handy! Thanks :)

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  18. Omg! This is awesome! Thanks for sharing! I will be doing this!

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  19. Great idea! Wish I had known about this a few months ago, but since I'm breastfeeding my baby right now, i guess it's not too late! :)

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  20. I've been nursing 18 months now and I just wear the cami and pull my nursing bra down over the tank. No need to cut anything. Am I missing something?

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    1. Neat idea! but i do the same, just wear regular camis under everything, just pull your shirt up and cami down and you're good to go! It works well, esp because some of my nursing bras don't have clips, they just pull down.

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    2. Well, I love this idea personally because, (being quite busty) I'm stretching my straps so now they're constantly falling off my shoulders. So for some that might be the reason.

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    3. Just picked up 8 different solid colored camisoles from forever 21 for only $1.80 each! Their sole purpose is to be these nursing shirts! Thank you for the idea!

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  21. AAHHH! You are A- Genius, B- Wonderful and C- a life and money saver! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm expecting my first baby in 5 weeks (or so!) and have been seething at the cost of all things labelled 'feeding tops'. I have been imagining something similar to this but not sure how to go about it. Seriously. You have made my day! Possibly my month! thank you thank you thank you! (And thanks to whoever pinned you first on Pinterest!)

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  22. Old Navy has basic camis for $3.50, but they have a slight V-neck, resulting in bra showing when you alter them, but it still works to wear under t-shirts and the like that aren't low-cut. I mainly wanted something to keep my tummy/sides/back from showing when I nurse without having to wear a button-front shirt, cardigan, or jacket. Now that it's too warm for cardigans and jackets, I was getting sick of wearing the same four short-sleeved button-down shirts I have over and over again. Haha

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  23. So what happens to the back of the tank top without the strap to hold it up? Does it sag/slip down much, or do you usually buy the tank tops on the snug side? Thanks for the great idea!

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    1. I wondered the same thing. Any feedback?

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    2. I just made one and the back stays up fine. Just buy your regular size...not too loose.

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  24. Love this idea. What happens to the back of the cami? Does it stay up?

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  25. Yes, I'm also curious about the back of the cami. What happens there?

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  26. I wear TUBE TOPS!!! Works great!! But I love this idea also :)

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  27. I made some with the old navy 3.50 V-neck tanks just for under other shirts and they are great! I also used some basic straight neck camis and to make sure the bra is covered and the neck line is higher I made the loop detachable using little metal snaps so that you can wrap the loop above the nursing release clip onto the bra strap, thus keeping the bra covered and the neckline high enough for making a low cut top more modest.

    And the tighter the top the better if you don't want the back to droop, though it just sort of hangs out where ever anyways.

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  28. I just made 5 of these today. I got 5 tanks from Forever 21 for $12.50. It took me about an hour and was super easy! Thank you for this idea...I've already reposted it all over my facebook sites (I copy/pasted your link for you to recieve credit) and I've got a ton of women planning on doing this! Thank you for saving us all so much money! :)

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  29. I have been using the Costco camis, but just tucking the straps into my nursing bra. This is genius! I might have to go alter those tops :-)

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  30. haha i flag the sewing part entirely and just cut two big holes in mine, that way all the straps stay in place & you get no sagging as your body (fingers crossed shrinks). i've also done this with long sleeve tops to layer under t-shirts for winter.

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  31. Genious is simple!

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  32. This is wonderful, I shared a link to this blog on my two pages. Also shared in my bfding classes...thanks for the tutorial CJ

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  33. Oh my gosh! I wish I had seen this when my dd was born 2 years ago. Could have made 9 of these for the price of the 3 nursing tanks I bought and have been living in ever since. Would have been super handy to have been able to make some out of maternity tanks when I was preg with ds. This rocks! And now, I'll be able to make a few of these to expand my nursing wardrobe. :D

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  34. great idea! I had made my own version of the undercover mama tank using plastic swimsuit hooks to hook onto the nursing bra but this idea is even cheaper. awesome! :)

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  35. Thank you so much for this idea! I was so discouraged when I saw how much nursing tanks were and wasn't going to spend the money when I could only afford one here and there. I bought my cami's at Walmart for $3.88 a piece and now have them in multiple colors. As for the back, since I wear mine under other shirts and they are strecthy, it just stays up.

