Breasts can take on a life or their own when a mom is nursing. They can get swollen and hard if a mom hasn’t fed her little one in awhile. Just finished nursing? A mom’s breasts will become smaller and soft again. Nursing bras are designed to accommodate the literal ups and downs of breastfeeding with three things in mind – comfort, flexibility, and easy access for feeding with pull-down or push-aside cups. While the Maris is not a nursing bralette per se, it can and is being used as one by many sewists. Join the Maris Facebook group to see a few versions and reviews from the mom’s themselves. Before I get to why, here is a quote from Linda, a mom who uses her Maris as her new favorite nursing bralette:
“I nursed my first son for about 10 months but I was actually too lazy to sew my own nursing bras at that time. I have not worn RTW bras for a few years because I could not get the right fit from RTW bras. But this time, before my son was born (my younger son is 4.5 months old), I did two nursing bra hacks from my regular underwire pattern I use. They work super, but when I saw the Maris, I thought that I coculd wear it as a nursing bra without any hacks. Before Maris, I used RTW soft bras with sling/nursing clips and also microfiber nursing bras to sleep in. They have kind of the same idea as Maris, but the cups overlap at the front. The idea is that you pull the bra cup to the side when your baby wants to eat. I made a Maris just like my RTW one and it worked! :) I did not do any specific changes to make it into a nursing bra, only some small modifications to make it fit my body. I also added foam cups in case milk leaking out, then I don’t have to worry about changing my entire outfit if an accident occurs. I really like the simplicity to just pull the bra to the side and feed my baby instead of the fuss with the nursing clip. It can be stressful enough to hold a baby, pull your shirt up/down, get the baby to attach to your boob, not getting milk everywhere and so on. Having a bra that you just pull to the side, and back in place, is so much easier (at least for me). Also Maris looks WAY better than any boring RTW nursing bra you can find here in Sweden ;)”
Now let’s talk about how and why the Maris can be used as a nursing bralette:
Flexibility: The Maris was designed to be made with fabrics that have 8-12% spandex, so there is more leeway in fit. You can go up and down a cup size before and after feeding, and the stretch fabric will accommodate these fluctuations as opposed to a bra made with a non stretch fabric or lining for the bra cups.
Comfort + sizing: The Maris is available in sizes XS-4XL and cup sizes A/B, C/D, and E/F cups. If you’re one of those women who’s breasts take on a new shape before and after nursing, you have pattern that fits a wide range of sizes. One of the many things I love about bra making is that it only takes a few hours to sew. So after you stop breastfeeding your little one – like for good, not just for a few hours – if you’re a different size, you can whip up a new Maris, maybe even a new lingerie wardrobe, in no time.
Leak protection: I recently had a virtual 1-on-1 with a new mom and she said she went from washing her bras once a week or once every two weeks to almost every day. Between feeding, spit up and throw up, there was some sort of liquid on her. Adding foam cups to the Maris can help with leakage so that it doesn’t show through your clothes.
Feeding: On a “nursing” bra or bralette, there are special clips at the strap points that allow it to be folded down. There is usually is a sling as well to keep it upright. On the left below, Linda demonstrates how a woman would nurse using this type of style. The front closure on the Maris is the same concept as the special clips on a nursing bra or bralette – it allows a women to unhook the bralette and push it to the side to feed her baby. A horizontal sling can be added using strap elastics from side seam to side seam, which would act as a sling.
On the right below, Linda shoes her Maris nursing bralette, which she recreated from her RTW nursing bralettes. For feeding, she pulls one bra cup to the side when her baby is ready to feed and then back again when finished.
Ready to make a Maris nursing bralette? Here are all the links:
Shop \Maris bralette DIY lingerie kits!
Download the Maris PDF pattern
Join the Maris Facebook page
Watch the full sew along for the Maris bralette + panty as well as video tutorials about sizing, fit, common pattern alterations and more!