If there’s one piece of practical advice I can give to any female person who intends to have children one day — stock up on breastfeeding-friendly clothes. Even if you’re not pregnant yet! I swear people make such a business out of nursing-friendly clothes nowadays. My problem with the ones on the market tend to be:
My solution has been to add zippers to my existing clothes. Now, I’m not a professional and haven’t really looked into how to do this the proper way, but I’m sharing my cheat way of doing this because I think I have to!
Ideally what goes with a T-shirt would be lightweight interfacing, as we are using the piece as a facing to finish the back of the fabric. However, I only had heavyweight interfacing and it works fine — the front of my shirt will just be unnecessarily stiff but I don’t mind as it will be covered by my tudung when I wear it.
I cut the interfacing into a long strip: longer than the zipper and about an inch wider on either side. I round the corners and cut the top edge to fit the curve of the neckline exactly. I placed the zipper on top of it and marked the length of the zipper.
You can mark the centreline of the T-shirt by folding it in half. With the T-shirt right side up, place the strip of interfacing shiny (glue) side up, matching the centreline with that of the T-shirt. Pin in place and stitch a long “U” shape the length of the working part of your zipper (or just slightly shorter), making sure not to accidentally sew the back of the T-shirt. We are preparing to cut an opening for the zipper to peek through.
Next, with a pair of scissors, I cut straight in between the lines of my “U”, through the T-shirt layer and the interfacing. I also cut two slits into the interfacing near the bowl of the “U” — this might not be necessary when using lightweight interfacing, I just didn’t want to have any warping problems when turning things inside out.
Next, turn the T-shirt inside out and pull in the interfacing so that the shiny side is facing the wrong side of the T-shirt. With a hot iron on one hand, press the interfacing into place and make sure all of it sticks onto the fabric. Now you basically have a long slit in your neckline.
I pin the zipper into place (tuck in the top edges so they don’t peek out of the collar), turn my T-shirt right side out and sew it on with a straight stitch.
And there you have it. I’ve done this to two more T-shirts so far and alhamdulillah they work well.