    Again, thank you for sharing your genius idea!!!!!!

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  36. Does anyone know how true to size the Forever 21 tanks are? We don't have one close, so I'd be internet ordering and I am worried about whether they would fit. I have a larger chest, hence the worry.

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    1. Very true to size! They do have stretch though, plenty of give. I'm 7 months an wear my pre-pregnancy size just fine.

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  37. Wondering same thing. What is the fit of the forever 21 tanks?

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  38. GENIUS!!! Thank you for sharing!!

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  39. Your idea is even better than the original. Why? The brand name nursing tank had bra clips that are too small for wider strapped bras for us ladies who are DD+. Your pattern is the perfect work around. Thank you soooooo much!!!

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  40. The Forever 21 tanks run a little small. They are stretchy so that's great. I'm a size 34 C, now almost D while nursing so I would buy a Large. I don't have excess baby weight so if you do, try XL.

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  41. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this!! I have been putting off buying tanks because they are quite pricey. Can't wait to try this out :)

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  42. I have two Undercover Mama tanks (I won in giveaways) and would love more, but I would never pay for them! I LOVE this idea! Thanks!

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  43. Found you on pintrest. Excellent pictures and tutorial. Thank you so much for the helpful information. I was literally searching online looking for 'nursing shirts' when I stumbled on this. THANK YOU...saving me tons of money!!!

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  44. Perfect! I'm going to buy a few Camis and do this! Btw lol @the post pregnancy "muffin top"..... I'm sure as heck not one of those women who leave the hospital in their size 1 jeans!

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  45. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for posting this and especially for including such specific pictures! I am not very crafty at all (I wish I were, but I can't even figure out how to use the dern sewing machine, much less follow a pattern or something like that), but I AM very broke all the time. I have been wanting an Undercover Mama for ages now, but with six children I have never been able to convince my hubby that I "needed" one. Now, I can just make my own! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! *hug*

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  46. Yessss! I was totally wanting a few of that cami to make my current shirts transferable to an easy, modest nursing wardrobe and realized I could probably make them myself for $5. I wasn't sure how they fastened at the top and I love this DIY tutorial. Thanks :)

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  47. Thank you for this post!! I bought a couple of those $25 tanks and they are nice, but expensive! I can't wait to make my own. :)

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  48. Thanks for sharing!!! Very useful indeed. :)

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  49. LOVE it. Could not bring myself to spending $30 or more on a proper nursing tank. So nice to have 2-in-1 and I don't have to buy a black one and a white one. Just use my old camis. I haven't been using them anyways because I hate pulling up two shirts to nurse. GREAT idea! Thanks!

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  50. Love your idea! I plan to try this. However, I was suspicious of the low price on the Forever 21 tanks. After a bit of research, I found what I was looking for...they are produced using slave labor. So, try to find a different source for your tanks!

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  51. excellent just what i'm looking for and no need for those expensive clips!!

    Once I have tried this may i link it on my blog back to you???

    www.chell82xx.blogspot.co.uk

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  52. This is great! During my last nursing days, I would just safety pin the tops of my camis to the nursing bra. I always thought, "if I put some thought into this I be it could sew it and sell it!" Looks like you and the undercover Mama (or whatever) beat me to it! :)

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  53. above tank top tutorial is most informative

    http://www.neevov.com also offers international quality fabric plain tops.

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  54. I will go to the fish monger at the grocery store and have him pick out my fish and wrap it up vs buying it pre-packaged and frozen. I'd rather buy ... myfunfishtank.blogspot.com

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  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  56. Women Tops
    can offer you high quality fabric plain tops.

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