Sew Paradise

Hot Patterns 3 Graces Cowl Tee

Gorgeous drapey tee shirts – a trio of them – grace this pattern.

This top went together amazingly fast. So fast, I was actually surprised and looked to see what I’d missed in the instructions! I made this out of aqua cotton/poly knit, not a super lightweight or stretchy knit, but what I had leftover from another project. I wanted to see if the drape/cowl neck was deep enough to pull down for nursing a baby.

I traced the cowl neck version for maternity use, but never got around to making it. So I’d traced three or four sizes up from prepregnancy (I was between a 4 and 6, and traced a 12). I decided to make the 12, rather than adjusting my tracing, though I could easily have gone down to a 10 or even an 8, I think. I’m not quite two months postpartum (the fourth trimester still) and 30 lbs heavier than prepregnancy (having lost 25 lbs already).

The top is lovely, as you can see (looks better on me actually than on my skinnier dress form), and yes, it’s deep enough to pull down to nurse. I use slings or wrap or soft structured baby carriers almost 10 hours a day with my son, and I need top-down access (yanking a shirt tail hem up is not only difficult through a tightly wrapped sling, but it exposes my postpartum tummy, which isn’t a pretty sight at the moment.)

I opted for view 2’s sleeve – an elbow-length banded sleeve since I wanted some summer-to-fall wearing of this top. I made a matching bandeau tube top for wearing for discreet nursing. I slide this over my bra and under the top so when I pull down the cowl, there’s a band of fabric over my cleavage when I nurse. Except at home, when I simply pull the band down under my bra¬† and it stays there til I need it. I wish we lived in, say, Italy, where the sight of an exposed nursing breast wouldn’t be of interest at all.

The top also features a raised back neckline which I think really helps keep the top in place (a cowl like this has a tendancy to slip backwards or forwards on the shoulders). I’m super pleased with this – another version out of print matte jersey is slated for the fall. I also love the other versions too and plan to make those at some point, if I can craft some discreet nursing openings or clever wearings of it like this cowl.

Hot Patterns 3 Graces cowl tee
Hot Patterns 3 Graces cowl tee

By paradise

I'm Ann. I've been sewing since I was 9. My first project was a denim wrap skirt. Thrifting is a way of life for me - both eco-chic and financially savvy.

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