I sewed this version of the Megan Nielsen nursing dress (below) MN1002 from a silky rayon jersey in light blue. The dress features an elasticized neckline and underbust empire seam with elasticated sleeves (which I omitted).
I sewed a size M from the sizing chart on the pattern. It looks great on my dress form. On me, the dress pooches out a bit in the belly (it would look fabulous with a bump, but my sad postpartum pooch, yuk. I wore a stretchy cami under it and liked the fit better.) The bust fit however is super spectacular with a nursing bust. Very va va va voom! My dress form is not nearly so endowed. I made a matching bandeau tube top to wear to, say, work, which covers all that sexy stuff and makes it nursing in public friendly. But going to an evening (La Leche League) meeting, I slid the bandeau down under my bust and got the usual “nice nursing rack” compliments from my fellow mothers. Needless to say that’s one of the many benefits of breastfeeding! For a short while of your life you look like a starlet.
There’s a lot of stretching elastic while sewing, so if you’ve not done that with some accuracy before, practice on a scrap first. It’s tricky to hold elastic, line it up with the edge of my serger (without cutting the elastic), stretch it like mad AND bounce your other foot on a baby’s bouncer to keep him quiet. I will say I cut and sewed most of this with my 7-week old son in a baby wrap carrier.
This dress in the jersey I chose is so soft and comfortable I am absolutely certain that I could wear it to bed (with a sleep bra), get up, put on a necklace and sandals and head out the door without changing. I might have to try that sometime! That being said it doesn’t look like a nightgown but it could be worn as one. I think one of the pricier Majamas line has a Sleepy Dress that is just that – a dress that was a nightie but moms wore it as a dress so they market it that way now.
The dress pattern can be worn as a top, with 3/4 sleeves, or as a tunic with long sleeves as well, depending upon the length you choose for the body and sleeve. I used a lettuce edge hem on the dress and the sleeves because I wanted to keep all the length of the dress (it’s mid-knee on me) and wanted sleeves that were open, not gathered. I’m definitely making a top and a tunic version as well, for fall through spring.