You know what they are – those wonderful clips found on the top of commercial nursing bras that allow you to unfasten the outer cup of your nursing bra while still ensuring a firm hold on your baby. No one understands what a precious balancing act this is, until they have to try it for themselves. No wonder women find it hard to feed the baby, they tend to wiggle a lot, and they become way more animated when they are hungry! Lots of so-called “nursing clips require two hands to unfasten them or to hook them up. Until now. We located one of the best nursing clips on the planet and we’ve been selling it for many years. This is what the clip looks like.
From the questions we get about them, it is clear that not everyone knows intuitively how to use them correctly. Here’s a quick tutorial on using these clips.
Any regular bra that has an inner support sling, has both the inner and outer layers held together at the underarm area and the strap area. They normally aren’t separate. However, nursing bras have an outer layer made of the fashion fabric, and the inner support layer (the sling) which holds the breast in place when the outer layer is lowered. These two layers need to act independently of one another. The inner sling needs to be fastened to the strap (so it won’t fall down) while the outer fabric needs to be lowered, yet be attached to the bra so it can be raised back when the feeding is done.  I’ve even seen strap elastic used in place of fabric for the sling.
The clip is made of two parts – a hook art (the upper section) and the tab part (the lower section) Each part appears to have two slots, however the bottom section’s upper slot is not a slot, but the tab that fastens to the hook section. The upper part has two slots – the upper, wider slot fastens to the strap, and the lower one attached to the inner sling. The lower section has one slot that fastens to the outer cup.
When drafting the pattern for the outer cup, allow extra on the strap tap length so you can feed it through the slot and sew it down. Likewise for the sling strap extension. The strap width needs to be 3/4″ wide – this is the size that fits the nursing clips.
During construction, work on the inner sling separately from the outer cup. The curve at the underarm should first be staystitched with a strip of stabilizer to prevent this area from stretching. Finish with elastic as usual. You will notice that the resulting edge does not have any stretch at all. The inner edge of the sling is not finished at all, or if it is, is overcast with a serger.
The outer cup will have the neckline edge finished as usual. Attach the two cup parts together at the wire line seam (no matter whether you use wires or not) After the cups are sewn into the frame, then you can finish the underarm elastic on the outer cup. You need to have the band attached before you can finish the outer cup underarm edge.
3 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Ok! Thank you. Yes I would very much appreciate a post on the subject, although I understand well now I think… But I'm sure there's more to it! And maybe a post on how to make the band's bottom in lace scallops? I can't find information on that anywhere and it's just so pretty! That would make me wait until I can enrol (someday!) in one of your boob camps!

  2. Beverly Johnson
    Beverly Johnson says:

    The drawing is not precisely accurate, because the inner sling should be drafted lower at the underarm edge than the regular bra Finish the lowered edges of the sling first, then when you sew the elastic for the underarm, the sling won't get caught in the stitching. One of these days I will have to do a post on that! This one was just done as a request about how to use the nursing clips.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Hi Beverly, I find that nursing bra really great and I want to make one using your classic bra pattern as a base, which I already own. I have a question about the finishing of the underarm elastic on the outer cup edge… Do you use regular elastic as in your classic pattern, folded under at the second pass of stitching? If so, how can you do that without sewing the sling underarm seam? And usually you just sew that elastic straight from the strap down the underarm and then the band. You wouldn't do that there? In fact, I'm really confused about that whole underarm elastic thing, the part only for the sling too. Could you explain that more precisely to me please? Thank you very much.


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